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Senior School Curriculum
Education is about helping each individual to become “truly and intensely alive”, and our focus on the whole student means you will be stretched and nurtured whatever your ability.
In Years 12 & 13, students follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme (IB Diploma), which is world-renowned for its breadth and rigour. The IB Diploma is recognised by all major universities throughout the world. It also encourages students to develop skills and qualities highly sought-after by top employers.
Students choose a total of six subjects: three to study at Standard Level (SL), and three to study in more depth at Higher Level (HL). Many subjects are available at both SL and HL. Students choose one subject from each of the following groups:
- Language A: English, French, Spanish or German. Other languages such as Russian, Arabic, Mandarin, Japanese, or Italian may be available through private tuition.
- Language B: Either English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, and French or German B; or French, German, Italian, and Mandarin or Japanese ab initio.
- Individuals & Societies: History, Geography, Economics, Business and Management.
- Natural Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Environmental Systems & Societies.
- Mathematics: Maths (HL and SL) and Mathematical Studies
- Arts & Electives: Visual Art, Music, and Theatre Arts.
Other Course Components
The IB Diploma programme requires all students to successfully complete the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course and an extended essay, which gives students the chance to explore a specialist topic in a 4,000-word dissertation. Students also take part in a range of other activities as part of the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) element of the course, a fundamental part of the IB Diploma programme. This might include participation in arts activities, individual and team sports, and local or international service projects. Aiglon’s expeditions programme also forms part of the CAS element. Students spend at least three hours a week on CAS activities throughout their time in the Years 12 & 13.
IB Diploma Assessment
IB Diploma exams are taken in May during the final school year; students also submit a significant amount of internally assessed coursework.
In Years 10 & 11, all students study English Language, French, Mathematics, Science (dual or triple award), and Physical Education (PE). Those in higher sets for English, or who reach the required standard, also take the IGCSE in English Literature.
Students also pick some electives. With a wide range of option courses on offer, they can choose the areas where they have real interest and enthusiasm. Students will usually choose one arts subject (Art, Music or Drama), one social science (History, Geography or Religious Studies), a modern foreign language (Spanish or German), and one further option from any of these areas. Students are also encouraged to continue to study their mother-tongue language and often sit a GCSE in this language.
Most IGCSE courses are assessed through a mix of internally marked coursework and end-of-course exams. Some subjects, such as Drama, involve a significant amount of assessed practical work.
Year 9 Coursework
It is in these years that our students start to take more responsibility for their own learning. In Year 9, we teach science as three separate subjects and, through our modern foreign languages carousel, introduce Spanish, German, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese (students choose three of these four).
Students sit internal exams in most subjects at the end of the Autumn and Summer Terms. During Year 9, students choose the International GCSE (IGCSE) or GCSE courses they plan to study over the following two years.
A grading system called "Mark Reading" is used in every year group in the school, with marks given for both effort and attainment. These marks are used to calculate grade point averages and award end-of-year prizes. During each term, students also take internal exams in most subjects. Parents receive regular updates and are welcome to contact their child’s tutor or Houseparents with any concerns.
Senior School Expectations
To successfully achieve an Aiglon Diploma, students are also expected to complete at least two or three expeditions each term, including rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, ski touring, cross-country skiing, independent camping trips, and three-day Long Expeditions. While some trips are compulsory, students are often free to choose the weekends in which they participate. Regular participation in Sport, Aiglon's CAS & Activities programme, as well as adherence to the School's Guiding Principles are also expectations of all students enrolled in Senior School.