IB Core Subjects
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
- Make connections between the construction of knowledge, academic courses and the wider World.
- Develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined.
- Develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions.
- Critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives.
- Understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action.
Creativity, Activity, Service
Group 1, Language A
English A: Language and Literature (SL, HL)
English “Language & Literature” is a course designed for students who have mother tongue equivalent proficiency in the language as they enter the course. This course presents students with an opportunity to learn more about the Anglophone world. Students are exposed to a wide range of texts varying from poetry and novels to blog entries, opinion columns and twits. At the heart of the course, there is critical thinking which is being practiced on everyday bases through textual analysis.
The course is designed in four sections, with two parts of the course focusing on how language is used for a variety of purposes, both technical and social. These parts of the course focus on various forms of technical writing, and the ability to thoughtfully analyze literature related to genres.
The other two parts of the course focus on a close study of English literature from a variety of English speaking places around the world. Students will study a variety of literature, looking at it for its technical details, as well as how it represents English culture.
At the SL level, students will study four works of literature over the two-year course.
At the HL level, students will study six works of literature over the two-year course.
Danish A: literature (SL, HL)
The literature course is for students who are at native, or near-native, competency in Danish. It is a rigorous course that focuses on Danish literature, as well as cultural and linguistic elements of language that help students understand the part of the world that the literature comes from. The course develops an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and promotes the ability to form independent literary judgments.
Self-taught Language A
Self-taught Language A is a demanding and rigorous course comparable to Language A Literature SL. Over the course of two years, students are expected to read 10 works selected from two available lists (PLT and PLA).
The subject is designed as a self-taught course and therefore students must be able to study independently. This involves reading the required texts, doing the necessary research, working on the assessment. As a school we expect students to take mock exams. The course is designed for students who have good self-management skills, are motivated and know how to work independently. Students are expected to have both written and oral native-level command of the language.
ISH expects students to find a tutor who will support them. The tutor is not hired by the school, and students decide on the frequency of the meetings and form they take. Students are welcome to use the school’s premises to arrange the meetings and use the school’s resources. Each semester ISH will ask the tutors to grade mock exam according to the IB rubric. A Self-taught Language Coordinator sees students at the end of each semester to follow their progress.
Group 2, Language Acquisition
Language B language acquisition courses are designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. This process encourages the learner to go beyond the confines of the classroom, expanding an awareness of the world and fostering respect for cultural diversity. At ISH we offer the following Language B and Ab Initio courses:
Mandarin (online only)
Spanish Ab initio SL
French Ab initio SL (online only)
All courses are offered at both HL and SL unless otherwise stated.
Group 3, Individuals and Societies
History is an exploratory subject that fosters a sense of inquiry. It is also an interpretive discipline, allowing opportunity for engagement with multiple perspectives and a plurality of opinions. Studying history develops an understanding of the past, which leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of humans and of the world today.
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) history course is a world history course based on a comparative and multi-perspective approach to history. It involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and cultural, and provides a balance of structure and flexibility. The course emphasizes the importance of encouraging students to think historically and to develop historical skills as well as gaining factual knowledge. It puts a premium on developing critical thinking skills, and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history. In this way, the course involves a challenging and demanding critical exploration of the past.
Business Management is a rigorous, challenging and dynamic discipline in the individuals and societies subject group. The role of businesses, as distinct from other organizations and actors in a society, is to produce and sell goods and services that meet human needs and wants by organizing resources. Business management studies business functions, management processes and decision-making in contemporary contexts of strategic uncertainty. It examines how business decisions are influenced by factors internal and external to an organization, and how these decisions impact upon its stakeholders, both internally and externally
The Diploma Programme Business management course is designed to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of business management theories, as well as their ability to apply a range of tools and techniques. The course encourages the appreciation of ethical concerns, as well as issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR), at both a local and global level
Group 4, Sciences
Biology is the study of life. The first organisms appeared on the planet over 3 billion years ago and, through reproduction and natural selection, have given rise to the 8 million or so different species alive today. Estimates vary, but over the course of evolution, 4 billion species could have been produced.
Biologists attempt to understand the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions. At the other end of the scale, biologists investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function.
Many areas of research in biology are extremely challenging and many discoveries remain to be made. Biology is still a young science and great progress is expected in the 21st century. This progress is sorely needed at a time when the growing human population is placing ever greater pressure on food supplies and on the habitats of other species and is threatening the very planet we occupy.
The course is available at both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), and therefore accommodates students who wish to study Biological Sciences as their major subject in higher education and those who do not.
(Diploma Biology Curriculum guide, 2014)
Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment.
The course is available at both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), and therefore accommodates students who wish to study chemistry as their major subject in higher education and those who do not.
(Diploma Chemistry Curriculum guide, 2014)
Are you interested and want to understand the world you live in? How do airplanes stay up? Is time travel possible? What is the science behind music? What is anti-matter? How can we end energy crisis? How old is the universe? These and many more questions are discussed in our DP physics class.
“Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies.”
Despite the exciting and extraordinary development of ideas throughout the history of physics, observations remain essential to the very core of the subject. Models are developed to try to understand observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations.
Through studying a science subject students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, the emphasis is on a practical approach. In addition, through the overarching theme of the “Nature of Science”, this knowledge and skills will be put into the context of the way science and scientists work in the 21st Century and the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavour.
The sciences are taught practically. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. The investigations may be laboratory-based or they may make use of simulations and databases. Students develop the skills to work independently on their own design, but also collegiately, including collaboration with schools in different regions, to mirror the way in which scientific research is conducted in the wider community.
Group 5, Mathematics
The course focuses on introducing important mathematical concepts through the development of mathematical techniques. The intention is to introduce students to these concepts in a comprehensible and coherent way, rather than insisting on the mathematical rigour required for mathematics HL. Students should, wherever possible, apply the mathematical knowledge they have acquired to solve realistic problems set in an appropriate context. The internally assessed component, the exploration, offers students the opportunity for developing independence in their mathematical learning. Students are encouraged to take a considered approach to various mathematical activities and to explore different mathematical ideas. The exploration also allows students to work without the time constraints of a written examination and to develop the skills they need for communicating mathematical ideas. This course does not have the depth found in the mathematics HL courses. Students wishing to study subjects with a high degree of mathematical content should, therefore, opt for a mathematics HL course rather than a mathematics SL course.
Mathematical Studies SL
This course is equivalent in status to Mathematics SL but addresses different needs. It has an emphasis on applications of mathematics, and the largest section is on statistical techniques. It is designed for students with varied mathematical backgrounds and abilities. It offers students opportunities to learn important concepts and techniques and to gain an understanding of a wide variety of mathematical topics. It prepares students to be able to solve problems in a variety of settings, to develop more sophisticated mathematical reasoning and to enhance their critical thinking. The individual project is an extended piece of work based on personal research involving the collection, analysis and evaluation of data. Students taking this course are well prepared for a career in the social sciences, humanities, languages or arts. These students may need to utilize the statistics and logical reasoning that they have learned as part of the mathematical studies SL course in their future studies.
Mathematics is required by both artists when considering perspective and scientists when performing research. Mathematics is a lot more than just dealing with the numbers – it’s also a language in which the universe speaks to us. It allows us to communicate the ideas that are difficult or impossible otherwise. The elegance and power of mathematics is that it never lies to you. The higher level mathematics offers an excellent level of knowledge and skills for further studies in, for example, physics, mathematics and technology. The students taking higher level mathematics will also get to study optional calculus at more advanced level. The IBDP higher level mathematics course focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible, coherent and rigorous way, achieved by a carefully balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems set in a variety of meaningful contexts. Development of each topic should feature justification and proof of results. Students should expect to develop insight into mathematical form and structure and should be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas. They are also encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments. The internally assessed exploration allows students to develop independence in mathematical learning. Students are encouraged to take a considered approach to various mathematical activities and to explore different mathematical ideas. The exploration also allows students to work without the time constraints of a written examination and to develop the skills they need for communicating mathematical ideas.
Group 6, Arts
Visual languages, ways of looking and seeing, and lateral thinking are key concepts developed in this visually based course. As a society, we construct opinion and forms of expression. As citizens, the individual must, therefore, communicate clearly and accurately, have the knowledge and skill to adapt to specified style and develop skills to become independent analytical observers and critics.
This product based course challenges students to initiate and implement their own effective reasoning and argumentation while sharpening manual, linguistic and visual communicative proficiency. We create art, but we build a personal and cultural identity.