MYP Arts Guide: Key Changes

Jul 25, 2022

MYP Arts (Performing and Visual) is changing. As the IB moves from a three-programme model to a continuum model, recently updated MYP Subject Guides aim to make greater connections between the PYP below it and the DP or CP above. The new MYP Arts guide has a number of positive and helpful changes for first teaching 2022. In this post, I will walk you through some of the key changes to expect.

Please Note: MYP 1-4 will convert immediately, while any MYP5 E-Portfolios will use the previous version of the Subject Guide for the 2022/23 school year.

Name Changes

‘Drama’ changes its name to ‘Theatre’ to better align with the nomenclature used in DP. More importantly, the new shared objectives allow all arts subjects to provide a more streamlined pathway to the DP Arts courses. ‘Media’ changes to ‘Media Arts’ to better embed this area within Visual Arts (rather than English, for example).

These changes have already been updated within ManageBac, and previous classes have been automatically reassigned to this new nomenclature.

Holistic Nature Emphasised

The holistic nature of the course has been emphasised and continues to be closely aligned with the inquiry cycle. The new objectives and assessment criteria are easier to identify in a portfolio of student work. Criterion A (Investigation), in particular, clarifies the link between the artist and the context by asking students to understand the features of a genre or movement and how these are linked to the techniques and practices used by individual artists.

In Criterion D (Evaluating), I particularly like the more focused expectation that students should reflect on their own ‘development as an artist’. This helps them to understand their own work in context, rather than focusing purely on the quality of the work they have produced.

Performing Arts Provision

For Performing Arts, a change that will be welcome in many schools is in Criterion C, which states that students should ‘create or perform’ an artwork. Performing Arts courses focusing on the staging of productions and/or concerts are now an option. This means that students can now perform or adapt work written by others, such as a whole class play or a musical piece, while still being able to address all the MYP criteria.

These criteria have been updated within ManageBac and appear automatically for all new tasks. To update existing tasks to these criteria, simply open and edit them.

Arts Subjects Restructured

The new subject guide introduces the possibility of radically restructuring how the arts are organised in the timetable, although I suspect not many schools will be able to facilitate this. It introduces three different levels of each objective – novice, intermediate and competent – rather than MYP1, 3 & 5. Schools could choose to group arts students by stage rather than age, as is often seen in language phases.

The Arts Journal remains a compulsory part of the course. The ManageBac Arts Journal helps students to understand the assessment objectives, as they can indicate which objective each journal submission may refer to. It also helps teachers to use journal entries as part of the assessment. ManageBac introduced the Arts Journal for MYP last year.

‘‘Thinking creatively in the arts’’ has long struck me as problematic; measuring creative thinking is challenging. What may seem a small change to ‘’thinking and working creatively in the arts’’ makes for a much more tangible assessment process whereby the evidence for creative thinking can be seen in a number of sources in students’ work.

More Information:

For further guidance on changes to the MYP Arts Guide, visit the IB MYP Arts Page, using your MyIB Login. You can also watch a short video introduction from Curriculum Manager Justine Swainson. Alternatively, navigate to the ManageBac IB MYP Arts Subject Page, using the Globe Icon at the top of any Class page, where you will find additional resources and support. And, if you need further help with implementing the new Guide, you can also book a 1-1 MiniPD Coaching Session with Antoinette Blain!


About the Author

Antoinette Blain
Subject Leader, The Arts, and MiniPD Coach

Antoinette Blain is an IB Workshop Leader and School Visitor, Teacher Coach for the Aga Khan Academies Network, and MiniPD Coach. As Subject Leader for The Arts, Antoinette is responsible for providing the ManageBac teaching community with subject-specific ideas and expertise via our Subject Pages.