Middle Years Program

Middle Years Program

Designed for students aged 11 to 16, the Middle Years Program provides a framework of learning that encourages students to be creative, critical and reflective thinkers. Students learn to make connections between traditional subjects and the real world in an environment that stimulates intellectual challenge.

The MYP is flexible enough to accommodate most national or local curriculum requirements. It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC).

The IB Middle Years Programme
  • Addresses students' intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being holistically
  • Provides students opportunities to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need in order to manage complexity and take responsible action for the future
  • Ensures breadth and depth of understanding through study in eight subject groups which exposes students to English language & literature, Arabic language & literature, sciences, individuals & societies in Arabic & English, mathematics, design, physical & health education, visual art and Islamic education
  • Requires the study of at least two languages (language of instruction and additional language of choice) to support students in understanding their own cultures and encourage them to participate in service within the community
  • Helps prepare students for further education as well as employment
MYP Projects

As part of the MYP programme during years 3, 4 and 5, students may have the opportunity to engage in community projects as well as personal projects, together referred to as MYP projects.

The community project focuses on community and service, where students are given the opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action within the community.

The personal project encourages students to practise and strengthen their approaches to learning (ATL) skills, to consolidate prior and subject-specific learning, and to develop an area of personal interest.

Student-centred and age-appropriate, MYP projects enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. They develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and receive a chance to demonstrate ATL skills.


At Dar Al Marefa, our assessments are designed to:

  • Provide feedback to students and teachers to check on performance, learning and teaching
  • Use reflection as an integral and essential part of assessment
  • Show awareness about learning styles, cultural, and linguistic differences
  • Stay within a frame of significant and authentic contexts
  • Provide evidence of progress through known criteria which is understood in advance by all involved in the process

Our Middle School teachers organise continuous assessment over the course of the process according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each subject.

Teachers are responsible for structuring varied and valid assessment tasks (formative and summative) that will allow students to demonstrate achievement according to the objectives for each subject.

Some of the examples are:
  • Open-ended, problem-solving activities
  • Investigations
  • Hands-on experimentation, analysis and reflection
  • Debates
  • Role plays
  • Discussions
  • Written/ oral essays
  • Lectures
  • Speeches
  • Interviews
  • Simulations
  • Poetry recitals
  • Dramatic interpretations / oral interpretation of literature
Language & Literature

At our school, the streams of language & literature play out in both Arabic and English. The aims of MYP language and literature are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression, analysis and social interaction
  • Develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts
  • Develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analysing literary and non-literary texts
  • Engage with text from different historical periods and a variety of cultures
  • Explore and analyse aspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary texts
  • Explore language through a variety of media and modes
  • Develop a lifelong interest in reading
  • Apply linguistic and literary concepts and skills in a variety of authentic contexts

Our Language & Literature (English) students are encouraged to read for pleasure in a bid to develop important reading skills and improve comprehension of more challenging texts as they travel through MYP. Reading initiatives such as Accelerated Reader support our goal to improve reading comprehension.

Language Acquisition

The diverse needs of the learners are met holistically through provision of English and Arabic education. The aims of the teaching and learning of MYP language acquisition are to:

  • Gain proficiency in an additional language while supporting maintenance of their mother tongue and cultural heritage
  • Develop a respect for, and understanding of, diverse linguistic and cultural heritages
  • Develop the student's communication skills necessary for further language learning, and for study, work and leisure in a range of authentic contexts and for a variety of audiences and purposes
  • Enable the student to develop multi-literacy skills through the use of a range of learning tools, such as multimedia, in the various modes of communication
  • Enable the student to develop an appreciation of a variety of literary and non-literary texts and to develop critical and creative techniques for comprehension and construction of meaning
  • Enable the student to recognise and use language as a vehicle of thought, reflection, self-expression and learning in other subjects, and as a tool for enhancing literacy
  • Enable the student to understand the nature of language and the process of language learning, which comprises the integration of linguistic, cultural and social components
  • Offer insight into the cultural characteristics of the communities where the language is spoken
  • Encourage an awareness and understanding of the perspectives of people from own and other cultures, leading to involvement and action in own and other communities
  • Foster curiosity, inquiry and a lifelong interest in, and enjoyment of, language learning
Individuals & Societies

Our Individuals & Societies course is offered in both Arabic & English till MYP year 4 and in only in English during year 5. The enriched curriculum features elements of History, Geography, Political Science & Economics that encourage and enable students to:

  • Appreciate human and environmental commonalities and diversity
  • Understand the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment
  • Understand how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve
  • Identify and develop concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment
  • Act as responsible citizens of local and global communities
  • Develop inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between individuals, societies and the environments in which they live

We encourage students to enjoy mathematics, develop curiosity and begin to appreciate its potential it holds.

  • Develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics
  • Communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts
  • Develop logical, critical and creative thinking
  • Develop confidence, perseverance, and independence in mathematical thinking and problem solving
  • Develop powers of generalisation and abstraction
  • Apply and transfer skills to a wide range of real-life situations, other areas of knowledge and future developments
  • Appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics have influenced each other
  • Appreciate the moral, social and ethical implications arising from the work of mathematicians and the applications of mathematics
  • Appreciate the international dimension in mathematics through an awareness of the universality of mathematics and its multicultural and historical perspectives
  • Appreciate the contribution of mathematics to other areas of knowledge
  • Develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to pursue further studies in mathematics
  • Develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others.

From MYP year 1 to 3, we offer integrated Sciences to students. Discrete branches of science – Physics, Chemistry and Biology – can be chosen during years 4 and 5.

By carrying out their own independent investigations and deriving conclusions, students receive the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the lab across all three sciences and learn through real world experiences.

  • Understand and appreciate science and its implications
  • Consider science as a human endeavour with benefits and limitations
  • Cultivate analytical, inquiring and flexible minds that pose questions, solve problems, construct explanations and judge arguments
  • Develop skills to design and perform investigations, evaluate evidence and reach conclusions
  • Build an awareness of the need to effectively collaborate and communicate
  • Apply language skills and knowledge in a variety of real-life contexts
  • Develop sensitivity towards the living and non-living environments
  • Reflect on learning experiences and make informed choices.

MYP design requires the use of the design cycle as a tool, which provides the methodology used to structure the inquiry and analysis of problems, the development of feasible solutions, the creation of solutions, and the testing and evaluation of the solution.

In MYP design, a solution can be defined as a model, prototype, product or system that students have developed and created independently. At Dar Al Marefa we offer digital design from MYP year 1-5

The knowledge, skills and attitudes that students develop in design courses provide a meaningful foundation for further study and help to prepare students for:

  • Careers in fashion, food, graphic, industrial, instructional, multimedia, product, publications, video game and web design
  • Architecture
  • Education
  • Roles in engineering, manufacturing, advertising and media industries
  • Project management

MYP design was conceptualised to encourage and enable students to:

  • Enjoy the design process, develop an appreciation of its potential
  • Develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions to problems using the design cycle
  • Use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and to solve problems
  • Develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments
  • Appreciate past, present and emerging design within cultural, political, social, historical and environmental contexts
  • Develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems act with integrity and honesty, and take responsibility for their own actions developing effective working practices.
Islamic Studies

Our Primary Islamic Studies Curriculum is designed to develop Islamic awareness and culture among students. We encourage them to be committed to Islamic values and the ethics of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

This curriculum is based on the Ministry of Education Islamic Studies curriculum, in addition to lessons dedicated to teach the rules of reading the Holy Qur’an. The lessons are planned as units according to the middle school IB Middle Years planning method.


MYP arts builds on what students learn and do in the PYP and other student-centred programmes of primary education. Through an inquiry-based approach, students are encouraged to continue their artistic development and learning.

The MYP arts courses specifically prepares students for the study of visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film and literature and performance in the IB Diploma Programme (DP) at either higher or standard levels.

We offer two strands of arts in first three years of MYP – Visual arts and performing arts. Students learn drama in years 1, 2 and 3 of MYP.

The aims of MYP arts are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Create and present art
  • Develop skills specific to the discipline
  • Engage in a process of creative exploration and (self)discovery
  • Make purposeful connections between investigation and practice
  • Understand the relationship between art and its contexts
  • Respond to and reflect on art
  • Deepen their understanding of the world.
Physical Education

The aims of MYP physical and health education are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Use inquiry to explore physical and health education concepts
  • Participate effectively in a variety of contexts
  • Understand the value of physical activity
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively
  • Build positive relationships and demonstrate social responsibility
  • Reflect on their learning experiences.

The objectives of MYP physical and health education encompass the factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive dimensions of knowledge. Together these objectives reflect the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students need in order to develop an active and healthy life; they represent essential aspects of physical, personal and social development.

Exta-Curricular Activities

A wide range of extra-curricular activities, including sports and arts, support the development of leadership across the campus. Here is a quick glance at some of the activities available to PYP students.

  • Cooking Club
  • Recycling Workshops
  • Basketball Club
  • Math Competitions
Community Service

Action (learning by doing and experiencing) is a key component in constructivist models of education, including the kind of teaching and learning common to all IB programmes.

IB learners strive to be caring members of the community. They demonstrate a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Through responsible action, tightly connected with sustained inquiry and critical reflection, young people and adults can develop the kinds of attributes described by the learner profile that are essential for success in future academic pursuits and for adult life.

The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and their developmentally appropriate responsibility in their community.

MYP learning outcomes for service: With appropriate guidance and support, MYP students should, through their engagement with service as action:

  • Become more aware of their own strengths and areas for growth
  • Undertake challenges that develop new skills
  • Discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities
  • Persevere in action
  • Work collaboratively with others
  • Develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding
  • Consider the ethical implications of their actions

These learning outcomes identify the substance of students’ self-reflection on service as action. All of these learning outcomes are closely associated with IB learner profile attributes and ATL skills. Through their participation in service, students can become more confident, self-regulated learners.

  • Recycling Project
  • Football Project
  • White Rose Project
Personal Projects

Student-centred and age-appropriate, MYP projects enable students to engage in practical explorations through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. They develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and receive a chance to demonstrate ATL skills.

The community project focuses on community and service, where students are given the opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and explore their right and responsibility to implement service as action within the community.

The personal project encourages students to practise and strengthen their approaches to learning (ATL) skills, to consolidate prior and subject-specific learning, and to develop an area of personal interest.