An International Preschool-Grade 12 Academy 
Academics

Upper School

International Baccalaureate Education for Grades 6 through 12

 
The Upper School program at GEMS World Academy Chicago comprises the final two phases of the International Baccalaureate curriculum framework — the Middle Years Program (MYP), serving grades 6 through 10, and the Diploma Program (DP), serving grades 11 and 12. GEMS is a certified IB World School for the MYP, and we're a candidate school for DP authorization.

GEMS combines these core academic frameworks with an emphasis on innovative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) actvities, daily langauge instruction that builds cultural understanding, mobile learning that makes the city our campus, and travel and cultural exchange opportunities that leverage the global GEMS Education network. 

The result is a program that redefines middle school and high school education while preparing young people to be innovative thinkers who can solve next-generation challenges. 



 

The Middle Years Program

The IB Middle Years Program helps students in grades 6 through 10 develop both subject-specific and interdisciplinary understanding. The program organizes teaching and learning through eight subject groups:
  • Language and Literature
  • Math
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Language Acquisition
  • Sciences
  • Design
  • Arts
  • Physical and Health Education
The MYP teachers at GEMS encourage and inspire students to reflect, innovate and take action. During the course of the five-year program, our students make documentary films, record podcasts about pressing social issues, learn anatomy by observing doctors at Chicago hospitals, design sustainable homes using Minecraft and create innovative garments that reflect the styles and culture of ancient civilizations.

GEMS received authorization for the MYP in 2018. For an in-depth look at our program, click the "Middle School Curriculum" bottom at the right of this page.

During the course of the MYP, our students make documentary films, record podcasts about pressing social issues, learn anatomy by observing doctors at Chicago hospitals, stage one-act plays and design sustainable homes using Minecraft.


The Diploma Program

GEMS World Academy Chicago students finish their academic journey with the rigorous IB Diploma Program. This curriculum framework, which serves students in grades 11 and 12, comprises three core elements and six main academic subject groups. The core elements are:
  • Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
  • The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
  • Creativity, activity, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.
DP students choose courses in each of the following six subject groups:
  • Studies in Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts
The DP is recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities, and evidence suggests that higher rates of DP students go on to university and higher education study than non-IB students. 




To complete our preschool-through-Grade-12 learning community, GEMS is constructing a state-of-the-art Upper School adjacent to the existing Lower School building. The Upper School building, which opens in 2019, will provide an exceptionally innovative and forward-thinking learning environment for our students. Go here for more information about this exciting project.

The DP is recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities, and evidence suggests that higher rates of DP students go on to university and higher education study than non-IB students. 

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