You are here: Learning > Upper School > MYP



I am Gustav Helman and I am the MYP Coordinator and Interim Upper School Principal at Escola Americana de Belo Horizonte. I want to personally welcome you (students and parents) to the Middle Years Programme.

The MYP is a program developed for grades 6 to 10 students, with an established framework that motivates academics, personal development, and social and emotional well-being. The curriculum framework of the MYP allows students to embrace and solve challenges in many disciplines, achieving their potential, taking risks, strengthening and reflecting on personal identity, while providing a perfect transition from the Lower School into the Upper School. It develops what we call the “IB Learner Profile” attributes, supporting the students on becoming communicators, knowledgeable, inquirers, principled, open-minded, and reflective -among other important traits- to flourish in academics and in life.

The Middle Years Programme encourages students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world, through conceptual understanding and an interdisciplinary approach. It fosters the development of communication, intercultural understanding, and global engagement -skills and qualities essential to succeed in the world we live in.

The MYP focuses on an inquiry cycle, emphasizing action, and working towards reflection. In every class, teachers work with students on a set of unifying skills that leads the approach to every subject: communication, research, self-management, social, and thinking skills (Approaching to Teaching and Learning skills, or ATL’s) These skills allow students to take risks, and transfer their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts, too.

Middle Years Programme students take one subject from each of the following subject groups:

  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Design

Community and Service is an important element of the in the Middle Years Programme, and it aims to develop a sensitivity to the needs of the community and society in general, an awareness of the role of the individual within the community, a willingness and the skills to respond to the needs of others, and an altruistic attitude which enriches the lives of students through enhanced insight into different social patterns and ways of life.

In addition, towards the culmination of the MYP, students research and create a Personal Project, an independent inquiry-based project of study into an area of particular interest linking global contexts and several academic subjects. This Personal Project could take the form of an essay, an experiment, an artistic production, etc. Each student develops his/her project independently, with a teacher acting as a mentor.

For more information on the MYP, please visit www.ibo.org


The College Board has created the Advanced Placement (AP) program to offer college-level courses to students in High School. The AP curricula for the courses is created by college level educators in the area and the courses are then taught by high school teachers who must have their course approved by The College Board.

Taking an AP course shows a college that a student is taking the most challenging curriculum available to them. Students can also receive college credit for AP courses with a sufficient score on the AP exam for that course. The exams are scored on a five point scale and generally scores of 3 and higher are considered acceptable for credit, however, each college has their own credit policy. For information about individual colleges and AP scores, click here.

EABH is also one of a select group of schools to offer the AP Capstone program and consequently the AP Capstone diploma. In order to earn the diploma, students must take and pass (with a 3 or higher) AP Seminar, AP Research, as well as four other AP exams of their choice. AP Seminar and AP Research develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting without a discipline specific focus.

EABH offers the following AP courses taught by EABH instructors at the following grade levels:

Grade 9Grade 10Grade 11Grade 12
AP Human GeographyAP World History
AP Spanish Language & Culture
AP US History
AP English Language & Composition
AP Seminar**
AP Comparative Government
AP English Literature & Composition
AP Calculus AB
AP Environmental Science
AP Research**

* Part of the AP Capstone program

For courses that EABH does not currently offer, students can enroll through external organizations such as K12 or VHS. Some of the AP courses students have taken through other programs include: AP Psychology, AP French Language and Culture, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, ,AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, AP Statistics AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science A.

Finally, students may take an AP exam without ever having taken an AP course. This is most frequently done by students who speak a language other than English and take the AP exam in this language.

For more information about AP, visit https://ap.collegeboard.org/.

The MYP Curriculum Model

The IB Middle Years Programme, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.

The programme consists of eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction that provide a framework for learning within and across the subjects. Students are required to study their mother tongue, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In the final year of the programme, students also engage in a personal project, which allows them to demonstrate the understandings and skills they have developed throughout the programme.

The framework of the MYP is shown as an octagon. This emphasizes the importance of the eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction that provide a framework for learning within and across the subjects.

The MYP aims to develop in students:

  • the disposition and capacity to be lifelong learners
  • the capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing reality
  • problem-solving and practical skills and intellectual rigor
  • the capacity and self-confidence to act individually and collaboratively
  • an awareness of global issues and the willingness to act responsibly
  • the ability to engage in effective communication across frontiers
  • respect for others and an appreciation of similarities and differences.

The Fundamental Concepts of the MYP

Three fundamental concepts underpin the Middle Years Programme

  • Intercultural Awareness – concerned with developing students attitudes, knowledge and skills as they learn about their own and others social and national cultures. By encouraging students to consider multiple perspectives, intercultural awareness not only fosters tolerance and respect, but also leads to empathy and understanding.
  • Holistic Education – emphasizes the links between the disciplines, providing a global view of situations and issues. Students should become more aware of the relevance of their learning, and come to see knowledge as an interrelated whole.
  • Communication – the MYP stresses the central importance of communication, which is fundamental to learning, as it supports inquiry and understanding and allows student reflection and expression. The MYP places particular emphasis on language acquisition and allows students to explore multiple forms of expression.

The IB learner profile

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be:

Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

Knowledgeable They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.

Thinkers They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

Communicators They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

Principled They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.

Open-minded They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

Caring They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

Risk-takers They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

Balanced They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

Reflective They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

The Personal Project

In the final year of the programme, each student completes a personal project, a significant piece of work that is the product of the student’s own initiative and creativity. Each project must reflect a personal understanding of the areas of interaction. Students apply the skills acquired through one of these areas as well as approaches to learning. Students are expected to choose their project, which can take many forms, and take the process through to completion under the supervision of a teacher in the school. This involves: planning, research, and a high degree of personal reflection. The personal project is assessed by teachers against a set of IB assessment criteria.

Community and Service

Community and Service in the Middle Years Programme aims to develop: a sensitivity to the needs of the community and society in general, an awareness of the role of the individual within the community, a willingness and the skills to respond to the needs of others, an altruistic attitude which enriches the lives of students through enhanced insight into different social patterns and ways of life. This area of interaction supports the fundamental concept of intercultural awareness, which aims to encourage tolerance and respect, leading to empathy and understanding. Students engage in interactive situations that will enrich them emotionally, socially, morally and culturally by involving themselves in positive action and contact with other social and cultural environments.