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The International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC)



IMYC - Academic news for September 2018


In order to provide continuity in the curriculum across the whole school, Years 7, 8 and 9 have been following the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) since September 2017. This is a middle school programme, which is a natural continuation from the IPC, which has been in place at La Garenne for the past four years. Young teenagers have particular needs and ways of learning. The IMYC is designed to support and improve their learning through this critical time in their development. At the same time, it contains the content of internationally recognised curricula for this age group, including the UK Key Stage 3. The IMYC has proved itself to be a stimulating programme that is well suited to the needs of our students. See below for more detailed information on the IMYC. More details are available via the following link:  


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The approach offered by the International Middle Years Curriculum improves the way that 11-14 year olds learn. It is a challenging, engaging, internationally-minded, concept-focused curriculum designed specifically for the unique learning needs of 11-14 year olds in Key Stage 3 / lower secondary, linking all subject learning to a conceptual theme. 

Each IMYC unit of work follows a conceptual theme known as the big idea. Neuroscientists say the brain learns ‘associatively’, always looking for patterns and linking to previous learning. In primary schools, teachers often find these links for students and regularly mention links between subjects.  Theorganisation of secondary school teaching and learning is often within departments, resulting in students suddenly having the responsibility of finding their own links in their learning. The aim of the IMYC is to help students develop the habit of identifying links in their learning for themselves through linking all learning with the Big Idea. The IMYC links the knowledge, skills and understanding of each subject to the most appropriate Big Idea.

Personal journaling throughout IMYC units help students to reflect and link their subject learning throughout the unit developing understanding and making personal meaning from the perspectives of ‘self’ and ‘other’. Students then represent what the Big Idea means to them personally and from a global perspective through their creative media project exit point.

A key part of the IMYC is Interlinking Learning. To help students link their learning, the IMYC asks all subject teachers to collaborate to connect all subject learning to the Big Idea. Although subject learning remains independent and rigorous, it also forms part of a whole, interdependent unit. Subject teachers connect through the conceptual idea and collaborate during various stages of the IMYC process of learning. Experience has shown that this teacher collaboration helps to develop a shared focus on student learning.

IMYC learning builds upon enquiry-based thematic primary and helps teachers to prepare students for the next stage of their learning. This includes the development of foundation subject knowledge and skills that students need for GCSE, IGCSE, IB Diploma and A levels; skills required for complex researching and recording, for presenting and for using a range of media forms to present learning. In addition, the personal and international skills that students develop throughout their learning with the IMYC also provide crucial foundations for their senior school learning and even for future work opportunities.

The IMYC approach creates a challenging, student-led learning environment. It offers an enquiry-based curriculum. Individual and collaborative research and recording tasks all linked to the Big Idea, supporting subject teachers in facilitating student-led, subject-based learning. Learning tasks provide opportunities for students to regularly problem solve, to think creatively, and to develop personal skills such as resilience, communication and adaptability. Each exit point asks students to combine their understanding from the unit of work; showing how all their learning links though the Big Idea and what that means to them personally and in a real world context. The work in planning and producing these projects provides opportunities for extensive creative and student-led learning and, as students share in the presentations of their peers, more new learning and creativity is shared.


The concepts marked with an asterisk * are those that will be studied in the school year 2018-2019.


IMYC – Year 7 Themes and Big Ideas

Shown below are the ten units of study available for Year 7. The concepts marked with an asterisk * are those that will be studied in the school year 2017-2018.


Adaptability *

Adaptability is demonstrated by the ability to cope, alter or change with new circumstances or environments.


Balance *

Things are more stable when different elements are in the correct or best possible proportions.



There is value in recognizing and observing special events through ritual and with joy and happiness.


Collaboration *

When people work together, they can achieve a common goal.



Very few actions are neutral. Most actions create impact or change that then have to be dealt with.



Innovative ideas can happen when existing or new concepts are brought together or expressed in a new way.


Discovery *

Finding out new things is a human driver and affects things for better or worse.



Problems, disputes and contentious issues can sometimes be satisfactorily solved or resolved.


Risk *

Progress involves exposing ourselves to and considering the impact or forms of danger, harm, uncertainty or opportunity.



Formal arrangements and relationships underpin or give organisation to complex issues.


Year 8 Concepts and Big Ideas



People gain or suffer as a result of their commitment to ideas.


Competition *

Trying to beat others has good and bad consequences.


Communication *

When information is shared accurately and clearly the end result is more effective.



The desire to know more drives exploration and aspiration.


Courage *

Being true to yourself requires bravery.


Reflection *

Complex decision-making requires space and time.



Every individual thing affects and is affected by other things.



Success over time requires persistence.


Respect *

It’s important to honour behaviour and processes that have proven merit.



Beliefs and customs from the past have a powerful effect on our lives today.


Year 9 Concepts and Big Ideas



Facing up to or overcoming problems and barriers increases possibilities in our lives.


Community *

A shared sense of belonging occurs when people are able to negotiate and appreciate their complex and often messy differences.


Development *

Long lasting changes take place slowly over time.



The ability to make money through development of products and situations appropriate to different markets requires application of certain skills.



Our sense of self, and that of others, is continually developing through our different interactions and impacts on how we exist in the world.


Interpretation *

Only a very few things are true for all people.



A fair society is organised so that no one suffers unduly for the benefit of others.


Leadership *

For better or worse, one or more people can use influence so that others aid and support them.



The end of a process is often the preparation for the beginning of something new.


Responsibility *

Each of us is in charge of the actions we choose.


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