Academics

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an academically challenging and balanced program for 16-19 year olds, providing them with a strong pathway to entrance in the highest ranking universities. At its core, IBDP aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The philosophy underpinning the IBDP calls for holistic education, which includes humanities, social sciences, natural and exact sciences, mathematics and the arts.

What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme?

To find out more about what lies at the heart of an IB education, explore ibo.org.

Diploma Program Core

The core comprises three compulsory components which develop students’ research capabilities, critical thinking skills, and build character.
is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. Students choose their topic of interest within a chosen subject at the end of DP1 (11th grade) and, after gaining approval, are assigned a dedicated academic to support them through the process.
is a course about thinking and learning. It is an exploration of how we generate, share, and use what we know. Students discover how people come to understand, and often misunderstand, sometimes relying and even insisting on our faulty assumptions. Participants have the opportunity to grasp abstract ideas and apply them in practice to build a strong foundation for their life-long learning.
is an extracurricular program which provides students with the opportunity to be creative, physically active, and volunteer in the local community. At GHIS, students may participate in existing programs, or they can propose and actively lead new ones. Students are expected to be involved in CAS activities for the equivalent of at least three hours each week during the two years of the program.

IB Courses

The curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups. All students go through placement testing in English and mathematics during the first week of school. Based on the results, the IBDP coordinator works with each student to develop their personal academic program.

The six subject groups in the IB are:

  1. Studies in Language and Literature
  2. Language Acquisition
  3. Individuals and Societies
  4. Sciences
  5. Mathematics
  6. The Arts

Students are required to study one subject in groups 1 to 5, with group 6 being optional but strongly recommended. In place of the Arts, students may choose a second subject from groups 2 to 4.

Arabic A, English A, and Hebrew A

Studies in Language and Literature are divided into three areas of exploration:

Readers, writers and texts, time and space, and intertextuality (connecting texts). Students in all courses will develop an understanding of relationships between texts and varying perspectives, local and global issues, and diverse voices.

Hebrew A is offered as part of the Literature course. The course guides students to look into their own interpretations of literature and the critical perspectives of others. They continue to explore how these positions are influenced by cultural belief systems and negotiate meanings of texts. 

Arabic A and English A courses are offered as part of the Language and Literature course. They contain the same literature approaches as the Hebrew A course, but add an additional element. Students explore how language choices, text types and contextual elements all affect the meaning of a piece.

Language B and Language ab initio

Studies consist of five main thematic areas: Identities, Experiences, Human Ingenuity, Social Organization and Sharing the Planet. 

Language B 

English is offered at the Language B level. This course is intended for students with previous experience studying in English. The course is built around international mindedness, looking at language through culture, ideas, and global issues. Students interact with a variety of texts, literature, and themes to expand their abilities to communicate in English.

Ab initio
Arabic and Spanish are offered at the ab initio levels. These courses are intended for students with no experience studying the language. Students focus on learning to communicate in the target language, through exposure to 20 prescribed topics throughout the two years, within written, audio and visual contexts.

Global Politics

The Global Politics course focuses on developing students’ thinking and research skills, allowing them to critically engage with new global perspectives and realize their role in the world as global citizens. Students grow to appreciate the complex and interconnected nature of many political issues, developing the ability to make contestable claims about them. 

 

Social and Cultural Anthropology

SCA contributes a distinctive approach to intercultural awareness and understanding. Students in this course gain an understanding of real-world issues, such as war and conflict, the environment, poverty, injustice, inequality, and human rights. The anthropological research tradition provides a uniquely rich context in which to explore what it means to be human, through participant observation and in-depth study of the cultures, behaviors and beliefs of social groups. SCA offers insights into the continuities and dynamics of societies. It fosters the development of critical reflective knowledge, enabling us to become citizens who are globally aware, internationally minded, and ethically sensitive. SAC has the potential to transform the way we view others, the way we see ourselves, and ultimately to consider how we will act in the world.


World Religions

The World Religions course focuses on a systematic and analytical study of a variety of belief systems practiced in the main religions around the world. Students gain a sense of what it is like to belong to each particular religion studied, and understand the way that religion sees the world, acts in it, and relates and responds to other religions. 

 

Environmental Systems and Societies 

ESS is an interdisciplinary course, counting towards requirements in both Groups 3 and 4. This course includes a scientific exploration of environmental systems, alongside investigation into the cultural, economic, ethical, political and social interaction of societies with the environment. Students gain the ability to recognize and evaluate the impact of complex societies on the natural world. 

Biology

Biology allows students to recognize how scientists work and communicate with each other, using the scientific method and practical approaches to developing abilities to analyze, evaluate and synthesize a body of knowledge for understanding the world at all levels.

 

Chemistry

Chemistry combines both experimental science and academic study, with practical investigation skills. Students are exposed to theory and practical work, developing an understanding of the chemical principles of the physical environment and biological systems in which we live.

Computer Science

Computer Science promotes international relationships through the exchange of information across boundaries. Students gain an understanding of fundamental concepts of computational thinking and knowledge of how computers and digital devices operate. Students also work to develop their own solutions to computational questions, identifying issues, designing a prototype and liaising with clients to evaluate the success of their solutions. 

 

Physics

Physics focuses on the fundamentals of experimental science, seeking to explain the universe itself. Students are given new ways of looking at their environment, the impact of physics on society, moral and ethical scientific dilemmas, as well as developing practical experimental skills.

Mathematics

Two mathematics courses are offered: applications and interpretations, and approaches and analysis. Both courses share the same aims. Through studies in mathematics, students are able to not only develop an understanding of mathematical principles but also logistical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students also appreciate the relationship between technological advancements and mathematics.

Theatre

Students studying theatre develop confidence, creativity and collaborative skills. They become aware of their own personal and cultural perspectives through researching, creating, preparing, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre, gaining a richer understanding of themselves, their community and the world.


Visual Arts

Students studying visual arts are encouraged to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. This is done through the exploration across local, regional, national, and international contexts. Students develop practical, inquiry, investigative and reflective skills, alongside creative application skills.

Pre-IB Program: 10th Grade

GHIS offers a pre-IB preparatory program for 10th graders who would like to join the IB Diploma Programme in grades 11 and 12. The 10th graders are mostly day students, with an opportunity to board for those living farther away. The program prepares them to live in a diverse community with peers from all over the world. Acceptance to the IBDP is not automatic, but depends on students achieving strong grades and developing the study skills, work ethic, and personal attitude they need to be successful in grades 11 and 12. All classes are taught in English.

Dates for the 2021-2022 academic year can be found on the Academic Calendar. All plans are subject to change based on current conditions; please check back frequently.

University Counseling

The GHIS University Guidance Counselor provides all students with information and support throughout the entire university application process. Workshops help students to familiarize themselves with the myriad of university options across the globe, understand how to choose the most suitable schools and programs, schedule interviews with admissions officers, compose college entrance essays, complete application forms and plan financing. Individual counseling meetings provide an opportunity to discuss personal goals and options, and monitor the progress of each student throughout the admissions timeline. The counselor is available through email and zoom meetings as well, so that students can get timely responses to questions and pressing issues.