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Prva gimnazija Varaždin

Subjects and Curriculum

 

IB SUBJECTS OFFERED AT PRVA GIMNAZIJA VARAŽDIN 2016-2017

 

group

Group title

Subject

1

STUDIES IN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

CROATIAN A Literature

2

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

ENGLISH B

GERMAN B

3

INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT  (BM)

GEOGRAPHY

HISTORY

4

SCIENCES

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

COMPUTER SCIENCE  (CS)

PHYSICS

5

MATHEMATICS

MATHEMATICS HL

MATHEMATICS SL

6

THE ARTS

VISUAL ARTS    (VA)

 

 


CURRICULUM

 

 STUDIES IN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE

 LANGUAGE A

 All IB students are expected to study their own language. This course aims to develop student’s the skills in critical reading and textual analysis of literary works. Students have the opportunity to explore literary works from different cultures and times. The course will introduce students to ways of approaching and studying literature, leading to development of an understanding and appreciation of the relationships between different works. HL students will read fifteen works (SL 11 works), including novels, plays, poetry, and non-fiction prose. Class work will include writing assignments, presentations and class discussions.

There are three assessed components in Language A1: world literature essays (externally assessed, 20% of final grade), two internally assessed orals (30% of final grade), and written examination (commentary and essay) for 50%. Prva gimnazija Varaždin offers Croatian A and English A.

 

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

 ENGLISH B

 English B is a two-year course for students with some previous experience of learning the language. The course is taught at both higher and standard level. The main focus of this course is on language acquisition and the development of  four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), which will be achieved through the use of a wide range of texts or material (textbooks, the media, literary texts).

English B is assessed using both internal and external assessment. External assessment includes the final exam taken in May and it consisits of two papers generally written on successive days. Paper1 takes 90 minutes and includes questions based on three written texts and a short writing exercise as a response to the fourth written text.  Paper 2 also takes 90 minutes; students chose one writing task out of six.Internal assessment takes place during the final year of the course and includes interactive oral (three oral activities to be internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IBO)  and individual oral (recorded by the teacher and sent for moderation).

GERMAN B

German B is a two-year course for students with some previous experience of learning the language. The course is taught at both higher and standard level. The main focus of the German B course is on language acquisition and development in the four primary language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These language skills will be developed through the study and use of a range of written and spoken material.

German B is assessed using both internal and external assessment.

External assessment includes the final exam taken in May and it consists of two papers. Paper 1 takes 90 minutes and includes questions based on three written texts and a short writing exercise as a response to the fourth written text. Paper 2 also takes 90 minutes; students chose one writing task out of four at standard level and six tasks at higher level.

Internal assessment takes place during the final year of the course and includes interactive oral (three oral activities to be internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IBO) and individual oral (recorded and assessed by  the teacher and sent for moderation.)

 

INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES

THE NEW IB HISTORY (STARTING FROM 2015/2016)

Our all-new History course consists of two topics, one prescribed subject, a historical investigation, and (only for HL students) three sections. All of the components are interconnected with their content, but they are graded with different forms of assessment at the end of the second year. Besides the classroom work, students will be given the opportunity for a hands-on approach and experience some of the peculiarities of medieval everyday life.   

Topic 1: Medieval world (750–1400)

This topic focuses on social and economic change and continuity in the medieval world. It allows the opportunity for students to examine the social and economic impact of dramatic events of the period, like the Black Death, as well as the contribution of significant individuals such as Marco Polo. The topic focuses on exploring both the causes and the consequences of these changes, as well as on exploring developments in culture, architecture, art, science and technology. Some examples of topics are: the Silk Road, the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture, the rise of the Samurai in Japan, world economy and trading, development of travel and transportation, importance of religion, stereotypes about the Middle Ages.

Topic 2: Medieval conflicts (750–1500)

Wars and conflicts, either among or between communities, and military expansion played a crucial role in shaping the medieval world. This topic explores the causes (dynastic, territorial, religious and economic disputes) and consequences of conflicts, as well as the practices of warfare (knighthood, significance of leaders, raising armies, logistics and tactics, weaponry) in this period. Examples will include: The Hundred Years’ War, the Wars of the Roses, the Crusades, Byzantine Wars. Some of the leaders covered will be: Saladin, Richard I of England, Edward III of England, Louis VII of France, Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan, Vlad Tepes.

This component is assessed in Paper 2, which is an essay-based examination paper.

Prescribed subject: Military leaders

This component focuses on two well-known medieval military leaders and on their impact, leadership and campaigns. The first case study focuses on Richard “The Lionheart” of England, from 1173 until his death in 1199. The second case study focuses on Genghis Khan and the expansion of the Mongol Empire in the early 13th century, c1200-1227.

This component is assessed in Paper 1, which is a source-based examination paper.

HL sections:

1) Late medieval political crises (1300–1487)

This section deals with several crises of royal authority during the late medieval period. The source of these conflicts, and the major participants, will be examined in order to understand both the causes and effects. The following are the examples that will be used: succession crises in England and France, The Hundred Years War, the rise and fall of ducal Burgundy, Wars of the Roses, War of the Public Weal.

2) The Renaissance (c1400–1600)

This section examines the origins and characteristics of Renaissance government and society in Italy in the 14th century, and its later spread to Burgundy, Germany and England. The wealth and cultural vitality of Florence, Milan and Venice played a crucial role in the Renaissance. Powerful princely and ecclesiastical patrons promoted art for a range of reasons—economic, political and dynastic. This period also saw the advent of new ideas.

3) The Age of Exploration and its impact (1400–1550)

The increasing wealth and secularization of western society combined with new technological and scientific advances contributed to the growth of long-distance, overseas travel. This section focuses on exploration and expansion both westwards to the Americas and eastwards to the Indian Ocean and the Spice Islands. It examines the motives and enablers of Spanish and Portuguese exploration, as well as the impact of this exploration on Europe. Students will learn about rivalry for trade routes for luxury goods; developments in shipbuilding, cartography and navigation; impact on indigenous peoples; the significance and impact of the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494); the “Columbian Exchange”.

This component is assessed in Paper 3, which is an essay-based exam.

Historical investigation

Students at both SL and HL are required to undertake a historical investigation and produce a written account of it with the word limit of 2200 words.

 

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Although business management shares many skills and areas of knowledge with other humanities and social sciences, it is distinct in a number of ways. For example, business management is the study of decision-making within an organization, whereas economics is the study of scarcity and resource allocation, both on micro and macro levels. Business management examines the use of information technology in business contexts, whereas information technology in a global society (ITGS) critically examines its impact on other fields, such as health and government.
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. Business management also explores how individuals and groups interact within an organization, how they may be successfully managed and how they can ethically optimize the use of resources in a world with increasing scarcity and concern for sustainability. Business management is, therefore, perfectly placed individuals and societies subject area: aiming to develop in students an appreciation both for our individuality and our collective purposes.
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. Students learn to analyse, discuss and evaluate business activities at local, national and international levels. The course covers a range of organizations from all sectors, as well as the socio-cultural and economic contexts in which those organizations operate.
Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making and the operational business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing and operations management. Links between the topics are central to the course, as this integration promotes a holistic overview of business management. Through the exploration of six concepts underpinning the subject (change, culture, ethics, globalization, innovation and strategy), the business management course allows students to develop their understanding of interdisciplinary concepts from a business management perspective
The course encourages the appreciation of ethical concerns, as well as issues of corporate social responsibility (CSR), at both a local and global level. Through the study of topics such as human resource management, organizational growth and business strategy, the course aims to develop transferable skills relevant to today’s students. These include the ability to: think critically; make ethically sound and well-informed decisions; appreciate the pace, nature and significance of change; think strategically; and undertake long term planning, analysis and evaluation. The course also develops subject-specific skills, such as financial analysis.
The HL course in business management differs from the SL course in business management in terms of the:
- recommended hours devoted to teaching (240 hours for HL compared to 150 hours for SL)
- extra depth and breadth required (extension units for HL)
- nature of the internal assessment task
- nature of the examination questions.
External assessment for HL and SL students consists of two written examination papers. Paper one is based on a pre-seen case study issued in advance, and paper two consists of structured questions based on stimulus material and an extended response question that assesses students’ understanding of the key concepts of the course.
Internal assessment for HL students is a research project and for SL students a written commentary. In both tasks, students study real world business organizations. These are internally marked by subject teachers and then externally moderated by IB examiners.

GEOGRAPHY

Geography, through the study of the dynamic relationship between man and his natural and social environment, attempts to explain the spatial organisation of the world. Students are expected to develop high level of geographical thinking to contemporary world problems. This course should develop through a number of geographical skills which must be introduced throughout the syllabus as appropriate to the themes. Students are expected to develop a global perspective of the world, interrelationship between people, place and environment. Also students are expected to recognize the need for social justice, equality and respect for others and recognize the status of geography in analysing contemporary world issues. Students will be also expected to use and apply geographical terminology, demonstrate knowledge of relevant factual information, examples and case studies.

The internal assessment consists of a number of geographical projects and an interdisciplinary project (in cooperation with economy or history course). Non-IB monitoring consists of several written exams in duration of the course. Students will be expected to demonstrate, locate elements of the Earth’s surface, read, interpret graphs, analyse and produce maps, produce written material, demonstrate knowledge of spatial processes, patterns and interactions and be able to recognize change at various scales and locations.

Students will also be expected to do some field work and workshop and results could be publishing through some written material or presentation or even exhibition.

 

SCIENCES

BIOLOGY

Biology is the study of the living organisms. The IB Biology course will provide a broad understanding of core concepts in biology such as to prepare the student for the IB examinations and for successful academic careers in science at the university level. It is hoped that students will acquire a large body of facts, and at the same time develop a broad, general understanding and appreciation of the underlying biological concepts. Through studying the Biology programme students will also develop their ability to analyze and evaluate scientific information critically and to recognize the limitations of scientific knowledge.

Major areas covered include the following: cells and chemistry of life, genetics, human and health physiology, ecology and evolution. Two options must also be studied.

Standard level students study the same topics as those higher level, but higher level students also have to cover extension material on some topics. Fieldwork is an important part of the course and will be undertaken at various levels.

Assessment for the IB Diploma is based on a combination of external examinations, taken at the end of the course, and internal assessment carried out by the Biology teacher. The two means of assessment are weighted 76% and 24% respectively. The external exams consist of 3 papers, occupying a total of 3 hours at standard level and 4.5 hours at higher level. Internal assessment consists of an interdisciplinary science project, known as the Group 4 project, and a mixture of short and long term investigations that would be a part of the normal teaching process. These would be used to assess the students on 8 different assessment criteria.

CHEMISTRY

Chemical principles underpin the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. The unifying principles of chemistry are developed in a logical way, with laboratory investigations providing a basis for this development. In this programme great emphasis will be placed on experimentation and observation to enhance and develop experimental and practical skills.

Major areas of study include the following: Quantitative chemistry, Atomic structure, Periodicity, Bonding, Energetic, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and bases, Oxidation and reduction, Organic chemistry, Measurement and data processing. Both HL and SL students study two special topics (options) on practical applications of chemistry.

Grades for IB candidates will be determined by internal school assessment and external evaluation by the IB organization. The external exams consist of 3 papers, occupying a total of 3 hours at standard level and 4.5 hours at higher level. Internal assessment is based on practical work carried out and recorded by the students, including the Group 4 project. Ongoing assessment will be done in the form of unit exams, co-operative learning exercises, assignments, homework, notebook, labs, experiments, portfolio and scrapbook.

PHYSICS

Physics in the IB Diploma programme consists of standard level (SL) and high level(HL) . Both levels have 80 hours of common programme which includes: physical measurements, mechanics, thermal physics, oscillations and waves, electric currents, fields and forces, atomic and nuclear physics, energy, power and climate change. High level has 55 hours of additional topics: motions and fields, thermal physics, wave phenomena, electromagnetic induction, quantum physics and nuclear physics, digital technology. Both, students of SL and HL have to choose two options of the following: SL ( 15 hours) sight and wave phenomena, quantum and nuclear physics, digital technology, relativity and particle physics, astrophysics communications, electromagnetic waves, HL (22) astrophysics communications, electromagnetic waves, relativity, medical physics and particle physics.

Students of SL have to perform 30 hours of practical work while students of HL, 50 hours. Students attending physics participate with other students of a science subject in the Group Four Project. During the course students are often assessed in the form of IB exams. The mark at the final exam consists of 76% external evaluation (tests) and 24% internal evaluation ( practical work).

The Physics course prepares students very well for the university, where physics is highly presented (medicine, electro technical sciences and others).

COMPUTER SCIENCE

The subject Computer Science explores the principles underlying problem-solving using computers as well as operation of computer systems. The emphasis should be on the use of logical approach and analytical thinking.

Students are expected to acquire mastery aspects of Java which are defined as the ability to use for some non-trivial purpose.

Standard level (SL) course focuses on fundamentals of computer systems, software development and the relationship between computing systems and society.

The higher level (HL) course includes all these elements with addition topics: computer mathematics and logic, advanced data structures and algorithms, further system fundamentals and file organization.

Assessment is divided into the external and internal part. The external part is conducted at the end of the programme of study and amounts to 65% and the internal part is carried out by teachers and amounts to 35%. The external assessment consists of Paper 1 and Paper 2. Paper 1 is an examination paper with compulsory sections and Paper 2 is an examination paper with compulsory sections and the third part is based on a case study. The internal part consists of the program dossier. The Program dossier is an individual well documented piece of work which is completed during the course in the Java programming language and is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IBO.

 

MATHEMATICS

MATHEMATICS HL SL

Mathematics SL and HL are core IB subjects, in Group 5. The syllabuses for both of them are in a way similar but the approach is different. In addition to several more thorough by done chapters, HL (Higher level) has an additional Option topic where one mathematical discipline (out of four proposed by IB) is done at the level unusually high for secondary education and resulting in additional Paper 3 at the final exam. SL (Standard level) reaches for students oriented towards non-technical university education such as Economics or Medicine whilst HL prepares students for further education in natural and technical sciences. Both versions follow similar course requirements, but with different tests and portfolio tasks.

As a rule, GDC is used throughout the course and is an obligatory instrument at the final exam. Students are expected to learn how to use it and (it is encouraged in the general technology usage). Although not required, a personal computer is welcome to have not only some standard software, but also some additional one for mathematical purposes such as graphing.

HL relies on mathematical rigour i.e. proving of most statements, a welcome approach for further learning of mathematical subjects in various universities. In SL, the only basic proofs are required from students although during the course they are exposed to methods and logic of mathematical thinking. Both versions have many near real-life examples.

Mathematics encourages students to think in a systematic way, to organize data and methodically solve problems they are confronted with. These abilities are useful in every aspect of education and everyday life with mathematics being the most efficient tool to learn and develop them.

 

THE ARTS

VISUAL ARTS

Visual arts is an elective, but not a compulsory subject in IB curricular model. Students thinking of choosing VA should be enthusiastic and keen on dealing with art, prepared to widen their perspectives, learn more and put a great deal of self effort into personal development in this field.

The Visual arts curriculum is based on Modern and contemporary art topics and problems, developed through the 19th  and 20th  century discourse. Certain stylistic and aesthetic issues are compulsory related with some earlier art periods like renaissance, baroque, classicism and others.

Visual arts syllabus suggests that all of curriculum issues should be considered and explored both in theoretical and practical way. An investigative approach to all topics is strongly recommended.

Mapping the course
Students are required to investigate the core syllabus areas through exploration of the following practices:
theoretical practice
art-making practice
curatorial practice.

The table below shows how these activities link with the core syllabus areas at both SL and HL.

 

Visual arts in context

Visual arts methods

Communicating visual arts

Theoretical practice

Students examine and compare the work of artists from different cultural contexts.

Students consider the contexts influencing their own work and the work of others.

Students look at different techniques for making art.

Students investigate and compare how and why different techniques have evolved and the processes involved.

Students explore ways of communicating through visual and written means.

Students make artistic choices about how to most effectively communicate knowledge and understanding.

Art-making practice

Students make art through a process of investigation, thinking critically and experimenting with techniques.

Students apply identified techniques to their own developing work.

Students experiment with diverse media and explore techniques for making art.

Students develop concepts through processes that are informed by skills, techniques and media.

Students produce a body of artwork through a process of reflection and evaluation, showing a synthesis of skill, media and concept.

Curatorial practice

Students develop an informed response to work and exhibitions they have seen and experienced.

Students begin to formulate personal intentions for creating and displaying their own artworks.

Students evaluate how their ongoing work communicates meaning and purpose.

Students consider the nature of “exhibition” and think about the process of selection and the potential impact of their work on different audiences.

Students select and present resolved works for exhibition.

Students explain the ways in which the works are connected.

Students discuss how artistic judgments impact the overall presentation.


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