MADEIRA Multilingual School and APEL are united by a common philosophy – to provide a high quality community offering a  modern international education – and both schools currently have candidate status for the  International Baccalaureate (IB)*. MADEIRA Multilingual School is a candidate school for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP). APEL Multilingual School is a IB candidate school for the Diploma Programme (DP).

* Only schools authorized  by the IB Organization can offer any  of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a leader in the field of international education. Founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968, it is a non-profit educational foundation which is focused on the student. It is governed by a committee composed of 16 members and financed by the fees from IB Schools around the world. The IB programmes, which are aimed at students between the ages of 3 and 19, develop the intellectual, personal and social skills necessary to live and work in the global world.

The IB offers four educational programmes designed for students to progress in their learning across these stages:

The PYP (Primary Years Programme) was first implemented in 1997. This programme is for students between 3 and 11 years and focuses on the development of the whole child, both in the classroom and the outside world.

The MYP (Middle Years Programme) dates from 1994 and is aimed at students between 11 and 16. The programme provides a framework for students to face the challenges of, and develop the skills essential for academic life.

The DP (Diploma Programme) for students between 16 and 19 has been in existence since 1969. The IB Diploma is a qualification which is recognised by the best universities around the globe and is ideal for students who are committed to following a demanding course of secondary education which has worldwide credibility. Bilingual in nature, its structure facilitates access both to university study and a professional career.

There are currently more than one million IB students studying in 3665 official IB schools in 146 countries, and this number is continually rising.

Having had experience of the programme over several years, further education establishments such as Cambridge, Harvard, Heidelberg, McGill, Oxford, Princeton, The Sorbonne, UBC and Yale consider the IB Diploma to be “the best secondary course in the world”.

In Portugal, the IB Diploma allows entrance to all universities through a certificate of equivalence, in accordance with current legislation (Portarias  779/98 and 433/2006).

The IB’s mission is to stimulate curiosity and research with the aim of developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural respect and understanding. The IB works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop rigorously assessed and challenging international educational programmes. IB course content is international in nature and demands flexibility and diversity when it comes to teaching methodology. Forward-thinking teachers have played a key role in the development of the programmes, which aim to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility by promoting international understanding.

The IB aims to enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge and a solid array of intellectual tools which they will need in their future university career. Students develop a high degree of autonomy both in the acquisition of knowledge and in their capacity to analyse and reflect. The IB opens students’ eyes to cultures and sensibilities which are different from theirs whilst, at the same time, developing awareness of their own identity and culture, so they become open-minded and enlightened adults who are both tolerant and willing to share their knowledge and life experiences with others. The IB includes a service component which requires both action and reflection and develops students’ sense of solidarity and spirit of sharing.

The IB Learner Profile encapsulates these aims: that students become inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, open-minded, caring, principled, balanced and reflective.


    Further information can be found on the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organisation) website

Primary years Programme   

The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer both in the classroom and in the outside world. Its structure is determined by 6 transdisciplinary themes with global significance which are explored through the knowledge and skills derived from six subject areas, as well transdisciplinary skills. Great emphasis is placed on investigation.

The six subject areas are:

  •  Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Arts
  • Physical, Personal and Social Education

Fonte: © International Baccalaureate Organization

These six subject areas are organised into 6 transdisciplinary themes:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in time and space
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet

Teachers work together to plan units of inquiry for each of these transdisciplinary themes. Through this approach, students gain an understanding of important concepts, develop essential knowledge and skills, reinforce positive conduct and learn to make socially responsible decisions.



The PYP curriculum ensures the study of five essential elements:

Fonte: © International Baccalaureate Organization

1.CONCEPTS – questions which serve as the guiding principal of investigating and guarantee that each theme is explored:

  • Form:  What is it like?
  • Function: How does it work?
  • Causation: Why is it like this?
  • Change: How is it changing?
  • Connection: How is it connected to other things?
  • Perspective: What are the points of view

2. APPROACHES TO LEARNING – skills which are taught in all subject areas:

  • Thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Social skills
  • Research skills
  • Self-management skills


  • Appreciation
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independence
  • Tolerance
  • Respect
  • Integrity


Students are encouraged to act and provide service to the community as a result of their learning.


This is developed through the six transdisciplinary themes.

Middle Years Programme    

We are in the process of updating this section to reflect the changes to the MYP Programme with the introduction of ‘The Next Chapter’.