Garibaldi Secondary is now fully certified to offer the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), an innovative curriculum that gives students the chance to think critically and direct their own learning.
The designation follows a five-year accreditation process and makes Garibaldi one of only three schools in the province to offer both the MYP for grades 8 to 10 and International Baccalaureate certificate and diploma for grades 11 and 12.
“The day-to-day standard of instruction is incredibly high,” said principal Ian Liversidge. “To go through the authentication process gives validation to all the work we have done and to go through it with such positive feedback speaks very highly of the professionals that work in this building.”
The MYP was first introduced at Garibaldi in 2017, launching the five-year review process that saw outside IB observers review and guide the school through the implementation of the program. Liversidge said having the MYP will better prepare students to meet the rigorous academic challenges of the IB certificate and diploma programs, which the school already offers to students in Grades 11 and 12.
“We are looking to develop global thinkers who are exceptionally well rounded,” Liversidge added.
Founded in 1968, International Baccalaureate is a non-profit foundation headquartered in Switzerland. The program is built around the IB learner profile, which emphasizes global thinking and eases the transition to high levels of education and post-secondary institutions.
“Traditionally, in school we would give the student the lab with all the directions, and they would just follow it and see what happens,” said Helen Carelse, a biology teacher and MYP coordinator at GSS. With the MYP, “there is a focus more on making it so that students are doing the thinking themselves. So, they will observe something, ask their own questions, and then design a lab around that question.”
“It’s like being able to apply the principles in a real-life context,” said Assunta Budd, another science teacher and MYP coordination.
The learning method extends to all kinds of subjects, she added. For example, in PE, students come up with their own workout plans at first for themselves and then for someone else in a more client-based setting.
In math, students plan a simulated trip on a fixed budget, working out what they can and can’t afford and ways of saving money as they outline the details of their journey.
“It’s not like read a book and then write a test,” said Saleh Shan, a Grade 10 student. “It’s more like you are actually engaging with the material that is given.”
Nethmi Jayakody, another Grade 10 student, said the critical-thinking skills developed with the MYP will help her as she begins the IB diploma program next year and eventually moves on to university.
“It really helps to develop and strengthen the core skills that are necessary for post-secondary,” she said.
• For more information on Garibaldi Secondary’s Middle Years Program, click here.