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Written Curriculum Step 1: Vertical Planning

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

In the very early stages of planning your units, you need to have an idea of how your students’ learning from PYP will connect to their DP studies, or have an overview of how your standalone five-year curriculum will look. This vertical planning should involve all teachers of mathematics across the year groups.

Unit planning can start from a conceptual idea, an intriguing context, a task that you want to carry out, reflection from units you have previously taught or a goal that the school wants to focus on. However, maths differs from other MYP subjects as it has a skills framework, and therefore there is specific content that needs to be embedded in the five years. Therefore, if you are just getting started, perhaps this is the easiest place to begin. The benefit of this is it avoids duplication (topics being revisited unnecessarily) or gaps resulting in forgotten topics being inauthentically added into units at a later date.

To guide you through this first stage, examples of each step are attached below.

  • Step 1: place the topics within each branch of the framework in the order you think they you should be taught in.

Step - 1. Ordering content
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  • Step 2: separate the topics across the five year levels.

Step - 2. Separating into year groups
Download PD • 55KB

Further guidance:

  • View this as a dynamic, fluid document - keep revisiting it, reflect on what works and move things around.

  • If the order isn’t obvious to you for a specific topic, place it where it groups well e.g. number system notation could fit at various points but it is logical to go with recurring decimals (rational), and before surds (irrational).

  • To keep things simple, you can stick to teaching the content at the level stated in the guide (MYP 1-3 shown in red, MYP 4-5 in yellow, extended in green). However, reflect on this as regularly as you may want to introduce an MYP 4-5 topic earlier, bring an extension topic to standard, or make an enrichment topic compulsory. For example, introducing number sequences earlier may help students with describing patterns for criteria B. Understanding bounds can help with discussing accuracy in criteria D so that has been included in standard. Perhaps you want to bulk up arithmetic and geometric sequences with series, sigma, and exponential functions.

  • Keep topics colour coded (or code them again like in the example) so that as you change things in the future, you know what “must” be in each place before moving things around again.

  • If you combine the MYP with another curriculum, use their topics list, or perhaps it’s already ordered for you.

Hopefully, this helps you get started - if you have any questions or any notes to add that could help someone else, please send a message! The next post will see us through the early stages of shaping our units...see you soon!


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