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Prva gimnazija Varaždin

Subjects and Curriculum





Group title





CROATIAN A Literature
































 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.




 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 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.)




The business management subject 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.

The course covers the key characteristics of business organization and environment and the business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing and operations management. Through the exploration of six underpinning concepts (change, culture, ethics, globalization, innovation and strategy), the course allows students to develop a holistic understanding of today’s complex and dynamic business environment. The conceptual learning is placed in the context of real world examples and case studies.

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 and nature of the examination questions.

External assessment for HL and SL students consists of two written examination papers: paper one (based on a pre-seen case study issued in advance), and paper two (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.



“Geography is the only subject that has given me the skills to interpret and understand reality in a way I could not imagine before and that will remain for life.” (British School student of Rio de Janeiro (2013))

Geography is a dynamic subject that is focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change.
Geography course integrates physical, environmental and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both socio-economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas.

  1. Geography  concepts


Geographic skills are essential to the study of geography and reflect the subject’s distinctive methodology and approach. Teaching and learning these skills enriches the students’ understanding of geography and enables them to apply and use appropriate techniques and terminology.

Syllabus is divided intro three parts:

Part One: Geographic themes—seven options (two options are studied at SL, and three at HL)

Freshwater—drainage basins, Oceans and coastal margins, Extreme environments,

Geophysical hazards, Leisure, tourism and sport, Food and health, Urban environments.

Part two: Geographic perspectives— global change (SL and HL core)

Population distribution—changing population, Global climate— vulnerability and resilience

Global resource consumption and security

Part three: Geographic perspectives—global interactions (HL only)

Power, places and networks, Human development and diversity, Global risks and resilience

Geography encourages the development of strong written, verbal, and visual or graphical communication skills; critical and complex thinking; and ethical considerations that will assist students in preparing for the future global workplace



History is a contested, evidence-based discipline that involves an exciting engagement with the past. It is focused around key historical concepts such as change, causation and significance. History is an exploratory and  interpretative discipline allowing opportunity for engagement with multiple perspectives and plurality of opinions. Studying history develops an understanding of the past, which leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of humans and the world today.
The IB Diploma Programme involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and cultural. The course puts a premium on developing the skills of critical thinking and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history.
The DP history course is designed in such a way as to explicitly reinforce the emphasis on the development of international-mindedness. Students have the opportunity to explore historical events that have played a key role in shaping the world today, deepening their understanding of the complex and interconnected nature of the past and present events.

Students at SL and HL are presented with a syllabus that has a common core:

  • the study of one prescribed subject from a choice of five (assessed in Paper 1 which takes

60 minutes and contributes30 % or 20 % to the final mark)

  • the study of two world history topics from a choice of twelve (assessed in Paper 2 which takes 90 minutes and contributes 45 % or 25 % to the final mark)
  • a historical investigation (written work into a topic of their choice within the word limitof 2,200 words which contributes 25 % or 20 % to the final mark)

In addition, students at HL are required to study three section from one HL  regional option (assessed in Paper 3 which takes 150 minutes and contributes 35 % to the final mark)

The current outline of syllabus offered by school is:

Prescibed subject: The move to global war (Japanese, Italian and German expansion 1931 – 1940)
World history topics:  Authoritarian states (USSR – Stalin, Germany – Hitler, China – Mao)
                          Evolution and development of democratic state ( Italy, France, Japan 1943-2000)

HL option: European states in the interwar years  1919 – 1939
               Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe 1919 – 1945
               Post-war western and northern Europe 1945 - 2000




ESS is an interdisciplinary group 3 and 4 course that is offered only at standard level (SL). As an interdisciplinary course, ESS is designed to combine the methodology, techniques and knowledge associated with group 4 (sciences) with those associated with group 3 (individuals and societies). Because it is an interdisciplinary course, students can study ESS and have it count as either a group 3 or a group 4 course, or as both. If students choose the latter option, this leaves the opportunity to study an additional subject from any other group, including an additional group 3 or group 4 subject.

ESS is a complex course, requiring a diverse set of skills from its students. It is firmly grounded in both a scientific exploration of environmental systems in their structure and function and in the exploration of cultural, economic, ethical, political, and social interactions of societies with the environment.

Because of that, ESS will enable students to adopt and develop an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face.

The interdisciplinary nature of the course requires a broad skill set from students and includes the ability to perform research and investigations and to participate in philosophical discussion. The course requires a systems approach to environmental understanding and problem solving, and promotes holistic thinking about environmental issues.

The central concepts of the ESS course include sustainability, equilibrium, strategy, biodiversity and EVSs.

Many of the issues encountered in the course and beyond, such as resource management, pollution, globalization and energy security, are linked to these concepts and so it is important that these issues be emphasized in each context. The big questions, listed at the end of this section, provide a focus for re-examining these concepts in a variety of ways as the course progresses.

Some of the aims of the ESS course are to enable students to:

  1. apply the knowledge, methodologies and skills to analyses environmental systems and issues at a variety of scales
  2. appreciate the dynamic interconnectedness between environmental systems and societies
  3. value the combination of personal, local and global perspectives in making informed decisions and taking responsible actions on environmental issues
  4. be critically aware that resources are finite, and that these could be inequitably distributed and exploited, and that management of these inequities is the key to sustainability
  5. engage with the controversies that surround a variety of environmental issues

During the course, students will study eight (8) different topics: Foundations of environmental systems and societies, Ecosystems and ecology, Biodiversity and conservation, Water and aquatic food production systems and societies, Soil systems and terrestrial food production systems and societies, Atmospheric systems and societies, Climate change and energy production and Human systems and resource use. An important aspect of the ESS course is hands-on work in the laboratory and out in the field.

At the end of the course, student’s knowledge will be assessed both internally by the school and externally by the IB organization. External assessment consists of 2 papers, Paper 1 contribute 25% and Paper 2 contribute 50% of the final grade. Additional 25% of the final grade is based on practical work carried out and recorded by the students (internal assessment).




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.


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 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).


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 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.




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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