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IB Course Descriptions

he International Baccalaureate Organization has developed courses in several disciplines. Each school chooses a well-rounded program from this selection of available IB courses. At Park View Education Centre, the following courses are offered in the IB program:

Pre-IB (Grade 10)

Pre-IB English
Pre-IB French
Pre-IB History
Pre-IB Math
Pre-IB Science

IB (Grades 11 and 12)

IB Biology
IB Chemistry
IB Economics
IB English
IB French
IB History
IB Math
IB Music
IB Physics

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

International Baccalaureate Biology
Biology is the study of living organisms, applying the techniques and approach of the experimental sciences. This
study is undertaken at a variety of levels from the molecular to that of the biosphere, each with its own distinctive
approaches and methods. However, by the end of the course the student should have developed an appreciation of
the interactions among these levels, and of organisms as functioning entities within the biosphere.
The design of the International Baccalaureate Biology Standard Level program seeks to incorporate recent scientific
thinking in many countries. Curriculum content has been selected with the realization that because biology is
continuously and rapidly progressing both in breadth and depth, the contemporary biology curriculum can never be
considered to be stable. Scientific method is best developed and understood through personal experience, therefore
the emphasis throughout the program is on providing students with ample opportunities for research and discovery.

1) Cell Structure and Function
2) Cell Chemistry
3) Theoretical Genetics
4) Applied Genetics
5) DNA Structure and Function
6) Ecology
7) Human Physiology

International Baccalaureate Chemistry
This is a two year higher level course. The approach is traditional, using lecture methods with demonstrations,
visual aids, and discussion. Material is covered quickly, and therefore, the onus is on the student to keep up with the
volume of work.
Lab work is intensive. Over 40 experiments are completed in the program. Practical skills, such as gravimetric and
volumetric analysis, gas and vapour manipulation, physical measurement, measurements, and spectrophometry, are

The basic outline of the course includes:
1) Basic principles, terminology, formulae, equations, stoichiometry
2) Atomic theory
3) Structure and bonding
4) Energetics
5) State of matter
6) Physical equilibrium
7) Chemical equilibrium, including REDOX, acids, and bases
8) Kinetics
9) Periodicity
10) Organic chemistry, naming, mechanistic principles,
11) Group IV Project (all sciences)
12) Option Topics (chosen by instructor)
International Baccalaureate Economics
This is a two-year course offered at higher and standard levels. It is divided into five (5) sections.
1) Introduction to Economics
2) Microeconomics
3) Macroeconomics
4) International Economics
5) Development Economics

Being international in outlook, this course qualifies as the required provincial Global Studies credit. The content of
this course provides a sound basis for careers and first-year post-secondary studies in business, commerce, and
economics. Successful students tend to show an interest in current events and economic decision-making at all
scales; individual, local, national, and global.
At the higher level, 80% of the IB grade is derived from a final external examination, at the standard level, the figure
is 75%. (Students are given the option in the second year of writing the higher or standard level examination.) The
remainder of the grade comes from a portfolio of four (4) commentaries, each of 650-750 words, based on a news
media extract, in which the student links economic theory to a real-world situation.
Internally, assignments, tests and two examinations are used to assess the students’ progress over the two year

International Baccalaureate English
The study of literature is the main focus of this two-year program leading to the examination in IB English. Through
the study of literature, including world literature in translation, the student gains a broadened and international
perspective of literature and human thought. Opportunities are provided for practising and developing oral and
written communication in a variety of styles and for understanding literary study through a more critical exploration
of texts. Fifteen literary works are selected for examination at the higher level. These works are selected according
to a four-part format set by IB, including World Literature, texts for Detailed Study, Groups of Works, and School's
Free Choices. Although each examination year may vary, selections may include the following:
A Thematic Unit of World Literature
Antigone, A Doll’s House, Medea
Detailed Study
Othello, various poets (Keats, Hughes, Atwood, Heaney), Pride and Prejudice, Orwell essays
Groups of Works: Novel and Short Story
Crime and Punishment, Sound of the Waves, The Lost Salt, Gift of Blood, Huckleberry Finn
School's Free Choices
Nineteen Eighty-Four, Things Fall Apart, Brave New World, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Assessment in English is given, at a school level, on work completed in each of the three years of English; many of
these assignments lead directly to the kinds of assessment that are part of the international examination. The IB
Exam in English is based on a 70% External Assessment and a 30% internally arranged oral assessment. The 70%
assessment is based on 50% for a four-hour written exam; a commentary on one of two sight passages, and one
essay question on the Groups of Work above. The other 20% is given on two written assignments on World
Literature that are externally assessed. The 30% oral examination, based on Detailed Study and School's Free
Choices, is assessed at the school level and externally moderated. Summer reading and reader-response writing is
required to remain in the IB English courses.

International Baccalaureate French
This is a two-year standard level course, which covers the content of the academic grade 11 and 12 programs, but is
considerably enriched with supplementary readings, advanced grammar exercises, literary texts, and composition
work. It is expected that students will achieve a high level of functional spoken French. French Immersion students
are not eligible to enrol in IB French (SL) unless they are full IB Diploma candidates.
The French Language B programme is communicative in that it focuses principally on interaction between speakers
and writers of the target language. The main aim of the programme is to prepare the learner to use the language
appropriately in a range of situations and contexts and for a variety of purposes. The skills of listening, speaking,
reading, and writing will be taught and developed through the study of a wide range of oral and written texts of
different styles and registers. Equal emphasis will be given to the teaching of these four skills. Authentic materials
will be used wherever possible and students will be given the maximum exposure to the French language.
The four language skills listed above will be integrated as far as possible with the preparation and presentation of all
learning activities and assessment tasks. In particular, the continuous assessment of oral work will be integrated into
regular classroom activities. The teaching of an appropriate range of grammatical structures will also be integrated
as far as possible with the study of themes and texts and the acquisition of skills.
The aims of the French Language B programme are to:
- develop the ability to communicate accurately and effectively in speech and in writing within a range of contexts;
- develop the ability to understand the language demands of transactional and social contacts;
- provide students with a sound linguistic base for further study, work and leisure;
- offer insights into the culture of the countries where the language is spoken;
- provide the opportunity for enjoyment, creativity and intellectual stimulation.

International Baccalaureate History

History is the attempt made by professional historians to record and reconstruct the past through the study of
evidence derived from a variety of sources. It is concerned with the study of Man in Society in the widest context:
political, social, economic, and cultural. It is concerned both with trends and developments, with change and
continuity through time, and with unique and specific events. History can never be objective in an absolute sense
and the contribution of every historian must contain a subjective element. In so far as history is "a dialogue between
the present and the past," every generation must rewrite its own history in the light of new evidence and under the
influences of its particular attitudes and prejudices. History is also part science, in its approach to evidence, and part
art, in recording and communicating its findings. Historians are partly painstaking scientific researchers and partly
creative artists. These are some of the basic features of history that candidates studying it for the International
Baccalaureate should be capable of understanding and recognizing.
IB History is a two-year course that is global in scope and therefore qualifies as the required provincial Global
Studies credit. The study involves the late 19th century to modern day through the study of: (a) Causes, practices,
and effects of war; (b) Decolonisation; (c) Rise of single party states; and (d) East-West relations after 1945. In
addition to regular testing procedures, there are 750-1000 word papers required throughout the course and an
internal assessment due in the winter of the student’s second year. There will be an in-school examination process
and the IB offers a final external exam, at both the higher and standard level, for which all students will be expected
to prepare. The higher level option in history requires students to develop a more comprehensive understanding of a
wider variety of regional historical topics.

International Baccalaureate Mathematics
This is a two year standard level course which covers all of the Nova Scotia senior high curriculum outcomes as
well as an in-depth study of the following topics: irrational numbers, statistics and probability theory, matrices,
vectors and analytic geometry. A minimum of 35 hours of class time is spent on the study of calculus (both
differential and integral).
The final exam in the standard level comprises 80% of the external IB grade for the course, with the remaining 20%
coming from portfolio assignments given throughout the grade eleven and twelve years.

International Baccalaureate Music
Music is offered at the standard level over a one-year period. The aims of the music program are to:
1) Promote the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of music and the development through practice of
appropriate skills in the three musical activities: listening, performing, composing.
2) Develop a response to sound through training in awareness of its pitch, duration, intensity, and quality.
3) Develop a historical perspective and particularly an awareness of both continuity and change in music.

Historical Studies
1) An outline history of Western music from the Plainsong era to present day.
2) A more detailed study of one period and/or topic which is prescribed in advance by the IB curriculum
office and changed every two years.
3) The study of an aspect of modern (20th century) music

Theoretical Studies
1) Rudiments of music - scales, intervals, tonality, modality, key signatures, meter, rhythm
2) Instrumentation - timbres and ranges
3) Basics of non-keyboard score reading
4) Harmony: to the dominant 7th and simple modulation
5) Free composition

Practical Studies
1) Aural training
2) Performance
3) Sight-reading
** Occasionally, a student with many years of private music lessons will consider IB Music at the higher level.

International Baccalaureate Physics
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very
smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies.
At Park View, we are planning to offer both standard level and higher-level physics in the same classroom, as is
done in many IB schools.
The standard level includes the following topics: 1) Physics and physical measurement, 2) Mechanics, 3) Thermal
Physics, 4) Waves, 5) Electricity and magnetism, and 6) Atomic and nuclear Physics. There are also two fifteen (15)
hour options and a Group 4 project.
The higher level includes: all of the standard level topics (1-6), plus 7) Measurement and uncertainties, 8)
Mechanics (extensions), 9) Thermal Physics (extensions), 10) Wave Phenomena, 11) Electromagnetism, and 12)
Quantum physics and nuclear Physics (extensions). There are also two twenty-two (22) hour options and a Group 4
Students in IB Physics will experience many lab experiments in their pursuit for an understanding of the physical

Theory Of Knowledge
This course is obligatory for every candidate for the Diploma because it is a key element in the educational
philosophy of the IB. Its purpose is to stimulate critical reflection upon the knowledge and the experience of
students both in and outside the classroom. The course is thus "philosophical" in the sense that it is meant to
encourage students to acquire a critical awareness of what they and others know through analyzing concepts and
arguments as well as the bases of value judgments, which all human beings have to make.
The aims of the Theory of Knowledge program are to lead students to:
- engage in reflection on and questioning of the bases of knowledge and experience;
- be aware of subjective and ideological biases;
- develop a personal mode of thought based on critical examination of evidence and argument, and;
- formulate rational arguments

Performance Criteria
Students should be able to:
- use language clearly, consistently, and appropriately;
- appreciate the strengths and limitations of the various kinds of knowledge, as well as their similarities and
- relate subjects studied to one another, to general knowledge, and to living experience
- demonstrate awareness of the virtues and the limitations of both their individual outlook and the views common to
the communities and cultures to which they belong, and
- show proper appreciation of the power of reason to recognize its capacities and its own limitations, to overcome
ignorance and prejudice as well as to advance both academic knowledge and practical understanding between
individuals, communities, nations, and cultures.

Program Outline

1)  Knowledge

2)  Ways of Knowing:

a) Reason
b) Emotion
c) Perception
d) Language

3)  Areas of Knowledge:

a) Mathematics
b) Natural sciences
c) Human sciences
d) History
e) Ethics
f) The Arts

4)  An exploration of what it means to live a “good life”

Essays and Assessment
Students will submit essays, assignments, presentations, etc. for assessment by the teacher on specific topics within
the above program outline. Diploma students are required to submit one essay, for external assessment, from the list
of specific topics provided by IB. Diploma students will also be internally assessed on in-class presentations they
make throughout the course. The essence of the course is dialogue.

CAS (Creativity, Action, Service)
The IB Diploma Program seeks to provide a comprehensive and well-balanced educational experience. Thus, every
diploma student is required to engage in constructive "non-academic," service-related activities for the equivalent of
one afternoon, or two to three hours per week. The number of hours must total at least 150 over the two years of the
student's program. The CAS program at Park View consists of a whole range of activities from which each student
chooses one or a combination of several options to provide individual challenge in each of the three areas -
creativity, action, and service. Whenever possible, these activities are open to all Park View students, as well as to
the students in the IB program. Students are encouraged to develop their own program to meet their own needs and
interests, as well as to complement their past experiences. It is emphasized, however, that students must have a
program which provides them with opportunities for growth in creativity, action, and service. Sample CAS activities
1) “Creativity” Options
- Photography, concert and jazz bands, drama, pottery, drawing and painting, woodworking, graphic design.
2) “Action” Options
- Team sports - basketball, volleyball, cross-country, track and field
- Individual athletic activities - skiing, hiking, aerobics, canoeing, etc.
3) “Service” Options
- Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Peer Mediation
- Student Council
- Youth for Social Justice
- Yearbook
- Volunteer Community Service

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