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Changes to MYP Certification at Discovery College

Posted: March 13, 2015

The information below has recently been shared with parents of students in Years 7-10 explaining important changes to the MYP effective August 2015.  We welcome further feedback, which can be addressed to

2014-15 will be the final year that the IB will issue MYP Certification under their current system of external moderation. Under the IB’s current process, a school submits samples of students’ work across all eight-subject areas and the Personal Project, and the IB determines whether these meet their standards.

From 2016 onwards, the IB will be replacing this process with eAssessment, in order to make the programme more accessible to schools with state and national curriculum requirements. eAssessment will involve:

  1. A two-hour onscreen examination for four subjects: Mathematics, Sciences, English Language & Literature, and Individuals & Societies. Where a student is taking Chinese Language & Literature, an onscreen examination will also be required.
  2. E-portfolios of work for four subjects: Language Acquisition, Physical Health & Education, Design, and the Arts Group (Drama/Visual Arts/Music).
  3. These will be the only assessments that count towards a student’s final MYP grade.

The IB’s decision to award the MYP Certificate will be determined by a student’s performance in six subjects: English, Chinese/Spanish, Sciences, Mathematics, Individuals & Societies, and a sixth subject. The sixth subject will be drawn from the student’s best score from Physical & Health Education, Design, and Arts group subjects.

Discovery College and Renaissance College have chosen to opt out of the eAssessment system. We will continue to follow the IB MYP programme from Years 7 to 11 as we always have; only the end certification process will be different.

Discovery College will award students with a school MYP Certificate, endorsed by ESF, and provide report transcripts. The Personal Project will continue to be externally moderated by the IB and students will receive a formal document from the IB called a ‘Record of Participation’. The ‘Record of Participation’ will include a list of subjects studied by the student.

In order to maintain the high quality of our MYP and prepare your children for the IB Diploma, DC will regularly provide curriculum and assessment documentation to the IB. The IB will provide us with feedback to enable us to maintain high standards of learning and teaching across the curriculum.

Feedback from the IB throughout our previous three cycles of moderation has shown that DC has been consistently and accurately assessing student work according to IB standards. Our MYP results have improved year by year, and consistently remained well above the world average.

We have contacted a range of universities across Hong Kong, the US, the UK, Australia, Japan and Canada who have assured us that they base their entry academic requirements upon a student’s predicted and final Diploma results. Whether or not a student holds an official IB MYP Certificate is not significant to the universities.

We continue to be committed to the IB MYP. We believe the MYP offers the best framework for your child to experience a holistic education, which nurtures life-long learning skills and altruism. DC is committed to a holistic, well-rounded education that values Physical & Health Education, Design and Arts subjects on an equal footing with other subjects.


Last week we wrote to Y9 and 10 parents informing them of DC’s decision to discontinue seeking the MYP Certificate from 2016 onwards. In response to this, we received some feedback, which we would like to address here.

The feedback we received centered on two questions:

  • Can we have further information on the rationale for not pursuing the MYP Certificate after 2015?
  • What is the potential impact of this decision on applications to UK universities?

Can we have further information on the rationale for not pursuing the MYP Certificate after 2015?
As outlined above, DC remains committed to providing all Y7-11 students with a holistic and student-centred education. We still believe that the MYP offers the best curriculum framework to achieve this and remains the best curriculum for students entering the DP. The decision to no longer pursue certification was underpinned by two major considerations:

1. Our commitment to a holistic curriculum:
With the advent of e-Assessement, the MYP Certificate will be based on student performance in six subjects. Of these six, English, Chinese / Spanish, Individuals and Societies (Humanities), Mathematics and Sciences ‘count’ with the final score component coming from the best score from the Arts Group, Design, and Physical and Health Education. This effectively ‘discards’ the results of two of the eight subject areas. It is our view that all eight MYP subject areas are of equal value and we do not believe this model aligns with our commitment to a holistic, well-rounded education, which places every subject on an equal footing.

2. Single exam to determine a student’s final MYP grade:
From 2016, a student’s final MYP grade in English Language and Literature, Chinese Language and Literature (Chinese A), Individuals and Societies (Humanities), Mathematics, and Sciences will all be determined by a single, ‘high-stakes’ exam. There is no course work component, and we believe this score will not provide an accurate profile of the level of student ability or attainment. Some students perform well in exam conditions, however many capable students find these conditions difficult and stressful.

At DC, we believe exams are only one method of evaluating student understanding. We remain committed to serving our students’ wide variety of learning styles by offering a range of assessment tasks, such as presentations, research essays, performances, journal reflections, and blogs, as well as exams.

DC will continue to seek regular feedback from the IB on our assessment and curriculum, and this will be a vital part ensuring the rigour of our MYP.

What is the potential impact of this decision on applications to UK universities?
The advice we have received from Higher Education Counsellors and their contacts in UK universities has consistently indicated that not having an MYP Certificate will not adversely impact on applications to UK universities. Applications will be considered on the basis of school transcripts, IB Diploma predicted and final score, personal statements, letters of recommendation and, if applicable, the University’s own admissions testing.

We are therefore confident that our students will continue to receive the high calibre of offers as in previous years, regardless of the fact that they will not be awarded the MYP Certificate.

We welcome further feedback, which can be addressed to the following email: