It all starts on year one. The backbone of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) consists of interdisciplinary activities, academic and personal skill acquisition, project development and service learning. The community project, on year four, aims to grant the students the chance to demonstrate the achievements gathered throughout the first three years they have been exposed to a work plan based on a deeper understanding of concepts, related concepts, global contexts and inquiry questions. It is also a step towards the personal project and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma internal assessments that demand sophisticated academic, social, self-management and thinking skills, among others. Each group prepares their process journals as well as their oral presentations in the session language and, therefore, must be evaluated not only against rigorous assessment criteria but also by teachers who are proficient in the language the presentation is delivered.
It is a moment for reflection, self-evaluation and maturity. The conclusions drawn from this exercise will be the platform for an even more mature and better developed work in year five when they undertake their personal projects. Nonetheless, and perhaps, most importantly, it is a moment of accomplishment and realization. The four-step criteria (investigation, planning, action, reflection), each subdivided in three categories, must be rigorously followed and clearly evidenced during the presentations.
The project can be executed either individually or in small groups. Everything displayed and said during this moment must be extracted from their process journals, at the disposal of the evaluation panel, for verification and validation of the information provided. It is indeed a memorable experience.