Middle School Curriculum Overview

 

All middle school students take courses in seven core subjects that are equally weighted, so students take the same number of hours in each of the following:

  • English Language & Literature (Language A or Language B)
  • Japanese (Language A or Language B)
  • Individuals & Societies (history, civics, geography, culture)
  • Integrated Science
  • Integrated Math
  • Physical & Health Education
  • The Arts (art, drama, music)

 
Students also take classes in Design Technology and study skills. These courses provide the skills middle school students need to be successful in all their classes.
Middle school students spend most of the day moving between six classes with their homeroom group. In some classes they may mix with students from the other homeroom (English, math, PE) and sometimes with other middle school grades (Japanese). Like the high school, middle school classes are scheduled based on an alternating Week 1/Week 2 rotating schedule, with short daily homerooms and weekly, extended homerooms. While most of the day is spent in middle school classrooms in the Wing Building, students have an occasional class in the high school area, and share a common break and lunch times with the high school students.

Course Descriptions

English Language & Literature (Gr. 6)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: From Pictures to Words: Constructing a narrative from picture books
  • Unit 2: Reading Poetry: Shakespearean Sonnet Architecture
  • Unit 3: Historical Fiction
  • Unit 4: Understanding Graphic Novels       

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Presentations (Storytelling, Academic conversation)
  • Literary (analytical) Essay Writing
  • Creative writing in different genres (narrative, poetry, historical narrative)
  • Oral Presentation (pitch)

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Selection of picture books from the library
  • Selected sonnets by William Shakespeare
  • Boy At War by Harry Mazer
  • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

 

English Language & Literature (Gr. 7)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: Memoir: Telling your own story with Storycorp
  • Unit 2: Memoir: Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
  • Unit 3: Reading Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
  • Unit 4: Story of Stuff       

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Transcript & Interview (with video)
  • Creative Writing vignettes, culminating in Multi-Genre essay
  • Literary (analytical) Essay (close commentary & character study)
  • Presentations: academic conversation & persuasive speech

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Storycorp website
  • Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Story of Stuff website (and other online sources)

 

 

English Language & Literature (Gr. 8)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: This I Believe
  • Unit 2: Trash: Perspectives    
  • Unit 3: Feed Your Imagination                        
  • Unit 4: Hiroshima    

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Persuasive Presentations (Slam Poem, Speech, Essay)
  • Literary (analytical) Essay Writing & Presentation
  • Literary (analytical) Essay Writing (character study) & Creative Writing (dystopia)
  • Literary Pastiche

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • This I Believe website
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan
  • Feed by M.T.Anderson
  • Hiroshima by John Hersey

 

Japanese Language & Literature (Gr. 6)

The curriculum of this class is designed following MYP philosophy and covers the following units:

  • human relationships (Curry Rice and other Shigematsu works)
  • environmental issues
  • health and living in relationship to the community and each other

Students are expected to understand the author’s intention and to express their own opinions properly and effectively. They also need to expand their knowledge and perspectives widely and deeply through learning these units.  In this class, we use textbooks, which are accredited by the Japanese Education Ministry.  To reinforce literacy skills, students learn 100 new Kanji and “4 letter” kanji words (so called “jyukugo”).

Japanese Language & Literature (Gr. 7)

As in any language course, the study of culture is an essential component.  This course invites students to learn more about Japanese culture and society through inquiry and the development of linguistic skills and knowledge alongside a deeper study and appreciation of Japanese novels. At this stage, they start to read further into ‘the meaning between the lines’ on a more figurative level, which develops the necessary critical reading skills needed at higher levels. The course covers the following topics -

  • Understanding the development of a story
  • Use and analysis of the technique of onomatopoeia
  • Poetry forms and meanings
  • Writing – self introduction
  • Reading for understanding
  • Language, grammar and sentence structure

Texts used –

  • Otsuberu and Zou (Nobel)
  • Hana no katachi ni himerareta fushigi
  • Kotoba ga tsunagu sekai isan
  • Various textbooks accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education

Japanese Language & Literature (Gr. 8)

In this course students will develop accurate comprehension skills after reading sentences including understanding the main point of the story. They will acquire an accurate understanding of vocabulary meanings from books in a range of genres to learn to acquire necessary information.  Students will acquire language skills such as writing, speaking and listening for various uses.   They will enhance their knowledge of kanji and vocabulary and acquire the ability to listen to others and communicate their own opinion.  Students will develop deeper recognition and respect for Japanese language and a willingness to study Japanese in cooperation with others.  They will increase their interest in Japanese and their respect for others’ opinions as they deepen their own thoughts.

Students use textbooks accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education, including novels, explanation essays, poems and classics. By reading these writings, students will develop not only their Japanese language ability but also their ability to think in Japanese.  In addition, students will often write essays in order to improve their writing skills. They will learn to write their own thoughts and opinions in essays using basic Kanji and grammatically correct structure. This will help them prepare for later on in their high school career.

Students will study three topics - 
•    War novel “Natsu no soretsu”- Students will read the novel while focusing on the hero’s feelings and thinking towards his way of life. They end by considering how the war affects people’s lives.
•    Japanese Modern short poems (Tanka) - Students will read famous modern Tanka written between the end of the Meiji Era to the early stages of Showa Era. They will analyze the 31 syllables’ words and grasp the situation and feelings described in each Tanka. In the end, they will choose their favorite Tanka and create a research paper related to that Tanka.
•    Japanese grammar - Students will focus on 4 categories; verbs, adjectives, adverbs and conjunctions. We will learn the features of each word-category and the effective usage of these words. 

MYP English Language Acquisition (Phases 1-2)

Upon successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

Phase 1

Listening & Speaking Continuum Phase 1

  • understand and respond to simple, short spoken texts.
  • communicate information in a limited range of everyday situations.
  • request and provide information in a limited range of everyday situations.
  • use language appropriate to a very limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts.
  • use some aspects of register in formal and informal oral communication.
  • use basic vocabulary accurately
  • interact in simple and rehearsed.
  • exchanges using comprehensible pronunciation and intonation/ correct tone.

Viewing & Interpreting Continuum Phase 1

  • identify basic messages presented in simple visual texts
  • identify main ideas and supporting details in simple visual texts presented with spoken and/or written text
  • identify specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes, presented in simple visual texts with spoken and/or written text
  • recognize basic visual conventions used in texts
  • understand and respond to simple visual texts.

Reading Continuum Phase 1

  • identify basic facts in simple written texts
  • identify main ideas and supporting details in written texts
  • recognize basic aspects of format and style
  • understand and respond to simple written texts.

Writing Continuum Phase 1

  • communicate information in a limited range of everyday situations
  • request and provide information in a limited range of everyday situations
  • use language appropriate to a very limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts
  • understand and use basic language conventions accurately
  • use some aspects of register in formal and informal written communication.


Phase 2

Listening & Speaking Continuum Phase 2

  • understand and respond to simple spoken text
  • communicate information containing relevant ideas and some details in a limited range of familiar situations
  • request and provide information in a limited range of familiar situations
  • use language appropriate to a limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts
  • use some aspects of register in formal and informal oral communication
  • use basic language accurately
  • interact in basic rehearsed and some unrehearsed exchanges using comprehensible pronunciation and intonation/correct tone.

Viewing & Interpreting Continuum Phase 2

  • understand messages presented in visual texts
  • understand main ideas and supporting details in visual texts presented with spoken and/or written text
  • understand specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes, presented in visual texts with spoken and/ or written text
  • recognize visual conventions used in texts
  • understand and respond to simple visual texts.

Reading Continuum Phase 2

  • understand basic facts in written texts
  • understand main ideas and supporting details, and draw some conclusions from written texts
  • recognize basic aspects of format and style
  • understand and respond to simple written texts.

Writing Continuum Phase 2

  • communicate information containing relevant ideas and some details in a limited range of familiar situations
  • request and provide information in a limited range of familiar situations
  • use language appropriate to a limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts
  • understand and use basic language conventions accurately
  • use some aspects of register in formal and informal written communication.


SYLLABUS CONTENT for Phases 1 & 2:

  • Unit 1: I, Me, Myself
  • Unit 2: Understanding My School Culture
  • Unit 3: Festivals & Celebrations
  • Unit 4: Being a Global Citizen

ASSESSMENTS for Phases 1 & 2:

  • Listening & speaking: role-plays, dialogue, oral description, speeches, listening comprehension tasks, poster presentations.
  • Viewing & interpreting: comprehension and interpretation tasks based on comic strips, cartoons, simple advertisements, picture books, posters and websites.
  • Reading comprehension: reading comprehension tasks (open-ended questions, selected response, MCQs) based on short and simple texts.
  • Written assessment tasks: indirect writing tasks, label, construct simple sentences based on everyday experiences, descriptive writing tasks, dialogue, role-plays, postcards, informal letters, emails related to personal experiences and ideas about topics of personal interest and everyday life.

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS for Phases 1 & 2:

  • Storyweaver
  • Postcards For Peace
  • LearnEnglishKids BBC
  • K12Reader
  • ReadWorks
  • www.readwritethink.org
  • Scholastic
  • African Storytelling Project
  • National Film Board of Canada
  • BrainPoP

 

MYP English Language Acquisition (Phases 3-4)

Upon successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

 

Phase 3:

Listening & Speaking Continuum Phase 3

  • understand and respond to a limited range of spoken texts
  • communicate information containing relevant ideas and some detail in familiar and some unfamiliar situations
  • request and provide information in familiar and some unfamiliar situations
  • use language appropriate to a limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts, and for a limited range of purposes and audiences
  • use appropriate register in formal and informal oral communication
  • use language accurately
  • interact in rehearsed and unrehearsed exchanges using comprehensible pronunciation and intonation/correct tone.

Viewing & Interpreting Continuum Phase 3

  • understand information presented in visual texts
  • understand main ideas and supporting details, and draw conclusions from visual texts presented with spoken and/ or written text
  • understand specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes, presented in visual texts with spoken and/ or written text
  • understand visual conventions used in texts
  • understand and respond to a limited range of visual texts.

Reading Continuum Phase 3

  • understand specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes, presented in written texts
  • understand main ideas and supporting details, and draw conclusions from written texts
  • understand aspects of format and style in texts
  • understand and respond to a limited range of written texts.

Writing Continuum Phase 3

  • communicate information containing relevant ideas and some details in familiar and some unfamiliar situations
  • request and provide information in familiar and some unfamiliar situations
  • use language appropriate to a limited range of interpersonal and cultural contexts, and for a limited range of purposes and audiences
  • understand and use language conventions accurately
  • use appropriate register in formal and informal written communication.

 

Phase 4:

Listening & Speaking Continuum Phase 4

  • understand, interpret and respond to a range of spoken texts
  • communicate information, ideas and opinions in familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • request and provide information in a range of spoken contexts
  • use language appropriate to a range of spoken interpersonal and cultural contexts, and for a range of purposes and audiences
  • use appropriate register in formal and informal oral communication
  • use language accurately
  • engage actively in oral production using comprehensible pronunciation and intonation/ correct tone.

Viewing & Interpreting Continuum Phase 4

  • construct meaning from information presented in visual texts
  • construct meaning from main ideas and supporting details, and draw conclusions from visual texts presented with spoken and/or written text
  • interpret specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes, presented in visual texts with spoken and/or written text
  • interpret visual conventions used in texts
  • understand, interpret and respond to a range of visual texts.

Reading Continuum Phase 4

  • construct meaning from information presented in visual texts
  • construct meaning from main ideas and supporting details, and draw conclusions from visual texts presented with spoken and/or written text
  • interpret specific information, ideas, opinions and attitudes, presented in visual texts with spoken and/or written text
  • interpret visual conventions used in texts
  • understand, interpret and respond to a range of visual texts.

Writing Continuum Phase 4

  • communicate information, ideas and opinions in familiar and unfamiliar situations.
  • request and provide information in a range of written contexts
  • use language appropriate to a range of interpersonal and cultural contexts, and for a range of purposes and audiences
  • understand and use language conventions accurately
  • use appropriate register in formal and informal written communication

 

SYLLABUS CONTENT for Phases 3 & 4:

  • Unit 1: Myths, Legends and Folktales
  • Unit 2:Advertisement & Media
  • Unit 3: Poetry Panache
  • Unit 4: Global Issues

ASSESSMENTS for Phases 3 & 4:

  • Listening & speaking: group discussions, song analysis, story comprehension, retell and make presentations, paraphrase or summarize listening texts.
  • Viewing & interpreting: interpret brochures, posters, flyers, visual images, discussion and comprehension tasks based on short films, newspaper reports, excerpts of films, websites and photos with text.
  • Reading comprehension: comprehension tasks based on fictional and non-fiction texts, respond to texts between 600-900 words by paraphrasing, summarizing, restating ideas and predicting.
  • Written assessment tasks:short narratives, diary, recount, journal, book report, a review, a simple cause-effect essay, newspaper article and formal letter.

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS for Phases 3 & 4:

  • Storyweaver
  • Postcards For Peace
  • LearnEnglishKids BBC
  • K12Reader
  • ReadWorks
  • www.readwritethink.org
  • Scholastic
  • African Storytelling Project
  • National Film Board of Canada
  • BrainPoP

 

Japanese B1 (Gr. 6-8)

This class is designed for students who are new to the Japanese language or have little knowledge of Japanese. The goal of this class is to acquire the basic Japanese speaking skills to introduce yourself and your family and explain your daily life. Students also learn Hiragana, Katakana, basic writing, reading, and grammar including Japanese culture in everyday life.

Students will learn:

  • Reading and writing two types of Japanese alphabets (Hiragana and Katakana)
    • Basic Hiragana (46 alphabets)
    • Hiragana specials (combination of two hiragana, pause sound, prolonged sound)
    • Basic Katakana (46 alphabets)
    • Katakana specials (combination of two hiragana, pause sound, prolonged sound)
    • Basic Kanji (based on Hirokosann no Nihongo)
  • General conversation and grammar - talking about their family, daily schedules, locations, directions using prepositions and giving descriptions, grammar basics and sentence patterns will thus be introduced in a contextual way
  • Vocabulary - Building up vocabulary will be a core element of all activities, such as combining newly learned kana to make simple words, and learning the Japanese equivalents of everyday words and expressions and verbs , adjectives and adverbs will also be introduced.
  • Japanese Culture - Students will learn some important points of Japanese culture as expressed through language (e.g. bowing, referring to oneself and others, mealtimes, etc.) 

Texts:

  • “Minna no Nihonngo 45 Jikan”
  • “Hirokosan no Nihongo”

Japanese B2 (Gr. 6-8)

JFL1b course offers the transition from foundation to intermediate level in Japanese language. Manipulating grammar and vocabularies/idioms in their fundamental knowledge, students aim to develop the cultivation of intercultural awareness, international-mindedness and global citizenship. Through the facilitated activities yet, students are going to develop critical thinking using balanced linguistic skills to express their thoughts and intention about complicated and widen issues. The goal is to gain the intermediate Japanese language skills as well as having deeper understanding of Japanese culture to start showing their creativity with balanced linguistic skills.  

The course covers:

  • “Appearance vs. Personality” - Describing people from both outside and inside, we are going to discover how people grow themselves despite of their looks and other people’s judgment.
  • “Our education” - Why do we learn? Why do we have to study each subjects at school?  Balanced learning will give you an opportunity to be successful in your future, but how do they connect to your future?  Aiming to your dream career closely, we are going to discover how and what we can do for our future.

Text:

  • “Tsugi no Nihongo 45 Jikan” (Yellow)

Japanese B3 (Gr. 6-8)

This course is an advanced class for non-native speakers of Japanese.  It is for those students who have mastered all hiragana and katakana characters, and:

  • know basic Japanese grammar
  • can write basic sentences in Japanese
  • can understand basic spoken Japanese and respond in Japanese 

and are ready to:

  • begin composing more sophisticated sentences
  • begin to write an essay with a variety of modifiers and rhetorical devices
  • become familiar with Kanji characters 


Students will study:

  • “Our Community” - Students will list the daily routine of their lives and learn the new vocabulary related to themselves.  At the end of the course, they will write about their personal relationships between friends, relatives and other people, and present it in class.
  • “Family” - They will think and discuss about the differences and similarities between Japanese families and families in other countries. They will learn new vocabulary related not only to Japanese traditional family styles but also to current ones, and then they will discuss how they affect the Japanese culture.
  • “School Life” - Students will research about the traditional Japanese school life that can be seen in Japan and how they relate to the Japanese culture. Also, they will research schools in other countries and compare them, and then present their findings in front of the class.
  • “My Town” - Students will list all the town/city systems present today. They will pick one area/country they like the best, and research it. They will also discuss how Nagoya-city will change and improve in the future. 
  • “Traveling” – Students will think and discuss how traveling affects people. They will research through the internet, plan their trips, make a poster with some short essays and then present them in front of the class.
  • “Volunteer Activities in the Community” – Students will conduct some research on volunteer activities that are held in Japanese schools, and examine how they affect our community. They will then discuss what they can do to volunteer at their school and/or their community, and, if possible, actually do so.

To prepare for high school, they will learn grammar, Kanji characters, presentation and discussions skills, writing, reading and comprehension skills, and finally, research skills in each unit.

Texts:

  • Minna no Nihongo Yasashii Sakubun
  • Sakubun to Speech no Lesson
  • Doraemon no Dokodemo Nihongo
  • Hirokosan no Tanoshii Nihongo 
  • Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1 (grade 8)

INDIVIDUALS & SOCIETIES (Overview)

Individuals and Societies at Nagoya International school is an integrated humanities course which comprises elements of a broad range of traditionally separate subjects, such as: Geography, History, Economics, Global Politics and Sociology.  Studying Humanities enables students to explore their own place in the world and builds on their own experiences to investigate the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment from the personal to the global and including the past, present and future.

Individuals and Societies plays a unique bridge building role in the development of respect for different values, beliefs, cultures and ideas within an international context . The aim of the Individuals and Societies department in Nagoya International School is to inspire wonder and a lifelong fascination with “the human story” as it continues to evolve in an era of rapid change and increasing interconnectedness. The disciplines in this subject group are essential for developing empathy, compassion, self-awareness and international-mindedness, including the idea that “other people, with their differences, can also be right” (IB mission statement).

Students are inspired to take action and make an impact on local and global communities through inquiry, reflection, principled service and global citizenship. 

 

Individuals & Societies (Gr. 6)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: History Mysteries: Archaeological and Historical Inquiry
  • Unit 2: Athens and Sparta - Government Systems
  • Unit 3: Philosophies - Ancient China
  • Unit 4: 7 Billion and Counting - Populations and demographics

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Report: Generating inquiry questions about a historical mystery.
  • Structured essay and source study. Creating an advertisement promoting a government system.
  • Philosophers job interview
  • Population Case Study: Japan. Independent country analysis of sustainability and stability in reference of climate change and population.

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Teacher generated inquiry
  • Online Platforms

 

Individuals & Societies (Gr. 7)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: The Geography of Crime
  • Unit 2: Migration
  • Unit 3: Climate Change and Migration (Interdisciplinary Unit with Science)
  • Unit 4: Natural Disasters
  • Unit 5: Belief Systems

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Essays
  • Documentary Making
  • Market Place
  • Infographics
  • Interactive Maps
  • Somalia UN presentation

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Teacher generated inquiry
  • Online Platforms

 

Individuals & Societies (Gr. 8)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: Exploration - Discovery or Invasion, Trade or Exploitation?
  • Unit 2: Impact and Spread of Disease
  • Unit 3: Globalisation: Your Human Footprint
  • Unit 4: People Power: Do we have a voice?

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Slavery Source Evaluation
  • Mock Trial
  • Black Death Tour T-Shirt
  • Positive/Negative Impacts of Disease
  • Globalization Political Cartoon
  • Ethical Consumption Public Service Announcement
  • Infographic Research Table and Poster

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Online platforms such as G Suite, Haiku, ManageBac
  • Devices such as smartphones and laptop computers
  • Teacher-generated worksheets

 

Integrated Mathematics (Gr. 6)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Algebra
  • Unit 2: Numbers and Data Analysis
  • Unit 3: Fractions, Decimals, and Percents
  • Unit 4: Geometry
  • Unit 5: Integers and the Coordinate Plane

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Tests
  • Investigations (in class and individual)
  • Projects
  • Homework tasks and quizzes

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Text: International Mathematics, MYP 1
  • Text: Mathematics 6, Prentice Hall (blue)

 

Integrated Mathematics (Gr. 7)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: Ratios, Rates, and Proportions
  • Unit 2: Geometry
  • Unit 3: Integers and Equations
  • Unit 4: Patterns and Functions
  • Unit 5: Probability

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Tests
  • Investigations (in class and individual)
  • Projects
  • Homework tasks and quizzes

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Text: International Mathematics, MYP 2
  • Text: Mathematics 7, Prentice Hall (green)
  • Mathletics Online Resource

 

Integrated Mathematics (Gr. 8)

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

  • Unit 1: Algebra: Exponents and Equations
  • Unit 2: Pythagorean Theorem and More Equations and Inequalities
  • Unit 3: Geometry
  • Unit 4: Algebraic Graphing
  • Unit 5: Data Displays

ASSESSMENTS:

  • Tests
  • Investigations (in class and individual)
  • Projects
  • Homework tasks and quizzes

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Text: International Mathematics, MYP 3
  • Text: Mathematics 8, Prentice Hall (red)
  • Mathletics Online Resource

INTEGRATED SCIENCE (Overview)

Science is a way of developing a common understanding of our world. Scientists gain insights into the natural world through experimentation and analysis of evidence, by modelling and observations, through global collaboration within the scientific community and utilization of powerful technologies. Science at NIS will inspire students to challenge their understanding of the world, foster their natural curiosity through enquiry and empower them with the knowledge, understanding and skills to impact positively on their future communities. The NIS Science Department is preparing students to have the knowledge and skills to be the future custodians of an increasingly fragile planet.  

 

Integrated Science (Gr. 6)

Upon successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply their understanding of energy and kinetic molecular theory to account for natural phenomena.
  • Recognize that all matter has unique physical and chemical properties based on energy and atomic structure, and describe how these properties determine the application of matter.
  • Outline how life on Earth is classified and discuss the factors  that have influenced life on Earth today.
  • List and explain the function and parts of cells and outline factors that impact on the normal function of a cell.
  • Design and perform an investigation using the scientific method.
  • Collect, present, process and analyze data. Evaluate the validity of the methodology.
  • Use scientific vocabulary to communicate effectively.
  • Recognize the characteristics of scientific report genre.
  • Document sources using a standard referencing style.

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

Unit 1: Energy & Thermodynamics - Examining how the behaviour of particles changes with energy.
Unit 2: The Scientific Method & Report Writing - Discovering the structure of  laboratory reports.
Unit 3: Matter & Interconversions - The chemical and physical properties of matter allow us to identify its composition and predict its applications.
Unit 4: Diversity & Selection - Plants and animals in the natural world are classified according to the characteristics they exhibit. All living things are subject to natural selection.
Unit 5: Cells & Microscopes - Cells are the basic building blocks of life. Individual cells have specific functions and host all the essential chemical reactions .

ASSESSMENTS: (Summative)

  • Topic tests assessing student’s ability to explain, apply and interpret.
  • A product that outlines how the enhanced greenhouse effect works, and reveals the energy transfers involved in one of the phenomena associated with global warming.
  • The design, undertaking and reporting of an investigation into a factor affecting heat transfer.
  • A product communicating an example of how artificial selection is used, and the implications of the use of artificial selection.
  • The design, undertaking and reporting of an investigation into a factor affecting osmosis.

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Student produced notes.
  • Hand-outs.
  • Haiku access for all digital files, links and videos.
  • Supplementary textbooks in class for further reading.
  • Laboratory chemicals and equipment.

 

Integrated Science (Gr. 7)

Upon successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Communicate scientific concepts effectively using a variety of communication modes and subject-specific terminology.
  • Collect, process and interpret experimental data.
  • Develop manipulative skills and a collaborative approach to learning.
  • Understand the process of scientific inquiry and its application in cross-disciplinary areas of knowledge.
  • Recognize and understand real-life examples and applications of concepts being investigated.

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

Unit 1: Periodic Table and Atomic Theory - The structure of an atom can be related to the unique properties of the element.    
Unit 2: Interactions between Organisms - The natural world is a collection of interconnected organisms. The effect of human impact on these natural systems will be investigated.
Unit 3: Circular Motion and Gravitation - Discovering how spin forces and gravity are related.
Unit 4: The Atmosphere and the Chemistry of the Environment - Examining the causes of climate change and how it is impacting on the world around us.
Unit 5: Human Interactions - The human brain is the most complex organ in the human body.
Unit 6: Astrophysics - A study of our solar system and the universe, delving into black holes, wormholes and quantum mechanics.
 
ASSESSMENTS:

  • Topic tests assessing student’s ability to explain, apply and interpret.
  • Produce a work of art to reflect how chemistry is used, to convey a message to society.
  • Designing, undertaking and reporting an investigation into a factor affecting an ecology simulation.
  • A case study on the impacts of climate change.
  • An IDU (Inter-Disciplinary Unit) with Individuals and Society. Create a video that studies the impact of environmental changes on migration patterns.
  • Designing, undertaking and reporting an investigation into a factor affecting the brain.

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Student produced notes.
  • Hand-outs.
  • Haiku access for all digital files, links and videos.
  • Supplementary textbooks in class for further reading.

 

 

Integrated Science (Gr. 8)

Upon successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Communicate scientific concepts effectively using a variety of communication modes and subject-specific terminology.
  • Collect, process and interpret experimental data.
  • Developing manipulative skills and a collaborative approach to learning.
  • Understand the process of scientific inquiry and its application in cross-disciplinary areas of knowledge.
  • Recognize and understand real-life examples and applications of concepts being investigated.

SYLLABUS CONTENT:

Unit 1:  Organisms - What are the advantages of classifying ? Why do scientists like to classify organisms?
Unit 2: Pure and impure substances - Inspecting the impact of impurities on the physical and chemical properties of matter.
Unit 3: Waves 1 - Examining what a wave is and investigating its behaviour and properties.
Unit 4: Waves 2 - Completing a full length investigation on waves.
Unit 5: Interactions with the Environment - The human food chain has changed significantly in recent years. The impact of producing and transporting food around the world will be investigated.
Unit 6: Organic Chemistry - Chemists make sense of a variety of complicated molecules by applying specific nomenclature rules to name organic molecules.
 
ASSESSMENTS:

  • Topic tests assessing student’s ability to explain, apply and interpret.
  • A reflection piece that outlines the impact science is having on keystone species.
  • The design, undertaking and reporting of an investigation into the impact of impurities on the chemical properties of a substance.
  • The design, undertaking and reporting of an investigation into a factor affecting wave properties.
  • A product communicating an example of how science has been applied to the industrial food chain.

RESOURCES/TEXTS/MATERIALS:

  • Student produced notes.
  • Hand-outs.
  • Haiku access for all digital files, links and videos.
  • Supplementary textbooks in class for further reading.

 

 

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.

Music (Gr. 6)

Grade six students will study The Beatles song “Let it Be” which will introduce students to the basic function of major and minor chords and their respective tonalities.  During the study, students will also learn about the basic form of popular music known and verse chorus and observe its function as a means presenting lyrical ideas and refrains. Students will explore concepts related to rhythm observing the basics of beat subdivision including rests and rhythm devices such as accents and rhythm groupings.  Using these concepts as a starting point, students will embark on the creation of a composition which exploits percussion instruments both tuned and unturned to demonstrate their ideas relating to percussive music.  Students will play “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens.  Students will draw on their experiences of playing Beatles music to draw comparisons between the pieces analyzing their respective approaches to musical form, chords, instrumentation, mood and lyrics; after which students will return to small ensemble groupings to prepare a performance of the music.  Pentatonic music will be explored in an analysis of some traditional Japanese music.  Here, students will learn about the fundamental differences in approach between Western and Eastern cultures in particular the approaches to form, harmony, melody and instrumentation.

Music (Gr. 7)

Seventh grade students will learn a selection of repertoire from contemporary, classical, Western and Eastern cultures whilst supporting this with a deepening understanding of the related musical elements, harmony, form and rhythm.  Students will have exposure to a range of instruments in the classroom to develop their practical skills with a primary focus on piano, guitar, singing and percussive skills.  During class, students will be exposed to a repertoire that aims to enlighten them and nurture their developing interest in music.  Students will be working in collaborative settings which aim to develop their ensemble playing skills, whilst also fostering a strong collective work ethic and improving their communication skills. Students will complete a song study of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door “by Bob Dylan.  The purpose of the study will be for students to begin to build some understanding of major and minor tonalities within the context of a pop song whilst also observing its arrangement of verse and chorus.

Music (Gr. 8)

Eight grade students will learn a selection of repertoire from contemporary, classical, Western and Eastern cultures whilst supporting this with a deepening understanding of the related musical elements, harmony, form and rhythm.  Students will have exposure to a range of instruments in the classroom to develop their practical skills with a primary focus on piano, guitar, singing and percussive skills.  During class, students will also be exposed to repertoire that aims to enlighten them and nurtures their developing interest in music.  Students will be working in collaborative settings which aim to develop their ensemble playing skills, whilst also fostering a strong collective work ethic and improving their communication skills.

VISUAL ART (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.

Visual Art (Gr. 6)

Sixth grade students will study line drawing, pattern designing, painting skills and Art History research (featuring artists including Beatles designer Peter Max, Vincent Van Gogh and the Japanese ukiyoe artist, Hokusai). Sixth grade Visual Art students will go through a context based project which connects fundamental theories of Art and Design with a live design challenge - designed to push communication skills, independent inquiry and skills acquisition.   The students will be asked to design and produce a range of T-Shirts accompanied with bags, graphics and promotional material. To optimize their design skills students will learn about and practice the ‘Visual Elements of Art and Design,’  placing each Visual element in context with Art History and modern T-Shirt design.

Visual Art (Gr. 7)

Grade seven students will explore:

  • Lino-cut printmaking
  • Interior one point perspective 
  • Tye-dyeing and the cultural connection around the world.
  • Independent exploration

Visual Art (Gr. 8)

Students will build mostly on prior knowledge and reflect about how to increase levels of quality within their work.  It is fundamental important that young artists establish a sense of aesthetic quality about their work and recognize the ways in which to obtain it.  Students will experience taking principals that they have learned in prior grades and expand upon them with greater complexity and advanced applications.

Students will explore:

  • Two-point perspective
  • Batik making
  • Pottery
  • Still-life drawing

DESIGN

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. 6)

In middle school, we focus on an awareness of ourselves and the differences and similarities we share with others. In preparing for theatre, students enhance their personal resources. They use their skills in imagination, concentration, sensory awareness, and body movement in their personal development. The students use these personal resource skills to express themselves emotionally, intelligently, socially, and physically. We explore trust, the use of the voice, theatre history, and various styles of theatre such as mime, melodrama, radio drama, improvisation, and the use of mask in theatre. Students learn about characterization and apply this in small productions and scenes.

Drama (Gr. 7)

The units covered are –

  • Me Me Me - focus on getting to know each other, basic skills of improvisation, but we will focus on who we are. Skills like research, reflection, focus, co-operation and creativity will come into working on this unit. Keeping a Drama Journal helps the students to collect information and write reflections.
  • The Tempest - 'The Tempest' by William Shakespeare; learn about the background of this great playwright, find out about techniques to enhance their acting, voice work, still images, physical theatre, etc.
  • Devising Theatre - Working from a stimulus, small groups will have to work together on creating a story-line, writing the dialogues, directing, designing and eventually, presenting a play that is all of their making.

Drama (Gr. 8)

Units of work include –

  • Characterization - Students look at and research all kinds of characters that are used in both films and texts: what is so special about these characters and what do they contribute to the flow of the story.
  • Performing a Play - Students will work on ensemble acting while tackling the production of a play.
  • Physical Theatre

Physical Education (Gr. 6-10)

The secondary physical education (PE) curriculum aims to increase each student's development of movement and social skills; improve each student’s physical and emotional health and provide the skills and knowledge to enable each student to become a lifelong physically active person.

The main sports/activities covered include: 

  • volleyball
  • badminton
  • soccer
  • softball
  • basketball
  • tennis
  • dance
  • movement composition
  • fitness

Health (Gr. 6)

Health education integrates the need to balance the social, mental-emotional, and physical health. Students are encouraged to take an active role in maintaining and improving their health. As part of this they are encouraged to develop life skills and a health vocabulary, which lead to health literacy.

Units Covered:

  • Body Systems: An overview of the major body systems, and their interaction. Particular attention is paid to how to prevent injury.
  • Defining health: How good health can be compared to a triangle made up of social, mental and emotional, and physical health. When one side is off-balance, every side is affected.
  • Tobacco:  Tobacco use, as it relates to cancer and other non-communicable diseases is studied.
  • Puberty and becoming an adult: The discovery of how the body changes socially, emotionally and physically during puberty. The study of reproductive systems, hormones and their functions.
  • Conception and fetal development: The study of conception.
  • Skin and body care: The care of the skin (especially during puberty) and general body care, and health vocabulary associated with both.

Health (Gr. 8)

Health education integrates the need to balance the social, mental-emotional, and physical health. Students develop skills that will make them health- literate adults. These include awareness and consequences of risky behaviors, disease prevention, overall wellness, and identification of community health resources. Students are taught how to access accurate information that they can use to promote health for themselves and others. Their behaviors reflect a conceptual understanding of the issues associated with maintaining good personal health. The Health curriculum deals with key aspects of development leading to complete and healthy lives. It encompasses physical, social and emotional health and intelligence. The aim is to develop in students a sense of responsibility for their own well-being and for their physical and social environment.

The Health curriculum in Grade 8 aims to:    

  • Increase student's understanding of themselves, others and how to live a healthy life;
  • Provide skills to students that will help them create a healthy nutrition and exercise program that will last a lifetime.
  • Educate students on subjects such as nutrition, exercise and nutrition related diseases and safety in order to allow them to make mature, responsible and healthy decisions. 
  • Provide the skills and knowledge to enable each student to become a lifelong physically active and knowledgeable person.