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Curricular Overview
International Baccalaureate Magnet Program Main Page
Additional Pages:
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Curricular Overview
Curriculum Scope and Sequence
Extended Essay
The IB Learner Profile K-12
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

International Baccalaureate Curricular Overview

I. Program Principles

  • Ensure high academic standards through the use of the International Baccalaureate Programme
  • Challenge each student to reach his/her potential
  • Stimulate creativity and critical independent thought
  • Foster self discipline and responsibility
  • Encourage individual accomplishment and reward student achievement
  • Develop in our students a sense of identity and a feeling of belonging
  • Foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity
  • Instill enthusiasm for life-long learning
  • Provide a highly qualified, experienced teaching staff
  • Maintain a safe learning environment
  • Promote co-operation among students, parents and staff in sharing the responsibility for education and learning

II. Instructional Methods

Instructors will employ a variety of teaching strategies to include:

  • Class/small group discussion
  • Direct instruction: lecture/discussion
  • Pair/small group activities
  • Journals/personal writing
  • Research-based discovery
  • Individual conference
  • Oral presentations

III. The Six Academic Subjects

The program is an integrated academic program including six subjects.

Diploma Programme (DP) students must select one subject from each of six groups.  At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL), the others at standard level (SL).  HL courses represent a recommended minimum of 240 teaching hours, SL courses cover 150 hours.

Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly, a deliberate compromise between the early specialization of some national systems and the breadth found in others.  The science-oriented student is challenged to learn a foreign language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures.

Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.

The subjects are continually reviewed and revised to meet contemporary needs.  The list below serves as a current guide only.

Group 1 - language A1

Students develop strong written and oral skills, respect for the literary heritage of their first language, and an international perspective.

Group 2 - second language

All DP students are examined in a second language.  The principal aim for the subjects in group 2 is to enable students to use the language in a range of contexts and for many purposes; the courses focus on written and spoken communication.

Group 3 - individuals and societies

Subjects included in this group are: economics and history.

Group 4 - experimental sciences

The subjects available in group 4 are: biology and chemistry. Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through an interdisciplinary group project.  Students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.

Group 5 - mathematics

All DP students are required to complete a mathematics course, and two options are available to cater for different abilities and levels of student interest.  These are: Advanced Algebra and Mathematical Studies or Mathematics Year 1 and Year 2.

Each course aims to deepen a student's understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.

Group 6 - the arts

This group includes visual arts with emphasis placed on practical production by the student and exploration of a range of creative work in a global context.

Options: Instead of a group 6 subject, a student may select an additional subject from groups 1 to 4.

Assessing student work and awarding the diploma

Classroom teachers and IB examiners work in partnership to ensure that students have ample opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.  Grades reflect attainment of knowledge and skills relative to set standards, which are applied equally to all schools.  Top grades are not, for example, awarded to a certain percentage of students.

Responsibility for all academic judgments about the quality of candidates' work rests with over 5,000 IB examiners worldwide, led by chief examiners with international authority in their fields.  Each year approximately 80% of candidates who attempt the diploma succeed in earning it.  Examinations are offered in May for northern hemisphere schools and in November for those in the southern hemisphere.

IV. Subject Areas

A.  Group 1 - Language A1: English HL/SL

1.   Course Description:

The IB English classroom will challenge students to expand their analytical, creative, interpretive and personal reactions to literature using both whole class and small group discussions.  In addition, students will use various forms of writing to enrich their literary experience.

2.      Performance Criteria:

After completing their program of study, students will be able to:

  • Engage in individual textual analysis of both familiar and unfamiliar literary selections.
  • Generate personal responses to the literature.
  • Structure reasoned and logical interpretations built upon textual evidence.
  • Express themselves in written and oral communication using conciseness, clarity, and coherence.
  • Demonstrate a command of the language that reflects their individual voice and style.
  • Interpret both the denotative and connotative meanings of words found in literary analysis.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of various cultures based on studies of world texts.

Course Overview

To fulfill the requirements for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, all students must study a Group 1 subject, this is, Language A1.  The Language A1 programme is a literature course studied in the first language of the student or the language in which the student is most competent.  This will normally be the language of the environment to which the student has been exposed from an early age or for an extended period.

The Language A1 programme is primarily a pre-university course in literature.  It is aimed at both students who intend to pursue literature, or related studies at university, as well as at students whose formal study of literature will not continue beyond this level.  Literature is concerned with our conceptions, interpretations and experiences of the world.  It provides immense opportunities for encouraging independent, original, critical and clear thinking.  It also promotes a healthy respect for the imagination and a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of literary works.  The discussion of literature is itself an art which requires the clear expression of ideas both orally and in writing.

B.     Group 2 - Language B (French or Spanish)

1.      Course Description:

The principal objective of IB French or IB Spanish is to prepare the student to use the language with competence in a wide range of situations with varying purposes.  Additional aims of the foreign language program include developing students' powers of expression in a second language, providing them with an efficient tool for the study of other subjects, and bringing them into contact with ways of thought which differ from their own.  At the IB twelfth grade level, students will work toward accuracy in the oral and written forms of the language, both in grammatical exercises and in their own written and spoken expressions.  They will begin to approach a variety of works in French or Spanish literature as well as study aspects of the life and civilization of the countries where French or Spanish is spoken.  Of equal importance will be the acquisition and development of oral comprehension and oral and written expression.

2.      Performance Criteria

After completing IB French or IB Spanish, the student will be able to meet certain objectives:

a.  Social Objectives - The student will be able to:

  • Respond to complex communicative demands.
  • Obtain oral and written information.
  • Interpret correctly information from oral and written sources.
  • Communicate orally and in writing in formal and informal situations.
  • Establish social and professional contacts with people who live where the language is spoken.
  • Express personal opinions on questions of general interest.
  • Express feelings and understand implicit attitudes.

b.  Educational Objectives - The student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate correctness and fluency in the use of spoken and written language.
  • Accomplish such practical tasks as listening and participating appropriately in a seminar, reading literary texts (with comprehension), taking notes, writing correct compositions.
  • Participate in oral discussions and defend a personal point of view.

c.  Oral Objectives - The student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of social and cultural differences within the francophone or Spanish-speaking world.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the means by which these differences are expressed in language.

 

C.     Group 3 - Individuals & Societies (IB  World History)

1.  Course Description

The course focuses on World History.  The course promotes the acquisition and understanding of historical knowledge in breadth, depth, and across different cultures, a better understanding of the present through an understanding of the past and an ability to use and communicate historical knowledge.

 

2.  Performance Criteria

For each unit of study, students will be expected to:

  • Take notes from in-class lectures and discussion as pertaining to key people, dates, and terms.
  • Write in-class and out-of-class essays on key historical questions of the period.
  • Participate actively in class discussions and seminars.
  • Support specific points of view with substantive evidence.
  • Write the unit exam with completeness and clarity.
  • Analysis of primary sources.
  • Assess source validity - origins, purpose, value and limitations.

 

D.    Group 4 - Experimental Sciences - Biology & Chemistry

1.  Course Description:

The two-year IB Biology or IB Chemistry program will enable students to understand, apply and use scientific facts, concepts, and techniques and present information using scientific terminology.  In addition, students will construct, analyze, and evaluate hypotheses and research questions and predictions.  Twenty-five percent of total instructional time will be spent on laboratory exercises.  A general goal for the course is that students be able to comprehend, appreciate, and put into context environmental issues, technological issues and scientific ethics.  A special interdisciplinary science project is required.

 

2.  Performance Criteria

After completing the program of study, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a mastery of precise and safe manipulative skills.
  • Appreciate science and creativity within global contexts.
  • Use knowledge of scientific and technological methodology.
  • Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize scientific information.
  • Recognize the need for effective collaboration and communication.
  • Appreciate the moral, societal, economic, and environmental impact of using science and technology.
  • Determine the possibilities and limitations associated with science and technology.
  • Understand the relationship between scientific disciplines and the shared nature of the scientific method.
  • Design and perform independent laboratory experiments.

 

E.     Group 5 - Mathematical Studies

1.  Course Description:

The course is designed for students with varied backgrounds and skills who will pursue advanced studies in areas not requiring higher mathematics.  Throughout the course, students will engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities with an emphasis on applications of mathematics to real-life situations.

 

2.  Performance criteria

Having followed an International Baccalaureate program in mathematics, students will be expected to:

  • Know and use essential notation and terminology.
  • Know and use mathematical concepts and principles.
  • Represent a given situation in mathematical terms.
  • Select and use appropriate mathematics techniques for a given problem.
  • Develop and use mathematical arguments and reasoning at an appropriate level of sophistication.
  • Present arguments in a clear, logical manner, both orally and in writing.
  • Interpret results in a correct context.
  • Demonstrate good mathematical practice in formulating and writing answers.
  • Demonstrate sensible approach to numerical and graphical accuracy.
  • Recognize patterns and structures in a variety of situations and draw inductive generalizations.
  • Make logical deductions from given data.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the applications of mathematics to life in a technological society.

Mathematics: Mathematics SL

1.  Course Description:

The course is designed for students with varied backgrounds and skills who will pursue advanced studies in areas not requiring higher mathematics.  Throughout the course, students will engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities with an emphasis on applications of mathematics to real-life situations.

2.  Performance criteria

Students will be expected to:

  • Know and use essential notation and terminology.
  • Know and use mathematical concepts and principles.
  • Represent a given situation in mathematical terms.
  • Select and use appropriate mathematical techniques for a given problem.
  • Develop and use mathematical arguments and reasoning at an appropriate level of sophistication.
  • Present arguments in a clear, logical manner, both orally and in writing.
  • Interpret results in a correct context.
  • Demonstrate good mathematical practice in formulating and writing answers.
  • Demonstrate sensible approach to numerical and graphical accuracy.
  • Recognize patterns and structures in a variety of situations and draw inductive generalizations.
  • Make logical deductions from given date.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the applications of mathematics to life in a technological society.
  • Apply various mathematical methods of reasoning and thought to problems in a wide variety of areas of mathematics.

Course Overview

Both courses are intended for students with a strong background in mathematics, and whose interests lie in fields where mathematical skills and techniques are likely to be needed.  These courses equip students with the skills required to by our modern, technological society. Emphasis is placed in particular on the application of mathematics to real-life situations.

 

Units of Study:

  • Algebra
  • Functions and Equations
  • Circular Functions and Trigonometry
  • Matrices
  • Vectors
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Calculus

 

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