Senior School – Years 12 – 13

Welcome to the Senior School!  Sha Tin College has approximately 300 students in the Senior School (Years 12 and 13).  The students follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma or Courses Programme and, with a choice of over 30 subjects available, the curriculum is able to cater well for the needs of the individual student.  Alongside the curriculum the students will have the opportunity to become involved in many diverse activities and events which will develop lifelong skills and hopefully create some lasting memories.  The Senior school students are supported and guided throughout the two years through a well-developed system of guidance that covers emotional well being, academic welfare and Higher Education and Career aspirations.

Core Components (EE TOK CAS)

CAS - Creativity, Action and Service

Aims and Philosophy

CAS is one of the core components in the IB diploma programme and provides an ongoing opportunity to develop many of the attributes described in the IB learner profile. It is a counter-balance to the academic side of the Diploma programme designed to reward and enrich the student’s experiences. The idea of CAS is to enable the students to have opportunities to enhance their personal and interpersonal development and to have balanced and fulfilling experiences.

CAS is described as “experiential education” as it involves real activities with significant outcomes. It allows the opportunity for students to take risks, explore, undertake challenges and set goals for personal development. It emphasizes the importance of reflection which is central to building meaningful experiences and in developing self-awareness.

The CAS programme aims to develop students who are:

• Reflective thinkers- they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth.
• Willing to accept new challenges and new roles
• Aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
• Active participants in sustained, collaborative projects.
• Balanced as they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.

For full details on the requirements of the CAS component of the IB programme click here

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay (EE) aims to give you the chance to undertake a piece of independent research into a topic that interests you. It is seen as an excellent introduction to the type of work you will be undertaking in university. It is valued very highly by admissions tutors as it allows them to see that you can already cope with independent study. The emphasis of the assessment is placed on the way you have gone about your research and the clarity with which you have communicated your findings. Some assessment criteria assess the level of analysis or quality of your conclusions. and there are a significant number of marks available for ensuring that the presentation of your work complies with IBO guidelines.

The EE and Theory of Knowledge together contribute 3 points towards your Diploma. These bonus points can play an important role in meeting university points offers. Your essay must fit clearly into one of the IB Diploma subjects. You are not allowed to combine areas and it is recommended that you do your essay in a subject you are studying at Higher Level, as you will have more experience in and knowledge of these areas. Remember that you are being asked to complete an in-depth piece of research with minimal teacher input. Non completion of the EE is a failing condition for the Diploma. If you get an E for EITHER the EE or ToK, this is also a failing condition.

You will be supervised by a member of staff who is probably a subject specialist in the area you have chosen. The supervisor’s main responsibilities will be:
• To encourage and support you
• To provide you with advice and guidance
• To ensure that the Extended Essay is your own work
• To complete a supervisor’s report on your progress with the Essay

Although your supervisor will guide you through the process, you will be required to decide on the topic, the research question and develop your own ideas. Your supervisor must ensure that the chosen research question satisfies appropriate legal and ethical standards with regard to health and safety, confidentiality and human rights, and animal welfare and environmental issues.

The IB recommends a total of 40 hours for all preparation, research, note taking and writing. Is it very important you follow the assessment criteria as this is the criteria on which your essay is marked. Your essay is sent to an outside examiner to be marked. It is very important that you meet the internal school deadline to ensure that your essay is able to reach the external examiner in time. Essays that are late to the examiner will not be marked.

Theory of Knowledge

Specifically, the aims of the TOK course are for students to:
• make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines and the wider world
• develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
• develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
• critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives
• understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action.

TOK explores language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition and memory as ways of knowing. Since these things rarely work in isolation the TOK course explores how they work together both in the context of different areas of knowledge and in relation to the individual knower. Areas of knowledge are specific branches of knowledge each of which has a distinct nature and different methods of gaining knowledge. The TOK course looks at eight areas of knowledge which are: mathematics, the natural sciences, the human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems and indigenous knowledge systems. These areas are compared and contrasted in order to allow a deeper exploration of the relationship between areas of knowledge and ways of knowing.

Students are assessed through one presentation (internally marked) and one essay (externally marked). The marks for this TOK course form part of the core IB points (up to three points given).

Studies in language and literature

Chinese

The Chinese department offers two Language A courses for students who wish to pursue a Chinese Bilingual IB Diploma qualification. These include Chinese A: Language and Literature offered at both higher and standard level and Chinese A: Literature offered at both higher and standard level.

Chinese A: Language and Literature– Standard and Higher Level

Chinese A: Language and Literature is a course designed for students who have experience of using Chinese in an academic context. The focus of this course is to develop an understanding of language construction and the function of context in this process. The course is divided into four parts: two parts of the course relate to the study of language and two parts relate to the study of literature.

The course develops skills in textual analysis. Throughout the course, students study four literary texts at Standard Level and six at Higher Level. In addition, in both HL and SL courses, students study a variety of other text-type resources, such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites, documentaries and other media.

Chinese A: Literature – Standard and Higher Level
This course focuses entirely on the study of literature. Students will develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and the ability to form independent literary judgments. Through literature, students will be provided with an insight into the experiences, ideas and feelings of others living during different time periods and in various cultures. This process can develop sympathy, understanding and tolerance of others as well as facilitating a greater understanding and appreciation of the students’ own life and culture. At Higher Level, students study 13 literary texts; at Standard Level, students study 10 texts.

Chinese A courses requires a high level of reading and writing skills. These courses improve the skills acquired in IGCSE First Language Chinese. Students who have taken IGCSE First Chinese (0509) in Year 10 and 11 will have the opportunity to choose these courses. Students who successfully complete a Chinese A course will achieve the prestigious IB Bilingual diploma.

English

Senior School : Years 12-13
All students at STC study one of the following Group 1 courses in English, either at Higher Level or at Standard Level:
• Language A: Literature (HL or SL)
• Language A: Language and Literature (HL or SL)
• Literature and Performance (SL only, with Theatre Studies)
• Literature school-supported self-taught (SL only)

Although each course studies significantly different texts and each course has different areas of focus, there will be an overlap in some instances. However, all courses aim to develop students’ literacy in terms of their social, aesthetic and cultural understanding and increase their levels of communication skills. The levels of students’ language usage, analysis and critical reflection are the same for all three courses.

Language A: Literature (HL or SL)
The focus of the course is to study a range of literature from different cultures, genres and periods, including the study of literature in translation. Students are encouraged to appreciate the craft of writers and reflect critically and analytically on texts read, both through oral and written assessments. The course focuses on students’ ability to develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and promoting the ability to form independent literary judgments. Texts in translation are studied to challenge students to reflect upon a range of different cultural assumptions.
Higher Level: a total of 13 literary texts are studied
Standard Level: a total of 10 literary texts are studied
Students are assessed through externally assessed written assignments and end of year examinations, and internally assessed oral activities.

Language A: Language and Literature (HL or SL)
This two year course focuses on the study and critical interpretation of a range of both literary and non-literary texts, written and spoken. Two of the units explore literary texts from different cultures, periods and genres and two of the units explore non-literary texts, focusing on Language in Cultural Context and Language of Mass Communication. Students are encouraged to show an awareness of how the context of production and reception of a text has significance on the meaning of a text, as well as showing a critical appreciation of the language, linguistic and structural devices used by writers.
Higher Level: 6 literary texts, including one text in translation, from a selection of different genres, periods and places.
Standard Level: 4 literary texts, including one text in translation, from a selection of different genres, periods and places.
Students are assessed through externally assessed written assignments and formal end of year examinations, and internally assessed oral activities.

Literature and Performance (SL only, taught in conjunction with Theatre Studies)
This course focuses on the relationship and interaction between literary analysis and the role of performance in our understanding of dramatic literature. Students undertake the close reading of literary texts and through critical writing and discussion explore the practical, aesthetic and symbolic elements of performance. Over the two years, students study a wide variety of textual genres to understand the concept of transformation and they explore the ways in which the contexts of production and reception shape meaning. This course helps develop particularly strong oral and written skills as well as a range of performance skills.
This course is only available at Standard Level and a minimum of 5 literary texts are studied, covering all the main literary genres.
Students are assessed through written coursework, performance and oral assessments as well as formal end of course examinations.

Literature school-supported self-taught (SL only)
This course is aimed at highly self-motivated and independent learners, who have a very high standard of proficiency in their first language, other than Chinese and English, in all four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The focus of the course is to study a range of literature, from different cultures, genres and periods, including the study of literature in translation. Students are encouraged to appreciate the craft of writers and reflect critically and analytically on texts read, both through oral and written assessments. The course focuses on students’ ability to develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and promoting the ability to form independent literary judgements. Texts in translation are studied to challenge students to reflect upon a range of different cultural assumptions. Students may choose to take this course, if they want to gain the bilingual diploma. Students will be supported by a tutor in or outside of school, depending on the language being studied. They will also be allocated a supervisor who will provide additional support in a classroom setting.
Standard Level: a total of 10 literary texts are studied
Students are assessed through externally assessed written assignments and end of year examinations, and internally assessed oral activities.

Language acquisition

Chinese

The Chinese department offers various IB course options for students to choose from. These include Mandarin Language B offered at both higher and standard level and Chinese Language A offered at both higher and standard level (explained in the ‘Studies in Language and Literature’ section).

Mandarin B: Higher and Standard Level
The aim of the IB Mandarin B course is to develop the ability to communicate accurately and effectively in both speech and writing in a variety of contexts. The course encourages students to develop an appreciation for Chinese culture as well as promoting respect for cross-cultural exchange. This course will also help students realise the importance of learning a foreign language in the modern world, and understand its role as an essential tool in the world of work.

The course is a second language programme for students who have had previous experience of learning Chinese. In most cases, students will have studied Chinese at IGCSE level (or equivalent) immediately prior to the beginning of their IB course.

The course consists of five topics, three of which are core topics and are obligatory: social relationships, communication and media, and global issues. In addition two optional topics will be chosen by the teacher to be studied from a list of the following: cultural diversity, customs and traditions, health, leisure, science and technology. Higher students study the same topics as standard as well as two literature texts.

Students will engage frequently in oral and listening activities throughout the course with particular emphasis on the discussion of issues arising from the three themes. Written work will be of a varied nature and will, for example, include letters, imagined conversations, reports, discursive essays and for higher level creative writing.

The students from IGCSE First Language Chinese are suggested to take the Language A or Language B Higher courses. The students from Chinese as a Second Language are suggested to take Language B Higher Level or Language B Standard Level. The students from IGCSE Foreign Language Mandarin are suggested to take Language B Standard Level.

Students who have found their IGCSE language course very challenging, or who wish to broaden their horizons by learning a new language can consider Ab Initio Japanese or Italian as their IB language option.

French and Spanish

Language B – offered at Standard and Higher Levels

Aims of the course
The aims of the IB course are to develop the ability to communicate accurately and effectively in both speech and writing in a variety of contexts. The course provides students an awareness into the culture of the countries where the language is spoken, and encourages students to see language learning as an integral part of the modern world, either in a social or recreational context or as an essential tool for the word of work.

Who is the course suitable for?
The Higher Level course is suitable for those students who have been very successful at IGCSE level (or the equivalent) and who are happy to pursue their second language education to a much more sophisticated level. Higher level is both challenging and rewarding for those students who attain a B grade or above at IGCSE, and who may wish to pursue their language studies at University.

The Standard Level course follows the same course outline as the Higher Level, but with reduced content and no study of literature. Students need to have completed an IGCSE level course (or equivalent) in their chosen language to a Grade C or above and should feel happy to continue improving their foreign language skills beyond the everyday approach of the IGCSE. The Standard Level group will be taught separately from the Higher Level.

The course consists of five topics, three of which are core topics and are obligatory: social relationships, communication and media, and global issues. In addition two optional topics can be chosen by the teacher to be studied from a list of the following: cultural diversity, customs and traditions, health, leisure, science and technology. Higher students will study the same topics as standard as well as two literature texts.

Students will engage frequently in oral and listening activities throughout the course with particular emphasis on the discussion of issues arising from the three themes. Written work will be of a varied nature and will, for example, include letters, imagined conversations, reports, discursive essays and for higher level creative writing.

Students who have found their IGCSE language very challenging, or who wish to broaden their language knowledge should consider Japanese or Italian Ab Initio as their IB option language acquisition option.

Japanese and Italian Ab Initio

The Ab Initio programme is a second language learning programme designed to be studied over two years at Standard Level by students who have no previous experience of learning the target language. It is therefore designed to meet the needs of those IB students who have had no opportunity for foreign language study in their earlier education and therefore are unable to fulfil IB diploma requirements for Group 2. It is an ideal programme for those students wishing to diversify their already proven linguistic skills and achieve a high level of proficiency in a new language. Students may choose to study a language at this level if they have studied it for a maximum of one year in the middle school. Currently we offer Japanese and Italian Ab Initio.

Aims of the course
• develop students’ ability to communicate in speech and in writing in order to enable them to deal adequately with familiar and practical needs
• introduce students to the culture of the country /countries where the language is spoken, through the study of the target language
• provide students with a foundation for further study of the target language • provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation
• encourage positive attitudes to the learning of other languages and to their speakers and countries
Who is the course suitable for?
The course is suitable for those who have had little or no opportunity for second language study in their previous education and are therefore unable to fulfil IB Diploma requirements for Group 2.
Students will be expected to demonstrate, through the use of authentic material, the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in everyday situations.

Overview of language acquisition at Sha Tin College

Individuals and societies

Business and Management

IB Business Management (BM) is the critical study of the ways in which individuals and organisations interact in a dynamic and international business environment. It is an academic discipline that examines how real business management decisions are made. BM provides students with the skills to make sense of the circumstances that drive change in an interdependent and multicultural business world and provides students with a wide range of practical and transferable skills. The course is underpinned by 6 concepts which are explored through the case studies and real-world examples and add context to learning the course content. The 6 concepts are:
• Change
• Culture
• Ethics
• Globalisation
• Innovation
• Strategy

The course content is as follows:
• Business organisation and environment: the different types of business organisations, their objectives and the global environments in which they operate.
• Human resources: the way people influence, and are influenced by, business organisations in order to achieve organisational objectives.
• Finance and accounts: how business organisations manage their finances and the strengths/limitations of tools for financial management and analysis.
• Marketing: the role of marketing, market research and marketing strategies to achieve organisational objectives.
• Operations management: methods of production and strategies for successful operations management, including quality assurance.

The aims of course are to:
• Empower students to think critically and strategically about individual and organisational behaviour
• Promote the importance of exploring business issues from different cultural perspectives
• Promote awareness of the importance of environmental, social and ethical factors in the actions of individuals and organisations.
• Learning in the classroom is complemented by fieldtrips, guest speakers and there are opportunities to take part in business related competitions.

Economics

IB Economics involves finding a solution to the basic problem of satisfying the unlimited and competing wants of society with the limited resources available. You will study how the decisions of individuals, firms and governments affect their own economic well-being as well as that of other members of society. There is an emphasis placed upon the economics of developing countries in the belief that the study of development issues helps to provide part of the solution to the economic problem.
Areas of study:
• Microeconomics: the basic economic problem, market systems, market failure and theory of the firm
• Macroeconomics: government policy and objectives including economic growth, inflation, unemployment, inequality in the distribution of income and wealth and protection of the environment
• International economics: international trade, balance of payments, exchange rates and economic integration
• Economic development: development strategies, barriers to development and sustainable development

The aims of the course include:
• To use economic tools to analyse and explain past and contemporary issues
• To evaluate theories and real-life situations in an unbiased and rational manner
• To cultivate a respect for and knowledge of the interdependence and diversity of economic realities in which the international community operates
• To develop critical thinking skills

Learning inside the classroom is complemented by field trips, outside speakers and the opportunities to participate in economics and business related competitions. Both the Standard Level and Higher Level courses are designed for students who have an interest in real world economic issues and enjoy discussing topical issues and formulating balanced arguments.

Geography

In the Senior School students study the IBDP. The Geography course is assessed through three examination papers and a piece of coursework.

The aims of the Geography syllabus at Standard Level and Higher Level are to enable students to:
• develop an understanding of the interrelationships between people, places, spaces and the environment
• develop a concern for human welfare and the quality of the environment, and an understanding of the need for planning and sustainable management
• appreciate the relevance of geography in analysing contemporary issues and challenges, and develop a global perspective of diversity and change

Paper one is studied by all Standard and Higher Level students. The Core paper examines patterns and change and includes the following four topics:
• Populations in transition
• Disparities in wealth and development
• Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability
• Patterns in resource consumption

Paper two is the optional themes paper. Standard Level students study:
• Oceans and their coastal margins
• Hazards and disasters – risk assessment and response

In addition to these topics, Higher Level students study Extreme Environments.

Paper three is the Higher Level ‘Global Interactions’ extension paper. The topics studied are:
• Measuring global interactions
• Changing space – the shrinking world
• Economic interactions and flows
• Environmental change
• Sociocultural exchanges
• Political outcomes
• Global interactions at the local level

The Diploma Programme Geography course integrates both physical and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both scientific and socio-economic methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas.

The Geography course embodies global and international awareness in several distinct ways. It examines key global issues, such as poverty, sustainability and climate change. It considers examples and detailed case studies at a variety of scales, from local to regional, national and international.

History

IB History is about uncovering the story of the past to understand the world that we live in today. Students of history have the opportunity to develop their skills of critical thinking; to reflect upon the past and decide on the lessons that we can learn to shape the future. In this sense, History has a natural affinity with the demands of TOK which forms an integral part of the course. The international dimension of the course allows students to investigate the experiences of past societies from a global and regional perspective, and provides a useful framework for shaping the identity and attitudes of informed global citizens.

In Years 12 – 13 from August 2015: History IB
Paper 1 Move to Global War. This paper is studied by both SL and HL students.
Paper 2 Cold War and Authoritarian leaders. This paper is studied by both SL and HL students.
Paper 3 History of Europe: This paper is only studied by HL students.
• European states in the interwar years (1918 – 1939) – Unit 14
• Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919 – 1945) – Unit 15
• The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924 – 2000) – Unit 16

Year 13 August 2015 – May 2016: History IB
Paper 1 Communism in Crisis. This paper is studied by both SL and HL students.
Paper 2 Cold War and Authoritarian leaders. This paper is studied by both SL and HL students.
Paper 3 History of the Americas: This paper is only studied by HL students.
• Political Developments in the Americas – Unit 9
• The Americas and the Cold War – Unit 10
• Civil Rights in the Americas – Unit 11

• Paper 1 (1 hour) – weighting: SL = 30% and HL = 20%
Format: This is a document paper. Students will be given a variety of sources to study.
• Paper 2 (1 hour 30 minutes) – weighting: SL = 45%, HL = 25%
Format: This is an essay paper.
• Historical investigation: SL = 25%, HL = 20%
Coursework
• Paper 3 (2 hours 30 minutes) Higher Level only – weighting: HL = 35%
Format: This is an essay paper.

“History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” – Robert Penn Warren

Information Technology

In Year 12, ICT based courses move students into an area of understanding the fundamental concepts of computational thinking as well as developing an in-depth knowledge of how computers and other digital devices operate. It draws on a wide spectrum of knowledge and both enables and empowers innovation, exploration and the acquisition of further knowledge. The subject requires students to explore social and ethical issues and is underpinned by an understanding of how ICT affects the world we live in. The course covers a wide range of theory based topics along with a practical project based in developing a solution to a problem posed by a real world client.

The course is well regarded and students have gone on to courses at some of the world’s top universities, not only to study subjects based in Computer Sciences, but also areas of Sociology, Business and the Arts.

Philosophy

What are the Aims of the Course?
• To develop an intellectually independent and creative way of thinking
• To enhance the ability to formulate arguments in a rational and logical way
• To develop a way of thinking that draws on personal reflection and knowledge of a plurality of philosophical traditions
• To enable you to relate philosophical understanding to other disciplines, and to personal and civic life.

These aims are delivered through the following Papers:
• Paper 1: What is a ‘Human’ Being? One of the reasons we study philosophy is to search for a better understanding of ourselves. The Core Theme questions are: what is the nature of self, and in defining the self; how do we define our relationship with the world around us? Should robots/animals be given personhood? Is the mind separate from the body? Does life have meaning?

Optional Theme 1: Ethics. This theme is concerned with practical decision-making and the way people should conduct their lives. Ethics explores the possible grounds for making moral decisions and examines notions such as freedom, values, responsibility and virtue. A study of applied ethics explores approaches to important issues, some of which may be of global concern.

Optional Theme 2: Philosophy of Religion. This theme seeks to analyse the nature of religion, to examine the rational arguments for and against various religious views and to analyse the nature of religious language. The debate between science and religion is examined as well as sociological and psychological theories of religion.

Paper 2: Prescribed Text.
This element of the course provides an opportunity for students to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a primary philosophical text. This is a challenging but rewarding part of the course, providing an opportunity for the student as a philosopher to engage in dialogue with another philosopher.

Paper 3: This is the Higher Level extension paper.
Students are required to develop a philosophical response to an unseen text that demonstrates what doing philosophy means, and show a holistic appreciation of the skills, material and ideas developed throughout the course.

Psychology

The IB Psychology course can be studied by students with no previous knowledge of Psychology or as an extension of the principles and topics covered in the GCSE course. By initially focusing on Biological, Cognitive and Social / Cultural approaches to studying behaviour, students learn how to explain behaviour using a variety of theories from different perspectives and evaluating the potential strengths and limitations of each. Whilst each approach has its own unique methods and issues, it is through an integration of these approaches that students will better understand complex behaviours. This is best illustrated in their study of Abnormal Psychology, for both Standard Level and Higher Level, and Health Psychology at Higher Level. Higher Level students will also study qualitative research methods which is an alternative philosophy and process to the study of behaviour. Students will have numerous opportunities to carry out practical work including an Internal Assessment involving conducting an experiment.

Topics covered at Higher Level are:
• Core – The Levels of Analysis. Biological, Cognitive, Social/Cultural Levels of Analysis
• Options – Abnormal Psychology, Health Psychology Qualitative Research Methods
• Internal Assessment – simple experimental study

Standard Level
• Core – The Levels of Analysis. Biological, Cognitive, Social/Cultural Levels of Analysis
• Options – Abnormal Psychology
• Internal Assessment – simple experimental study

Sciences

Biology

Higher Level
This course is designed for students who enjoy Biology and are interested in exploring the topics covered at IGCSE level in considerably more depth. An interest in life is natural for humans; not only as we are living organisms ourselves, but we depend on many species for our survival, are threatened by some and co-exist with many more. From the earliest cave paintings to the modern wildlife documentary, Biology continues to fascinate both young and old all over the world. This course is consequently for students who see a future for themselves in Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Dentistry, Nutrition, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering and any other aspect of the natural world including conservation.

Standard Level
This course is suitable for students who are keen to explore the living world beyond the level offered at IGCSE, but do not necessarily wish to pursue the biological sciences at tertiary level.

Topics
The course consists of the following core areas studied at both Standard and Higher level:
• Cell Biology
• Molecular Biology
• Genetics
• Ecology
• Evolution & Biodiversity
• Human Physiology
with additional Higher Level topics in Nucleic Acids, Metabolism, Cell Respiration & Photosynthesis, Plant Biology, Genetics & Evolution and Animal Physiology.
Students will also study the optional topic of Further Human Physiology.

Knowledge of these topics will be assessed via three external examination papers.

Practical work
The practical component is a large part of IB Biology studies. 20% of the marks for the course are given for an internally assessed practical investigation undertaken at the end of Year 12.

For more information about IB Biology, contact Miss Laura Brown the Head of Biology.

Chemistry

Higher Level
This course is designed for students who enjoy Chemistry and are interested in exploring the topics covered at IGCSE level in considerably more depth. There is perhaps no other course at IB level which covers such fascinating and challenging material as IB Higher Level Chemistry. From tiny atoms to the Chemistry behind our bodies and the food which we eat, Chemistry covers a huge range of material. It is also for students who see a future for themselves in Medicine, Engineering or one of the wide range of physical and biological sciences that require a functional understanding of Chemistry.

Standard Level
Like its Higher Level counterpart this course is suitable for students who are keen to explore Chemistry beyond the level offered at IGCSE. Whilst retaining the excitement and wonder of the Higher Level course it is pitched at a slightly less challenging level. Many students who are not as confident mathematically tend to prefer this option.

Topics
The course consists of the following core areas studied at both Standard and Higher level:
• Stoichiometric Relationships
• Atomic Structure
• Periodicity
• Bonding and Structure
• Energetics / Thermochemistry
• Kinetics
• Equilibria
• Acids and Bases
• Redox Processes
• Organic Chemistry
• Measurement and Analysis
• Students will also study the optional topic of Biochemistry.

Knowledge of these topics will be assessed via three external examination papers.

Practical work
Of course practical work is a large part of IB Chemistry studies. 20% of the marks for the course are given for an internally assessed practical investigation undertaken at the end of Year 12.

For more information about IB Chemistry, contact Miss Joanne Davies the Head of Chemistry.

Design and Technology

Design and Technology provides an opportunity for students to develop and extend their learning from the Middle School by designing and making products relating to their area of interest, whether that be Product Design, Textiles or Engineering. Each of the subjects within the Design and Technology course is dynamic, challenging and practical, and suitable for all students who are interested in being creative, innovative and have a spirit of social responsibility.

The world needs creative thinkers and problem solvers and design (as a discipline) develops the type of academic and emotional intelligences that are needed in addressing the challenge of managing its resources in a sustainable and ethical way. The design-based courses are diverse and can cater for personal interests and career ambitions, allowing the student to focus on areas and ideas that interest them, through coursework and project work. One of the great strengths of the design courses is that it enables students to build a design portfolio, which is an essential and highly regarded element of a student’s university application.

Design naturally flows into a number of university/tertiary courses but it is interesting to know that the product management skills and the emotional intelligences that you acquire and refine in design based learning, are sought after attributes that all employers in the 21st Century hold with high regard.

Environmental Systems and Societies

Standard Level only
This course is an interdisciplinary course designed for students who wish to combine the methodology, techniques and knowledge associated with the Group 4 Experimental Sciences with those associated with the Group 3 Individuals and Societies. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, this also gives students the opportunity to study an additional subject from any other group.

ESS is a complex course requiring a diverse set of skills from its students. It is firmly rooted in both a scientific exploration of environmental systems in its structure and function and in the exploration of cultural, economic, ethical, political and social interactions of societies with the environment. The course requires a systems approach to environmental understanding and problem solving and promotes holistic thinking about environmental issues. It is recognized that to understand the environmental issues of the 21st century and suggest suitable management solutions, both the human and environmental aspects must be understood. Students are consequently encouraged to develop solutions from a personal to a community and to a global scale. Students who enjoy aspects of biology, geography, philosophy, business & economics and history or who have a particular interest in environmental issues and management strategies are highly suited to a course of this nature.

Topics
The course consists of the following core areas:
• Foundations of environmental systems and societies
• Ecosystems and Ecology
• Biodiversity and Conservation
• Water and aquatic food production systems and society
• Soil systems and terrestrial food production systems and society
• Atmospheric systems and society
• Climate change and energy production; and Human systems and resource use.

Knowledge of these topics will be assessed via two external examination papers.

Practical work
The practical component is a large part of IB Environmental Systems & Societies. 25% of the marks for the course are given for an internally assessed practical investigation undertaken at the end of Year 12.

For more information about Environmental Systems & Societies, contact Miss Laura Brown.

Physics

Higher Level
For students with a genuine interest in Physics and keen mathematical skills, HL Physics provides a mixture of enjoyment and excitement as they develop a more comprehensive understanding of the physical laws that govern the universe. Pupils enjoy the challenge of delving further into the ideas introduced at IGCSE and of developing their problem solving abilities. For pupils wishing to study a whole host of subjects at university level, including many areas of Physics, Architecture and Engineering, IB HL Physics will provide them with invaluable skills.

Standard Level
For students who enjoyed IGCSE Physics and wish to study it further but without needing it for their post IB education, SL Physics is the perfect choice. As pupils cover only the core topics they have the privilege of studying a range of fascinating areas of Physics but without having to go into the detail required at the HL level.

Topics
The new IB syllabus covers a wide range of topics in order to develop a sound grounding in the classical basis of Physics as well as the study of new and exciting fields.
At SL level students cover:
• Mechanics
• Thermal
• Waves
• Electricity and Magnetism
• Circular motion
• Energy Production
• Atomic
• Nuclear and Particle Physics.

In addition, HL students will study:
• Wave Phenomena
• Fields and Quantum Physics

Assessment for the course consists of three external examinations and one piece of coursework.

Practical work
This is an important part of both IB Physics courses. Pupils are challenged on a lesson by lesson basis to explore Physics through experimentation. In addition to more formal ways of learning the Physics practical scheme of work is designed to give students an opportunity to learn Physics principles through exploration.

For more information about IB Physics, contact Mr Rhodri George the Head of Physics.

Sports Exercise and Health Science

Students in the senior school can choose to further their interest in the sport and health fields by opting to study the Sports, Exercise and Health Science course at IB Standard Level. This allows them to really focus on the scientific aspects of sports performance and general health issues.

The students can really begin to understand what makes sports performers reach their highest level and many find the health related aspects good grounding for a wide variety of career opportunities. Sports exercise and health science students at the college have historically achieved fantastic results, well in excess of the world average.

Mathematics

Mathematics is a compulsory component of the Diploma Programme. Student choose Higher Level or one of two Standard Level Mathematics courses in Year 11, this choice is then reviewed and confirmed after their final IGCSE results are confirmed. Higher Level Mathematics is encouraged for students with an interest in studying Mathematics, Science or Engineering at University. There is also an opportunity for students to study Further Mathematics as an additional IB subject, and this is currently taught off-site. Students select between Standard Level and Standard Level Studies courses based on their intended path of study at university. The Standard Level course has a higher algebraic component and is suitable for Accountancy, Architecture or Economics while the Standard Level Studies course is suitable for any pathway which does not directly require Mathematics, though there is a high component of Statistics covered in the course.

All IB mathematics courses have a 20% internal assessment component. Students prepare either an exploration or a mathematical project where the use of technology is used to support their findings. Students are encouraged to explore through this component of their study and usually around six students each year select Mathematics for their Extended Essay.

Due to the popularity of Mathematics at Sha Tin college and the students’ desire to showcase their mathematical ability, each year about 30 students enter into the UK Maths Trust Senior challenge.

The Arts

Music

Students may opt to study IB Diploma Music in Year 12 and 13 at either Higher or Standard Level. Higher Level candidates will follow the full programme of:
• Performing (25% coursework)
• Creating (25% coursework)
• Listening (50% formal examination).

Standard Level candidates must follow the same Listening component (50% formal examination), but opt to take one elective of Solo Performing, Group Performing or Creating (50% coursework).

Students can perform a wide range of music in any standard, style and on any instrument. They can create music in original composition, arrangement, technology and stylistic formats. Listening studies cover all western classical music styles, all world music styles and their fusions, and the study of all types of popular music. You may also opt to write your Extended Essay on a Music topic and this option is available to all IB students, not just those studying Music.

Beyond the classroom, students studying IB Diploma Music are strongly recommended to take part in our STC Orchestra, Choir and Chinese Orchestra, as well as many bands and ensembles, that can perform at our Young Musicians Festival, School Production, the Chinese New Year Assembly, Spring Concert, Scottish Opera during CAS Week and many other events. Participation in the wider life of Music at Sha Tin College through these events offers and enhances musical experience and skills.

We have two classrooms, several practice rooms, a band room with recording facilities, all with a range of instruments including Pianos, Keyboards, Guitars, Drum Kits, Tuned and Untuned Percussion. Students will also make full use of their laptop using a range of recommended music software and the schools site license of Sibelius 7 software.

Film

IB Film is a gateway to the most dynamic and creative cultural force of the last one hundred years. Recent developments in technology have made both creating and viewing films so much easier than ever before and future developments will see media of this nature become even more embedded in our everyday lives.

Film is suited to well-rounded students who combine both creativity and analytical skill. Technical wizardry is not essential and no specific prior knowledge is required. The course places equal weight on creativity, practical skills, reflection and analytical work. Past Sha Tin students who have taken Film at IB have gone on to study a wide range of subjects at university, including Literature at Oxford, Archeology and Anthropology at Cambridge. A former Film student, who is now a Director for CNN, said “Studying Film at Sha Tin helped give me the insight into creating hard-hitting news reports”.

The course consists of three main elements:
• The creative process—techniques and organization
Students learn how to make films and experience the different roles and demands required in the production of movies. Films are much more than just a record of events and students find out how artists and technicians come together to create an expression of their ideas and passions, making powerful and entertaining statements to their audience.

• Textual analysis
Students learn how films communicate meaning and how directors use a range of techniques to tell stories. They find out how films are affected by culture, world events and social pressures, to be used as entertainment and even propaganda.

• Film theory and history
Students are introduced to films from around the world and to styles they may have never even seen before to help them understand how Film has developed with technology and world-wide opinion. They learn about the history of film and how it has developed into one of the dominant art-forms of the 21st century.

Theatre

For the IB Theatre course in Years 12 and 13 students need to study World Theatre traditions as well as staging some of the most exciting devised and scripted work. For some 10 years now we have seen IB students attempt challenging works such as Greek tragedies, Commedia Dell’arte and Japanese forms such as Butoh and Kabuki. There really is no end to the traditions that we can study!

During the two year course the students undertake academic research, study Theatre theorists and complete a Director’s Notebook before creating exciting pieces of original devised drama. The IB qualification in Theatre really is a fine culmination of all of the learning experiences at Lower and Middle school and each year sees some students continuing on to Higher Education in the Arts. Come and visit our three well equipped studios and see for yourself!

Visual Arts

Art students in the senior school work towards the IB Visual Arts qualification. This course is designed for students who have a keen appreciation of the Visual Arts and who want to study them in depth.

The aims are for students to:
• Enjoy lifelong engagement with the Arts
• Become informed, reflective and critical practitioners in the Arts
• Understand the dynamic and changing nature of the Arts
• Explore and value the diversity of the Arts across Time, Place and Cultures
• Express ideas with confidence
• Develop perceptual and analytical skills
• Make Artwork that is influenced by personal and Cultural contexts
• Become informed Critical observers and makers of Visual Culture and media
• Develop skills, techniques and processes in order to communicate concepts and ideas

We deliver the course through a thematic approach which gives students the opportunity to develop their artistic skills, understanding and expression through techniques such as Painting, Drawing, Print Making, Mixed Media, Graphics, Photography, Sculpture, Textiles/Fashion and Digital Media. These open-ended themes are designed to allow students the opportunity to explore their own and other cultures. The Visual Arts students are expected to work in a very independent manner.

A portfolio of work that demonstrates a student’s creativity and level of practical ability is necessary for entry into the most competitive courses in Architecture; Fine Art, Graphic Design, Textiles and Fashion, Product Design, Photography and many other courses related to the Visual Arts. The work produced in IB Higher or Standard Level Visual Arts is very suitable for any of these portfolios.

All of our Students who study the Visual Arts course learn that art is not only for entertainment or pleasure. The inspiration engendered by creative activity often becomes a driving force in other studies and throughout life. Through Art, our students learn independence of thought, persistence, problem-solving skills, multi-cultural awareness, discrimination, appreciation and a wealth of other skills, which will stand them in good stead no matter which path they choose in life.

Senior School Booklist

All Sha Tin College Senior School students can choose an academic or an applied learning pathway depending on their individual aptitude and preferred learning style. Both pathways lead to qualifications which are
accepted by universities world-wide.

You can opt for one of three programmes at Sha Tin College

Academic Learning Pathways
1. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme
2. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Courses

All our programmes embrace holistic learning but are suited to different learning styles. 

International Baccalaureate Programmes
The International Baccalaureate Programme are regarded as highly prestigious entry qualifications by higher-education instituitions throughout the world. They are demanding and challending and provide students with a broad, international education. The programmes are offerd by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO),  an international non-profit organisation whose courses are offered by over 2,000 schools worldwide and recognised by major universities.

Students may study a range of International Baccalaureate courses leading to the award of either the IB Diploma, or a range of  the IB Courses , both of which call upon them to maintain breadth, balance and internationalism throughout their academic courses.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Students take six subjects, three at Higher
level and three at Standard level, as well as completing Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay
and CAS.

Please click here to view the General regulations on Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Courses. All students will study English, Mathematics
and ICT, in addition to a range of other subjects, at either Standard or Higher level. Students will
complete a Personal Project and take part in CAS activities.

The structuring of courses, particularly for students choosing to follow the Diploma, is complex.
More detailed information about the courses on offer is available in the Senior School Curriculum
Brochure, which is issued to all students in the autumn term of Year 11.

Please click here to read read about the Diploma Programme for parents.

Please click here to read about the Career-related Programme for parents.

 

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