Osaka YMCA
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Middle Years Programme

OYIS was authorized as a Middle Years Programme school in June  2021. 

At OYIS our goal is to care for, educate, and develop independent, globally-minded students.

Beginning in grade 7 and finishing at the end of grade 10, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a holistic and rigorous 4-year course that encourages students to make connections between their studies and the real world.

Through our inquiry-based instruction, we aim to foster collaborative, balanced, and reflective lifelong learners who engage meaningfully in their communities.

What is Teaching and Learning through Inquiry?

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is concept-based teaching and learning allowing students to organize their knowledge into broad categorizing concepts. Students can experience the transfer of ideas across disciplines. In a concept-driven curriculum, big ideas such as change, logic, and perspective are taught across disciplines encouraging the transfer of knowledge.

The classroom is student-centered rather than teacher-centered; the teacher is a facilitator of learning. Students are active learners engaged in constructing their own learning through posing research questions. They are challenged by problem-based learning with connections to real-world problems.

MYP Approaches to Learning (AtLs) equip students with the research, collaboration, thinking, and communication skills to be able to confidently and independently complete the challenging Diploma Programme (DP) in grades 11-12. The AtLs ensure that a student’s socio-emotional development is measured and mapped as part of curriculum development and highlights a strong emphasis on student wellbeing.

Academic Development

Having completed the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), students at OYIS enter the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), which prepares them for the IB Diploma Programme. The MYP is offered from Grade 7 through to Grade 10 (students aged 12 to 16).

The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self, and responsibility to their community. MYP teachers organize the curriculum with appropriate attention to: 

  • Teaching and learning in context.  Using global contexts, MYP students explore human identity, global challenges, and what it means to be internationally minded.
  • Conceptual understanding. Students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local, and global significance and examine knowledge holistically.
  • Approaches to learning. Provides students with the foundation for independent learning and encourages the application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. 
  • Service as action. Learning by doing. Students learn to be caring members of the community —making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. 
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2018

Why the MYP?

Research shows that students participating in the MYP:

  • Build confidence in managing their own learning
  • Learn by doing, connecting the classroom to the larger World
  • Outperform non-IB students in critical academic skills
  • Consistently have greater success in IB Diploma Programme examinations
  • Thrive in positive school cultures where they are engaged and motivated to excel
  • Develop an understanding of global challenges and a commitment to act as responsible citizens.

Language & Literature

Language and Literature is an investigation of the power and possibilities of language in all its variety. Students examine texts to explore how language develops in specific cultural contexts and the ways in which language shapes both individual and group identity, as well as investigating how language is used in the media. The focus of the course falls equally on literary and non-literary expression, and students engage with texts as both producers and receivers. 

In this course, the students are assessed by their literary and non-fiction analysis skills, their organization skills, their ability to produce texts, and their usage of language. Literary and non-fiction literary analysis skills refer to a student’s ability to deconstruct a text and then be able to identify and explain why writers use writing conventions and for what purpose. It also assesses a student’s ability to explain how the choices a writer makes influence and affect the reader. Organization refers to a student’s ability to follow the conventions of a written or oral text and to present ideas and develop them extensively. Producing text refers to a student’s ability to plan, write, and edit a text while also making conscious choices as a writer to affect the audience. Use of language refers to a student’s ability to produce oral or written language accurately in order to deliver a message. In each unit of study, students are assessed on at least one of these skill clusters.

One key ATL skill in Language and Literature is communication. Students use various communication skills to effectively exchange ideas, messages and information. Students also use language in various situations as a means to gather information. Another important skill is thinking. Students analyze ideas based on a multilateral perspective when analyzing text.

Essential skills taught in Language and Literature include analysis of both literary and non-literary texts, writing and language use in a variety of registers, and the organization of ideas in written and oral form.

Language and Literature incorporates assessments such as on-demand and revised analytic essays, formal oral presentations, and Socratic seminars. Students will write creatively (personal narratives, poetry, etc.) as well as analytically, and will read and demonstrate their understanding of a wide range of texts through formal and informal teacher evaluation. 

Further information can be found on the IB’s MYP Language & Literature website.  








Design explores the avenues of digital design and product design through the lens of the Design Cycle. Students will place their focus more on the process of how great designers tackle a problem or challenge and not the final product or solution. Students get to inquire and analyze all aspects of the problem, giving them the framework to create a solution using a variety of critical and creative thinking skills. Once their solution has been created, students will go through a rigorous process of evaluating the success of their solution based on a set of criteria created by themselves.

Design offers opportunities for students to use their thinking skills extensively by exploring creative solutions to presented problems or project prompts. This allows students to create new and innovative designs through the Design Cycle process as well as giving them options to improve already existing inventions. Students will also gain research skills to learn new technical skills in robotics, vinyl cutting, and 3D printing.

Students will be assessed on four criteria: inquiring and analyzing, developing ideas, creating solutions, and evaluating. Students will accomplish these in a variety of ways from Lion’s Den presentations, Design Cycle notebook submissions, and product performance contests. Some examples of this are the Lego Mindstorm, Lego Sumo Robotics Competition, and the Great Japanese Cardboard Boat Race. During assessments students will be required to show how they accomplished their goals with the use of the Design Cycle as well as reflecting on each stage of the process.

Music & Visual Arts

In the MYP music program students explore various disciplines and aspects of music and the arts in general. Students learn how to compose, analyze, perform, record, and present music in a variety of ways.

Three main focal points of the program are:

  • creative process
  • communication
  • delivery

These three points are integrated to address the use of relevant ATL skills that identify Concepts and Global Contexts and give students opportunities to make connections with global issues through studying a variety of local cultures.

The main aims of the program are:

  • to give students ample opportunities to experience a real-life situation as professional musicians
  • to meet the main MYP Performing Arts Program’s goals
  • to prepare students to continue studying music in the future

Students’ assessment is based on four criteria: Knowing and Understanding, Developing Skills, Thinking Creatively, and Responding. Students will meet these criteria through concept-based experiences and real-life disciplinary projects such as performances before the live audience, recording, composition, and research presentations. Students would need to demonstrate the relevant disciplinary skills, knowledge, and critical thinking as well as the ability to reflect on their own and others’ works.

Further information can be the IB’s MYP Arts Website.

Visual arts:
The Visual Arts program at OYIS invites learners to develop their artistic skills, engage in creative inquiries, and most importantly, discover and express themselves as artists. Students in Grades 9 and 10 can elect to study visual arts for the entire year, while students in Grades 7 and 8 will split their year between Visual Arts and Music. We use artistic mediums such as mural painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and weaving to connect with our inquiries. Students also have direct input into the art mediums we explore.

Art has a strong concept-based approach. This will allow students to connect and apply artistic knowledge, and identify and develop the art specific skills they need in order to create and share their art. Emphasis is placed on building communication, research, and thinking skills during this course when students view and present artwork, collect information about art and artists in different genres, and analyze or reflect on the choices, ideas, and processes of themselves and other artists.

In visual arts, student assessment is carried out in alignment with four criteria: knowing and understanding, developing skills, thinking creatively, and responding to art. Over the year, students have opportunities to share what they know through the artistic responses that they produce, and the process journals- where research, analysis, reflections, and idea development are all noted. Our aim is for students to curate and host at least one major exhibition of their art in the school year. Of course, opportunities to share and discuss their completed artwork will happen regularly during the year.

Individuals & Societies

Individuals and Societies is a multidisciplinary subject.  It includes many subjects that are often taught separately, including geography, history, political science, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, economics, and others.  Through Individuals and Societies, students can learn about the factors that have shaped and influenced their neighborhoods, nations, natural environment, and species.  

Individuals and Societies is assessed on four criteria: knowing and understanding, investigation, communication, and critical thinking.  Knowing and understanding refers to a student’s ability to learn and recall specific information, such as vocabulary to explain a concept in more detail.  Investigation is the students ability to find new information on a topic using appropriate sources, as well as their ability to document those sources.  Communication requires students show their learning using a variety of methods to a variety of audiences.  Critical thinking, finally, needs students to select appropriate and convincing evidence to construct cogent, compelling, and/or creative arguments.  

One key ATL skill in Individuals and Societies is research.  Students need to be able to select appropriate sources and use them to make clear and convincing arguments.  They do this through assessments like magazine articles on famous psychology experiments and creating documentaries examining how pandemics have changed over time.  

Another important ATL skill is communication.  Students need to use a variety of communication techniques, including writing and speaking, for different purposes and audiences. This includes assessments like creating a public service announcement about a specific type of global poverty or using Minecraft to teach audiences about ancient civilizations through their architecture.  

Further information can be found on the IB’s MYP Individuals and Societies website.


Mathematics involves the exploration of topics through inquiry. It allows students to connect mathematics to the world around them and gain an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics. Students will explore topics such as numeracy, algebra, statistics and probability, geometry, and trigonometry.

Students will be assessed on four criteria: knowing and understanding, investigation of patterns, communication, and the application of mathematics in real-life contexts. Students will be assessed summatively through project-based learning, exams, presentations, and other problem-solving scenarios. Students will be prepared for these summative tasks through formative activities and assessments such as quizzes, homework problem sets, small projects, and classroom activities.

Students will encounter vast opportunities to enhance their mathematical fluency through the use of mathematical vocabulary. Students will learn to read, write, and speak mathematics as we believe it is just as important as any language in order to be successful in the subject. Students will work on their communication skills through individual and group tasks. They will verbalize their thinking on complex problems and justify the process they took to solve the problem in their written solutions.

Students will also engage in critical thinking consistently throughout the program as they will be challenged to actively find solutions to real life problems, both logically and creatively. Students investigate the purpose and process of mathematics in order to build a solid foundation throughout the program. This allows students to gain a deep appreciation for the beauty and relevance of mathematics.

Extended Mathematics:
Math extended allows for the exploration of advanced topics.  There is an expectation that students placed in the course have a strong foundation in mathematics, regardless of their decision for math coursework in the future. Placement into math extended is dependent upon a number of different factors, including performance on standardized assessments such as the MAP assessment-final course marks, and teacher recommendations. The course will cover the same core topics as the standard mathematics course but in greater breadth and depth. More specifically, students will explore additional topics within each unit, such as rational functions, inverse trigonometric functions, and the binomial theorem.  Strong self-management and thinking skills are necessary for success in the course. With any shared summative assessments between math standard and math extended, students in math extended are expected to show a greater depth of understanding. At OYIS, math extended is offered to Grade 10 students.

Further information can be found on the IB’s MYP Mathematics website

Language Acquisition

English and Japanese language acquisition classes are for students studying these languages in addition to their first or best language. Students are placed in classes according to their experience and performance in that language. They will develop communication skills by focusing on the structure and craftsmanship of an additional language through a cultural lens. Students are provided opportunities to learn about a variety of viewpoints, lifestyles, and the manner in which different cultures interact with one another.


Students are assessed in the four language domains of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. For each objective, students focus on five components: purpose, context, language control, accuracy, and fluency. As the students are at different stages of their language development, they will be assessed using criteria appropriate for their language level.


Key ATL skills in language acquisition include communication, collaboration, and affective skills. Students will develop intercultural understanding to interpret communication by reading a variety of informational texts and to raise awareness of differences in opinions, attitudes, and cultural references presented in the written text. Students will also practice interacting in rehearsed or/and unrehearsed exchanges, using verbal and non-verbal language so that they will be able to express themselves explicitly to different audiences and gain confidence in their social skills. By gaining confidence in expressing themselves, students will also develop techniques to communicate effectively in different subject areas.


Students are given opportunities to show their progress in English or Japanese language acquisition through a variety of authentic assessments. For example, students may read two descriptive texts which they will compare and contrast. They will be provided with opportunities to practice focus and concentration preparing for listening assessments through podcasts, movies, or television shows. To assess their speaking skills, students may use different types of media presenting book trailers or TedTalks on an environmental issue to various audiences. To demonstrate their written communication with others, students may create an original fusion recipe as a procedural text by using existing works and ideas in new ways.


Further information can be found on the IB’s MYP language acquisition website

Physical Health and Education

Physical Education and Health focuses on the development of the student’s well being, physically and mentally. Through connecting, encountering, and transforming learning experiences, the program empowers students with fundamental skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to make healthy choices, as well as engage in life-long learning enjoyment in physical literacy.

Physical Literacy is an essential aspect of the growth and development of the student. It encourages students to participate, contribute, and maximize enjoyment in health and sports.

Students will be assessed on four criteria: knowing and understanding, planning for performance, applying skills, and reflecting on performance. Assessed throughout the year, these criteria ensure students understand the rules and strategies of games being played and gain skills to explore lifelong physical literacy. Physical skill-building and reflecting on their performance in Physical Education and Health is also an important goal of the assessment criteria.

With the collaboration opportunities present in Physical Education and Health, ATL skills from Social, Communication, and Self-Management clusters frequently help students succeed in daily activities and on assessments. Students will explore strategies to manage and resolve conflict while working collaboratively in teams. They will give and receive meaningful feedback through both written reflections and verbal peer assessment. Throughout the year, students will set goals that are challenging and realistic to motivate themselves and strive for improvement in physical, individual, and collaborative tasks.

Assessment in Physical Education and Health includes planning an aesthetic movement routine where students work collaboratively together in a topic like dance or martial arts to put on a performance or teach the skills to an audience. Another assessment task is students taking on the role of a coach to provide students with feedback on their skill techniques and strategic decisions in a variety of sports. Students will frequently set goals to help them succeed in assessments that will analyze their physical skills in individual performances and then reflect on their journey to accomplish their goal.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Interdisciplinary teaching and learning is central to the MYP experience and is a collaborative experience for students and teachers as they participate in learning from more than one discipline. Interdisciplinary learning blurs the lines between the distinct disciplines of MYP and allows for the transfer of factual, procedural, and conceptual knowledge across the disciplines, allowing students to make connections and transfer conceptual understanding between multiple disciplines.

Interdisciplinary teaching and learning promote authentic assessment through curricula developed to solve real-world problems that impact students’ local, global or virtual communities. Students develop their approaches to learning skills and develop new ways to communicate their interdisciplinary understanding.


In Grades 7 and 8, students will study Sciences through an integrated program in which units of work will cover various fields of science. Through this course, students will begin to understand and appreciate the ways in which science is used to solve problems around the world. An exploration-based approach to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Physics will explore the concepts of mechanics and waves. Through inquiry, data collection, and analysis, students will gain a deeper appreciation for the laws of motion and understand the role that motion, force, energy, and waves play in our daily lives and shape our universe’s existence.

Chemistry will explore the building blocks of our universe, atoms, and how they determine the chemical and physical properties of the many substances around us. Explorations in the lab will help students understand how periodic trends determine the reactive properties of elements, and allow for deeper investigation into the relationship between the natural world and chemistry.

Biology will explore the functions of living organisms and their interactions in ecosystems. Topics will range from the microscopic, with cells and respiration, to the global, studying the human impact on the natural environment. Students will develop practical skills in the lab, preparing slides and using microscopes to make detailed observations, testing the effects of osmosis, and learning how plants grow.

Assessment and skills:
Sciences assessment includes the recall and application of scientific understanding, the design of rigorous investigations, the processing of data and evaluation of scientific procedures, and reflection on the effects of science on humanity and our planet. Students will develop their information processing skills, critical thinking, and personal responsibility in lab safety.

MYP Projects

Personal Project
Personal Project (PP) is the culmination, the zenith, the finale of the MYP.  To succeed, you will use all your knowledge, all your ATL skills, all the global contexts, and all your learner profile attributes.  It will not always be easy, but your supervisor, your teachers, and your friends and classmates will be with you every step of the way to help you succeed.

Personal Project is also the opportunity for you to explore and express something that is important or interesting to you.  It can be something traditionally “academic,” but it could also be something that you wouldn’t think of as doing in school, like dance, gaming, or travel.  The goal in PP is to plan and execute a substantial project to achieve a personal goal.

Personal Project is assessed on investigation, planning, taking action, and reflection.  In order to succeed, self-management skills are essential. In particular, students will need to break this large task into smaller, attainable goals and set deadlines for those goals.

Community Projects:
Connecting with the community and participating in service.

Grade 8 students participate in independent service-learning through participating in the Community Project. Students, after identifying a need in their local community, or a virtual community, can either participate in direct or indirect service, advocacy, or research to take action to make a change, raise awareness and make connections with their community. The Community Project can be completed individually or collaboratively in a group of up to three students. The project is important as it challenges students to independently create a proposal and success criteria for their project, develop strategies to organize their time and materials, and to work collaboratively and communicate effectively with peers and mentors.

Students will present their Community Project through a presentation (similar to a TED Talk) with an appendix of supporting evidence to showcase their service and their development as an IB learner.

Community Projects for 2020

  • Plastic awareness and beach clean up
  • Community Garden
  • Inquiry and Language with the ELC
  • Anti-bullying campaign
  • Mental Health awareness fair

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