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1 Diploma Handbook

2 Contents The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 2 Three Graduation Options at AISL 3 IBDP The Six Academic Areas of Study 5 IBDP The Core Areas of Study 6 Fees 7 Assessment of Student Work 7 Grading 7 IB Learner Profile 9 AISL IB Statistics 10 IB Diploma Course Details 11 Group 1: Language A 11 Group 2: Language B and ab initio 12 Group 3: Individuals and Societies 13 Group 4: Experimental Sciences 16 Group 5: Mathematics 18 Group 6: Arts and Electives 19 Pamoja Online Courses 20 Frequently Asked Questions 23 Contacts 25 2

3 The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a challenging preuniversity course of studies, leading to examinations that meet the needs of highly motivated secondary school students between the ages of 16 and 19 years. Designed as a comprehensive and integrated two-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems, the Diploma model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of many. In the 40 years since its founding, the IB Diploma has become a symbol of academic integrity and intellectual promise. The student who satisfies its demands demonstrates a strong commitment to learning, both in terms of the mastery of the subject content and the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in an increasingly competitive world. The curriculum framework is displayed in the shape of a circle with six academic areas surrounding the core: 3

4 Three Graduation Options at AISL (1) At AISL, all students graduate with a US High School Diploma following the successful completion of their grade 12 studies. (2) In addition, students may opt to take one or more IB Diploma courses. Each course successfully completed will appear on the student s IB Diploma Courses Results - a document issued by the IB following the grading of exams. These students will also receive a US High School Diploma, (3) Students may also opt to take the full IB Diploma Programme earning an IB Diploma once all requirements are met. These students will receive a US High School Diploma, an IB Diploma Courses Results document and an IB Diploma. Students are required to take 3 (or 4) Higher Level courses and 3 (or 2) Standard Level courses plus the Core Requirements of TOK, CAS and EE. United States High School Diploma Students must earn 23 High School credits to meet graduation requirements by successfully completing a certain number of courses from 9th to 12 th grade while adhering to the AISL attendance policy. The specific graduation requirements are detailed below: English Mathematics Science Foreign Language Social Studies 4.0 Credits 3.0 Credits 3.0 Credits 3.0 Credits 3.0 Credits Fine Arts PE and Health Information Technology Other courses/electives 1.0 Credit 2.0 Credits 1.0 Credits 3.0 Credits It should be noted that a student could decide to take an IB Diploma course, but choose not to take the IB exam at the end of the course. Successful completion of an IB course at AISL will result in High School credit, but the only way to obtain an IB Diploma Course credit is to sit the IB exam administered in May of each year. All IB Diploma students will also earn the AISL High School Diploma pending successful completion of all graduation requirements as noted above. The U.S. High School Diploma is awarded by AISL itself, not an external agency. The school s authority to do this derives from our accreditation by the Council of International Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Course Registration Policy Students who enter grade 11 may select the program and the courses that they consider an appropriate and challenging educational experience. The professional staff at AISL provides guidance, assistance and recommendations for all students entering this two-year program, but initial decisions rest with the student and parents/guardians. The school reserves the right to adjust a student's program at the end of grade 11 if, based on qualitative and quantitative data, the school believes the current program to be inappropriate for the student. If there is the possibility or 4

5 likelihood of a program change, this will be communicated to the student and the parents/guardians both verbally and in writing no later than the final school day of the grade 11 school year. In May of the second year (12 th grade), students take IB examinations. The exams are graded on a scale of one (minimum) to seven (maximum). Examinations are prepared and graded by external IB examiners. Although Diploma Courses can lead towards earning the IB Diploma, this is not required for AISL graduation. Students who choose not to take the full IB Diploma can select subjects from each of the six subject groups according to their own strengths and interests. There is no requirement of a certain number of Higher Level and Standard Level courses and they can take examinations in one or more courses. Students electing this option do not need to complete an Extended Essay and they do not have to take the Theory of Knowledge course. All students taking Diploma Courses are taught together in the same courses and sit the same IB examinations at the end of the course. Students should seek the advice of their teachers, parents, and the IB Diploma Coordinator when planning. Carefully consideration is needed to create the best program suiting each student and his or her individual needs. University Recognition Recognized as the leader in international education, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme fosters the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable students to excel in university. The IB works with universities in nearly 140 countries to promote broader recognition of the Diploma Programme for the 120,000 Diploma Programme graduates entering university each year. Through the IB Diploma Programme, students gain rigorous and balanced academic preparation, an ability to draw on knowledge and understanding of various cultures and histories, and the experience of learning how to think critically and apply what they have learned in different contexts and across disciplines. The IB understands that success in higher education and beyond involves thinking critically and creatively. The IB Diploma Programme s challenging curriculum educates the whole student, developing the capacity for inquiry, research and problem-solving as well as essential skills for communication and collaboration. 5

6 IBDP The Six Academic Areas of Study At the American International School of Lusaka (AISL), IB Diploma Programme candidates can choose their program of six subjects to be studied over two years, from the following: Note: HL courses are Higher Level and require more breadth and depth of study than SL courses, which are Standard Level. Group 1 Language A: Literature Group 2 Language B English Literature (HL or SL) English Language & Literature (HL or SL) Self-taught native language SL French B (HL or SL) Spanish B (HL or SL) Spanish ab initio SL Mandarin Chinese ab initio SL online* Group 3 Individuals and Societies Group 4 Experimental Sciences History (HL or SL) Economics (HL or SL) Geography (HL or SL) Business and Management (HL or SL) online* Psychology (HL or SL) online* Information Technology in a Global Society (HL or SL) online* Philosophy SL online* Biology (HL or SL) Chemistry (HL or SL) Physics (HL or SL) Sport, Exercise & Health Science SL Group 5 Mathematics Group 6 Arts and Electives Mathematical Studies SL Mathematics (HL or SL) Visual Arts (HL or SL) Theatre (HL or SL) Another subject from Groups 1 to 5 Film SL online* * online courses are taught by an IB Teacher through Pamoja Education and incur additional costs. 6

7 IBDP The Core Areas of Study Extended Essay The Diploma student is required to undertake and complete a piece of independent research in one of the subject areas offered by the IB. The results of this research must then be written in the form of an Extended Essay 4,000 words in length. Emphasis is placed on the development of the skills of organizing and expressing ideas logically and coherently. Students will work under the direct supervision of a teacher at the school who can provide appropriate guidance and vouch for the authenticity of the work submitted for examination. Theory of Knowledge Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a required interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection upon knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. TOK challenges students to question the basis of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop a personal mode of thought based on analysis of evidence expressed in rational argument. CAS - Creativity, Action and Service Creativity, Action, Service, known by its acronym CAS, is a fundamental part not only of the Diploma curriculum but also of the learning curriculum at AISL. The emphasis of CAS is on experiential learning. Such a requirement takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to the academic program. Many students have extensive interests outside their academic studies and in order to give recognition and encouragement to these, students are asked to spend time outside of school undertaking activities that come under one or more of these headings. The types of activities this could involve are shown below: Creativity All kinds of arts including music, art, creative writing, drama, design technology, crafts and photography. Action All kinds of team sports such as football and swimming or an individual activity like horse-riding and dance. Service Students are encouraged to find a service outside the school community, in Lusaka or its environs. Students record their CAS activities on their online CAS Journal. Evaluation is through the activity supervisor and a self-evaluation component by the student upon completion of a project. Along with outside activities, the school has developed a selection of 20 service activities in which students can participate. These groups take part in 7 extended service days over the course of the year, thus completing a preliminary 17 hours of Service. Groups are student-driven and students are encouraged to continue their work with these groups outside of school hours. Students are able and expected to continue their own CAS projects as well as participate in the school groups. 7

8 IB Diploma Exam Fees In October of the second year (12 th grade), examination fees are charged in addition to the school tuition fee. The cost for a full Diploma student taking six subjects is estimated to be $950 for the IB DP exams in May The final cost will be communicated to parents in November each year. The cost for a student taking Diploma Courses varies as it is based upon the number of exams taken and charges from the IBO. Extra fees are levied for Special Educational Needs students requiring separate invigilation of external exams. Assessment of Student Work Responsibility for all academic judgments about the quality of candidates' work rests with more than 2600 examiners world-wide, led by chief examiners with international authority. A variety of assessment methods are used to value both the content and the process of academic achievement and to take into account different learning styles and cultural patterns. Conventional external examination techniques (essays, short answer, multiple choice, etc.) are complemented by internal assessment of coursework by the teachers responsible for evaluating students over the two-year program. With highly qualified and IB trained classroom teachers and international examiners working in partnership, the emphasis is on ensuring that students have ample opportunity to demonstrate what they know and are able to do. Grading Authentic assessment of our students is an integral part of learning and a continual process throughout the school year. The purpose of grading is to inform students and their parents of their progress toward the achievement of educational objectives, and to provide colleges and universities with a record of this progress. At AISL parents are informed of student progress through interim reports issued twice yearly, full-written reports at the end of each semester, and parent/teacher/ student conferences throughout the school year. IB Grades Students who take the IB exams in May of each year are awarded grades by the IB on a scale of 1 to 7. These grades are issued in July and obtained by the student via the Internet using a student specific personal ID code. The IB Diploma Coordinator is available via during the month of July to provide assistance to students who have questions about their results. The IB descriptors for each level are shown below: Grade/Criteria 8

9 7 Excellent A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. Consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality. 6 Very Good A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. Consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight. 5 Good A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate, and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight. 4 Satisfactory A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. 3 Marginal Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some of the areas. Limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and student is only able to apply them in normal situations with support. 2 Poor Very limited achievement against all the objectives. The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support. 1 Very Poor Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives. Work that has been completed is well below requirements for satisfactory performance. Work may be superficial or irrelevant to the assignments. Work may not be handed in (see INC mark) INC Incomplete This mark indicates that a student has not completed the coursework before the end of the term. The mark will normally be changed to a 1 unless the assignments are handed within two weeks or by another date arranged between the teacher, student, parents, advisor and coordinator. NG No Grade No mark is given since the student has not been in the class long enough for a mark to be awarded. 9

10 IB Learner Profile The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be: Inquirers Knowledgeable Thinkers Communicators Principled We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life. We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions. We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups. We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences. Open-minded Caring Risk-takers We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience. We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us. We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change. Balanced We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives intellectual, physical and emotional to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live. Reflective We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development. 10

11 AISL IB Statistics In the eight years that AISL has been authorized to instruct the IB Diploma Programme, our students have been exposed to an increased number of courses and have achieved a steady increase in Diploma Points. We are proud of our students achievements and our faculty s ability to provide a topnotch education where students achieve above World Average scores in the IBDP. 11

12 IB Diploma Course Details Group 1: Language A: (native languages) English A Literature The aims of IB English Literature HL/SL are to extend and develop English language skills learnt during the Middle Years Program (MYP). This is achieved through the texts chosen for each part of the course and paying close attention to the aims and objectives of the subject. The text guidelines for Language A HL prescribes thirteen texts and for SL ten texts, which are divided into four parts: Part I - Works in Translation (3HL/2SL texts in translation chosen from the Prescribed Literature in Translation list); Part II - Detailed Study (3HL/2SL texts chosen from the Prescribed List of Authors in English); Part III - Literary Genres - Drama (4HL/3SL texts chosen from the Prescribed List of Authors); Part IV - School s Own Choice (3HL&SL texts chosen from the Prescribed Literature in Translation list or elsewhere) Each school puts together its own program of texts drawn from a list of authors supplied by the IB (Prescribed List of Authors). However, texts will be chosen that are neither too difficult for the students, nor unlikely to ensure progression. English A: Language and Literature HL/SL The aims of IB English Language and Literature are to extend and develop English language skills learnt during the Middle Years Program (MYP). This is achieved through the texts chosen for each part of the course and paying close attention to the aims and objectives of the subject. The text guidelines for Language A HL prescribes six texts and at SL four texts, which are divided into four parts: Part I - Language in cultural context (texts are chosen from a variety of sources, genres and media); Part II - Language and mass communication (texts are chosen from a variety of sources, genres and media); Part III - Literature texts and contexts (2/3 texts, one of which is a text in translation from the prescribed literature in translation (PLT) list and one, written in the language A studied, from the prescribed list of authors (PLA) for the language A studied, or chosen freely); Part IV - Literature critical study (2/3 texts, all of which are chosen from the prescribed list of authors (PLA) for the language A studied.) Each school puts together its own program of texts drawn from a list of authors supplied by the IB (Prescribed List of Authors). However, texts will be chosen that are neither too difficult for the students, nor unlikely to ensure progression. Other native language A: Literature self-taught (SL only) This is for students who wish to take a native tongue as a Language A. In this case, the student will be supervised and monitored by the IB DP Coordinator and, where 12

13 possible, have a tutor to provide instruction in the native tongue. This option is only available at SL. This Language A course cannot replace an English A course as English is a requirement for graduation at AISL. The native Language A course is usually taken as a 7 th, additional course. Further details are available from the IB Diploma Coordinator. Group 2: Language B and ab initio (second languages) French B (HL or SL) and Spanish B (HL or SL) Language B is for foreign learners of the language. The overall aims of the course are: to reinforce oral, written and cultural skills previously acquired; to promote the ability to cope with the language demands of day to day transactional and social contacts; to provide students with an efficient tool for the study of other subjects in the target language; to help students gain insight into how users of other languages think; to prepare them for the final IB exam at the end of their studies. Language B is not primarily a literary course, though literature is studied as a means of understanding the complex use of language and expanding students cultural awareness, and a section of the HL final IB exam includes a literary piece. Emphasis is placed upon communication competence and prior knowledge of the language (at least three years of serious study) is essential. Spanish ab initio (SL only) The Spanish ab initio course is designed to be studied over two years by students who have had little or no previous experience learning Spanish, and who are interested in learning a new foreign language as part of their IB diploma, possibly in addition to Language A or B. The course is communicative in that it focuses principally on the interaction between speakers and writers of Spanish. Students will also study an appropriate range of grammatical structures that will be integrated as far as possible with the study of themes and texts and the acquisition of skills. The grammatical skills will include but not be limited to the various sentence structures, verb tenses, articles, adverbs, adjectives, days, months, dates, expressions of time, prepositions, conjunctions, numbers, colors, quantities, direct and indirect objects, and directions. Students will work on a variety of activities in an attempt to hone their language skills as quickly as possible. They will be encouraged to listen, read aloud and speak during the class time for improving pronunciation. Students will work extensively on vocabulary, not only from content areas and class discussions but also idioms, expressions and everyday usage. The classroom situation and activities will be structured so that students will have as much practice as possible to speak and communicate effectively. Mandarin Chinese ab initio (SL only) Online Mandarin Chinese ab initio SL will be offered in the 2014/15 academic year through Pamoja Education. As this course falls outside the regular range of courses offered at the school, a supplemental fee of approximately US$1,000 per year will be charged to help cover course expenses. 13

14 Online Mandarin Chinese ab initio is designed for students who have little or no previous experience of the Chinese language or China s culture. The course lasts two years, during which time students progress from no knowledge of Chinese and China to a beginning level in listening, speaking, reading and writing Chinese while developing an awareness of Chinese culture. Online Mandarin Chinese ab initio is available only to students currently enrolled in IB World Schools, and will be taught in Chinese with additional support in English. The course consists of students studying both independently and in small groups as part of an online class. It capitalizes on the advantages of both technology and human instructor for language learning. Students who take this course should be highly self-motivated and well-organised in order to keep up with the demands of the virtual classroom. This course is overseen by the IB Diploma Coordinator. The following table is intended as a general guide and broadly indicates which group 2 language course is appropriate for a particular student: Language ab initio Language B SL Language B HL Intended for beginners with little or no previous experience of the language Intended for students who have 3 5 years of experience in the target language Intended for students who have 4 5 years of experience in the target language, or are exposed to the language outside of the school environment. Group 3: Individuals and Societies History of the Americas HL/History SL IB History of the Americas is a broad survey of Western Hemisphere history in a global context, with an emphasis on the United States. The course concentrates on a number of broad international themes related to the history of the United States, Canada, the West Indies, and Latin America. The course also includes many world history topics such as the Cold War, international organizations, and the causes, practices, and effects of war and peace. Students are not required to have any previous experience with the study of history. Economics (HL or SL) IB Economics consists of 5 sections: Foundations to Economics, Microeconomics, Macraeconomics, International Trade and Development Economics. The course is very internationally and real-world focused. IB assessment includes externally assessed examinations and four internally assessed, but externally moderated papers written over the 2-year course. Students are not required to have any previous experience with the topic. Geography HL/SL Geography is grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and the physical environment in both time and space. It also investigates the way that people adapt and respond to change and evaluates 14

15 management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between spaces and places. Within group 3 subjects, geography is distinctive in that it occupies the middle ground between social sciences and natural sciences. The Diploma Program geography course integrates both physical and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both scientific and socio-economic methodologies. Students are not required to have any previous experience with the topic. Business and Management (HL/SL) Online Business and Management SL will be offered in the 2014/15 academic year through Pamoja Education. As this course falls outside the regular range of courses offered at the school, a supplemental fee of approximately US$1000 per year will be charged to help cover course expenses. Business and Management examines business decision-making processes and how these decisions impact on and are affected by internal and external environments. It is the study of both the way in which individuals and groups interact in an organization and of the transformation of resources. Business and Management is designed to help students develop an understanding of business theory, as well as an ability to apply business principles, practices and skills. The course aims to help students understand the implications of business activity in a global market. It is designed to give students an international perspective of business and to promote their appreciation of cultural diversity through the study of topics like international marketing, human resource management, growth and business strategy. The course consists of students studying both independently and in small groups as part of an online class. It thus capitalizes on the advantages of both technology and human instruction and interaction. Students who take this course should be highly self-motivated and well-organized in order to keep up with the demands of the virtual classroom. This course is overseen by the IB Diploma Coordinator. Psychology (HL or SL) Online Psychology SL will be offered in the 2014/15 academic year through Pamoja Education. As this course falls outside the regular range of courses offered at the school, a supplemental fee of approximately US$1000 per year will be charged to help cover course expenses. Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes. Psychology has its roots in both the natural and social sciences, leading to a variety of research designs and applications, and providing a unique approach to understanding modern society. IB psychology adopts an integrative approach - looking at the interaction between biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behaviour. It enables 15

16 students to achieve greater understanding of themselves and to appreciate the diversity of human behaviour. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are key considerations. The course takes a holistic approach which fosters intercultural understanding and respect. In the core of the IB psychology course, the biological level of analysis demonstrates what all humans share, whereas the cognitive and sociocultural levels of analysis reveal the immense diversity of influences that produce human behaviour and mental processes. Cultural diversity is explored and students are encouraged to develop empathy for the feelings, needs and lives of others within and outside their own culture. This empathy contributes to an international understanding. Philosophy (SL only) Online Philosophy SL will be offered in the 2014/15 academic year through Pamoja Education. As this course falls outside the regular range of courses offered at the school, a supplemental fee of approximately US$1000 per year will be charged to help cover course expenses. Philosophy deals with issues that are profound, usually difficult, and important for humanity. It is a systematic critical enquiry into profound, fascinating and challenging questions that people have asked since the beginning of time, and confronts new problems arising within contemporary society. The emphasis of the IB philosophy course is very much on doing philosophy. Students develop their skills through the study of philosophical themes and the close reading of philosophical texts. They also learn to apply their philosophical knowledge and skills to real-life examples or situations and how non-philosophical material can be treated in a philosophical way. Philosophical questions are explored through an examination of themes and texts. Students learn through tools, such as critical and systematic thinking, careful analysis and evaluation, and construction of arguments. Students are challenged to develop their own philosophical voice and independence of thought. IB Philosophy aims to bring the subject of philosophy alive, gaining a sense of its richness and practical value in daily life and expanding our appreciation of ourselves and the world around us. It teaches us not what to think, but how to think. By participating in the great philosophical debates, students will develop their skills of rigorous reasoning; by study, analysis and criticism of the great works of philosophy, ancient and modern, students will develop their capacity to make reasoned judgments for themselves. Information Technology for a Global Society (HL or SL) Online Philosophy SL will be offered in the 2012/13 academic year through Pamoja Education. As this course falls outside the regular range of courses offered at the school, a supplemental fee of approximately US$1000 per year will be charged to help cover course expenses. This course, at both standard and higher levels, involves the study and evaluation of the impact of information technology (IT) on individuals and society. The course 16

17 explores the advantages and disadvantages of digital culture, and provides a framework for the student to make informed judgements and decisions about the use of IT within contemporary social contexts. ITGS offers students an opportunity for systematic study of a range of technological, social and ethical issues which fall outside the scope of any single discipline. The course develops students understanding of the capabilities of current and emerging IT systems and the impact of these systems on a range of stakeholders. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge of existing IT systems to various scenarios and to make informed judgements about the effects of IT developments on these scenarios. Furthermore, students are required to use their knowledge of IT systems and practical IT skills to justify IT solutions for a specified client or end-user. Group 4: Experimental Sciences A common curriculum applies to all the Science subjects. A core of material is studied by both Higher and Standard Level students as well as two options. Higher Level students have additional, in depth material that accounts for approximately 55 additional teaching hours. All courses emphasize an awareness of how scientists work and communicate. Approximately 25% of course time is spent in experimental work. A unique scientific investigation that takes place across the disciplines, called Group Four Project, is an opportunity for students to collaborate and take part in a student led, real life science project. The overall contribution of internal, practical work is 24% of the final grade while the remaining 76% is assessed by external examinations. Biology (HL or SL) In Biology courses, students acquire knowledge of biological facts as well as develop a broad, general understanding of the principles of the subject. There are four biological themes that run throughout the course: Structure and Function, Universality versus Diversity, Equilibrium through Systems and Evolution. There is a strong emphasis on practical investigation throughout the course. Higher Level - Biology (HL) is a rigorous course that requires a solid grounding in biological content as well as a good understanding of chemistry. This course provides an excellent preparation for College / University studies which require an advanced biological qualification. Students study the core material as well as additional, in depth concepts in the areas of biochemistry, cells, genetics and heredity, human biology, ecology, classification and evolution and plant science. In addition, students will study two option topics. Standard Level - Biology (SL) requires a good grounding in biology and provides an excellent preparation for College/University studies which require a strong background in basic biology. Students study the core areas of cells, biochemistry, genetics, ecology, evolution and human biology. In addition, students study two option topics. 17

18 Chemistry (HL or SL) In Chemistry courses, students explore the chemical principles that explain the physical environment in which we live as well as all biological systems. Major areas of study are: Atomic Theory, Structure and Bonding, Energy, Equilibrium, Kinetics, Periodicity and Organic Chemistry. Higher Level - Chemistry (HL) requires a very good grounding in Chemistry as well as Mathematics. It will prepare students interested in a career in chemistry as well as medicine and environmental science. Students will study the major topic areas in depth as well as two additional topics. Standard Level - Chemistry (SL) provides a broad understanding of Chemistry but at limited depth. Students will also supplement their studies with two option topics. Physics (HL or SL) In Physics courses, students seek to understand how the universe works from the very smallest particle to the vast distances between galaxies. The Physics course combines developing problem solving skills with creating models and concepts to describe natural phenomena. Major areas of study are Mechanics, Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, and Atomic and Nuclear Physics. Higher Level - Physics (HL) requires a very good grounding in Physics and Mathematics and students should plan to take it with at least Math SL. Students will study the main topics in depth as well as two option topics. This course will prepare students interested in pursuing a career in engineering or other related subjects at College/University. Standard Level - Physics (SL) requires a solid grounding in Physics and Mathematics and follows the same coursework as the Higher Level but in less depth. Students will also study two option topics. Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SL) Scientific inquiry conducted over many decades, has accumulated a vast amount of information across a range of sub-disciplines that contribute to our understanding of health and human performance in relation to sport and exercise. The Diploma Programme course in sports, exercise and health science involves the study of the science that underpins physical performance and provides the opportunity to apply these principles. The course incorporates the traditional disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition, which are studied in the context of sport, exercise and health. Students will cover a range of core and option topics and carry out practical (experimental) investigations in both laboratory and field settings. This will provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to apply scientific principles and critically analyze human performance. Where relevant, the course will address issues of international dimension and ethics by considering sport, exercise and health relative to the individual and in a global context. 18

19 Group 5: Mathematics Mathematics HL This course is intended for students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills. The majority of these students will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering, and technology. Others may take this subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting its challenges and engaging with its problems. Mathematics SL This course is designed for students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and who are equipped with the skills needed to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly. The majority of these students will expect to need a sound mathematical background as they prepare for future studies in subjects such as the sciences, medicine or economics. Mathematical Studies SL Mathematical Studies is also an IB Standard Level mathematics course. It is designed for students with varied backgrounds and abilities. More specifically, the objective of the course is to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for complex mathematics in their future studies. Students taking this course need to be already equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic processes. Group 6: Arts and Electives Visual Arts (HL or SL) The Visual Arts IB course is suitable for students who are interested in developing and exploring their own creative potential through a variety of media and with a focus on a theme of their choice and interest. The main prerequisites for the course are enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to work in both practical and theoretical aspects of the visual arts. The course involves two parts: (a) Studio Work (Practical) and (b) Research Work (Theoretical, centered around a research workbook) Higher Level (HL) students study both parts which consists of 40% research workbook and 60% Studio Work. Standard Level (SL) students choose either practical or theory although a certain amount of research will be expected with their practical work or vice versa. 19

20 The aim of the Visual Arts program is to encourage the students to pursue quality and creative work through experimentation and by using various to and its culture and historical contexts. The students explore various art concepts and elements. They develop and use the processes of art criticism and analysis. The general objectives are for students to respond and analyze critically and contextually the function, meaning and artistic qualities of past, present and emerging art. Theatre (HL or SL) Theatre is designed for students who have not previously studied the subject yet have an interest in it. It is a learn by doing subject. It is hands on work that requires a lot of commitment and enthusiasm. It is an inclusive subject involving all areas of theatre. These areas include history, theory, play analysis, production work, performance, research and direction. The study of theatre is not limited by but inclusive of many cultures and time periods. Students experience the benefit of having taken Theatre in their other IB subjects as it allows them to develop their personal, social and communication skills. This subject does not have a written examination. The grade for the course is determined by portfolio work, performance and technical skills, a research commission and oral play analysis on a set text. Film (SL only) Online Film SL will be offered in the 2014/15 academic year through Pamoja Education. As this course falls outside the regular range of courses offered at the school, a supplemental fee of approximately US$1000 per year will be charged to help cover course expenses. Film is both a powerful communication medium and an art form. The DP film course aims to develop students' skills so they become adept both in interpreting others' work and in creating their own films. Through the study and analysis of film texts and exercises in filmmaking, the DP film course explores film theory and history. The course will develop students' critical abilities, enabling them to appreciate the multiplicity of cultural and historical perspectives in film. Students are encouraged to develop the professional and technical skills (including organisational skills) needed to express themselves creatively in film. The IB film course emphasises the importance of working individually and as a member of a group. At the core of IB film is a concern with clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis achieved through practical engagement in the art and craft of film. NOTE: Please note that Group 6 is called Arts and Electives because if a student prefers to take a second course in groups 2, 3 or 4, the student can substitute this course for an arts course. Not all combinations are possible though, due to scheduling constraints. The IB Diploma Coordinator will be able to guide you through the various possibilities. 20

21 Pamoja Education Online Learning Students wishing to take online Pamoja courses must do so with forethought as to the benefits and challenges that such an undertaking involves. Students must: be self motivated and independent learners; have reasonably strong oral and written communication skills in the English language; be tech-friendly (though not necessarily experienced in online learning or Web2.0 tools); have a high level of interest in the course. The advantage of taking an online course is the access to a course not taught at the school. However, students and parents must be aware that this is a challenging learning environment, with no face-to-face instruction, and an irregular calendar. There is also an additional cost of approximately US$1,000 per course. Pamoja has the following to say about success in their courses: Weekly participation in online classes is critical to each student s academic success. Failure to participate in weekly activities negatively affects both a student s academic performance and the experience of the class as a whole. A student s weekly involvement in course activities can be measured by active participation in the academic tasks. Full participation in a Pamoja education course requires student to fulfill three essential expectations: 1. Student Attendance: students are expected to access all the course material presented on a weekly basis. Students must actively participate at least once per week to be counted present in their online course. Simply logging into the course is not considered attendance; failure to actively participate weekly may result in withdrawal from the course after two consecutive weeks of non-attendance (without prior arranged absence) 2. Course Engagement: students are expected to attempt all the activities associated with the course material and interact with their teacher and classmates. Online students are required to actively participate in requisite weekly activities in order to be counted present. Weekly activities may include completing a quiz, posting a substantial discussion post, or submitting a required item to the Dropbox. 3. Assessment Completion: students are expected to complete any weekly formative and/or summative assessments by the deadline. Under the Pamoja education attendance policy, Student Attendance and Course Engagement are closely related and carefully monitored for student success. Unexcused absence and lack of student engagement are serious causes for academic concern. Non-Attendance occurs when a student does not access the course for 4 or more days during the working week, without prior discussion with the teacher and the Site Based Coordinator (SBC). The main indicator of unexcused 21

22 absence is failure to log in and/or access course materials. Non-Engagement with courses occurs when a student accesses the course but fails to engage in course activities. The main indicator of non-engagement is failure to access weekly course content and/or participate in weekly course activities, including discussions. Completion of assessments is an equally important expectation that is carefully monitored for student success. Failure to complete requisite assessments is dealt with separately under the Pamoja Education Assessment Policy. There are two ways that student attendance and course engagement are monitored and managed: 1. Non-Attendance: Auto s are sent out in response to students not accessing their online courses; 2. Mid Term Performance Ratings (PR) are given by teachers on a scale from Excellent to Insufficient Evidence, indicating the level of course engagement and participation. After 4 days without accessing the course, students receive an auto sent by the Pamoja Education Course team. Students are expected to return to the course or give a reason for their absence to their teacher and SBC. Note: Current attendance monitoring tools do not exclude weekend days; students can be recorded as absent for more than 96 hours according to attendance monitors while fulfilling the access, engagement and completion criteria use to define attendance in the Pamoja School. In which case, the can be ignored. After 1 week without accessing the course, a further is sent to the student and copied to the SBC and teacher informing them about the student s absence. SBCs follow up with the student and take the appropriate measures as dictated by their own school attendance policies and liaise with the online teachers. The SBC should discuss the consequences of their absence with the student and plan a strategy to support the student in addressing their absences and in catching up with missed work. After 2 weeks without accessing the course, a further is sent to the SBC and copied to the teacher. At this point, the SBC is asked to urgently convene a meeting with the student, SBC and Diploma Programme Coordinator to address the lack of attendance. If appropriate, the student s parents and school counselor should also be included. At this point, the student will be considered by Pamoja education to be on Academic Warning, meaning that unless their attendance improves, the student s place on the course is in jeopardy. Pamoja online courses can be rewarding for students who are highly motivated. However, a student taking such a course must realize that if they do not perform to the exacting standards of the course, they risk both course completion and possibly jeopardizing their IB Diploma. Students and their parents will be requested to sign a form recognizing the risks involved in taking these courses. 22

23 FAQ - IB Diploma Programme How should I decide whether to take the full IB diploma or a program of IB Diploma courses? This is a complex issue and one that should be discussed with your parents, teachers and counselors. If you need the IB diploma to meet the requirements at the universities of your choice, then the answer is simple; enroll as a full diploma student. For many students, there is choice involved. The diploma is seen worldwide as a well-rounded, rigorous, and comprehensive course of study for the final two years of high school. When applying to universities, the diploma can be an advantage. Choosing to take the full diploma is a tangible way to show that you are a highly motivated and inquisitive learner. Students taking the full diploma also receive the added benefit of the TOK course and learn the extra skills necessary for writing a university level paper from writing the Extended Essay. These courses are also available to students who do not take the full IB diploma, however, to qualify for the full IB diploma, these courses are a requirement. These experiences will be especially valuable in the transition to university coursework. That being said, some students would do better to choose IB Diploma courses without the defined structure requirements of the full Diploma. By electing this course of study, students are not restricted to having to take 3 Higher Level and 3 Standard Level courses. You can customize the IB program to meet your individual strengths and interests. It is especially important to note the danger of over-commitment when making this decision. The full diploma, with its extra components, TOK and Extended Essay, involve an extra time and energy commitment. Students should deeply consider their own personal priorities when making this choice. Do I need the IB diploma to get into a prestigious university? There is only one answer to this question it depends upon the university. You must check with our college counselor and visit the websites of the universities in which you are interested to verify entrance requirements. There is no single ticket into any university. The best possible advice is to excel at what you choose. If I start the IB diploma in my 11 th Grade year, must I continue this program in my 12 th Grade year? There are two answers to this. Yes, if you want to obtain the full diploma, as it is a two-year course of study and therefore cannot be completed in one year. The other answer is no if you prefer to change certain courses you are enrolled in during 11 th grade or before entry into 12 th grade. This will result in you earning IB Diploma courses but not a full IB Diploma. Of course any changes made to your program after entry into 11 th grade must be carefully considered and agreed upon by you, your parents and your teachers. It should also be noted that any change made to your IB courses must be able to be scheduled within the existing timetable. Is it possible to begin the full diploma program after the start of 11 th grade? Each school year, we set a deadline for making changes to your courses. After this 23

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