A New Year in our MYP Journey

A New Year in our MYP Journey
Eric Usher

A New Year in our MYP Journey

The 2020-21 school year promises to be an exciting year of growth for the Middle Years Programme at Seisen International School. Following the virtual visit from the IB evaluation team in May, we were officially authorized as an MYP school for Grades 6-10 in June. This year we have two new cohorts in the Middle School and our pioneering Class of 2024 carries the MYP with them into the High School. The 2021-22 school year will see that group be the first to complete the MYP on their way into the Diploma Programme.

IB MYP at Seisen International School Tokyo




A quick look at the MYP programme model reminds us that the student is supposed to be at the center of the programme. The question What will best serve the needs of students?  is at the center of teachers’ work designing units and lessons. Surrounded by coronavirus concerns, putting students at the center of the programme means paying even closer attention to student wellbeing and helping each student navigate these unusual times.






As we begin this new school year and students adjust to being back in the classroom, one of our primary goals is to help them learn how to learn. For the past few years, we have been using a set of “Approaches to Learning” (ATL) skills to help students understand and assess their own progress as learners. At Seisen International School, ATL skills are framed into eight categories that reflect skills needed to succeed in learning and life:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Organization
  • Self-Management
  • Initiative
  • Information Literacy
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking

By highlighting these skills, we hope to provide a richer framework for conversations between students and teachers, students and parents, and parents and teachers.

As shown in the programme model, ATL skills are one of the central components of an IB education. We look forward to conversations with parents about ATL and other dimensions of the programme over the course of the year. Watch this space, and take advantage of opportunities for face-to-face conversations, the first of which will take the form of a webinar for parents of students new to the Middle Years Programme on September 14.

I look forward to ongoing opportunities to interact together in support of our students.

Best regards,

Eric Usher
MYP Coordinator  

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