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Secondary Curriculum

The academic programs provided in Secondary School at IICS are the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program in grades 7 through 10, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in grades 11 and 12. Scroll down to view the Diploma Program for grades 11 and 12. 

MYP Information
MYP Information (Grades 7-10)

The MYP provides a balanced and flexible curriculum framework

IICS delivers a broad and balanced choice of subjects in every year of the program, organized into eight subject groups.

• Language A (English)
• Language B (French, German or Spanish) 
• Humanities 
• Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
• Mathematics
• Arts (Art, Drama and Music)
• Technology (Computer and Design)
• Physical Education

 
 

 
MYP at IICS
MYP at IICS

The MYP at IICS aims to develop robust, proactive, independent, internationally-minded, lifelong learners.

The Middle Years Program at IICS is devised to help students develop the knowledge, attributes and skills they need to participate actively and responsibly in a changing and increasingly interrelated world. This means a curriculum which calls for more than “knowing”. It involves reflective thinking both critical and creative problem-solving analysis and discussion of personal beliefs and standards on which decisions are made. It also involves students knowing how to learn and being self-aware as learners.

Our MYP is designed to teach students to become independent learners who can recognise relationships between school subjects and the world outside, who are robust enough to adapt and learn in new situations and combine relevant knowledge, practical and social intelligence to solve problems alone or in groups.

By developing the attributes and dispositions of the IB Learner Profile (to become: inquirers, risk-takers, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, knowledgeable, balanced, reflective) students give themselves the best chance of success in learning at school and beyond. It is the important duty of all members of the learning community to help students develop these attributes and dispositions and to adopt them themselves.

Program structure:
Three fundamental concepts underpin the development of the program:

  • Holistic learning – in which the student develops an understanding by consciously learning how to learn in a variety of ways and linking new knowledge to existing knowledge in all its forms.
  • Intercultural awareness – in which the student develops a sense of personal and cultural identity and a respect for themselves and others.
  • Communication – in which the student develops a good command of appropriate expression in a variety of forms and towards a variety of audiences.

 
Areas of Interaction
Areas of Interaction

The MYP Areas of Interaction

The Areas of Interaction provide a contextual framework for learning within and across the subject groups. They allow subjects to be set in context within which subjects and issues may be explored. They also allow connections among the subjects themselves and between the subjects and real-life issues. Areas of Interaction are about making learning relevant to the learner.

Approaches to learning (ATL)

  •   How do I learn best?
  •   How do I know?
  •   How do I communicate my understanding?

Approaches to Learning (ATL) is central to the MYP at IICS, as it is concerned with developing the intellectual discipline, attitudes, strategies and skills which will result in critical, coherent and independent thought and the capacity for problem solving and decision making. It goes far beyond study skills, having to do with “learning how to learn” and with developing an awareness of thought processes and their strategic use. This area of interaction recognizes that true learning is more than the acquisition of knowledge: it involves its thoughtful application, as well as critical thinking and problem solving, both individually and collaboratively. The development of IB Learner Profile attributes is crucial to ATL.

Community and Service

  •   How do we live in relation to each other?
  •   How can I contribute to the community?
  •   How can I help others?

Community and Service begins in the classroom and extends beyond it, requiring students to participate in the communities in which they live. The emphasis is on developing community awareness and concern, a sense of responsibility, and the skills and attitudes needed to make an effective contribution to society. Students are expected to become actively involved in service activities.

The focus of Community & Service in Grades 7 and 8 is on building a sense of school community. In Grades 9 and 10, students will expand their notion of community beyond the campus, offering their time and services to individuals less fortunate than themselves as well as demonstrating a continuing commitment to the school community. The Community & Service requirements are that students show a sustained commitment to two or more activities through each grade level. This commitment should grow over the four years (grade 9 and 10 students should do at least three activities) and should become a natural part of the student’s life. To qualify, each activity requires approval by the MYP Community & Service Coordinator who will also judge the sincerity of the commitment.

Human Ingenuity 

  •   Why and how do we create?
  •   What are the consequences?

‘Human Ingenuity’ allows students to focus on the evolution, processes and products of human creativity. It considers their impact on society and on the mind. Students learn to appreciate and to put into practice the human capacity to influence, transform, enjoy and improve their quality of life. This area of interaction encourages students to explore the relationships between Science, Aesthetics, Technology and Ethics. It is at the core of student-centred learning, where the students themselves are placed in the position of creator: solving problems responsibly and showing creativity and resourcefulness in a variety of contexts throughout the curriculum and school life.


Environments 

  •   What are our environments?
  •   What resources do we have or need?
  •   What are my responsibilities?

‘Environments’ aims to make students aware of their interdependence with the various environments they exist in so that they accept their responsibility for maintaining environments fit for the future. As well as the natural environment, students are to consider the built and virtual environments and consider the interrelationships between different environments. Students are confronted with global environmental issues which require balanced understanding in the context of sustainable development. Students also face environmental situations at home and at school which require decision making. This area of interaction places the students in a position where they take positive, responsible action for the future.

Health and Social Education 

  •    How do I think and act?
  •    How am I changing?
  •    How can I look after myself and others?

Health and Social Education prepares students for a physically and mentally healthy life, aware of potential hazards and able to make informed choices. It develops in students a sense of a responsibility for their own well-being and for the physical and social environment. This area encourages students to explore their own selves as they develop healthy relationships with others.

 
Personal Project
Personal Project

Grade 10

Aims
The aims of the Personal Project are to allow students to:
• Demonstrate the personal abilities and skills required to produce an extended piece of work
• Engage in personal inquiry, action and reflection on specific topics and issues
• Focus on, and demonstrate an understanding of, the Areas of Interaction
• Reflect on learning and share knowledge, views and opinions.

Format of the Personal Project
The Personal Project is discussed with the students at the end of Grade 9 so they have the opportunity to think about what type of project they would like to do. The Personal Project is completed by late February or early March in Grade 10.

Each student receives a Personal Project guidebook that displays a timeline for each part of the project, gives valuable background information and contains the assessment criteria. The student needs to become very familiar with the guidebook, follow the timeline and meet their supervisor regularly to ensure successful completion of the Personal Project.

Students need to focus on one specific goal that relates to at least one of the Areas of Interaction (as well as ‘Approaches to Learning’). Emphasis is placed on long range planning, doing extensive and relevant research, continuous work on the project throughout the school year, organizing work by issuing a process journal and presenting the outcome in the appropriate format.

No matter what type of project the student chooses to do, all projects must include a piece of structured writing. The specific layout for this written report can be found in the Personal Project guidebook that all students receive in the beginning of Grade 10. The report should not be longer than 4000 words.

It is important to note that the Personal Project is not part of any course and is completed outside of classroom time. Each student is assigned a teacher who will be the students’ supervisor. The student and the supervisor meet periodically. The role of the supervisor is to guide the student and make sure they are on task, not to help the student complete their project.

 
Assessment
Assessment

The MYP uses criterion-referenced assessment.  Each subject has a set of assessment criteria.  Students are assessed against each of the criteria throughout the year and awarded a level of achievement.  Students are given a copy of the criteria and levels of achievement for each subject and, where appropriate, modified task-specific rubrics.  The final grade for each subject is determined by adding the levels of achievement and converting the total using IBO published tables to a grade out of 7.  The grades and descriptors are shown below.

 

 

Grade

Descriptor

Grade 1

 

Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives

 

Grade 2

 

Very limited achievement against all the objectives.  The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.

Grade 3

 

Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas.  The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.

Grade 4

 

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.

Grade 5

 

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations.  The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.

Grade 6

 

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 is shown where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.

Grade 7

 

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 is shown where appropriate.  The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.

 

Reporting

Students receive semester reports in early February and at the end of the school year.  These semester reports will include scores out of 7 for each course that the student takes.  Throughout the year, parents will have access to data about their child’s performance on ManageBac.

Assessment Criteria

In each MYP subject group, there are a number of assessment criteria. Throughout the year, students will complete assessment tasks, and each task will be assessed against one or more of the criteria in the subject group. At the end of each semester, the teacher of the course will look at all of the levels of achievement that a student has scored for each of the criteria. The teacher then selects the level of achievement that the student is ‘consistently performing’ at for each particular criterion. The teacher will not take an average grade from all of the work completed during the semester. This means that students who struggle in a particular criterion at the beginning of the semester, but who demonstrate improvement as the semester continues, will be rewarded with higher levels of achievement that their average.

The assessment criteria for each subject are as follows:

Language A
A: Content (Receptive and Productive) Maximum 10 points
B: Organization Maximum 10 points
C: Style and Language Mechanics Maximum 10 points
Total: 30 points

Language B
A: Oral Communication Maximum 8 points
B: Visual Interpretation Maximum 8 points
C: Reading Comprehension Maximum 8 points
D: Writing Maximum 8 points
Total: 32 points

Humanities
A: Knowledge and understanding Maximum 8 points
B: Investigating Maximum 8 points
C: Thinking critically Maximum 8 points
D: Communication Maximum 8 points
Total: 32 points

Science
A: One world Maximum 6 points
B: Communication in science Maximum 6 points
C: Knowledge and understanding of science Maximum 6 points
D: Scientific inquiry Maximum 6 points
E: Processing data Maximum 6 points
F: Attitudes in science Maximum 6 points
Total: 36 points

Mathematics
A: Knowledge and understanding Maximum 8 points
B: Investigating patterns Maximum 8 points
C: Communication in mathematics Maximum 6 points
D: Reflection in mathematics Maximum 6 points
Total: 28 points

Arts
A: Knowledge and understanding Maximum 8 points
B: Application Maximum 10 points
C: Reflection and evaluation Maximum 8 points
D: Personal engagement Maximum 8 points
Total: 34 points

Technology
A: Investigate Maximum 6 points
B: Design Maximum 6 points
C: Plan Maximum 6 points
D: Create Maximum 6 points
E: Evaluate Maximum 6 points
F: Attitudes in technology Maximum 6 points
Total: 36 points

Physical Education
A: Use of knowledge Maximum 8 points
B: Movement Composition Maximum 6 points
C: Performance Maximum 10 points
D: Social skills and personal engagement Maximum 8 points
Total: 32 points

Calculating Final Grades for Subjects

After a teacher has determined the most appropriate level of achievement for a student for each assessment criterion, the scores for the criteria are added together to create a final total for the course. The following conversion chart is then used to produce a grade out of 7 for each course.



 

Final Grade

Subject

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Language A

0-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20-23

24-27

28-30

Language B

0-3

4-7

8-12

13-17

18-22

23-27

28-32

Humanities

0-3

4-7

8-12

13-17

18-22

23-27

28-32

Science

0-5

6-11

12-18

19-24

25-28

29-32

33-36

Maths

0-4

5-8

9-12

13-17

18-21

22-25

26-28

Arts

0-3

4-8

9-13

14-20

21-25

26-30

31-34

Technology

0-5

6-9

10-15

16-21

22-26

27-31

32-26

Physical Education

0-5

6-10

11-15

16-20

21-24

25-28

29-32

 

 
 

 

DP
Information
DP Information (Grades 11 & 12)
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP), first examined in 1968, is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to examinations; it is designed for highly motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19. The programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities. The IB has shown, over the course of 30 years, that students are well prepared for university work.

The Diploma Programme’s grading system is criterion referenced: each student’s performance is measured against well-defined levels of achievement consistent from one examination session to the next. Grades reflect attainment of knowledge and skills relative to set standards that are applied equally to all schools.

The programme is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum that generally also allows students to fulfil the requirements of their national or state education systems. The Diploma Programme incorporates the best elements of national systems without being based on any one. Internationally mobile students are able to transfer from one IB school to another, while students who remain closer to home benefit from a highly respected international curriculum.

The programme was born of efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. International educators were motivated by practical considerations but also by an idealistic vision: students should share an academic experience that emphasizes critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view. Today there are equal numbers of students from international schools and state or national systems.

The idealism has remained unchanged, however. The IB’s goal is to provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgment, make wise choices, and respect others in the global community. The Diploma Programme equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education and employment.

The programme has the strengths of a broad curriculum, but with three important additional features:
1. Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
2. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
3. Extended Essay

Istanbul International Community School is proud to have been offering the IB Diploma Programme since 2000.  

 

 
Theory of
Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection, to develop analytical skill built on experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyze evidence. TOK is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives.
The course is unique to the International Baccalaureate Organization, which recommends at least 100 hours of teaching time spanning the two years of the Diploma Programme.

Diploma candidates are encouraged to reflect on all aspects of their work throughout the programme. They examine the grounds for the moral, political and aesthetic judgments that individuals must make in their daily lives.
 

 

 
Creativity,
Action, Service
Creativity, Action, Service

The IB’s goal is to educate the whole person, to help students become responsible, compassionate citizens. The CAS requirement encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others: students may, for example, participate in theatre of musical productions, sports and community service activities. Students should, through these activities, develop greater awareness of themselves and concern for others, and the ability to work co-operatively with other people.

•Creativity is interpreted broadly. It includes a wide range of arts activities but can also be defined as the creativity students show in designing and implementing service projects or learning a new skill

•Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects.

•Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities, such as helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and working with refugees or homeless people.

As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that students have:
-increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth
-undertaken new challenges
-planned and initiated activities
-worked collaboratively with others
-shown perseverance and commitment in their activities
-engaged with issues of global importance
-considered the ethical implications of their actions
-developed new skills
 

 

 
Extended
Essay
Extended Essay

Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest in a 4,000-word research paper. The extended essay requirement acquaints diploma candidates with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities. The IB recommends that a student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay, which may be written in one of 60 subjects. The essay permits students to deepen their understanding of programmes of study, for example by selecting a topic in one of their courses, or adding breadth to their academic experience by electing to write in a discipline not included in their programme choices.
 

 

 
Six
Subjects
 Six Subjects

Diploma candidates study 6 subjects. They must select one subject from each of Groups 1-5. The choice of subject from Group 6 is not compulsory and therefore a student may choose a second subject from Groups 1 – 4, instead of a Group 6 subject.

•Three subjects must be taken at higher level, (HL)
•Three subjects must be taken at standard level (SL)
•IB recommends a minimum of 240 teaching hours for HL courses
•IB recommends a minimum of 150 teaching hours for SL courses

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.

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

 

GROUP 1 – STUDIES IN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
All diploma candidates must take a Language A course, which demands good writing and oral skills and the ability to understand and respond to literary texts. The study of the A language is complemented by the international perspective given through world literature studied.

Subjects in this group offered at IICS:
English Language A Literature
English Language A Language and Literature
French Language A Language and Literature*
German Language A Language and Literature*
Spanish Language A Language and Literature*
Turkish Language A Literature*

*depending on numbers those courses may or may not be available

GROUP 2 – LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
All diploma candidates are examined in a second language. Language B accommodates genuine second language learners with previous experience of learning the language, typically amounting to between 2 and 5 years of instruction; Language Ab initio accommodates beginners in the language. Both Language B and Ab initio courses focus on written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes. Group 2 subjects that are currently offered at IICS include

French B
German B
Spanish B
English B
Spanish Ab Initio
French Ab Initio

GROUP 3 – INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES
Subjects in this group offered at IICS:
Economics
Geography
History
Environmental systems and societies: Interdisciplinary course. Can count for group 3 OR group 4 OR group 3 AND group 4

GROUP 4 – EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES
Subjects in this group offered at IICS:
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Environmental systems and societies: Interdisciplinary course. Can count for group 3 OR group 4 OR group 3 AND group 4

GROUP 5 – MATHEMATICS
Subjects in this group offered at IICS:
Mathematics Higher Level
Mathematics Standard Level
Mathematics Studies

GROUP 6 – THE ARTS
Subjects in this group offered at IICS:
Visual Arts
Theatre Arts

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
At IICS we value and foster an environment where students maintain a balance between their intellectual and physical growth and development. Along with DP classes, students in 11th and 12th grade can practice physical activity when no other classes are scheduled. A PE teacher is always with the students to facilitate those classes and for students to make the most of these moments. Students do not received grades as PE is optional in grades 11 and 12.
 

 

 
Self-Directed
Learning
 

Self-Directed Learning time in the Diploma Program helps students learn how to manage their time and affords them a flexible schedule to use more time on courses that challenge them, work collaboratively, or conduct more intense individual research. 

 

 

 
DP
Assessment
Diploma Assessment

Assessment of subjects is based on a combination of internal assessment and external examinations at the end of Grade 12. Within each subject examinations and internal assessments for Higher Level are more demanding than those for Standard level.

Grade 11 students will sit a school exam in June. Grade 12 students will sit mock examinations in their second semester.

Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). Up to 3 additional points may be gained for performance in the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge.

The maximum possible score is 45 points (6 x 7 = 42 + 3 = 45).


AWARDING OF THE DIPLOMA:
The Diploma will be awarded to a candidate whose total score reaches or exceeds 24 points, provided that:
• A course in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) has been followed and the assessment requirements met
• An Extended Essay has been submitted and assessed
• The candidate has engaged satisfactorily in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) activities


FAILING CONDITIONS
A candidate will not qualify for the awarding of the diploma if certain requirements have not been met. The following codes apply to all candidates:

01 Candidate’s total points are less than 24.
02 A grade N has been awarded for one or more subjects, Theory of Knowledge or the Extended Essay.
03 A grade E has been awarded for both Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.
04 There is a grade 1 awarded in any subject and level.
05 CAS requirements have not been completed.
06 Candidate is guilty of malpractice.
07 There are four or more grades 3 or below awarded.

There are other failing conditions, but they are rare.
 

 

 
DP
Diploma
IICS Diploma

In addition to the IB Diploma, all students are eligible to receive an IICS High School Diploma.

For grades 9 through 12 inclusive, a student must acquire a score of at least “3” to acquire IICS credit for any particular course.

In order to graduate from IICS, students must complete a minimum of 26 credits (one credit = one full year course)

English 4*
Humanities (Social Studies) 3*
Mathematics 3*
Science 3*
Foreign Languages 3*
Physical Education 2
Technology 1
Arts (or an elective if coming in from a non-MYP school) 2
Personal Project 1

* Can be credit from another school if entering IICS after Grade 9.

In addition, students must carry a full time load every year at IICS. Please note that these requirements may be subject to change.



 DP Certificates

A candidate who does not seek the award of the Diploma in the IB Diploma Programme may enter for one or several subjects, provided that the recommended number of teaching hours for each subject has been completed. Such a candidate is classified as an IB Course candidate and receives a Diploma Programme Course results recording the result(s) obtained. The results obtained by an IB Course candidate cannot subsequently contribute to the award of the Diploma. IB Courses are now available for the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge or CAS.

 

 
 

 

 

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