Secondary School (11-19 Years)

Welcome to our Secondary School

Here at ISL, we believe it is our role to care for and guide students to embrace opportunities in order to reach their fullest potential. At ISL, we support and encourage each Secondary schooler to broaden their experiences, explore new areas of interest and positively contribute to our community.

Grades 6-12 are very important years in your student’s life and school experience. These are also some of the most challenging times in the lives of our students, physically, emotionally and socially. Hence one of our jobs in the Secondary School is to help students successfully navigate through this time of great learning and growth.

Secondary School is a time of change, personal discovery, and broadening exploration. Students in the Secondary School enjoy a challenging academic curriculum that fosters a love of learning and nurtures the growth of self worth. Students take part in a diverse selection of classes as part of the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP) allowing them to explore new opportunities and build upon previous knowledge. Whilst nurturing and fulfilling academic potential is an important aspect of delivering a sound education; at ISL we believe in delivering a truly well-rounded and holistic education.

At the start of every year students attend our Adventure and Community Trips, where they have the opportunity to explore Latvia and come together as a School community. Throughout the school year, students have many opportunities to participate in Sports, Arts, Music, clubs and activities in order to further develop a broad range of experiences.

Our Advisory Program is a critical pillar of our Secondary program delivery, helping students work through the social, emotional and physical changes of their growth as a student, as well as an adolescent. Each student will be assigned an advisor, who will work closely with them and be another advocate for them. Advisory groups will have the opportunity to meet every day, covering various topics in small groups and as whole grade levels.

At ISL we believe that learning from each other is a transformative experience helping us see new perspectives and opportunities. Through this approach we become closer as we build a collaborative community together. Our students seek out opportunities to have fun, ask questions, and challenge themselves to grow.

Please explore our website, and if you are already here in Latvia come and see what an excellent and exciting school we have here at ISL.

Warm regards,

Mark Robertson-Jones
Secondary School Principal
secondary.principal@isl.edu.lv

Middle Years Programme

The MYP is comprised of grades 6-10 and students study eight subjects (Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Math, Science, Humanities, Design, Physical and Health Education, Arts-visual and performing).

Below, you can see the MYP curriculum model. Notice that the Learner Profile is central to the MYP, as it is in all IB programs. Moving beyond the central feature, approaches to teaching and learning, concepts, and global contexts play a major role in learning. All MYP units revolve around key and related concepts that are grounded in one of six global contexts. The global contexts provide a lens in which to inquire into various concepts and content related to the discipline. The approaches to learning (ATL) consist of a plethora of skills that are either explicitly taught or practiced in order to meet the course learning objectives. The student’s strength of the ATL skills is fully demonstrated through the Personal Project in the final year of the MYP.

The MYP philosophy emphasizes holistic learning, international mindedness, service and action, and inquiry. The IB philosophy is supported by our school mission and community values.

 

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Assessment in the MYP is criteria based, which means a student’s work is compared to a set of predetermined standards in each subject area.  Each subject has four assessment criteria that are aligned with course objectives.  Judged against the standards, a student can earn up to 8 points in each criterion.  To determine the final course grade, the best fit score from each criterion is added and converted to a mark of 1-7 (the grade-level boundaries are set by the IB).

Currently, ISL reports grades via the report card at the end of each semester, with progress comments issued in two additional reporting periods.  MYP units of study as well as student progress can be viewed through ManageBac.

More information about MYP Program at ISL can be found here!

Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is an assessed programme for students aged 16 to 19. It is respected by leading universities across the globe.

Through the DP, we develop students who:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • study at least two languages
  • excel in traditional academic subjects
  • explore the nature of knowledge through the program’s unique Theory of Knowledge Program

The DP organizes teaching and learning through six subject groups, underpinned by the DP core.

Students choose a course from within each subject group. For most courses, students take written examinations at the end of the DP. In many program areas, students complete externally assessed coursework.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) – This is a critical thinking course that examines cultural perspectives and ways of knowing.  Students are assessed by completing a presentation and an essay.

Extended Essay (EE) – This is a 4,000-word essay that provides the opportunity to research and investigate a topic of personal interest.  It is sent to the IB in Grade 12 for grading.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) – This takes learning outside the classroom.  Students initiate artistic pursuits, sports and community service.  Their reflections and records are sent to the IB.

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All students are ISL High School Diploma candidates, and subject to the following graduation requirements:

To obtain an ISL Diploma, a student must:

  • Successfully complete all courses that meet ISL’s credit requirements from Grades 9 to 12 (see below). In order to receive credit for a course, a student must earn a 3 or higher at the end of the marking period. If a student fails a class, they must make up the credit.
  • Complete and pass an Extended Essay/ Senior Project. If a student is not doing the Extended Essay, he/she will work in conjunction with his/her advisor and the DP Coordinator to determine a suitable Grade 12 project.
  • Fulfill Creativity Action Service (CAS) requirements and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) requirements (essay and presentation) in Grades 11 and 12.
  • Not be absent from school for an excessive amount of time in any given academic year. If a student is absent for more than 20 percent of the total course contact time in any given subject in any given academic year, their eligibility for promotion to the next grade, or graduation, will need to be reviewed by the High School Principal and the Director.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded an ISL diploma, a student has to attend ISL for at least one academic year and be registered in all subject groups of the program. The ISL Diploma is equivalent to a United States high school diploma and is widely recognized. The minimum requirements for an ISL diploma are:

English

Mathematics

Science

Social Sciences

4 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

3 Credits

Foreign Language

Physical Education/Health

Fine Arts / Performing

Electives

2 Credits

2 Credits

2 Credits

3 Credits

Option 1: ISL Diploma

A student may choose to pursue an ISL Diploma, completing ISL classes without registering for IB Course Exams. The ISL Diploma is well-recognized by many universities around the world. This would be most suited for a student with needs for more customized course options, (e.g. an online course that ISL does not offer, a course taught by a private tutor liaising with the school, or a modified course within the school).

For the ISL Diploma student, an Extended Essay is not required. Instead, a Grade 12 Project will be determined together with the student’s advisor and DP Coordinator and completed, preferably by December, but no later than May 1st of Grade 12.  If the student chooses, CAS progress and TOK assessments will be sent to the IB. If the student chooses not to send the assessments to the IB, they will be assessed internally by the CAS Coordinator and the TOK teacher in order to meet ISL’s graduation requirements.

Option 2: ISL Diploma + IB Course Exams

In addition to being candidates for the ISL High School Diploma, students in Grade 11 taking IB courses may be considered IB Course candidates in the IB courses that they choose.  This means that they may be registered for one or several Higher Level/Standard Level courses, based on which levels provide an appropriate balance of challenge and success. For example, a student may choose to do all their subjects at Standard Level. They will complete IB exams and IB assessments, and receive certificates and grades from the IB for each course completed.  They do not need to be full IB Diploma candidates in order to receive these certificates.

In order for a student to continue in a course at Higher Level past the first semester, a student must earn at least a 4 in the subject for their Semester One grade. If a student receives a 3 or less in Semester One, the student must continue the subject at Standard Level.

This option is designed for the student that will be applying to university based on their ISL High School Diploma, but who desires certification and recognition that they have taken and completed a selection of IB courses and met the external requirements of the IBO.

Just as for the ISL Diploma  student, an Extended Essay is not required. Instead, a Grade 12 Project will be determined together with the student’s advisor and DP Coordinator and completed, preferably by December, but no later than May 1st of Grade 12.  If the student chooses, CAS progress and TOK assessments will be sent to the IB. If the student chooses not to send the assessments to the IB, they will be assessed internally by the CAS Coordinator and the TOK teacher in order to meet ISL’s graduation requirements.

IB Option 3: ISL Diploma + Full IB Diploma

If a student wishes to pursue the full IB Diploma, they will need to be registered for at least 3 Higher Level subjects out of their 6 subject choices.  They will also need to meet IB requirements for the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS. Qualified ISL students who would like to pursue the full IB Diploma are officially registered as full IB diploma candidates with the IBO in Semester One of their 12th grade year.

Requirements to Become a Registered Diploma Candidate  

1. Students must have completed  ⅔ of their CAS requirements by October 1st of their 12th grade year.  All CAS progress and reflections must be correctly documented on ManageBac and approved by the CAS Coordinator.

2. Students must maintain semester grades of 4 or above in all of their  HL courses and semester grades of 3 and above in their SL courses at the conclusion of their 11th grade year.

3. Students must meet all deadlines and requirements relating to the TOK course and the Extended Essay.

4. Students must not have any significant violations of the ISL Academic Honesty Agreement.

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