LANGUAGE A

English A: Language and Literature (SL or HL) is for a fluent native or near-native language user. Students who complete this course will receive a Bilingual Diploma. This language course is offered in English only.

LANGUAGE A : LITERATURE: An example of works sellected for school year 2014/16:

  • World literature:  Jergović, Sarajevski marlboro,  Bulgakov, Mojster in Margareta in
  • Morrison, Najbolj modre oči
  • Detailed study:  Pesništvo: Zajc (izbrane pesmi), Roman: Kosmač, Pomladni dan in kratka proza: Blatnik, Zakon želje
  • Drama: Cankar, Hlapci, Grum, Dogodek v mestu Gogi, Jančar, Veliki briljantni valček in Zupančič, Vladimir
  • School’s free choice: Slovensko pesništvo po drugi svetovni vojni,  Ihan, Državljanski eseji in Zupan, Sto romanov in nekaj komadov

LANGUAGE A LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE: Higher level: An example for school year 2014/16:

  • World literature:  Bernhart Schlink: The Reader, Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis and
  • Milan Kundera: The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Detailed studies: Sylvia Plath: Poetry Collection, Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband
  • Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
  • Drama: Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire, William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot, George Bernard Shaw: Pygmalion
  • School’s free choice:  Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby, Anthony Bourgess: A Clockwork Orange
  • George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four

LANGUAGE A LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE: Standard level: An example for school year 2014/16:

  • Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner, Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby, George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four, William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire,
  • Bernhard Schlink: The Reader

SECOND GROUP

Language B (SL or HL) is for a language learner who has learned the target language for two or more years or has lived and been taught outside the country where the target language is spoken. This language course is offered in English, German, French and Spanish. While English is taken as a compulsory subject, German, Spanish and French are offered subject to demand (five or more students should opt to take one). It is to be noted that German, French and Spanish classes are very small in number (five or more pupils), thus catering to the needs of every individual student, each with a slightly different level of language competence. In this way the learning objectives can be reached easily on an individual basis (some students may have zero or very little knowledge of the language). What is more, students taking French are privileged to have sessions with a native speaker.

Spanish Ab Initio SL is a language acquisition course designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully within an environment where Spanish is spoken by applying all four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The course is organised into three themes: Individuals and society, Leisure and work and Urban and rural environment. Each theme has a list of topics that provide the students with opportunities to practise and explore the language as well as to develop intercultural understanding, such as: the individual, education and work, town and public institutions, food and drink, leisure time, environment, health, to name just a few.

External assessment comprises a written exam paper, whereas the internal assessment focuses on the oral exam.

Why choose Spanish Ab Initio?

Spanish is one of the more widely spoken languages in the world, ranking second with approximately 500 million speakers, right after Chinese, thus being one of the more practical languages to learn when it comes to international communication.

Spanish is the first language in Spain as well as in 20 Latin American countries, from Mexico to Argentina. It is also a minority language in countries like: USA, Canada, Belize, Andorra, Morocco and Equatorial Guinea.

Besides, we should not forget about the rich cultural heritage, which we can come to know in its original form if we speak Spanish. Miguel de Cervantes, Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, Gabriela Mistral and Isabel Allende, to name a few, are among those Spanish authors who have left an imprint on world literature. Wouldn’t you want to read about the adventures of the most famous knight of all time, Don Quixote, in original Spanish? The magic of the Spanish language can somewhat be explored through films directed by, for example, Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro Amenábar or Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Last but not least, Spanish is gaining in popularity amongst the young speakers worldwide and becoming a tool for intercultural learning and dialogue.

THIRD GROUP

Economics is a social science, and is essentially about the concept of scarcity and the problem of resource allocation. It is about the production and distribution of goods that are scarce. All students start the subject from scratch and there is no presumption of prior knowledge. Although the subject involves the formulation and understanding of theoretical concepts, the theories are applied to real-world examples to give it a much more applied flavour.

The Economics course covers Microeconomics, including a consideration of such basic concepts as scarcity, choice and the operation of simple markets, and how firms operate in markets that are either competitive or monopolistic. Macroeconomics covers economy-wide issues such as economic growth, inflation, unemployment and the role of the government. Special emphasis is given to the international economics and economies of developing countries, which is the specialty of Economics in IB. It is therefore important for students to take an active interest in current affairs by reading the newspapers, magazines and journals, and making selective use of television and radio programmes. In the school library, The Economist and several Slovene magazines and newspapers are provided as well as free access to the on-line bases. The assessment requires students to apply a broad range of ideas to a particular question. The subject has a Moodle classroom where students can find all power-point presentations, working sheets and other different materials with which we attempt to make course friendly, engaging and relevant.

Students who choose Economics will realise that economics is a useful science, while fascinating, and as such, it is certainly a challenge for everyone. After all, the economy is among the sciences that mankind rewards with the Nobel Prize.

Philosophy is a systematic and critical examination of the most fundamental and exciting questions about human condition. We can ask:

  • What does it amount to being human?
  • Do we have free will?
  • What do we mean when we say that a deed is morally right or wrong?

These are not abstract, ivory tower questions. Their origin is grounded in the very core of human everyday experience, being ceaselessly woven into our lives and existence. However, despite their day-to-day emergence, answers to them do not stare us into face. In the search of explication we have to make use of several philosophical methods such as critical and systematic thinking, careful analysis, and putting forward convincing arguments. The philosophical endeavor deepens and clarifies our understanding of these and similar questions as much as humanly possible.

Philosophy gives the students the opportunity to come upon the more fascinating and influential thinkers. The examination of philosophical problems these keen thinkers have struggled with gives us a more thorough theoretical self-understanding, but at the same time develops the mastery of a number of practical skills, which are applicable in various fields of human activity. Among these crafts are to be found the ability of a clear and concise argumentation, the faculty of the application of rational judgements in varied situations, and the competence of analysing complex problems.

The philosophy in the IB programme encourages “doing philosophy”, that is, being engaged in autonomous philosophical activity. It attempts to trigger off student’s curiosity as much as possible, to foster reflections of both her own perspective and the views of others. The subject dares the students to develop their own philosophical voice and stirs them to become self-reliant thinkers.

There are four elements of philosophy in the IB: the core theme, several optional themes, a prescribed text and the exploration of the nature of philosophical activity.

The core theme is compulsory and is called Being Human. It addresses the fundamental concepts and issues which pertain to human existence.

It consists of a number of challenging problems such as:

  • The mind-body problem, i.e., the inquiry into the relationship between the mind and the body, the question as to whether it is possible to reduce mental properties to physical properties, the issue whether the whole reality is mental, etc.
  • What determines the identity of a person? Is it the reason, the emotions, the society, free choices and the ensuing physical activity?
  • What does it mean to be free? Is mankind in point of fact free?
  • What is the nature of values? What are the fundaments of values?
  • To what extent do relationships with others determines the nature of the self?
  • Are there any distinguishing characteristics of mankind which set it apart from other animals?
  • Do animals or robots have properties, which make them persons?

There are seven optional themes:

  • Aesthetics
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy and contemporary society
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Philosophy of science
  • Political philosophy

The names of each optional theme suggest which interesting and oftentimes pivotal human problems are being tackled. The topics range from questions about the essence of art to the problems of social justice. On the standard level the students have to choose one optional theme and on the higher level two.

There are 12 prescribed philosophical texts taken from the world philosophy treasury. Both on the standard and higher level the students choose one text, which is analysed in great detail. The options are Plato’s The Republic, Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Moals, John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save and eight more.

The so-called “exploration of philosophical activity” lays the focus on the study of the functions and methods of philosophy. In addition to the critical examination of various philosophical methods and approaches the students get engaged in the reflection of their own philosophiing. This topic is obligatory on higher level.

Psychology is more appropriately defined as the systematic study of behaviour and experience. The overall aim of this course is to give students a deeper understanding of the nature and scope of psychology. Students undertaking the course can expect to develop an understanding of how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied. This will allow them to have a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behaviour. The psychology course in the junior year examines the core – the interaction of biological (e. g. the influence of neurotransmitters and brain damage on our behaviour), cognitive (e. g. explanations of memory functions and false memories, the influence of emotions on memory) and socio – cultural (e.g. stereotypes, conformity, compliance techniques) factors in human behaviour. The interaction between these factors substantially determines behaviour. This approach demonstrates how explanations offered by each of the three levels of analyses complement one another and together provide more complete and satisfactory explanations of behaviour.

During the senior year two options are taught at the higher level: Abnormal Psychology and Psychology of human relationships. Students on the standard level choose only one option.

Abnormal psychology focuses on diagnosing, explaining and treating humans suffering from psychological disorders. This option begins with a consideration of what is ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ behaviour and then looks into the issues related to diagnosis and treatment, particularly of depression and anorexia. Students learn about biomedical (e. g. drugs, electro-convulsive therapy, sports) therapy and individual and group psychotherapy, with emphasis on the cognitive – behavioural therapy.

The option Psychology of human relationship begins by looking at the origin of altruistic and pro-social behaviour. It then looks at personal relationships focusing on attraction and communication, the role of communication and culture, as well as reasons for the end of relationships. The last subtopic is violence, with emphasis on domestic violence: the origins, strategies for reducing and preventing violence and effects of exposure to violence.

The course has a heavy research emphasis with students responsible for completion of an independent psychological experiment and presentation of the findings in an individual report in a professional fashion.  An example might be an investigation into the accuracy of eyewitness reports after a car crash. One of the areas of study is also the area of research including qualitative analysis for HL (e. g. case study, interview), besides descriptive statistics (e. g. arithmetic mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics, e. g. t-test, for the HL only. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are also key considerations of our psychology course. Everything we learn is also available to students on the teacher’s website in the form of Power Point presentations, though students also have an IB Psychology text book.

The aims of the psychology course at HL and at SL are to:

  •  Interpret and/or conduct psychological research to apply the resulting knowledge for the benefit of human beings
  •  Ensure that ethical practices and responsibilities are implemented in psychological inquiry
  •  Develop an understanding of the biological, social and cultural influences on human behaviour
  •  Develop an understanding of different theoretical processes that are used to interpret behaviour, and to be aware of how these processes lead to the construction and evaluation of psychological theories
  •  Develop an awareness of how applications of psychology in everyday life are derived from psychological theories
  •  Develop an appreciation of the eclectic nature of psychology
  •  Understand and/or use diverse methods of psychological inquiry.

The study of IB History provides students to gain deeper understanding of the global world in the past and consequently in the present. Through different topics the main focus is to build knowledge that will provide students the skills of rationally interpreting, critical thinking, sensible connecting and above all solid argumentation. The history through different periods and different regions of the world will get us closer to establish the connections in time and space.

IB History includes the core of 20th century focusing on authoritarian states, causes and effects of 20th century wars, the Cold war and the move to global war. On higher level the imperial Russia, European states in the inter-war years is studied and in the end the post-war Central and Eastern Europe is explained.

FOURTH GROUP

Physics is one the oldest and more fundamental scientific disciplines. It deals with the fundamental laws of nature and is thus a basis for other natural – lately also social – sciences and engineering disciplines. Physics tries to investigate natural phenomena by experiments and to describe them with mathematical models. Both approaches are essential and equally important, although the experimental aspect is commonly neglected in high schools. However, the IB physics syllabus is designed for students to acquire in-depth understanding of the more important physical concepts and to develop experimental skills and data analysis techniques. In comparison to the national physics syllabus the IB syllabus covers a wider range of topics, it is more thorough and up to date.

The IB physics syllabus consists of a common core, additional higher level (AHL) and optional topics. On an elementary level classical topics, including mechanics, thermal physics, oscillations, waves, electricity, magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics are covers in the core. An extension of this knowledge is offered by the AHL topics. The students learn about more complex concepts in physics, such as wave phenomena, fields, electromagnetic induction and quantum physics. Depending on their interest the students choose one additional topic, which is covered in detail. These optional topics are relativity, engineering physics, imaging or astronomy.

A part of the IB physics syllabus is also practical work, including experimental labs, a common project with other experimental sciences (Group 4 Project) and an individual investigation (Internal Assessment), which is assessed and already represents a part of the final grade.

IB physics is a great choice for all students who want to study natural sciences, engineering or medicine and of course for all others who would like to know, how nature really works.

Biology is the study of life. Over the course of evolution 4 billion species could have been produced. This diversity makes biology both an endless source of fascination and a considerable challenge.

Biologists attempt to understand the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions. At the other end of the scale biologists investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function. By its very nature, biology lends itself to an experimental approach, and this is reflected throughout the course of IB Biology.

Students at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) undertake a common core syllabus, a common internal assessment (IA) scheme and have some overlapping elements in the option studied.

While the skills and activities of biology are common to students at both SL and HL, students at HL are required to study some topics in greater depth, in the additional higher level (AHL) material and in the common options. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.

Sylabus outline:

Core(95 teaching hours ):

  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Evolution and biodiversity
  • Human physiology

Additional higher level (AHL) (60 teaching hours)

  • Nucleic acids
  • Metabolism, cell respiration and photosynthesis
  • Plant biology
  • Genetics and evolution
  • Animal physiology

Option (15 teaching hours for standard level and 25 teaching hours for higher level)

  • Neurobiology and behaviour
  • Biotechnology and bioinformatics
  • Ecology and conservation
  • Human physiology

Practical scheme of work (40 teaching hours for standard level and 60 teaching hours for higher level)

  • Practical activities
  • Individual investigation (internal assessment–IA)
  • Group 4 project

Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is the basic science as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems.

The IB program is focused on the acquisition and development of chemical knowledge which allows students to develop their scientific literacy, experimental, research and problem-based skills. Through studying chemistry students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, the emphasis is on a practical approach. In addition, through the overarching theme of the “Nature of Science” this knowledge and skills will be put into the context of the way science and scientists work in the 21st Century and the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavour.

The sciences are taught practically. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. The investigations may be laboratory based or they may make use of simulations and data bases. Students develop the skills to work independently on their own design. Our school possesses a well-equipped school laboratory, which allows students to also carry out experiments in the field of instrumental analytical chemistry (UV-VIS spectroscopy, polarimetry, gas chromatography, infrared spectroscopy) and the more motivated students the opportunity to early involvement in contemporary research activities (collaboration with the University and different research laboratories).

Students are assessed both externally and internally and the programme is Available at standard (SL) and higher levels (HL). The minimum prescribed number of hours is 150 for SL and 240 for HL. Chemistry students at SL and HL undertake a common core syllabus and a common internal assessment (IA) scheme.  While there are core skills and activities common to both SL and HL, students at HL are required to study some topics in greater depth, to study additional topics and to study extension material of a more demanding nature in the options. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.

A practical approach to the course delivery is emphasised through the interdisciplinary group 4project (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and a mixture of both short-term and long-term experiments and investigations.

Internal assessment accounts for 20% of the final assessment and this is assessed through a single individual investigation (duration 10 hours). This investigation may involve a hands-on approach, use of data-bases, modelling, simulation or a hybrid. Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB.

The external assessment of chemistry consists of three written papers. In paper 1 are 30 (at SL) or 40 (at HL) multiple-choice questions.  Paper 2 contains short-answer and extended-response questions on the core (and Additional Higher Level (AHL) material at HL). Paper 3 has two sections; Section A contains one data-based question and several short-answer questions on experimental work on the core (and AHL material at HL). Section B contains short-answer and extended-response questions from each of the four options (Medicinal Chemistry or Materials or Biochemistry or Energy).

FIFT GROUP

Mathematics standard level course is designed for students with solid mathematical backgrounds. The syllabus is split into six topics: Algebra, Functions and equations, Circular functions and trigonometry, Vectors, Statistics and probability, and Calculus. Each of the topics is compulsory. Justification of theorems is often informal with the help of technology. In comparison to higher level the students are not expected to give formal rigorous mathematical proofs.

All important mathematical concepts are covered in the course and therefore the supportive knowledge for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, computer science or business is provided. In the process of learning the students get many opportunities to be active participants and to learn through inquiry and investigation. The students are also encouraged to apply mathematics on real life problems.

The internally assessed part of the course is referred to as Mathematical Exploration in which students are encouraged to explore a topic of their interest or model a real life situation and hence write a piece of work. This gives the students an opportunity to pursue their interests and gain writing skills.

The course is held over 2 years, 4 teaching lessons (45 min) per week.

The study of this subject is compulsory within The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. In the first year of the programme students are divided into two groups by their choice based mainly on the interest in the subject.

The 1st year topics (HL):

  • Linear, Quadatic, Exponential and Logarithmic function
  • Polynomials and Rational functions
  • Trigonometric and Circular functions
  • Differentiation
  • Integration

The 2nd year topics (HL):

  • Differential equations of first order
  • Sequences and series
  • Complex numbers
  • Vectors and matrices
  • Probability and statistics
  • Sets, relations and groups (option)

In the first year of study each student submits one explorative assignment, being internally assigned and assessed by the teacher. This work represents 20% of the final grade.

SIXTH GROUP

Music is part of the sixth group: the arts. The music course is designed to offer students the opportunity to build on prior experience in music while encouraging a broad approach to the subject and developing new skills, techniques and ideas.

Both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) music students are required to study music in society from middle years to the present day (ranging from that of Western traditions to that of non-western regions and cultures), which incorporates the study of two set works. They choose one of the three options: creating, solo performing or group performing. Candidates are free to perform whatever music they choose. The composition portfolio is made up of two harmony and counterpoint exercises, one structured arrangement and one free composition. Candidates also undertake a musical investigation in the form of a media script investigating the relationship between two musical genres.

In the Diploma Programme, there are external and internal assessments and several methods for assessing the work produced by students: assessment criteria, markbands and markschemes. For internal assessment, solo and group performing, these criteria are: selection of programme, technical proficiency, understanding of style and musical communication. The externally assessed listening paper includes four criteria: musical elements, musical structure, musical terminology and musical context. Each assessment criterion has level descriptors describing specific levels of achievement together with an appropriate range of marks.

Importance is attached to individual development during the two years course as well as specific standards. The programme is designed for those who have a general interest in music as well as for those intending to continue their study of music further.