High School Philosophy
The LIS High School provides students with both a foundation of knowledge necessary for success at university and the personal values necessary for good citizenship in a global community. Through the study of the IGCSE and IB Diploma courses students become adept at honing their critical and higher level thinking skills by formulating ideas, justifying statements and beliefs, and identifying and solving problems. LIS High School also stresses the importance of time management and study skills in order for students to become self motivated and independent learners. We strive for our students to become leaders. We believe the main attributes of leadership are a combination of academic excellence, a positive self image and the development of strong personal values and beliefs centered on integrity, respect for others and the appreciation of diversity.
High School Overview
The High School program includes Years 10-13 and enrolls approximately 100 students, providing a complete college preparatory program. The academic program is designed to prepare students for university while giving emphasis to the importance of learning as a process. Our curriculum focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and the development of thinking and problem-solving skills. We strive for academic excellence, a well-balanced development of all aspects of the students’ personality and an appreciation for lifelong learning. We offer two sets of certificates during the High School years that feature external exams. Years 10-11 culminate with the sitting of the IGCSE Exams. All students attending LIS must sit these exams. LIS offers the IB Diploma in Years 12-13. Students have the option of graduating with an IB Diploma, IB Certificates or an LIS High school Diploma.
The IB Diploma Programme at Lucaya International School
*** Much of this information is taken directly from the IB Website (www.ibo.org).
The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging, balanced program which prepares students for university study around the world. The program's curriculum is taught over a two year period. It has the strengths of a traditional broad curriculum but with the three important additional features shown at the centre of the hexagonal curriculum model shown in the diagram.
The IB Programme was introduced at LIS in the 2006/2007 academic year and had our first IB Diploma graduates in 2008. LIS is an IB-accredited World School, one of fifteen hundred schools around the world authorized to offer this program. The IBO is a Swiss based charitable foundation, established in Geneva in 1968. The IB Diploma Programme was designed as a curriculum for students in international schools. It is a demanding pre-university course of study designed for highly motivated High School students aged 16-19. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB Diploma holders access to leading universities around the world. With the IB, students will fulfill the requirements of their national or state education systems while equipping them with skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education, employment, and their future life as members of an increasingly global society. Internationally mobile students are able to transfer from one IB school to another, while students who remain closer to home benefit from an internationally respected curriculum.
The six academic subjects ensure experience in Languages, Social Studies, Experimental Sciences and Mathematics. The subjects are studied concurrently. Diploma candidates study one subject from each of the six groups at either Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). At least three and not more than four are taken at Higher Level (HL), the others at Standard Level (SL). HL courses represent a recommended minimum of 240 teaching hours, and SL courses cover 150 hours. In addition to the subjects studied, IB Diploma students must also complete the three core element requirements. This includes the writing of an Extended Essay, the completion of a course in the Theory of Knowledge, and successfully completng the requirements of the Creativity, Action and Service program.
Group 1 - Language A1 - English
Language A1 is the study of literature in a student’s first language, including the study of selections of World Literature. The range of texts studied in Language A1 courses is broad, and students grow to appreciate a language’s complexity, wealth and subtleties in a variety of contexts. A specific aim is to engender a lifelong interest in literature and a love for the elegance and richness of human expression. At LIS we offer English as Language A1 at Higher(HL) and Standard (SL). It could also be possible to arrange for a student to do a Self Study Language in their native tongue.
Group 2 - Second Language
The aim of the Group 2 is to promote an understanding of another culture through the study of a second language. The main emphasis of the Modern Language courses is on language acquisition and use in a range of contexts and for different purposes. Two options are available at LIS to accommodate students with different backgrounds.
- Language B courses are intended for students who have had some previous experience of learning the language. They may be studied at either Higher Level or Standard Level.
- Language Ab Initio courses are for beginners (that is, students who have no previous experience of learning the language they have chosen). These courses are only available at Standard Level.
At LIS, we offer French B (HL, SL), French Ab Initio (SL) and Spanish B (HL, SL).
Group 3 - Individuals and Societies
At LIS students can take History (HL, SL) or Geography (HL,SL) as their Group 3 choice. Studying these subjects provides for the development of a critical appreciation of:
- human experience and behavior
- the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit
- the history of social and cultural institutions.
In addition, the subjects in this group are designed to foster in students the capacity to identify, to analyze critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.
Group 4 - Experimental Sciences
Students explore the concepts, theories, models and techniques that underpin each subject area and through these develop their understanding of the scientific method.
A compulsory project encourages students to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science. Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through this interdisciplinary group project.This exercise is collaborative and interdisciplinary and provides an opportunity for students to explore scientific solutions to global questions. It also helps students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.
At LIS, we offer Biology (HL, SL) and Physics (HL, SL) in Group 4 and Chemistry (HL,SL) as a Group 6 option so that students have the chance to take two Experimental Sciences if they wish to do so.
Group 5 - Mathematics
Candidates are required to complete a mathematics course, with two options being available at LIS: Mathematics (SL) and Mathematical Studies (SL). These courses serve to accommodate the range of needs, interests and abilities of students, and to fulfill the requirements of various university and career aspirations.
The aims of these courses are to enable students to:
- develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles
- develop logical, critical and creative thinking
- employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization
Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.
Group 6 - The Arts or an Optional Chosen Subject
The school offers Visual Arts (HL, SL) as theArts choice for Group 6. The emphasis of the Visual Arts course is on creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research into the relevant genres. It also allows for a high degree of adaptability to different cultural contexts. In addition, the course is designed to foster critical, reflective and informed practice, help students understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts, explore the diversity of arts across time, place and cultures and express themselves with confidence and competence.
Students are also allowed to select an additional subject from Groups 2-5 if they are not comfortable with doing the Visual Arts course. At LIS, we offer Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) from Group 3 or Chemistry from Group 4 as our additional choices. Both of these courses are offered at SL and HL.
The Core Requirements
The Centre of the Hexagon is what makes the IB different from other curricula. These three core requirements broaden the educational experience and ensure that the student develops both academically and as a person.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
TOK is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection and to develop the ability to analyze evidence that is expressed in rational argument. Students critically examine different techniques of learning (emotion, language, sense, perception and reason) as well as different forms of knowledge in the arts, history, human and natural sciences, mathematics and ethics. It is taught over the two year course (100 hours), and the Oral Presentation and TOK Essay are the main areas of assessment for the course. The TOK Essay in combination with the Extended Essay can give students up to 3 extra points towards their Diploma score.
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
CAS aims to educate the whole person and foster responsible, compassionate citizens. Through CAS activities students should develop greater awareness of themselves, concern for others, and the ability to work cooperatively with other people. Participation in the school's CAS program encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering their awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena. Students are required to complete 150 hours of CAS activities in order to receive an IB Diploma.
Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay (40 hours), with a prescribed limit of 4,000 words, offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at the university level. The essay allows students to select a topic from one of their courses or they might add breadth to their academic experience by electing to write on a subject not included in their program choices.
The IB assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Programme courses.
The Diploma Programme goals provide students with:
- a broad and balanced, yet academically demanding, programme of study
- the development of critical-thinking and reflective skills
- the development of research skills
- the development of independent learning skills
- the development of intercultural understanding
- a globally recognized university entrance qualification
Diploma Programme assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills in fulfilling these goals, for example:
- analysing and presenting information
- evaluating and constructing arguments
- solving problems creatively
Basic skills are also assessed, including:
- retaining knowledge
- understanding key concepts
- applying standard methods
In addition to academic skills, Diploma Programme assessment encourages an international outlook and intercultural skills where appropriate.
Assessment tasks are designed to support and encourage good classroom teaching and learning.
Student results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student's position in the overall rank order.
A variety of different methods are used to measure student achievement against the objectives for each course.
Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability. They include:
- structured problems
- short-response questions
- data-response questions
- text-response questions
- case-study questions
- multiple-choice questions (limited use of these)
There are also a small number of other externally assessed pieces of work, for example, Theory of Knowledge essays, Extended Essays and World Literature assignments. These are completed by students over an extended period under teacher supervision instead of examination conditions, and are then marked by external examiners.
Teacher assessment is also used for most courses. This includes:
- oral work in languages
- fieldwork in geography
- laboratory work in the sciences
- investigations in mathematics
- artistic performances
Assessments are checked by external examiners and normally contribute between 20% and 30% of the total mark. The Visual Arts course has assessment of a major practical component (student portfolio), which can account for as much as 50% of the total mark.
Students are internally assessed by their teachers throughout their study. In addition, certain student works are submitted to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for independent assessment. At the end of the two year program, students take external examinations which are moderated by the IBO.
Students are graded on a scale from 1 to 7 in each course, with 7 being the best grade. Students must achieve at least 24 points overall, with certain other minimum requirements, in order to achieve the IB Diploma (maximum score is 45).