Academics
Upper School | Levels 9-12
Upper School Curriculum

IB MYP Course Description

Arts - Music and Visual Arts

Art allows people to communicate their thoughts and feelings through a variety of media. In class, students will learn about different cultures as well as a variety of art forms. Their questions will help them explore why artists create and why art is important to humans.

They will develop the skills and techniques to express themselves. The process of creating or performing requires commitment. Using feedback from others and their own reflections will help them make progress with their work.  As they collaborate to make murals or perform in an ensemble, their ability to collaborate may improve.

  • Scientific and Technical InnovationHow has technology changed the way we compose, record and present music?
  • Identities and Relationships – What does art have to say about happiness and the good life?
  • Fairness and Development – How can artistic expression be used to comment on power and privilege?
  • Personal and Cultural Expression –How do different cultures express their beliefs and values through visual arts?


Design

In Design, students will study the tools and methods humans use to create – including technology. They will also engage in their own problem solving, using the design cycle to come up with unique solutions. They will investigate, design, plan, create, and evaluate.

Students will refine their learning skills as they examine strategies for choosing their sources, considering their audience, conducting research, and assessing their results. As they develop new products, they will find ways to test their concepts and think about the impact of their design on individuals, society, and the environment. Staying motivated and communicating with others are essential to the process.
 
  • Personal and Cultural Expression – How can the consideration of aesthetics lead improve the communication of ideas?
  • Scientific and Technical Innovation – How do systems of complex components help products to function effectively?
  • Globalization and Sustainability - How do the demands of the global market shape product development?
  • Identities and Relationships – Should the development of products always stake culture into consideration? 


Individual & Societies

Individual & Societies is the study of people, systems, and change. Historians interpret the evidence of the past to help people understand how individuals and societies act. Geographers study the features of the land and how humans interact with their environments. Economists explore the systems and behaviors that surround the exchange of goods and services. 

Examining other cultures as well as their own can help students to develop their own sense of identity and of citizenship. While studying Humanities, they will have opportunities to improve their decision-making, research techniques, and communication skills.
 
  • Identities and Relationships– How do economic systems and resources affect our well-being? 
  • Globalization and Sustainability – How is balance between human systems and the Earth’s systems necessary for a sustainable future? 
  • Scientific and Technical Innovation – How does the creation of innovative products create turning points in human history? 
  • Orientation in Time, Place, and Space – How do global events of the past impact our future?
 

Language and Literature

Humans use language as a primary means of communication. We speak and we write to describe, explain, argue, persuade, inform, entertain and express our feelings. We listen and read to understand others and the world around us. Language tells us of our past, present, and future.
 
When students study language, they will examine the choices others make in their writing and the choices they make in their own. With organization, they will clarify their meaning, while detail and support will help them improve their argument.  Developing correct spelling and grammar will refine their message. Knowing all the rules can free the imagination…
 
  • Personal and Cultural Expression – How do filmmakers use conventions to help communicate a narrative? 
  • Identities and Relationships – How can an author’s choices promote empathy for others experiences? How does that empathy help readers learn more about their own identities? 
  • Globalization and Sustainability– How can analysis of literature reveal human interdependence? 
  • Fairness and development – What does the novel tell us about difference and inclusion?


Language Acquisition

The MYP program strives to develop intercultural awareness in all students. When you learn a new language, it is like going into the ‘mind' of another culture. How are words ordered and sentences structured? How can tone affect meaning?

By learning to understand and communicate information, ideas, and opinions in a different language, students will be able to develop respect and compassion for a culture other than their own. Through the process they may encounter unfamiliar concepts or ideas that may make it easier for them to respond in future unfamiliar situations. They may even begin to see their own language and culture from a new perspective.
 
  • Identities and Relationships – How can culture and media impact our lifestyle choices?
  • Fairness and Development – Is learning a second language a luxury or necessity? 
  • Globalization and Sustainability – How can language be used to help people take action on ecological issues?
  • Scientific and Technical Innovation – How does access to the internet impact social, communication, and technical skills?  


Mathematics

Mathematics helps one to develop critical thinking skills, forcing them to question and compare information. Organizing data in tables, charts, and graphs will give the student new ways to describe the relationships between numbers. Identifying and extending patterns can help them see underlying form and structure. Algebra and Geometry will help them develop logic as they problem solve.

Not only do students need to learn mathematical concepts, they also need to connect the study of numbers to real life. They will apply strategies they have learned to local and global issues, making predictions and creating models.
 
  • Approaches to learning  How can learning mathematics improve my thinking skills? *
  • Community and Service  How is the knowledge of mathematics useful in communities? *
  • Health and Social Education  Can mathematics be used to influence the health of a society and/or nation?*
  • Environments  How can mathematics affect our understanding of different environments? *
  • Human Ingenuity  What would the world be like without mathematics? *
*International Baccalaureate Organization. (2009). Developing the Curriculum. (2009). Middle Years Programme Mathematics Guide. Cardiff, United Kingdom: International Baccalaureate Organization


Physical Education

Physical and Health Education helps to develop athletic abilities, like strength and precision. Using new strategies, techniques, and rules will improve game play. One can use creativity to help design movement compositions to express one’s thoughts or feelings.    

Students will have plenty of opportunities to build their relationships with others, working as a team. At other times, they will focus on their personal development through reflection and goal-setting. Focus on maintaining healthy attitudes and a healthy lifestyle!
 
  • Scientific and Technical Innovation – How does the environment cause you to adapt your movement choices during a game?
  • Personal and Cultural Expression – How do performers use ritual and play in a routine? 
  • Fairness and Development – How do you balance specific roles with collaboration when working on a team? 
  • Identities and Relationships – How can developing control over movement with your mind and body improve your well-being?


Sciences

Science is a means of discovering knowledge about the world we live in and about ourselves. It is a process of questioning and testing. Scientists around the globe seek to find new information and to find ways to apply it to people, societies, and the environment. They ask, ‘What are the benefits and the limitations of science?'

Learning science is not simply collecting data, following methods, and exercising reason. Students will also need to look at the relationships between pieces of information and the relationships they have with those they work with. They will need to examine their own attitudes and evaluate their communication skills.
 
  • Globalization and Sustainability –What are the consequences of developing electricity production to meet global needs? 
  • Identities and Relationships – Why is moral reasoning and ethical judgment necessary in science? 
  • Fairness and Development– What power and responsibility do scientists have in communicating environmental issues? 
  • Scientific and Technical Innovation - How do we use models to help us understand the form and function of the cell?
"Teacher Support Material." Online Curriculum Centre. International Baccalaureate Organization. Web. 28 Aug. 2015.