High School

At the high school level at GIFS, Grades 9-12, all students are placed in a rigorous college preparatory program. In Grades 9 and 10, GIFS uses resources which are endorsed by Cambridge International Examinations as directly supporting their syllabuses and curriculum frameworks. These underpin the curriculum in the secondary school. Each course takes two full years to complete and is adapted to the academic strengths, interests, and needs of our students. The grading system ranges from A* at the top to G at the bottom, with grades A* to C being recognised as good passes. A minimum of 5 good passes is required for enrollment in the IB Diploma Programme for Grades 11 and 12. To learn more about the IB Diploma Programme, click here: The IB Diploma Programme at GIFS

Students study the following subjects:

English Language, World Literature, International Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Physical Education, Interactive Computer Technology, History, Art, and have a choice between Spanish or Korean as a second or additional language.

Here, students sample many disciplines, which may prove to be a passion or interest in the future. In our program, we believe that by offering a variety of courses based on faculty talents and student interest, we can best prepare students for future academic challenges.

Students also follow a course of study for personal, social, and health education called Life Orientation.

Students are granted one graduation credit per year for one year of a course. Students must successfully complete an array of required courses for a total of 25 credits through high school in order to graduate with a GIFS high school diploma.

Families and students should refer to the School Handbook for specific graduation requirements.

Click on the download link below for the Grade 9-10 Subject Grade Boundaries.
Click on the download link below for the Grade 11-12 Subject Grade Boundaries.
English Language Arts
Grades 9 & 10 First Language English
First Language English is designed for learners whose first language is English. First Language English learners develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in both speech and writing. They learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.

Learners are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. First Language English also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

Grades 9 & 10 World Literature
World Literature encourages learners to explore literature from different countries and cultures. Through study of great novelists, poets and dramatists from around the world, learners acquire lifelong skills in interpreting and evaluating texts. They learn how to develop and communicate an informed personal response to literature.

The syllabus has been designed to be flexible: schools and teachers can choose texts relevant to their learners’ circumstances and teachers’ own specialist interests. The aims of the syllabus are to develop learners’ ability to enjoy, understand and respond to literature written in English or in English translation from different countries and cultures.

Grades 11 & 12 English Language A
Language and literature course introduces the critical study and interpretation of written and spoken texts from a wide range of literary and non literary genres. The formal analysis of texts is supplemented by awareness that meaning is not fixed but can change in respect to contexts of production and consumption.

The course is organized into four parts, each focused on the study of either literary or non-literary texts. Together, the four parts of the course allow the student to explore the language A in question through its cultural development and use, its media forms and functions, and its literature. Students develop skills of literary and textual analysis, and also the ability to present their ideas effectively. A key aim is the development of critical literacy.


Grades 9 & 10 International Mathematics
International Mathematics has been developed for schools offering an international curriculum. It complements the IB curriculum, offering an assessment and certification at the end of the Middle Years Programme. International Mathematics reflects the way today’s learners like to learn: they will acquire a solid foundation of mathematical skills and learn how to develop strategies for solving open-ended problems.

The course also allows learners to develop and sharpen their investigation and modeling skills, and introduces them to the use of graphical calculators – a necessary part of the IB Diploma.

Grades 11 Pre-Calculus
In this course, the students will review and learn more depth in Trigonometric, Geometric, and Algebraic techniques and how to integrate them to prepare for the study of calculus and strengthens their conceptual understanding of problems and mathematical reasoning in solving problems. In addition to work out problems by hand, the students will learn how to use technology such as TI 83/84/89 & TI-n’spire These standards take a functional point of view toward those topics. The most significant new concept is that of limits.

Grade 12 AP Calc AB
In this college level math course, students will learn real world problem solving using math and explore all aspects of single-variable calculus. Students will study limits, differentiation, applications of differentiation, integration, applications of integration and basic differential equations. The students will learn both algebraic approach and geometric approach to understand calculus with help of technology (TI 83/84/89) and graphical analysis. At the conclusion of the course, students are encouraged to take the AP Calculus exam (AB).

Social Studies

Grades 9 & 10 History
The History syllabus looks at some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as covering the history of particular regions in more depth. The emphasis is on both historical knowledge and on the skills required for historical research.

Learners develop an understanding of the nature of cause and effect, continuity and change, similarity and difference and find out how to use and understand historical evidence as part of their studies. History as a subject will stimulate any learner already interested in the past, providing a basis for further study, and also encouraging a lifelong interest in the subject. Both coursework and non-coursework options are available.

Grades 9 & 10 Geography
Through the Geography syllabus, learners will develop a ‘sense of place’ by looking at the world around them on a local, regional and global scale. Learners will examine a range of natural and man-made environments, and study some of the processes which affected their development. They will also look at the ways in which people interact with their environment, and the opportunities and challenges an environment can present, thereby gaining a deeper insight into the different communities and cultures that exist around the world.

Grades 11 & 12 History
The Diploma Programme history course aims to promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of its sources, methods and interpretations. It is particularly focused on the interpretation and analysis of various primary sources to determine their values and limitations. It also helps students to gain a better understanding of the present through critical reflection upon the past.

This course focuses on 20th century world history, focusing first on causes and practices of the World Wars, then broadening its focus to examine decolonization, nationalism, and the Cold War during the second half of the century.

It is hoped that many students who follow the course will become fascinated with the discipline, developing a lasting interest in it whether or not they continue to study it formally.


Grades 9 & 10 Physics
The Physics syllabus helps learners to understand the technological world in which they live, and take an informed interest in science and scientific developments. They learn about the basic principles of Physics through a mix of theoretical and practical studies. Learners also develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for further study at Cambridge International A Level, IB Diploma skills which are useful in everyday life.

As they progress, learners gain an understanding of how science is studied and practised, and become aware that the results of scientific research can have both good and bad effects on individuals, communities and the environment.

Grades 11 & 12 Physics
Physics is the study of the motion of matter, energy, and forces. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of physics and to prepare students for a general physics course in university. The course topics are: lab safety and lab materials, the science of physics, motion in one dimension, two-dimensional motion and vectors, forces and the laws of motion, work and energy, momentum and collisions, circular motion and gravitation, fluid mechanics, heat, thermodynamics, vibration and waves, sound, light and reflection, refraction, and interference and diffraction.

Grades 9 & 10 Chemistry
The Chemistry syllabus enables learners to understand the technological world in which they live, and take an informed interest in science and scientific developments. Learners gain an understanding of the basic principles of Chemistry through a mix of theoretical and practical studies. They also develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for further study at Cambridge International A Level, IB Diploma skills which are useful in everyday life.

As they progress, learners understand how science is studied and practised, and become aware that the results of scientific research can have both good and bad effects on individuals, communities and the environment.

Grades 11 & 12 Chemistry
Chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is often called the central science as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is often a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science.

Grades 9 & 10 Environmental Management
Environmental Management is concerned with education for sustainable development in a world where the security of resources and life-sustaining systems is endangered by human impact. The syllabus draws upon disciplines such as biology, earth science, geography, economics and anthropology.

It starts with the interdependence of the Earth’s natural systems and how people use natural resources, and moves on to examine the impact of development on the environment. Issues such as environmental pollution and resource depletion are examined, but the view of them is forward looking, to see how we may change the nature of development towards future sustainability.

Grades 11 & 12 Environmental Systems and Societies
Through studying environmental systems and societies (ESS) students will be provided with a coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies; one that enables them to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face. The teaching approach is such that students are allowed to evaluate the scientific, ethical and socio-political aspects of issues.


Grades 9 & 10 Physical Social & Health Education
Students from Grade 9 and Grade 10 take part in PSHE classes as part of their weekly schedule. PSHE education is a planned programme of learning though which pupils acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. As part of a whole school approach, it develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. PSHE education addresses both pupils’ direct experience and preparation for their future. A spiral programme ensures learning is revisited, reinforced and extended in age- and stage-appropriate contexts. GIFS has developed a PSHE programme which meets pupils’ needs and which is tailored to local circumstances.

Grades 9 & 10 Physical Education
The syllabus provides learners with an opportunity to study both the practical and theoretical aspects of physical education. It is designed to encourage enjoyment in physical activity by providing learners with an opportunity to take part in a range of physical activities and develop an understanding of effective and safe physical performance. This helps learners to develop an appreciation of the necessity for sound understanding of the principles, practices and training that underpin improved performance, better health and well-being.

Grades 9 & 10 Information and Communication Technology
The Information Communication Technology syllabus encourages learners to develop lifelong skills, which will be useful to them in their work across the curriculum and prepare them for future employment. They will develop understanding of the implications of technology in society, including social, economic and ethical uses and awareness of the ways ICT can help in home, learning and work environments.

The syllabus combines theoretical and practical studies focusing on the ability to use common software applications to solve problems, including word processors, spreadsheets, databases, interactive presentation software, web browsers and website design. Learners analyse, design, implement, test and evaluate ICT systems, ensuring that they are fit for purpose.

Assessment of the practical tests is hardware and software independent. Any hardware platform, operating system, and applications packages can be used, providing that learners have the opportunity to demonstrate the full range of skills in the syllabus.

Grades 11 & 12 Information Technology in a Global Society
This innovative and slightly unique subject examines the effect of information technology on individuals and societies. The ITGS framework is modelled on three interconnected strands: social and ethical significance, application to specified scenarios and IT systems. It uses an integrated approach, encouraging students to make informed judgements and decisions about the role of information and communication technologies in contemporary society. The ITGS triangle lies at the heart of the pedagogy.

With an understanding of information technology students must be able to evaluate social/ethical issues in specified scenarios. The students also develop life-long practical skills in database management systems, website authoring and spreadsheets. This curriculum demands very strong research skills and higher-level cognitive thinking skills.

Grades 11 & 12Psychology
Students undertaking the course develop an understanding of how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied. This allows them to have a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behaviour.

The holistic approach reflected in the curriculum, which sees biological, cognitive and sociocultural analysis being taught in an integrated way ensures that students are able to develop an understanding of what all humans share, as well as the immense diversity of influences on human behaviour and mental processes. The ethical concerns raised by the methodology and application of psychological research are also key considerations of the IB psychology course.

Grades 9 & 10 Art and Design
The Art and Design syllabus aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Learners gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. They also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. An ideal foundation for further study, Art and Design also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.

Grades 11 & 12 The Arts
At GIFS our Arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Supporting the International Baccalaureate mission statement and learner profile, the course encourages students to actively explore the visual arts within and across a variety of local, regional, national, international and intercultural contexts.

Grades 11 & 12 Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
The Theory of knowledge plays a central role in the grades 11 and 12 two years program. It challenges students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know by examining the different ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. It also encourages them to consider the role which knowledge plays in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world. In addition, TOK prompts students to become aware of themselves as thinkers and recognize the need to act responsibily in an interconnected world.

Assessment is based on an oral presentation which is internally marked and a 1600 word essay which is externally marked. The presentation assesses the ability of the student to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation, while the essay takes a more conceptual starting point.

Grades 9 & 10 Spanish as a Foreign Language
This syllabus is designed for learners who are learning Spanish as a foreign language. The aim is to develop an ability to use the language effectively for practical communication. The course is based on the linked language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and these are built on as learners progress through their studies.

The syllabus also aims to offer insights into the culture and civilisation of countries where the language is spoken, thus encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards speakers of foreign languages.

Grades 11 & 12 Spanish Ab Initio
The Spanish ab initio course is a language acquisition course for students with little or no experience of the language.

The course is organized into three themes: individual and society, leisure and work, and urban and rural environment. Each theme comprises a list of topics that provide students with opportunities to practice and explore the language and to develop intercultural understanding.

Through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills, students develop the ability to respond and interact appropriately in a defined range of everyday situations.

Grades 9 & 10 Korean as a Foreign Language
The Grade 9 and 10 Korean course encourages learners to develop the ability to use a foreign language as a means of practical communication as well as insight into the culture and civilization of Korea where Korean language is spoken. Students are expected to demonstrate

a positive attitude towards language learning and the speakers of other languages​; ​and towards other cultures and civilizations.

The syllabus content is organized around two broad ​topic areas which provide contexts for the acquisition of vocabulary and the study of grammar and structures. The t​opic areas are: everyday activities, and personal and social life. Through the study of these areas, students gain insight into Korea and the community.

Grades 11 & 12 Korean A
This is a literature course that is studied in Korean. This course promotes respect for the literary heritage of the student’s home language and provides an opportunity for students to continue to develop oral and written skills in their mother tongue. It enables an exploration of one of the more enduring fields of human creativity, and provides opportunities for encouraging independent, original, critical and clear thinking. Through the study of a wide range of literature, Korean A: literature course encourages students to appreciate the artistry of literature and to develop an ability to reflect critically on their reading. The response to the study of literature is through oral and written communication, thus enabling students to develop and refine their command of language.

GIFS Diploma
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the GIFS Diploma is recognized as completion of a high school level programme of study. The GIFS Diploma is based on a credit system and credits can be earned from Grade 9. All International Baccalaureate subjects are graded on a 1-7 scale. A GIFS passing grade of at least three (3) on a scale of seven (7) in any IB subject earns 1 credit, whilst a ‘C’ grade in grades 9 and 10 constitutes 1 credit. Fulltime students must take at least 6 subjects per year (6 credits). The following table outlines the subjects and programme requirements where students can accumulate credits or partial credits.

The following document explains the GIFS Graduation Diploma Requirements. Please click on icon below to download it.