yis high school course catalog 2015-2016

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  • 1High School Course Catalog 2015 - 2016

    Yokohama International School

  • 2

  • 3Table of Contents

    Our Mission and Values 1

    Message from the Counselor and Academic Advisor 2

    Important Course Selection Dates to Remember 3

    YIS Graduation Requirements 3

    Academic Programs

    Grades 9 & 10 (IBMYP) 4

    Grades 11 & 12 (IBDP) 4

    2015-2016 Course Descriptions

    Arts 7

    English 10

    Mathematics 12

    Modern Languages 14

    Physical Education 17

    Science 18

    Social Sciences 20

    Design 22

    Online Learning Program 23

    Course Selection Process 26

  • 1Our Mission

    Our mission is to provide the highest-quality balanced education to internationally minded students in an inquiring and supportive

    environment. We seek to inspire students and to provide them with the academic and social skills that will enable them to fulfill their

    potential as responsible global citizens.

    Our Values

    We are mindful of the needs and rights of others.

    We are honest in our dealings.

    We are peaceful in our intentions.

    We are responsible in our actions.

    We are supportive of each other.

  • 2Our lives are the sum total of the choices we have made. (Albert Camus)

    Dear Students:

    In the following pages you will find useful information about the courses YIS offers at the high school level. We have tried to organize the information in a coherent and concise way in order to make it easier to browse through and make the best decisions for your program of studies. Remember to carefully think about the following factors when selecting courses:

    Will you do well in a higher level DP course in this subject?

    Will these subjects prepare you for your future goals?

    Do the subjects you want to take satisfy the prerequisites for the IB diploma?

    Do the subjects you want to take satisfy the prerequisites for specific university entry requirements and majors?

    Are there any conflicts with YIS graduation requirements?

    Will you be happy taking these courses?

    Are you giving up a certain subject that you may regret later?

    What are your interests?

    You should also remember that you might not be able to take all of the subjects that you are interested in. This may be because of timetable issues, because the teacher in that subject feels that you will excel more in another subject, or because classes have become over-subscribed.

    If you are not sure about which subjects to take, or whether or not you will do well in a particular subject, the best people to speak to are the subject teachers, the academic advisor and/or the IB diploma coordinator. You should also take this opportunity to discuss your future goals with your parents, and to ask their advice if you are not sure which courses are the best for you.

    A Note on PrerequisitesDepending on your future goals, you will need to begin taking certain courses in high school. For example, if you plan to become a doctor, you should be taking as many science and math courses as you can manage.

    Make sure you are taking the prerequisites for the university and/or department/course you are applying to. Check with the university if you arent sure which classes you should be taking now. You can check their website, email or call them. If you are planning to go to a British or Canadian university, be especially careful about prerequisites, in particular if you wish to enter a scientific field.

    The most important thing to remember about prerequisites right now, though, is that they exist in high school, too! For example, make sure you know what the prerequisites are for each subject so that you dont find out at the end of 10th grade that you cant take the class you wanted to in 11th grade because you havent taken the introductory course in 10th grade.

    May you choose wisely!

    Monna McDiarmid & Damien Pitter Counselors and Academic Advisors

  • 3Important Course Selection Dates to RememberFor Current YIS Students

    Nov. 7, 2014 Course Selection Presentation for grade 10 students

    Nov. 7 - Nov. 27, 2014 Students consult with grade 10 teachers about DP choices

    Nov. 12, 2014 Course Selection Presentation for grade 10 parents

    Nov. 28, 2014 Last date by which grade 10 students should enter their preliminary wish list for courses

    Dec. 4, 2014 Course selection presentation for grade 8 students

    Dec. 10, 2014 Last date by which grade 8 students should enter course selection data for arts and language courses

    Please note: As a part of the course selection process, all students in grade 10 will meet individually with Ms. McDiarmid. Mr. Redlich will also be available for consultation.

    For Students Joining YIS in the 2015-2016 Academic YearStudents who are confirmed to be joining YIS in August 2015 or later in the 2015-2016 academic year are strongly encouraged to contact Ms. McDiarmid by email (mcdiarmidm@yis.ac.jp) to discuss course selection.

    YIS Graduation RequirementsIn order to be awarded a YIS High School Diploma, students must fulfill the graduation requirements listed below regardless of any external examinations taken.

    First, students must have at least the following number of course credits:

    English 4 creditsMathematics 3 creditsModern Languages 3 creditsScience 3 creditsSocial Sciences 3 creditsPhysical Education 3 credits The Arts 2 creditsTheory of Knowledge 1 creditDesign 1 credit

    One (1) credit is awarded for a course in which the student receives a passing grade and which meets four or more times a week for a full year of study. It should be noted that students who attend grades 9-12 at YIS typically earn at least two more credits than the number mandated for the YIS High School Diploma. Stu-dents transferring to YIS mid-way through grade 9 or later may receive credit for equivalent courses at other schools or have certain requirements waived with the approval of the head of academics.

    In addition to the course credits listed above, it is required for graduation that students:

    Show a sustained commitment to service over grades 11 and 12. Complete a senior research paper (on an academic topic of the students choice) by the end of first semester of grade 12. (Note: The Extended Essay of the IBDP satisfies this requirement.)

  • 4Grades 9 and 10 Academic ProgramInternational Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP)

    The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16 and so the YIS high school program in grades 9 and 10 continues from our middle school program. It provides a framework of learning which encourages students to become creative, critical and re-flective thinkers.

    The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging stu-dents to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global en-gagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.

    It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Program.

    Grades 11 and 12 Academic ProgramInternational Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP)

    Created in 1968, the IB Diploma Program is a two-year pre-uni-versity course of study that leads to the award of an IB Diploma. It is a truly international curriculum available to students in their last two years of high school, and it gives IB Diploma holders ac-cess to the worlds leading universities.

    Although not an elite program, the IBDP does reward students who make a consistent effort over the two years of study. It is not only the content that is important but the process too. Students completing the IBDP are very well equipped for life at university.

    While each component of the IBDP has specific aims and assess-ment objectives, the distinctive aims of the program as a whole are to:

    Provide an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education. Promote international understanding. Educate the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional, and social growth. Develop inquiry and thinking skills and the capacity to reflect upon and to evaluate actions critically.

  • 5IBDP Course Offerings at YISAll candidates must take six subjects, three at higher level and three at standard level. One subject must be chosen from each of the first five groups. The sixth subject can be from group 6 or a second subject from groups 1, 2, 3, or 4.

    Note: All courses are offered at standard and higher levels unless otherwise indicated. Ab Initio languages are only offered at standard level.

    Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5 Group 6Language A* Second

    LanguageIndividuals and Societies

    Experimental Sciences

    Mathematics The Arts

    English Lit

    English L&L

    Japanese L&L

    German L&L

    Language B





    Ab Initio

    Japanese SL

    Spanish SL (online)

    Mandarin SL (online)



    Economics(also availableonline)

    ITGS (online)

    Business &Management (online)

    Philosophy SL(online)






    Mathematical Studies SL

    Visual Arts