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About the IMYC

Learning Goals

The learning goals of the International Middle Years Curriculum outline the knowledge, skills and understanding needed across all subjects as well as their personal development needs. The IMYC learning goals were informed by eight curriculums around the world, making them easy to adapt to your local national curriculum standards.

Compass International School Imyc Collaboration Unit Science Entry Point

Subject goals

Subject goals cover the development of knowledge, skills and the understanding in science, art, ICT, music, history, design and technology, PE, geography and English. These subject goals are linked in the IMYC by a broader concept (the IMYC Big Idea) which enables pupils to connect their learning as they move from subject to subject.


Personal goals

Personal goals refer to those individual skills and qualities we believe students will find essential as they move into adulthood. 11 to 14 year olds have very different needs to primary or senior learners as they seek personal meaning and connectedness. The IMYC addresses these crucial personal needs:

  • to make sense of their learning
  • active involvement with their peers
  • to make connections
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International learning goals

International learning goals help 11-14 year olds develop a sense of their place in the world. They learn about other people and cultures, and continue to become more internationally.

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Units of Learning

Each IMYC unit has a theme and involves six weeks of learning based around a ‘Big Idea’, which aims to help students in every year group to achieve coherence and connection within their subjects.

The full range of units includes adaptability, balance, belief, celebration, challenge, collaboration, communication, community, competition, consequences, courage, creativity, curiosity, development, discovery, entrepreneurship, identity, interpretation, justice, leadership, reflection, relationship, renewal, resilience, resolution, respect, responsibility, risk, structures and tradition.

The Big Idea challenges students to think beyond a topic by elevating the theme to broader, conceptual thinking, and making connections back to each of the IMYC subjects.

A teaching framework for the unit contains suggested learning tasks to support teachers and the fostering of personal dispositions and international mindedness, all related to the Big Idea.


The IMYC Assessment for Learning plays a crucial role in helping students take responsibility for their learning. It supports teachers to assess students, whilst supporting students to assess their own progress.

The Assessment for Learning Programme covers:

  • tracking subject skills over three years
  • providing success criteria or skills ‘rubrics’ for teachers and students
  • guiding progress to the next level for key skills in 9 subjects: English language arts, science, history, geography, art, music, technology, physical education and ICT and computing
  • assessing student progress from beginning, to developing and mastering across all subjects.
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It’s great to see the changes that are happening which are improving on student learning. In the past we had not really connected our subject learning. Now, with the International Middle Years Curriculum, we connect all the learning and we tailor the learning so that it is culturally relevant to the children. We are already feeling the positive results of the IMYC in the classroom. As teachers, we’re spending less time standing at the front talking to everyone. Now, because of the collaborative, enquiry-based approach we’re going round to small groups tailoring the learning to their needs.”

Charlotte Flook,
Teacher at Harrow International School, Bangkok, Thailand
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