The Notre Dame Academy International Baccalaureate experience goes beyond the traditional lecture based education. Students are encouraged to become active in the learning process through consistent inquiry, action, and reflection. As a school, we aim to synthesize our Marist rooted mission with the IBO’s mission to create knowledgeable, compassionate, globally minded learners. We achieve this by directly teaching students the skills they need to be agents of their learning. Learning experiences are designed to reflect student choice, voice, and ownership.
The Middle Years Programme is frequently referred to by its acronym, the MYP. This programme serves all NDA students from the 6th to 10th grade. In the MYP, all learning takes place within global contexts, which stimulate students to connect their learning to the real world. Because learning is placed in a real world context, students are then much more likely to not only retain knowledge and skills but also identify opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom. For example, in a MYP math class, students are not only asked to understand how to factor a circumference but also to then apply that knowledge in a real world context such as building design. In every subject, students are asked to seek and show their knowledge through traditional assessments as well as creative projects that are reflective of the world around them.
The MYP is also focused on interdisciplinary learning, which means that students will examine concepts across subject area content. This might look like a student analyzing the construction of a text through author choices while also then looking at the spiritual journey of a protagonist in Theology class. The connection across subjects highlights the true nature of real world learning that is not isolated to only one subject, but bridges knowledge between different disciplines.
The MYP is designed to be inclusive and ensure a variety of learning experiences. Students participate in a variety of learning experiences and engage with students with different learning styles. Learning experiences are carefully crafted to support student academic, personal, and social learning. Teachers are asked to reflect on their classes prior to, during, and after teaching a unit to ensure quality instruction and model the growth mindset central to success as an IB learner.