High School Curriculum Overview


There are two phases to a student’s high school studies at NIS. The first two years of NIS high school (grades 9 & 10) is the last phase of the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the final two years of high school (grades 11 & 12) is the IB Diploma Programme (DP). Curriculum details and course descriptions can be found HERE

Grades 9-10
Seven, equally weighted subjects form the core of the academic program for all grade 9-10 school students.  The core subjects include the following:

  • English (Language A or Language B)
  • Japanese (Language A or Language B)
  • Individuals and Societies (history, civics, geography, culture)
  • Integrated Science
  • Integrated Math
  • Physical and Health Education
  • The Arts (art, drama, music in grade 9 only)

* Students also take a class in Design Technology and one elective course.

These courses are taught using approaches set out by the IBO Middle Years Program (MYP), and are specifically designed to prepare students for the next phase of their learning – including the IB Diploma Program.
 
Grades 11-12
For the last two years of their high school at NIS, students can choose to pursue just the NIS diploma, or to also attempt to obtain the additional IB Diploma through the IB Diploma Programme (DP). In both cases, students take one course from each of the following six groups –

  • Language and Literature – English or Japanese
  • Language Acquisition – Japanese (other courses offered as online courses)
  • Individuals and Societies (history or economics)
  • Sciences (biology, chemistry, physics)
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts (Visual Arts or Theater Studies)*

* Instead of the Arts, students can take a second course from other five groups.

Regardless of the end goal, students attend the same courses, and requirements and expectations may differ according to the path chosen by the student.  In addition, students take a “Theory of Knowledge” course, and are expected to complete activities related to creativity, action and service (CAS). 
 

 

Course Descriptions

ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LITERATURE (Overview)

The English Language & Literature high school courses aim to help students use language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression and social interaction and to develop the skills involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts. The course aims to develop critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analyzing literary and non-literary works.  Students will engage in literature from a variety of cultures and representing different historical periods as they explore and analyze aspects of personal, host and other cultures through literary and non-literary works.  The course will engage students with information and communication technology in order to explore language and to develop a lifelong interest in reading widely -apply language A skills and knowledge in a variety of real-life contexts.

English Language & Literature (Gr. 9)

English Language & Literature (Gr. 10)

This course focuses on close readings of literary texts while helping students to develop a deeper understanding of literary elements and how writers employ them. Students still write informally in journals and also more formally in various formats. Students will participate actively in various class discussions. Similar to grade 9 English, the class is designed to prepare students for IBDP coursework during the 11th and 12th grades. IB rubrics are used for grading written assignments and individual oral presentations. The texts covered in semester one are Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby before going on to Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In semester two, students will read Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Hesse’s Narcissus and Goldmund and Gaarder’s Sophie’s World.  

English Language & Literature (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

The Gr. 11/12 English Language and Literature course aims to encourage a personal appreciation of literature and develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and to develop the student’s powers of expression, both in oral and written communication, and provide the opportunity of practicing and developing the skills involved in writing and speaking in a variety of styles and situations.  The course introduces students to a range of literary works of different periods, genres, styles and contexts.  It attempts to broaden the student’s perspective through the study of works from other cultures and languages and introduce students to ways of approaching and studying literature, leading to the development of an understanding and appreciation of the relationships between different works.  Students will develop the ability to engage in close, detailed analysis of written text promote in students an enjoyment of, and lifelong interest in, literature.

The focus of year one will be on various works in translation. Three texts from the Prescribed Book List have been selected to study closely. Students begin with The Stranger, by Albert Camus, before moving to Kobo Abe’s fascinating The Woman in the Dunes. Higher Level students will then study Oedipus Rex while Standard Level students are free to refine their English work or dedicate time to other classes.  During this semester students will develop their analytical skills as readers. It is not enough to be a strong reader; students are also expected to communicate their perspectives through critical discussion and through various forms of writing.

The focus of year two will be on the distinct literary aspects of each work. Standard Level students will focus on two writers; Higher Level students will focus on three. Standard and Higher Level students alike begin with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then move to a close study of the wonderful essays of E.B. White. Higher Level students then study, in considerable detail, fifteen poems written by Robert Frost. Afterward, all students (HL and SL) will complete their Individual Oral Commentary.

INDIVIDUALS & SOCIETIES (Overview)

Social Studies encourages the systematic and critical study of human experience and behavior, enabling students to positively contribute to the global community and encouraging international mindedness.  The Social Studies curriculum places emphasis on the interdisciplinary areas of economics, history, government, culture and geography.  Students develop the ability to interpret, synthesize, analyze, and evaluate a range of sources and information from a variety of perspectives and methodologies. By evaluating theories, concepts and arguments students are able to appreciate and empathize with the past, present and future. In order to better address modern challenges, the curriculum aims to develop an understanding of several major themes such as continuity and change, social and cultural institutions, conflict, revolution, leadership, citizenship, paradigm shifts and class struggle.

Individuals & Societies (Gr. 9)

We live in an age of globalization, one in which the actions and decisions of a person on one continent can have a profound effect on someone literally half a world away. We change people’s lives with what we buy, how we vote, and where we go. In order to understand our impact and make informed decisions about our actions, it is necessary to understand the past: Which decisions were made? Why? What were the consequences? Should we replicate what’s been done or avoid it at all costs?

This course is designed to help students start to build the analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the problems of the past in order to address the problems of today. We will explore primary and secondary sources for origin, purpose, and message while also developing the ability to compare and contrast. We will analyze written and visual work for message, and strengthen writing skills in preparation for essay writing in the IB courses. Finally, students will learn about geography, economics, and government as these are woven into the curriculum.  Students will also be prepared for college courses, developing the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in written and oral formats.

On a practical level, we will develop skills such as analysis, evaluation, and attention to detail, in order to prepare students for almost any profession in which they choose to enter. On an academic level, the skills gained in this course will better prepare them for the demands of the IB courses which will be taken the last two years of high school at NIS.

The 9th Grade course lays the foundation for the IB humanities curriculum as the topics of study follow chronologically from the 9th up through the 12th grade. The focus of the 9th Grade World Studies is on the “long 19th century,” from 1789-1914. We will concentrate upon four key events, each of which had an incredibly important impact on the development of the Modern World.  The first event, which is considered to be the beginning of the Modern Era, is the French Revolution. From there, we will examine the process of German Unification, which changed the map of Europe forever and seemed to push Europe towards conflict. We will then turn our attention to the East and look at how Asia found an example for dealing with European imperialism through the Meiji restoration and early Japanese industrialization. We finish the year by returning to Europe and examining the Causes of World War One.  We will spend time further developing those skills that are needed for writing effective essays and for utilizing historical sources. Analysis, evaluation, and the use of historical viewpoints will be essential for essays. Students will be encouraged to compare and contrast source evidence and to understand the origin, purpose, value and limitation of historical documents.

Individuals & Societies (Gr. 10)

History, contrary to some opinions, is not the study of the dead past. History is not about memorizing dates. As students study our topics, encourage students to examine History “from the front end”, as events are occurring. This approach to the topic allows one to better appreciate why events unfolded as they did. It also gives us a stronger background with which to evaluate properly, the current problems faced today, as these problems are often times very similar to those of the past. Ultimately, students are asked to “get inside of the head” of the subjects they are discussing.  On a practical level, the subject develops the skills, such as analysis, evaluation and attention to detail, that will be useful in almost any profession or occupation in which you choose to enter into in the future. On an academic level, the skills gained in this course will better prepare students for the demands of the IBDP courses.

The 10th Grade course includes –

  • reaction to the devastation of World War One. These reactions changed the world, contributed to World War Two and led to the Cold War. At the same time these topics are also directly related to topics that will be discussed in the IB History program, such as the rise to rule of single party states, multi-party states and the causes, practices and effects of war.
  • looking at the domestic impact of World War I.  Students then examine the impact of the war on Russia and the rise to rule of the Bolshevik Party, 1918–24. From there they will examine the rise to rule of Hitler and the Nazi Party from 1918–1939.
  • how the US attempted to maintain its system of democracy in the face of the dangers posed by the Great Depression. Where possible, students will include the study of relevant Economic and Geographical concepts
  • skills that are needed for writing effective essays and for utilizing historical sources. Analysis, evaluation and the use of historical viewpoints will be essential for essays. Students will be encouraged to compare and contrast source evidence and to understand the origin, purpose, value and limitation of historical documents. Students will also encourage students to look at history in a creative manner through the use of cartoons, movie titles and other exercises.

Individuals & Societies (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

This course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the problems of the past in order to address the problems of today. Students will also be prepared for college courses and exams, developing the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in written and oral formats. Historical study involves both selection and interpretation of data and critical evaluation of it. Students of history should appreciate the relative nature of historical knowledge and understanding, as each generation reflects its own world and preoccupations and as more evidence emerges.

IB History I is the first year of a two-year course. The full course will culminate in the IB external exams taken senior year. The two year course will address -

  • Crisis in the Communist countries from 1976–89.
  • Single Party States and the Cold War. 
  • China from the collapse of the Qin dynasty to the victory of the CCP in 1950, China under Mao and Deng and Japan from 1912-52. (HL only)
  • The main content areas will be the Origins of the Cold War, Development of the Cold War from 1950 – 1990, China under Deng Xiaoping 1978-1997, Crises in the Communist World 1976-1989 and Japan from 1912-1952.
  • One of the most important aspects of the course will be the further development of the skills necessary to succeed on the IB exam in History. Analysis and evaluation of events, as well as the skillful use and discussion of differing historical interpretations are skills that students must have to do well in this topic. Also, students will continue to be guided through the tasks of analyzing, comparing and giving value to historical documents.

Economics (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

Economics is a social science, whose primary focus is to look at how societies deal with the key economic problem, how to satisfy unlimited wants and needs with very limited resources. As we look at various Economics topics we will attempt, whenever possible, to apply these theories to real world issues.

Another key concern of the course is to promote an understanding of international perspectives. It is clearly apparent that many of the solutions to modern economic problems deal with international as well as national policies. In terms of skills we will target the following: Knowledge and understanding of the topics, Application of economic concepts, and evaluation of economic models. Economics is a two-year IB course.

The first year we will be focusing on two main topics: Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. The main topics of Microeconomics are: Demand, Supply, Market Equilibrium, the Price Mechanism, Market Efficiency, Elasticity, Taxes and Price Controls, and Market Failure.  The main topics of Macroeconomics are: The Business Cycle, Aggregate Demand and Aggregate Supply, Macroeconomic Equilibrium, the Keynesian Multiplier, Unemployment, Inflation, Growth and the Distribution of Income.  We will also begin the Internal Assessment Portfolio, which allows students to examine real world economic events.

The second year of the IB Economics course focuses on three main topics: International Trade, Economic Development and the Theory of the Firm.  The main topics of International Trade are Comparative Advantage, Exchange Rates, Balance of Payments, Economic Integration, Terms of Trade and Protectionism. The main topics of Economic Development are the Sources of Development, Barriers to Development and strategies to encourage Economic Development. The main topics of the Theory of the Firm involve a study of the four main types of market structure: Monopoly, Oligopoly, Perfect Competition and Monopolistic Competition.  We will complete another part of the Internal Assessment Portfolio, which allows students to examine real world economic events.

Integrated Mathematics (Gr. 9 SL/HL)

The grade 9 math curriculum consists of a variety of topics drawn from the general areas of algebra, functions, matrices, probability, statistics and geometry.  Considered together with the grade 10 math course, these two years provide a thorough preparation for IBDP mathematics courses.  The honors course will cover the same topics as the standard level course but will go into more depth and the questions students will be asked will be more challenging.  In some topics we will add some extension work.

Course topics include -

  • Algebra Notation and Equations
  • Indices
  • Algebraic Expansion and Simplification
  • Radicals
  • Factoring Quadratics
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Mensuration
  • Coordinate Geometry and Triangles 
  • Simultaneous Equations
  • Statistics
  • Sets and Venn Diagrams
  • Probability
  • Matrices 


A TI 83+  or 84+ graphing calculator is required.

Text - Mathematics for the international student 10, Volmar, Haese et al., Haese&Haese

Integrated Mathematics (Gr. 10 SL/HL)

The Grade 10 course consists of a variety of topics drawn from the general areas of Algebra, Functions, Geometry, Triangle trigonometry and Trigonometric functions.

The honors course will cover the same topics as the standard level course but will go into more depth and the questions students will be asked to do will be more challenging. Additionally some topics will have extension work.  The standard level course will have less extension work but instead have more emphasis on review of prerequisite content and more practice with basic skills.

The course covers the following topics -

  • Quadratic equations and functions - Standard, vertex and intercept forms, quadratic formula, quadratic graphs, vertex and axis of symmetry, quadratic optimization
  • Inequalities - Sign diagrams, interval notation, inequations
  • Exponential functions and logarithms - Index laws, fractional and negative indices, exponential equations, logarithm laws. Applications to growth, decay, compound interest and depreciation.
  • Congruence and similarity - Definitions of congruence and similarity, applications to triangles, area and volume of similar figures.
  • Triangle trigonometry - Definition of sin, cos and tan, application to right angle triangles, sine rule and cos rule, trigonometric identities, radians, formula for arc length and sector area.
  • Trigonometric functions - Unit circle trigonometric equations, modeling with trigonometric functions
  • Conics - Equations of circles and ellipses.
  • Functions- An overview of functions, including making some conclusions drawn from the different particular functions we have studied so far. Some special functions like greatest integer and absolute value will also be considered.
  • Vectors - Introduction to vectors, addition subtraction and scalar product, geometric applications.

 

- A TI 83+  or 84+ graphing calculator is required.
- Text - Mathematics for the international student 10, Volmar, Haese et al., Haese&Haese

Math Studies (Gr. 11-12)

his course is for students of all backgrounds and abilities and is specifically designed to build confidence in mathematics and an appreciation for this subject.  The course is equivalent to mathematics SL, however it places an emphasis on the applications of mathematics with its largest section being devoted to statistics.  Students taking this course need to already be equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic mathematical processes.  The development of their mathematical ability will enable the students to acquire logical, critical and creative thinking in order to apply and transfer the mathematical knowledge to alternative situations, and other areas of knowledge.  The course aims to create a culture of inquiring, thinking, communicating, reflecting, risk-taking students who make principled, open-minded and balanced decisions each step of the way.

Year one of this course will cover a variety of topics drawn from the general areas of Algebra, Functions, Trigonometry, Sequences and Series, Sets, Logic and Probability, Statistics, 2D & 3D Geometry and Mensuration, Financial Mathematics, and Calculus (differentiation).

Year two will be focused on Functions; Mastering the graphic display calculator; Statistical applications (two variable statistics), Arithmetic and geometric sequences, Financial mathematics, Introductory differential calculus and the Internal Assessment Project.  Time permitting; some of the topics covered in the first year will be reviewed.

- Text: Mathematical Studies Standard Level, Blythe et al., Oxford University Press, 2012

Mathematics (Gr. 11-12 SL)

This course covers quite a range of mathematics in the two years.  The main topics are algebra, functions and equations, circular functions and trigonometry, vectors, statistics and probability and calculus.  The calculus covers differentiation and integration.  More specifics topics include -

  • Functions
  • Quadratic Functions and Equations
  • Exponential and Logarithmic Functions
  • Rational Functions
  • Trigonometry
  • Circular Functions
  • Patterns, Sequences and Series
  • Vectors

- Text - Mathematics Standard Level Course Companion, Buchanan, et al, Oxford

 

Mathematics (Gr. 11-12 HL)

This is a two-year IBDP mathematics course catering to 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.  A TI 83+ or 84+ graphing calculator is required.

The following topics will be included -

  • Calculus – Applying integration techniques such as integration by parts and u substitutions to find integrals.
  • Statistics - Frequency tables and diagrams, measures of spread including standard deviation and standard error.
  • Probability - Basic probability, independent events, conditional probability, Bayes’ theorem and the use of permutations and combinations.
  • Probability distribution functions - Discrete probability distributions and continuous probability distributions.
  • Complex numbers and proof by induction - Operations with complex numbers, representation on Argand diagrams, De Moivre’s theorem. Proof by induction.

- Text - Mathematics Higher Level for the I.B. diploma, Roberts & MacKenzie, Oxford

Integrated Science (Gr. 9)

Integrated Science (Gr. 10)

The main purpose of the 10th grade science course is to help the students develop the skills and background necessary to be successful in the IB program; as at the end of this academic year students will be choosing one (or more) of the three science courses offered in the IB program.  The 10th grade science course is designed to give the students enough experience in physics, chemistry, and laboratory work so that any of these would be a possible option.  The focus in the 10th grade course will be to build the analytical skills that are needed and are common to the sciences.  This includes having students develop scientific research questions, formulating effective methodologies to address those questions, collecting, processing and analyzing data and evaluating the effectiveness of their methodologies.  This class will integrate laboratory work into all content areas and students will become proficient with the equipment and protocols (IB type lab reports) used in the IB program as well as in “real life” science and research.

This academic year semester one will be spent studying physics and the other chemistry.  One complete design lab shall be carried out by each of the two groups.

An outline of the first semester is as follows:

  • Physics, Measurements, Scientific Method
  • Inertia, Forces, Motion and Acceleration
  • Momentum and Impulse
  • Energy, Work and Power
  • Temperature, Heat and Expansion
  • Design Lab

Biology (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

In the IBDP Biology course students will acquire a body of facts and, at the same time, develop a broad, general understanding of the principles of the subject.  There are four basic biological concepts that run throughout this course:
 

  • Structure and function: organic structures permit some functions while, at the same time, limiting others
  • Universality versus diversity: species exist in a range of habitats and show adaptations that relate structure to function and a living world in which universality means that a diverse range of organisms (including ourselves) are connected and interdependent
  • Equilibrium within systems: checks and balances exist both within living organisms and within ecosystems. The state of dynamic equilibrium is essential for the continuity of life.
  • Evolution: evolution draws together the other themes. It can be regarded as change leading to diversity within constraints, and this leads to adaptations of structure and function.  


The course will cover cells, biochemistry and genetics, ecology and evolution, human health/physiology and statistics.

Chemistry (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

IBDP Chemistry is a two-year course that helps students to build the fundamental skills and content knowledge needed to be successful in future studies and/or careers in both science and humanities disciplines. Chemistry is an experimental science. This class will integrate laboratory work and theory in all content areas. Each student will be required to complete a portfolio of labs, including some that they have designed themselves.

Grade 11 topics will include: 

  • Quantitative Chemistry: The mole concept, solutions, gas laws, limiting reagents.
  • Atomic Structure: Structure of an atom. Mass spectrometer. Electronic configuration.
  • Periodicity: Physical properties, chemical properties. Transition metals.
  • Chemical Bonding: Ionic, covalent and metallic bonding. Intermolecular forces. Hybridization and delocalization.
  • Energetics: Born-Haber cycles, Entropy, Spontaneity
  • Kinetics: Rate expression, Reaction mechanism, Activation energy
  • Equilibrium: Liquid vapor equilibrium, Equilibrium law
  • Acids and Bases: Calculation involving acids and bases. Buffer solutions, Salt hydrolysis, Indicators


Grade 12 topics will include:

  • Oxidation and Reduction: Standard electrode potentials; Electrolysis of aqueous solutions
  • Acids and Bases: Calculation involving acids and bases. Buffer solutions, Salt hydrolysis, Indicators
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry in Industry and Society
  • Environmental Chemistry

Physics (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

This course is one Group 4 choice in the IB Diploma Program.  Topics include: measurement and uncertainty, mechanics, thermal physics, oscillations and waves, electric currents, fields and forces, electromagnetic induction (HL only), atomic and nuclear physics, energy power and climate change, motion in fields (HL), thermal physics (HL), wave phenomena (HL and SL option A), quantum physics and nuclear physics, and digital technology (HL and SL option C).  Out of the many HL options studentsfocus on astrophysics and electromagnetic waves.  (This could change.)  An important part of the course is experimentation and communication as shown in the Group 4 Project in which physics students work with students from the other science classes and other schools. Topics covered are below: 

Standard Level

  • Physics, Measurement and Vector
  • Mechanics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Oscillations and Waves
  • Electric Currents
  • Fields and Forces
  • Atomic and Nuclear Physics
  • Energy, Power and Climate Change


Higher Level (HL) only:

  • Motion in Fields
  • Wave Phenomena
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Quantum Physics
  • Digital Technology
  • Astrophysics (Option E)
  • Electromagnetic Waves (Option G)


- Text:  Physics for the IB DIPLOMA, 1st ed.,  John Allum and Christopher Talbot, Gregg and Paul Ruth.  
                Hodder Education, London, 2012.

Japanese A (Gr. 9)

Students study Japanese language, culture and society. They also further develop an appreciation of novels. They will learn to better read the meaning between the lines, so to speak, which will be connected with critical reading easily later on in their high school career. Student will further develop sentence structure, which will help in their writing fluency when they get into the IBDP program.  The course covers: 

  • Jyukugokun
  • Recognizing author’s opinion and examples.
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Grammar
  • Fuzokugo


Texts include -

  • Donna mitou demo kirenai “shinai”  jyukugokunn
  • Wago, Kango, Gairaigo 
  • Atarashii hakubutsu gaku no jidai
  • Kanji no hiroba
  • Various textbooks accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education

Japanese A (Gr. 10)

 

This class will prepare students to begin the IBDP program. Students will learn how to write essays rather than compositions. They will be able to recognize the difference between an essay and composition. Students will also develop techniques of literary criticism. To help students build-up their critical thinking skills, they will also discuss various topics including literature themes. The course will include: 

  • an Introduction to novel study
  • Character analysis
  • Features of language in the text
  • Literary themes
  • Creating poems based on the main characters’ feelings
  • Introduction of poetic rhetorical devices
  • Discussion on the themes

Texts include

  • “Kitchen” by Yoshimoto Banana
  • “Rashoumonn” by Akutagawa Ryuunosuke
  • “Izu no Odoriko” by Yasunari Kawabata
  • “Watashi ga ichibann kirei data toki” by Ibaragi Noriko

Japanese Language & Literature (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

This 2-year course comprises four parts - two relating to the study of language and two to the study of literature. The aim of this course is to encourage students to question the meaning generated by language and texts, and also to develop in students the skills of textual analysis.  Therefore this course is focused on the analysis of texts, including the ways in which context impacts the meaning of a text. By completing this course, students will promote an enjoyment of, and life long interest in, language and literature.  The course includes -
 

  • Introduction of novel study
  • Character analysis
  • Features of language in the text
  • Discussion of themes
  • Creative writing
  • Study of mass media and advertising
  • Poetry Study (discussion the background of poems and Poetry analysis)

Texts include –

  • “Nihongo” by Kindaichi Haruhiko
  • “Yuzuru” by Kinoshita jyunji
  • “Yujo” by kinoshita jyunji
  • “The Kite Runner” by K. Husseini
  • “Sangetuki” by Nakajima Atsushi
  • “Kokoro” by Natsume Souseki
  • “Mass communication “ha nani wo tsutaenaika” by kenichi shimomura
  • “Chieko sho” by Takamura Kotaro (only High level)

Japanese ab initio (Gr. 11-12 SL)

This is a two-year course and leading to the examination for IBDP Japanese ab initio. Therefore, one of the most important goals of this course is to prepare students for that exam. 

In the IBDP Japanese ab inito students are expected to attain three language skills - receptive, productive and interactive skills. First, the receptive skill is the ability to be able to read sentences and respond to the questions adequately. Productive skill means to be able to write essays about some specific topics properly and effectively.

Finally, the interactive skill is speaking Japanese, properly and fluently.  Through building up these skills while learning Japanese language and culture, this course aims students enable to describe their daily life and their own opinions in Japanese.

The final goal of this is to raise their understanding of different culture/people from them and have multicultural perspective and sense of global citizenship in order to create this world more cooperatively in their future, including the ability to write a cultural comparison essay between Japan and their home country.

Japanese B (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

This course is an additional language-learning course designed for students with some previous learning of Japanese. The main focus of the course is on language acquisition and development of language skills. These language skills should be developed through the study and use of a range of written and spoken material.  Such material will extend from everyday oral exchanges to literary texts, and should be related to the culture concerned.  Students are expected to use the language not only accurately but also appropriately within its culture.  Students are expected to recognize and understand approximately 500 kanji (SL)/ 1000 kanji (HL) and use a range of appropriate kanji in their writing by the end of Year 2. Grade 12 students who complete this course successfully will be prepared to take the IB Japanese Language B examination.

Course topics include –

  • “Health” - Students will think and discuss about the meaning of health. Who is a healthy person? How are we able to keep our bodies healthy? What is healthy food? At the end of the unit, students will read a newspaper article, a magazine and a book, and research about “Diet and Nutrition” and/or “Drug Abuse” through the internet. Students will focus on some categories including physical, mental and social well-being, as well as matters related to illnesses.
  • “Literature” - Students will read and comprehend “Hashire Merosu” written by Osamu Dazai. Students will think and discuss the theme of the literature.  They will learning jyoutai (da/dearu) and keitai (desu/masu), and how to write casual/polite letters, postcards, e-mail, newspaper, articles, posters  for next year’s final IB exam through the year.  Students will study “Otsuberu to Zo” written by Kenji Miyazawa.
  • “Science and technology” – Students learn new vocabulary related to science and technology. They will also research “Ethics and science” through the internet and focus on some categories that are related to the relationship between science and technology, and their impact on the Japanese community.
  • “Global Issues” - Students will think and discuss about global issues such as “environment and sustainability” and “energy reserves”.  How will we be able to reserve energy? How will we be able to keep our Earth?
  • “Social Relationships” - Students will read a text and learn new vocabulary related to “Social Relationships”. They will discuss and state their opinions freely about “social behaviors and opinions”.


To prepare for IB Japanese courses, they will learn grammar, Kanji characters, presentation and discussions skills, writings, reading and comprehension skills, and finally, research skills in each unit.

Texts include –

  • Jyokyu kara Manabu Nihongo
  • Sokudoku no Nihongo
  • Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1 & 2
  • Literary articles and essays
  • Asahi Shogakusei Shimbun

Japanese B1 (Gr. 9-10)

This class is for students whose Japanese level is beginners.  One of the main goals of this class is building up basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. In other words, students are expected to attain receptive skills, productive skills and interactive skills of basic Japanese.  As for literacy, students will develop an understanding of basic grammar and master all Hiragana, Katakana and some basic Kanji.  The curriculum of this class is based on the IB Japanese Ab initio syllabus in order to enable students to study and understand various topics about Japan effectively.  Students will study in units dealing with travel, transportation and health.  Students also study greetings in Japanese at first, with a focus on three types of sentences - noun, verb and adjective sentences.

Text - We occasionally use Genki to reinforce students’ grammar knowledge. In this textbook, all of grammar and vocabulary explanations are written in English, therefore, this book is very useful and helpful for students to do self-study.

Japanese B2 (Gr. 9-10)

This course is an advanced Japanese B course, and it is designed for students in grade 9 or 10 whose understanding (listening) ability is fairly high, but whose overall performance is not proficient enough to join our Japanese A course.  This class is also designed to prepare students for IB course work during the 11th and 12th grades and IB rubrics, which are used for grading written assignments and individual oral presentations. The class will be conducted mainly in Japanese. Students are strongly encouraged to use Japanese in class.  

Students will learn the following topics –
•    “Social Relationships” - students will think and discuss about language and culture that are related to self-identity. They will also research about the “common sense” in Japan that is unusual for other countries and present in front of the class.
•    “Customs and traditions” – students learn new vocabulary related to eating and cooking. They will also research about the traditional food, food customs and culture in the world. 
•    “Cultural diversity” - Blood type is very popular in Japan when people introduce by themselves. Why do Japanese people like asking blood types? What does it mean? They will research about the blood types that are related to the Japanese culture. Also, they will research other countries’ values and norms, and then present their findings in front of the class.
•    “Modern Novel” - students will read the text “Amayadori wa Suberidai no Shitade”, summarize and analyze each chapter, and write down any new vocabulary. They will also think and write their own, original continuing story to “Amayadori wa suberidai no shita de”, and make a kamishibai and present it in class.
•    “Global Issues” - students will think and discuss about global issues such as global warming, climate change and natural disasters. They will research through the Internet, write essays, make posters and present in front of the class. 
•    “Communication and media” - in the last unit students will discuss about the power of the media, and think what is the right way for media to deliver news.

To prepare for IB Japanese courses, they will learn grammar, Kanji characters, presentation and discussions skills, writings, reading and comprehension skills, and finally, research skills in each unit.

Texts include –
•    Chukyu kara Manabu Nihongo
•    Amayadori wa suberidai no Shita de
•    Basic Kanji Book
 

Japanese B3 (Gr. 9-10)

Students will learn the following topics –

  • In the first unit of “Cultural Diversity”, students will think and discuss about migration issues in the world. They will also research about them through the internet, and write an essay with three or four paragraphs.
  • The second unit is titled “Global Issues”.  They will learn new vocabulary related to global issues in Japanese, read a newspaper article, a magazine and a book, and research about “Global Issues” through the internet. They will focus on some categories including energy reserves, food and water  as well as matters related to nature. They will write essays, make posters and present in front of the class.
  • Students will be learning about the literature, “Mikan” which is written by Ryunosuke Akutagawa in the third unit. They will learn the classis style of writing and expressions related to the Japanese culture. After analyzing the story, they will think and write their own, original continuing story to “Mikan” in three or four paragraphs. First paragraph will be the summary of “Mikan”, the second about their own stories, and the third is the conclusion which will be linked to the original story.
  • In the fourth unit of “Communication and Media”, students will read a text and research about the bias in media issues through the internet, and write an essay using three or four paragraphs. 
  • The fifth unit is on the modern novel, Saga no Gabai Baachan written by Yoshichi Shimada. Students will summarize and analyze each chapter, and write a journal. They will learn two styles of writing: jyoutai (da/dearu) and keitai (desu/masu). At the end, they will think and write their own, original continuing story to “Saga no Gabai Baachan” using three or four paragraphs.  
  • In the final unit, students will be learning about “Social Relationships” in the last unit. They will read a newspaper article, a magazine and a book, and research about “Social Relationships” through the internet. They will focus on some categories including education system and multingualism as well as matters related to culture, society and economics. They will write essays, make posters and present in front of the class.


To prepare for IB Japanese courses, they will learn grammar, Kanji characters, presentation and discussions skills, writings, reading and comprehension skills, and finally, research skills.

Texts include:

  • Jyokyu de Manabu Nihongo
  • Chukyu kara Manabu Nihongo
  • Saga no Gabai Baachan
  • Mikan by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
  • Asahi Shogakusei Shimbun
  • Sokudoku no Nihongo
  • Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1 & 2, 
  • 10 dai no uchini Kangaeteokukoto

MUSIC (Overview)

Music aims to nurture the student’s musical identity via activities derived from a balanced learning model of performing, composing and appraising music.  With a strong emphasis on collaborative work in the music classroom, students are encouraged to participate in music making activities, which not only value the individual input of its members, but importantly engenders a sense of group unity in working toward outcomes which share a collective vision.  Music allows students to be more sensitive to their own thoughts and feelings, and provide a medium where they can communicate those feelings in a supportive and caring environment.

VISUAL ARTS (Overview)

Art Education is central to an individual’s perception and understanding of the world in which we live. Creative learning enables students to look at themselves and their environments in visual form. Art Education teaches children to respect and appreciate their own interpretations and those of others. Through artistic endeavors, students will share what is important to them with others and  learn about the values and feelings of others who are doing the sharing. Through realistic expectations and a supportive environment, students will gain the ability and know-how to be self-reflective, persistent, expressive and ultimately proud of the work they created during the class.

DESIGN (Overview)

Design can be broadly described as a problem solving process.  Design courses prepare students for careers in fashion design, product design, graphic design, culinary arts, software development, engineering and architecture. Students at NIS use the design process to create solutions for problems in the areas of both software development and product design.

Each year, students are given design challenges in which they analyze problems, develop possible solutions, create a prototype for a chosen solution and evaluate its effectiveness. For digital design projects, students learn how to create programs for electronic textiles, video games, robots, animated movies and educational software by writing code in both visual and text based programming languages. For product design projects, students learn how to use computer aided design software to make t-shirt logos, mobile device docks, clocks and assistive devices using a variety of digital fabrication equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters and a vinyl cutter. 

Students submit all design process documents digitally for teacher feedback and grading which is accessible to parents through the secure ManageBac IB online learning platform. Further information about design at NIS can be found by downloading the Parent Guide to Design PDF.

DRAMA (Overview)

In the study of drama students confront questions about themselves, the world around them and about the wider world that they will influence in the future. This will help them form an understanding, an opinion and a need to contribute, but also a keen need to keep on learning – whether about themselves or what interests them.  In drama/theatre studies they will be confronted with varied questions like ‘How has theatre developed over the centuries?’ ‘What can I contribute to the community through being part of a production?’, ‘How can my skills in an English or History class help me with drama class?’, ‘How can I gain more confidence to stand up and perform or state my thinking?’

Each course is divided up into units of work. The main aims of all units will be to experience and participate in a range of theatre activities (performing, presenting and research, physical theatre), exploring different theatre traditions (Greek Theatre, Shakespeare), develop academic skills appropriate for the understanding of theatre, become reflective and critical of their own work, develop the confidence to work individually and collaboratively on several projects and begin to understand the dynamic and evolving nature of theatre. Words like interaction, communication, development as an artist, problem solving and reflection on the student’s own work and that of the group will come up regularly when we discuss the students’ efforts.  

Drama (Gr. 9)

Students will study the following required units –

  • presentation skills
  • acting for the camera
  • monologue skills
  • film production

Drama (Gr. 10)

 

The course work set for Grade 10 in Drama is aimed at helping the student to prepare for the IBDP Theatre Studies, at the same time experiencing theatre and performing.  Grade 10 topics covered include –

  • Acting techniques
  • Theatre in the real world
  • Writing a Dialogue based on the theme 'Confession'
  • Film acting, creating and using written dialogue

Drama (Gr. 11-12 SL/HL)

During the two years of the IB diploma Theatre Studies, students will deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding of theatre and their relationship with theatre.  Students will research what is necessary to make theatre, what do the different jobs within making theatre entail, how to make a theatre performance and experience acting the part, research different styles and periods of theatre including theatre from other parts of the world, reflect on their development within this process (writing a journal) and creatively research their personal contribution to theatre.  Key units include –
 

  • One Person Performance - Each student writes their own One Person Performance and works towards a presentation of these short plays in co-operation with Grade 12 students (directing, designing, etc.)
  • Scenes from 'Othello' and/or 'Waiting for Godot'  Students from Grade 12 will direct Grade 11 students in dialogues taken from Shakespeare's 'Othello' and Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot'.
  • ‘Brecht and Aristotle' - This unit looks at the prominent theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht.
  • Physical Theatre - This unit is a very broad unit in the way it looks at theatre practice in the world as well as at home. Rather than using text or plays, students will devise theatre that is visually exciting and that uses music and movement to enhance the experience.
  • 'Various Aspects of Comedy' - Students explore Comedy acting in many shapes and forms: clowning, Commedia dell'Arte, mask work and Japanese comedy - while exploring and researching written comedy from playwrights like Oscar Wilde and Anton Chekhov.
  • ‘Playing with Images' - Students explore abstract theatre through poems by Sam Shepherd. They have looked at physical theatre and they've started using the video camera.

Physical/Health Education (Gr. 6-10)

During the two years of the IB diploma Theatre Studies, students will deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding of theatre and their relationship with theatre.  Students will research what is necessary to make theatre, what do the different jobs within making theatre entail, how to make a theatre performance and experience acting the part, research different styles and periods of theatre including theatre from other parts of the world, reflect on their development within this process (writing a journal) and creatively research their personal contribution to theatre.  Key units include –
 

  • One Person Performance - Each student writes their own One Person Performance and works towards a presentation of these short plays in co-operation with Grade 12 students (directing, designing, etc.)
  • Scenes from 'Othello' and/or 'Waiting for Godot'  Students from Grade 12 will direct Grade 11 students in dialogues taken from Shakespeare's 'Othello' and Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot'.
  • ‘Brecht and Aristotle' - This unit looks at the prominent theatre practitioner Bertolt Brecht.
  • Physical Theatre - This unit is a very broad unit in the way it looks at theatre practice in the world as well as at home. Rather than using text or plays, students will devise theatre that is visually exciting and that uses music and movement to enhance the experience.
  • 'Various Aspects of Comedy' - Students explore Comedy acting in many shapes and forms: clowning, Commedia dell'Arte, mask work and Japanese comedy - while exploring and researching written comedy from playwrights like Oscar Wilde and Anton Chekhov.
  • ‘Playing with Images' - Students explore abstract theatre through poems by Sam Shepherd. They have looked at physical theatre and they've started using the video camera.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) (Gr. 11-12)

The aims of this course are to develop a fascination with the richness of knowledge as a human endeavor, and an understanding of the empowerment that follows from reflecting upon it and  to develop an awareness of how knowledge is constructed, critically examined, evaluated and renewed, by communities and individuals.  It encourages students to reflect on their experiences as learners, in everyday life and in the Diploma Program, and to make connections between academic disciplines and between thoughts, feelings and actions.  It also encourages an interest in the diversity of ways of thinking and ways of living of individuals and communities, and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions, including participants’ own.  

The main purpose of Theory of Knowledge is to examine fundamental aspects of knowledge itself. How do we know what we know? What constitutes a reasonable belief? How do mathematics, for example, yield knowledge in a way that differs from knowledge in history? I hope that students will develop an enduring critical perspective.

The first year will primarily be dedicated to examining four different Ways of Knowing: Reason, Emotion, Language, and Perception. In order to handle these areas effectively, students will be exposed to a wide variety of new content and activities.

The second year will focus on examining different Areas of Knowledge, (History, Art, and Mathematics), as well as developing out TOK essay for submission to the IB.
 

Secondary Events

Musical - Rehearsal (Gr. 5 - 8)
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College Information Session (Gr. 11)
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Trip MUN - Jeju (HS)
all day
Jeju