Upper Academics

Upper Academics

In the Upper School, students take courses in Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, English Literature, American History, World History, and Anthropology. Students are required to take at least one year of Physical Education, but have option of taking multiple years as an elective course.

For World Languages, students can choose from courses in Hawaiian, Spanish, and Japanese language.

The Arts Program at IPA offers courses in visual arts, theater, band, and orchestra.

For Design Technology courses, students can choose from Computer Science Principles, Cybersecurity, Engineering, Photography & Film Making, Graphic Design, Jewelry Making, and Publishing.

For more information about specific course offerings and descriptions, see below. You can also download the Grade 9–12 Course Guide.

Upper Curriculum

Arts – Performing

Beginning Instrumental Ensemble

No experience is necessary. Students are assigned instruments based on their prior ability and interest and may be required to rent their own instrument depending upon instrument availability. Students will also be asked to purchase a mouthpiece, woodwind reeds, sax neck strap, guitar picks, or drumsticks – pending assigned instrument. Along with weekly rehearsals and a culminating performance, the students continue their music education by focusing on Music Theory, History, Ethnomusicology, Expression/Timbre, Composition, and Performance. Students who excel or are awarded leadership roles in beginning band will be recommended for advanced band the following year.

Advanced Band

Advanced Band participants must have a minimum of one year experience in Beginning Instrumental Ensemble to participate and must have the instructor's approval before registering for this course. Along with weekly rehearsals and a culminating performance, the students continue their music education by focusing on Music Theory, History, Ethnomusicology, Expression/Timbre, Composition, and Performance. Students demonstrate their growth in musical technique and skill through performances in the IPA music concerts and events throughout the school year.

Advanced Orchestra

Advanced Orchestra participants must have a minimum of one year of experience in Beginning Instrumental Ensemble to participate and must have the instructor's approval before registering for this course. Along with weekly rehearsals and a culminating performance, the students will continue their music education by focusing on Music Theory, History, Ethnomusicology, Expression/Timbre, Composition, and Performance. Students will perform in the IPA music concerts.

Theatre

Theatre Arts emphasizes artistic perception and creative expression. Students are trained in the fundamental skills of theatre arts, including improvisation techniques, creative drama, body control, voice, diction, pantomime, learning of lines, creation of character, projection of ideas and emotions and acting of scenes from plays. It includes dramatic play, story enactment, imagination journeys, theatre games, puppeteering, story-telling, role playing, music, and dance.

Advanced Theatre

Theatre is a dynamic, collaborative and live art form. It is a practical subject that encourages discovery through experimentation, the taking of risks, and the presentation of ideas to others. It results in the development of both theatre and life skills; the building of confidence, creativity and working collaboratively. This multifaceted course gives students the opportunity to make theatre as creators, designers, directors, and performers. It emphasizes the importance of working both individually and collaboratively as part of an ensemble. It offers the opportunity to engage actively in the creative process, transforming ideas into action as inquisitive and productive artists. Students experience the course from contrasting artistic perspectives.

IB Theatre (Standard and Higher Level - Year 1)

Theatre is a dynamic, collaborative and live art form. It is a practical subject that encourages discovery through experimentation, the taking of risks, and the presentation of ideas to others. It results in the development of both theatre and life skills; the building of confidence, creativity and working collaboratively. This multifaceted course gives students the opportunity to make theatre as creators, designers, directors, and performers. It emphasizes the importance of working both individually and collaboratively as part of an ensemble. It offers the opportunity to engage actively in the creative process, transforming ideas into action as inquisitive and productive artists. Students experience the course from contrasting artistic perspectives. They learn to apply research and theory to inform and to contextualize their work. Students learn to appreciate that through the processes of researching, creating, preparing, presenting, and critically reflecting on theatre—as participants and audience members—they gain a richer understanding of themselves, their community, and the world. Through the study of theatre, students become aware of their own personal and cultural perspectives, developing an appreciation of the diversity of theatre practices, their processes and their modes of presentation. It enables students to discover and engage with different forms of theatre across time, place and culture and promotes international-mindedness.

IB Theatre (Standard and Higher Level - Year 2)

Theatre is about transformation. It is the application, through play, of energy and imagination to frame, reflect, expose, critique, and speculate. The second year of this course is designed to encourage students to examine theatre in its diversity of forms from around the world. This may be achieved through a critical study of the theory, history, and culture of theatre, and students will find expression through workshops, devised work or scripted performance. Students will come to understand that the act of imagining, creating, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre in its past and present contexts embodies the individual and social need to investigate and find explanations for the world around us. The theatre course emphasizes the importance of working individually and as a member of an ensemble. Students are encouraged to develop the organizational and technical skills needed to express themselves creatively in theatre. A further challenge for students following this course is for them to become aware of their own perspectives and biases and to learn to understand and value those of others. This requires a willingness to understand alternative views, to respect and appreciate cultural diversity, and to see the varied role that theatre plays in reflecting these.

Arts – Visual

Ceramics

This course focuses on the development of the student's creativity, craftsmanship and artistic vocabulary through the study, creation and discussion of two-dimensional and three- dimensional artwork. Students have the opportunity to further explore their artistic self-expression by exploring a range of art, including drawing, painting, and collage. This class emphasizes ceramics, which includes: construction styles and methods, figurative sculpture- animal and human sculpture, wall sculpture with installation, mix media and large kiln firing. Students use artistic perception in processing, analysis has and responding to all sensory information through the language and skills unique to ceramics.

Advanced Ceramics

Advanced Ceramics explores the role of ceramic art as an expression of culture throughout history. The study of ceramic art provides students with opportunities to develop and nourish higher level thinking. Skills associated with artistic thinking include the ability to see clearly, analyze, reflect, make judgments, forge connections among ideas and information, and generate new ideas from diverse sources. Various hand building techniques and forms will be used to create projects in which students use clay as the artistic medium.

Visual Art Exploration

This course is a two-year rotation open to freshmen and sophomores and focuses on the development of the students' creativity, craftsmanship and artistic vocabulary through the study, creation and discussion of two-dimensional and three-dimensional artwork. Students have the opportunity to further explore their artistic self-expression by exploring a wide range of art making (including, but not limited to: drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, collage, etc.). Students review technical skills, but mostly focus on using the elements of art and principles of design to create art that explores new ideas and utilizes experimental art-making. The class is less concerned about the final product, rather, it focuses on the experimental, trial and error process and allows students the freedom to try new styles, techniques and propose new ideas. It's not about the destination, but the journey!

Advanced Visual Arts

This course is for students who would like to have a venue for creative expression and want to challenge themselves in an artistic way. This course is designed to provide students with a lifelong appreciation for the arts, as well as provide the time and instruction for the student to explore different types of art-making. Along with studio work, the students also maintain a workbook that includes research, sketches, and reflections as part of the creative process. The class emphasizes practice in the use of various media, the acquisition of techniques, the mature development of ideas, and the ability to relate to all forms of art in their many social and historical contexts. A student does not need any previous experience with art to take this class.

IB Visual Arts (Standard and Higher Level - Years 1 & 2)

IB Visual Arts is a course for students who take a particular interest in the Visual Arts. This course is both designed to provide students with a lifelong appreciation for the arts, as well as provide excellent preparation for students who pursue post-secondary studies in the arts. This course has specific criteria set for both Studio Work and the Investigation Workbook which are clearly defined and quite demanding. The IB Visual Arts course stresses practice in the use of various media, the acquisition of techniques, the mature development of creative ideas and the ability to relate to all form of art in their many social and historical contexts. This course will be completed over two full school calendar years.

English – Literature & Rhetoric

Language A - English 9

Freshman English immerses students in the world of narrative and story telling through critical engagement with significant texts across a wide variety of genres. This course aims to demonstrate the importance of narrative and story telling in our modern world, particularly as a means of forming and maintaining community, asserting and affirming our individual and cultural identity and, finally, as a means of legitimizing human experience that works toward maintaining an empathetic and thoughtful worldview. By the end of the year, students will be able to engage actively and dynamically with course material through written and oral assessments, which will promote their personal and academic growth as they become active and influential members of their local and global communities.

Language A - English 10

The Grade 10 Literature class stresses the nuance of English language literary analysis, the art of close reading, and necessary writing techniques. Students unpack the author’s language, practice their writing skills, and respond to the reading through analytical and creative tasks. Through discussion and writing students question the art and conflict of living in a way that is both truthful and honest to our dreams, our selves, and our society.

IB DP Language A - English (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Much like the two-year HL course, this two-year class will focus on developing reading, writing, and analytical thinking through complicated fiction and nonfiction. While some of the assessments differ slightly, and SL students read four less texts over the two years, they will continue their study of technique, eventually applying many of those strategies to their own writing.

Advanced Placement English Language & Composition (Grade 11)

While students will read some fiction, this one-year college prep course places more emphasis on nonfiction and nonfiction writing. In fact, after the year is over, students will become masters of rhetoric – the art of persuasion – first studying and then practicing various persuasive writing techniques. In accordance with the English Department philosophy, students will continue to read a variety of genres. Students will have the opportunity to take the AP exam to possibly earn advanced English college credit.

IB DP Language A - English (Higher Level - Years 1 & 2)

While the major texts remain the same as the AP English Language & Composition class, this two-year course places more emphasis on understanding literature and poetry. Students continue their study of technique in both fiction and poetry, and then apply many of those strategies to their own writing. By the end of the year, students become masters of style and cadence. After completing two IB assessments junior year, students will complete two more assessments in their senior year for two college English credits.

Advanced Placement English Language & Composition (Grade 12)

After finishing the AP Language course junior year, students will now shift their focus from nonfiction to fiction and poetry. Students continue their study of literary techniques, and like the HL class, apply them to their own writing, mastering various styles of writing. This course will explore philosophical concepts (everything from moral relativism to existentialism and absurdity) through a variety of literary genres. In order to receive an additional college English credit, students will need to take an AP exam in May.

Creative Writing & Journalism (Grade 11 & 12)

This is an elective course for 11th grade and can count as the English credit for 12th Semester One will focus on Journalism - This course serves to introduce students to the field of journalism, where they explore journalism ethics, newspaper writing, magazine writing, online publications, and blogging/vlogging. Students hone our craft by first studying publications, and then we will create our own publications. This course can serve as either an elective for both juniors and seniors or as the primary English course for seniors. Semester Two will focus on Creative Writing - In this course, students study the art of creative writing, more specifically creating a short story, a collection of poems, a children’s book, and a screenplay/graphic novel. While this is an introductory course designed for students to explore their creative spirit, there will be analytical components, in which students analyze the elements of what makes a successful story within each creative medium. This course can serve as either an elective for both juniors and seniors or as the primary English course for seniors.

Young Authors of Hawaiʻi: Publication (Grades 10-12)

This is an elective course for 10th to 12th grade, taken in addition to a required English course. This course allows student authors to celebrate their passion for writing and to hone their craft. The focus is on creating quality writing, polishing, perfecting, and preparing it for publication. Students read and analyze literature that inspires, motivates, and provides a model for their own writing. Published authors will speak to students in scheduled visits about writing and the route to publication. Class is structured as a writing workshop, so that students will participate in and/or present mini lessons, write, confer with other writers about their own and other student’s work, and each class will end with some sort of informal publication, sharing words with other writers with an eye toward improvement and to celebrate success. All students work toward formal publication throughout the year and concentrate on the genre of their choice.

Humanities & Social Sciences

American History (Grade 9)

In the American History course, students analyze and research the building of the American nation from the Civil War and then concentrate on the emergence of the modern era from the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in 1870 to the fall of communism in 1989. This course prepares students to employ critical thinking skills, as well as research skills, when looking at fundamental questions concerning the history of the United States, from the proper role of government in a representative democracy to the role of social movements in shaping the character of the American experience. Attention will be be paid to the role of the United States in world affairs, as well as examining how economic conditions and policies have shaped the response of government and ordinary citizens alike.

World History (Grade 10)

This Humanities course focuses on a thematic examination of the World History and its key events from the Early Modern Times (approx. 1600 C.E.). It begins with a brief review of key political ideologies developed up to the Late Middle Ages. Students learn to evaluate and examine world regions starting with Africa and ending with Europe. Key geo-political issues, philosophies, religions and current events will be linked in to help students compare and contrast the past with the future. Issues of discrimination, culture, economic disparity, and how government deals with these issues will be addressed through the use of text work, videos, primary sources, group work, and individual research.

IB DP History of the Americas (Year 1)

In this Diploma Programme course, students explore North and South American history from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century within a global context. Students closely examine both primary and secondary sources in an effort to gain a greater understanding of major social and cultural movements, political ideologies, and important people (both elite and proletariat) during this period. Importantly, while the history of the United States will often serve as a major point of reference, students will engage in comparative analyses of contemporaneous historical developments around the globe. For example, instead of just examining the United States Constitution and the growth of the U.S. government, students study how larger intellectual developments (such as the Enlightenment) impacted similar revolutionary trajectories throughout the Western Hemisphere during the same era. The course’s unit on the nineteenth century will analyze the process of industrialization in the United States, trace that uneven development towards its Civil War, and examine its rise to a global imperial power by the 1890s. The final unit of the year will focus on World War I and its political, social, and cultural effects amongst the major warring powers, minor states, and colonized peoples. Throughout the course, students work towards understanding the practice of history by first understanding the historiography of a given topic (i.e., how historians have investigated that theme in-depth) and secondly by developing analytical and research skills to assess the word of the historian against primary source material.

IB DP History of the Americas (Year 2)

In the second year of the History of the Americas course, students study the twentieth century from the end of World War I to the end of the Cold War. Emphasis will be placed on the diplomatic efforts from 1918-1936 at avoiding war and the ultimate failure of these attempts, the various types of wars (limited, guerilla, total, civil) fought throughout the world since 1918, and the effects of these events within the US, particularly in stimulating the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. Historical research and analytical skills will be developed as students will assess various historical interpretations of the topics being studied.

IB DP Social & Cultural Anthropology (Years 1 & 2)

This two-year course will study the differences and commonalities amongst myriad human communities around the globe, how they have been studied by anthropologists in the past and present, and give students insight into the practice of ethnographic fieldwork. After briefly covering the discipline’s four primary subfields (cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology), their key differences and overlaps, and their application in the real world, students delve further into the field of cultural anthropology from its origins in Europe’s nineteenth century imperial project to its methodological redemption during the 1960s and 70s. Using examples from the field’s literature and ethnographic films, the course will then trace different ethnographic theories and methodologies employed by cultural anthropologists throughout the twentieth century and examine some of the more infamous debates between these scholars. SL and HL students will be required to write analyses of professional ethnographic fieldwork. HL students will be required to complete an ethnography of their own: conduct their own research in the field, analyze that data, and write out their final analysis.

Mathematics

Mathematics 9

Mathematics 9 is designed to help develop students’ understanding and application of Algebra I (60%), Geometry (20%), Probability (10%), Statistics (5%) and Trigonometry (5%). The course is organized to encourage students to become aware of the links between mathematics and other subjects; to emphasize different methods of communicating solutions (algebraically, graphically, verbally, etc.) and to allow students to explore their own ideas mathematically.

 

Mathematics 10

Mathematics 10 is designed to help strengthen the students’ understanding and application of Geometry (50%), Algebra I (10%), Algebra II (10%), Trigonometry (10%), Probability (10%), and Statistics (10%). The course topics include: quadratic, exponential and logarithmic functions, matrices, probability, statistics, and three-dimensional geometry. The course is organized to encourage students to become aware of the links between mathematics and other subjects; to emphasize different methods of communicating solutions (algebraically, graphically, verbally, etc.) and to allow students to explore their own ideas mathematically.

 

IB DP Mathematical Studies (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Mathematical Studies SL is a two-year course that focuses on important mathematical topics that are interconnected. The syllabus is organized and structured with the following tenets in mind: placing more emphasis on student understanding of fundamental concepts than on symbolic manipulation and complex manipulative skills; giving greater emphasis to developing students’ mathematical reasoning rather than performing routine operations; solving mathematical problems embedded in a wide range of contexts; using the calculator effectively. Also in the second year of Mathematical Studies, students conduct a Senior Project used as the IB Internal Assessment. The course includes project work, a feature unique to mathematical studies SL within group 5. Each student completes a project, based on their own research; this is guided and supervised by the teacher. The project provides an opportunity for students to carry out a mathematical study of their choice using their own experience, knowledge and skills acquired during the course. This process allows students to take sole responsibility for a part of their studies in mathematics.

 

IB DP Mathematics (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Mathematics SL is a two-year course that 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 rigor required for mathematics HL. Students should, wherever possible, apply the mathematical knowledge they have acquired to solve realistic problems set in an appropriate context. Also, in the second year of Mathematics Standard Level, students conduct a Senior Project used as the IB Internal Assessment, known as the Math Exploration. 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.

 

IB DP Mathematics (Higher Level - Years 1 & 2)

Mathematics HL is a two-year course that focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible, coherent and rigorous way. This is achieved by means of 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 embarking on this course 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 should also be encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments. Also, in the second year of Mathematics Standard Level, students conduct a Senior Project used as the IB Internal Assessment, known as the Math Exploration. 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.

Natural Sciences

Physics & Chemistry (Grade 9)

This introductory Physics/Chemistry course is designed to give the student the tools to understand the physical world around them. The first semester will be devoted to the study of Physics and second semester Chemistry. In Physics, students explore concepts such as force and energy through a hands-on approach. Including projects such as roller coasters and bridge building, students gain an appreciation of the physical world around them. This approach will stimulate the student’s higher level cognitive skills and encourage them to see and apply science to their everyday world. For Chemistry, students explore topics such as, elements and the periodic table, chemical bonding, reactions, acids/ bases and organic compounds. Students have hands-on experiences through lab experiments and both group and individual presentations. Technology will be an integral component of this course with students researching and presenting information gathered throughout the world.

 

Biology (Grade 10)

This Biology course is intended to develop student’s understanding and appreciation of the biological world around them. The course will introduce life at the cellular level to include organelles and cellular processes. From there students explore several simple animals including the earthworm, grasshoppers, and frogs. Each will include a dissection lab. The course culminates with students exploring several of human body systems and concludes with a dissection of a fetal pig. Being a second-year science course, a continued emphasis will be placed laboratory procedures and lab reports.

 

IB DP Chemistry (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Chemistry deals with the fundamental nature and reactions of matter. It is the core science that forms the basis of our understanding of both biological systems and our physical world. In this course, students study a wide range of topics. Students will seek to develop an understanding of atomic structure and use this knowledge to predict and explain properties of matter. There is a large practical aspect to this course, laboratories, which allow students to develop a range of experimental skills and an appreciation of the scientific method.

 

IB DP Biology (Standard & Higher Level - Years 1 & 2)

Biology is the study of life. This course explores plants, humans and other animals, and how they interact with their ecosystem. This course is lab intensive and will involve hands-on laboratory investigations that will enhance the concepts learned throughout the course. The intent of this course is for students to develop a range of experimental skills and an appreciation of the scientific method.

 

IB DP Physics (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the smallest particles to the vast galaxies. Classical physics is built upon Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics. This course stresses both theory and experiments and allows students to develop traditional practical skills and techniques as and increase their use of mathematics, the language of physics. Above all, physics is a human activity and is approached as such.

 

AP Physics 1

AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits. The course is based on six Big Ideas, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the physical world.

 

AP Physics 2

AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: fluids; thermodynamics; electrical force, field, and potential; electric circuits; magnetism and electromagnetic induction; geometric and physical optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. This course framework is structured around the “big ideas” of physics, which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes of the discipline.

Physical Education (PE)

Health and Physical Education allow students to continue their growth within a group while establishing themselves as leaders in different areas. Students work on the skills and understanding necessary to participate successfully in a variety of physical activities. The focus of team and individual sports change from participation and execution to more of a mindset of learning, practicing, refining, adapting and reacting to change. Students are encouraged to use critical thinking to solve different situations and create new games/sports. Strength training, cardio, and non-traditional fitness is also introduced. Reflection essays, written tests, oral and visual assessments are some of the ways in which students demonstrate their understanding. Overall, the goal is for students to deepen their interest in and enjoyment of all aspects of physical activities and health.

Technology Design

Jewelry Making & Metalsmithing

This course explores both the technical and conceptual aspects of modern jewelry making and Metalsmithing. Students will learn a number of basic jewelry making techniques including sawing, filing, soldering, scoring, linkages, hollow construction, wire construction and more. In addition, discussions will be held on contemporary, historical and conceptual jewelry making traditions.

Publishing

This course is an in-depth coverage of desktop publishing terminology, text editing, and use of design principles. Emphasis is on layout techniques, web design, multiple page displays, and business applications.

Photography and Film Making

In Digital Photography, students learn the basics of photographic composition and lighting, the basics of using a digital camera and the basics of preparing a digital darkroom. Students also learn basic color theory and the fundamentals of image processing.

Advanced Photography and Film Making

This course is designed for the student who has some previous experience in photography or film making. Students create and walk away with a basic portfolio to present for college admission or future career interests. Students must be self-motivated and desire to create work that is both challenging and innovative. This class focuses not only on individual skills and creative confidence, but also on taking a communal approach to art making and appreciation.

Graphic Design

This course focuses on the procedures commonly used in the graphic communication and design industries. Students gain experience in creative problem solving and the practical implementation of those solutions across multiple areas of graphic communications. Students taking this course also gain experience with Adobe Creative Suite, including but not limited to Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and more.

STEM Academy - Computer Science Principles

This course uses Code.org’s Computer Science Principles (CS Principles) curriculum approved by The College Board. The curriculum is a full-year, rigorous, entry-level course that introduces high school students to the foundations of modern computing. The course covers a broad range of foundational topics such as programming, algorithms, the internet, big data, digital privacy and security, and the societal impacts of computing.

STEM Academy - Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students’ skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.

STEM Academy - Introduction to Engineering Design

This Design and Technology course provides students the opportunity to apply Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) principles toward the investigation of Civil, Mechanical and Electrical engineering. Students develop independent and group problem-solving skills while participating in this project-driven curriculum. Design Thinking comes to life through hands-on activities culminating in a final project that features design elements from each of the three major disciplines.

STEM Academy - Advanced Engineering Design

This Design and Technology course provides students the opportunity to expand on knowledge and experiences acquired in the Engineering Disciplines course (a prerequisite for this course). Students enrolled in this course work collaboratively to engineer solutions/products designed to benefit their communities. Students also have the opportunity to pursue an engineering “passion” project of their choice.

Theory of Knowledge

TOK is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing, rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. It is a core element which all Diploma Programme students undertake and to which all Diploma Programme schools are required to devote at least 100 hours of class time. TOK and the Diploma Programme subjects should support each other in the sense that they reference each other and share some common goals. The TOK course examines how we know what we claim to know. It does this by encouraging students to analyze knowledge claims and explore knowledge questions. A knowledge claim is the assertion that “I/we know X” or “I/we know how to Y”, or a statement about knowledge; a knowledge question is an open question about knowledge. While there are arguably many ways of knowing, the TOK course identifies eight specific ways of knowing (WOKs) which include language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition, and memory. Areas of knowledge are specific branches of knowledge, each of which can be seen to have a distinct nature and different methods of gaining knowledge. TOK distinguishes between eight areas of knowledge. They are mathematics, the natural sciences, the human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems, and indigenous knowledge systems.

World Languages – Japanese

Level 1

This course is designed to introduce the basics of the Japanese language and understanding of Japanese culture. Students will develop multi-literacy skills through the use of a range of learning tools, such as multimedia, in the various modes of communication. Students are introduced to the integration of language and cultural knowledge to communicate their personal perspectives on topics such as self-introduction, daily life, celebration, getting around etc. Students are expected to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar situations. The course also fosters curiosity, inquiry and a lifelong interest and enjoyment in language learning. By the end of this course, students aim to become an emergent communicator in Japanese. Students also learn Japanese writing systems (Hiragana, Katakana, and basic Kanji).

Level 2

This course is designed to build the foundation of the Japanese language and understanding of Japanese culture. Students nurture their multi-literacy skills through the use of a range of learning tools, such as multimedia, in the various modes of communication. This course offers insight into the cultural characteristics of Japan as well as comparison to the students own culture. Students develop the integration of language and cultural knowledge to communicate their personal perspectives on various topics such as myself, health, leisure, entertainment, and environment etc. Students are expected to apply their prior knowledge to unfamiliar situations. The course also fosters curiosity, inquiry, and a lifelong interest and enjoyment in language learning. By the end of this course, students aim to communicate effectively in Japanese.

Level 3

This course is designed to develop the Japanese language and understanding of Japanese culture. Additionally, this course is intended to develop the student’s understanding of the Japanese language through various forms of mediums. In writing, students explore their ideas through weekly journals and project essays. Grammar, vocabulary, and kanji are introduced weekly to further strengthen one’s ability to communicate in Japanese. Students also participate formally and informally in group and individual oral presentations to develop their abilities as both speakers and listeners. Technology is an important component of the course, used in writing essays, email messages and texting in Japanese.

Level 4

The Japanese 4 course develops students’ intercultural understanding and an awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which students are familiar. The course encourages, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives of Japanese culture and society. The course enables students to understand and use Japanese in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes. The core topics will be 1) Communication and media, 2) Global issues, and 3) Social relationships. In addition, two from the following five will be covered as well. 1) Cultural diversity 2) Customs and traditions 3) Health 4) Leisure 5) Science and technology. Students are expected to apply their prior knowledge to unfamiliar situations.

Level 5

Japanese Level 5 course develops students’ intercultural understanding and an awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which students are familiar. The course encourages, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives, in this course, Japanese culture and society. The course enables students to understand and use Japanese in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes. Students learn approximately 400 Kanji, reading various text types in Japanese, producing written assignment of 600-800 characters with research in Japanese, and engage in Japanese oral communication for various purposes.

IB DP Japanese Ab Initio (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Japanese ab initio is a two-year course which allows students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to communicate effectively in Japanese in a variety of everyday situations and authentic contexts. Developing proficiency in Japanese allows students to gain access to and develop respect for Japanese-speaking cultures, thus contributing to the holistic development of the student. Study of the language balances the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. This course aims to develop intercultural awareness through the study of the diverse practices, perspectives and contributions of Japanese-speaking cultures and communities. Contextualized language learning and communication-based tasks allow students to develop a strong foundation in Japanese and build essential language-acquisition skills that enables them to successfully pursue further language study.

IB DP Japanese (Standard Level -Years 1 & 2)

Japanese B-SL course develops students’ intercultural understanding and an awareness of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which students are familiar. The course encourages, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of the different perspectives, in this course, Japanese culture and society. The course enables students to understand and use Japanese in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes. The core topics are 1) Communication and media, 2) Global issues, and 3) Social relationships. In addition, two from the following five will be covered as well: 1) Cultural diversity 2) Customs and traditions 3) Health 4) Leisure 5) Science and Technology. Students are expected to apply their prior knowledge to unfamiliar situations. By the end of this 2-year course students aim to become a capable communicator in Japanese. Students learn approximately 400 Kanji, reading various text types in Japanese, producing written assignment of 600-800 characters, and engage in Japanese oral communication for various purposes.

World Languages – Papa ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

Level 1

In this ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language) course, students learn to communicate in Hawaiian through an emphasis on speaking, listening, writing, reading, and cultural understanding. Students enrolled in this course learn greetings, basic language structure, and vocabulary. With an emphasis on place-based learning, students have the opportunity to learn about Hawaiian language and culture through learning trips to places around the island.

World Languages – Spanish

Level 1

This course is for students with little to no prior knowledge of the Spanish language. Students are exposed to the Hispanic Culture and will learn basic vocabulary and grammar to communicate with peers and teacher. This course emphasizes a holistic approach to language study, which promotes a clear understanding that all knowledge is interrelated.

Level 2

This course enhances the skills learned in Level 1. Students review grammar in a more comprehensive manner. Students are also introduced to new advanced grammar concepts and verb tenses. There is an emphasis on more complex reading selections that may include contemporary and/or traditional literature. Writing becomes more formal and includes essay writing. Students develop a greater understanding for the culture of the target language through the knowledge of the geography and history of the culture.

Level 3

The objective of this course is to refine language learned in previous levels through an intensive review of grammatical structures, and in-depth study of Hispanic art and a broad study of the cultures of the Spanish speaking world with an introduction to short stories.

Level 4

In Level 4 students will review and use their knowledge of grammar through Spanish literature. One goal of this class is to have students describe, narrate, and present information and/or persuasive arguments on general topics with grammatical control and good pronunciation in an oral presentation of two to three minutes in length. Another important goal is to learn how to write a cohesive and coherent analytical or persuasive essay in reaction to a text or on a personal, academic, cultural, or social issue with control of grammar and syntax.

Level 5

This course is intended for students who wish to develop proficiency and integrate their language skills, using authentic materials and sources. The course is meant to be comparable to third year (fifth or sixth semester) college and university courses that focus on speaking and writing in the target language at an advance level. Students who enroll should already have a basic knowledge of the language and cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples and should have attained a reasonable proficiency in using the language.

IB DP Spanish Ab Initio (Standard Level - Years 1 & 2)

Spanish ab initio is a two-year Standard Level (SL) course designed for students with little or no prior experience of learning Spanish. This course aims to develop intercultural awareness through the study of the diverse practices, perspectives and contributions of Spanish-speaking cultures and communities. Contextualized language learning and communication-based tasks will allow students to develop a strong foundation in Spanish and build essential language-acquisition skills that will enable them to successfully pursue further language study.

IB DP Spanish (Standard and Higher Level - Years 1 & 2)

Spanish B is a language acquisition two-year course developed at two levels—standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) for students with some background in Spanish. This course allows students refine their ability to communicate in Spanish through activities that integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. They increase their understanding of the Spanish-speaking world through the study of a variety of topics, including environment, health, social issues, popular culture, and politics. Students learn about Spanish-speaking cultures and develop international-mindedness by reading literary selections from a variety of genres and by reading and reporting on current issues from authentic news sources, including periodicals and the internet.