Course Descriptions

IB Courses offered at Horton

The following courses are for hard working, self-motivated students who are enrolled in the IB Diploma Program. Some of the courses are also available as certificate courses (*). Students must have successfully completed Horton pre-IB grade 10 courses to register for the full diploma program or have permission of the IB Coordinator to enroll into certificate courses.

IB English Language & Literature HL  *

In IB Language & Literature HL students study 6 works, but they need not be novels – they can be long poems, short stories, novellas, etc.  In IB Language & Literature HL, students look at the world of literature, but they also study a wide range of non-literary texts from a variety of media (like social media, movies, TV, commercials, podcasts etc).  By examining how English is used across different literary forms, students investigate language and how it affects our everyday life, identity, and culture. This accessible course in many ways can offer multiple pathways for creative engagement. It examines the authorial effects and how they create a “big picture.”
This course is a requirement for the full DP but is also offered as an IB certificate course to any incoming grade 11 student. A student’s grade is determined by an exam consisting of two papers, an oral presentation, and a 1200-1500 word essay on one of the works studied relating to excerpts from the works you’ve studied. As an HL course it requires three semesters of your timetable (yearlong in grade 11 and both semesters of grade 12 until the end of April)  Instructor: Ms. Hubbard

IB French SL

This course is designed for students of a Core French background who are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. During grade 11, students will study the following units: communication and media, global issues, social relationships, cultural diversity, leisure and health.  A variety of media will be used and as many authentic documents as possible in all four skill areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Instructor: Mr.Joice

IB Geography HL*/SL *

IB students will take this course in grade 11 and grade 12.  It follows up from the grade 10 pre-IB geography course and continues to focus on understanding the spatial patterns of both human and physical features of the Earth. There is an emphasis on understanding the relationship between people, places, and the environment at the local, regional, and global scales. Major core themes of the course include changes in population, disparities in wealth and development, and resources and sustainability. There are several optional units which include a combination of physical and human geography topics. The course involves the development of key geographic skills such as cartography, field work, other forms of research, and data manipulation and presentation. In addition to the regular internal assessments, the students will also write IB Geography examinations and complete a major field work report.  Instructor: Mr.Millar

IB History HL*/SL*

The IB history course is a world history course based on a comparative and multi-perspective approach to history. It involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and cultural, and provides a balance of structure and flexibility. The course emphasizes the importance of encouraging students to think historically and to develop historical skills as well as gaining factual knowledge. It puts a premium on developing the skills of critical thinking, and on developing an understanding of multiple interpretations of history. In this way, the course involves a challenging and demanding critical exploration of the past. Teachers explicitly teach thinking and research skills such as comprehension, text analysis, transfer, and use of primary sources.

The candidates will examine the following topics in depth:

Paper 1 Prescribed Subject 3 Japanese, German and Italian Expansion

Paper 2 World history topic 10: Authoritarian states and World history topic 12: The Cold War

Paper 3 History of Europe

·       European states in the inter-war years (1918–1939)

·       Versailles to Berlin: Diplomacy in Europe (1919–1945)

·       The Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia (1924–2000)

An independent Historical Investigation.

IB Biology SL *

The IB Diploma Program biology courses cover the relationship of structure and function at all levels of complexity. Students learn about cell theory, the chemistry of living things, plant structure and growth, the difference between genes and alleles, among many other topics, to further their understanding of and learning about biology. Throughout this challenging course, students become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. Further, students enjoy multiple opportunities for scientific study and creative inquiry within a global context. In addition, the course is designed to: provide a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology, enable students to apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology, develop an ability to analyze, evaluate and synthesize scientific information, develop experimental and investigative scientific skills, engender an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities, develop and apply students’ information and communication technology skills in the study of science, raise awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology, develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations associated with science and scientists, encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.  There will be an emphasis on practical laboratory work (approx. 25% of course) and students will complete an interdisciplinary Group 4 science project.  Evaluation of the course will be based on practical lab work and an external IB exam written in May of the Grade 12 year. The curriculum model overview for SL biology is available on the Horton website.   Instructor: Mr.Fuller

IB Chemistry HL

Chemistry HL is a two year program designed to be the equivalent of a first year university chemistry course. Students will enroll in IB Chemistry for one semester of their grade 11 year and both semesters in their grade 12 year.  It is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to go on and study science or engineering at university.  Topics include:  (Year 1) measuring & data processing, atomic structure, quantitative chemistry (stoichiometry), periodicity, bonding, energetics (thermochemistry); (Year 2) kinetics, equilibrium, acids & bases, oxidation & reduction (electrochemistry), and organic chemistry. Two additional topics will be covered as option topics: medicine & drugs and food chemistry. Approximately one quarter of the course is devoted to practical (lab) work and students must also complete a Group 4 science project. The IB Chemistry exam will be written in May of the (grade 12) second year. Instructor: Ms.Coldwell

IB Physics SL *
IB Physics SL is a two year in-depth physics course with an emphasis on laboratory investigations.  The core topics of study include: physics & physical measurement, mechanics, thermal physics, oscillations & waves, electric currents, fields & forces, atomic & nuclear physics, and energy power & climate change.  In addition to the core topics, sight & wave phenomena and quantum physics & nuclear physics will be coved as options.  All students taking IB Physics will participate in a Group 4 (experimental sciences) project.  Evaluation of the course will be based on practical lab work and external examinations written in May of the Grade 12 year.  Students should have a strong background in mathematics & ability in science.
Instructor: Ms. Gillis

IB Mathematics

As of September 2019, there are two new subjects in mathematics. The subjects are called Mathematics: Analysis & Approaches and Mathematics: Applications & Interpretation. Both subjects are designed to appeal to students with varying levels of ability and motivation in mathematics, but will be developing their mathematics fluency, their ability to think mathematically, to recognize mathematics around them and to be able to use their mathematics in either abstract or contextual settings.

Mathematics: Analysis & Approaches is intended for students who wish to pursue studies in mathematics at university or subjects that have a large mathematical content; it is for students who enjoy developing mathematical arguments, problem solving and exploring real and abstract applications, with and without technology. Mathematics: Analysis & Approaches is developed from the previous Mathematics HL and SL subjects.  Instructor: Mr. Easton

Mathematics: Applications & Interpretation is designed for students who enjoy describing the real world and solving practical problems using mathematics; those who are interested in harnessing the power of technology alongside exploring mathematical models and enjoy the more practical side of mathematics. Mathematics: Applications & Interpretation SL is developed from Mathematical studies SL.  
Instructor: Nova Scotia Virtual School (online course)

IB Music SL *

IB Music SL is a two-year course designed for learners with a variety of musical backgrounds. Learners will take on the roles of researcher, creator, and performer, in equal parts, to explore, experiment, and present music. This course aims to: explore a range of musical contexts, musical practices, conventions, and forms of expression; acquire, develop and experiment with musical competencies through a range of musical practices, conventions and forms of expression, both individually and in collaboration with others; evaluate and develop critical perspectives on their own music and the work of others. As this course seeks to provide opportunities to musicians with varied backgrounds, the exploration of diverse musical material is focused through four areas of inquiry: music for sociocultural and political expression; music for listening and performance; music for dramatic impact, movement and entertainment; music technology in the electronic and digital age. External assessments, including an exploration portfolio and musical presentation, account for 70% of the final grade. The remaining 30% will come from an experimentation report, assessed by the course teacher. As learners are expected to perform music both individually and with others, participation in one of our co-curricular ensembles is expected. 
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Music 10 and/or permission of the instructor. Learners must have a strong understanding of music theory fundamentals, as well as musical language/terminology. Learners must be able to work both independently and with others.          Instructor: Ms. Mitchell          

IB Visual Art SL *

This IB course offers students an enriched, in-depth and hands-on opportunity to explore their visual world.  As an IB course, IB Visual Arts assumes that the students are committed to learning at a high level of rigor and commitment.  IB Visual Art students find success through intensive artistic focus, practice, research, and experimentation. To meet IB’s visual art standards, you will:

  • commit to in-depth investigations into ideas and exploring a variety of media and processes,
  • develop your own focused body of art work,
  • consistently document your art work,
  • make connections between form, content, and meaning in visual arts
  • examine the visual arts as artifacts of cultural expression
  • appreciate and evaluate your own work and the work of others
  • maintain a sophisticated sketchbook
  • step outside of your comfort zones and take creative risks

IB Visual Arts takes place over two semesters and students enrolling in this course should already have achieved a high standing in Visual Art 10.  It is commonly encouraged that students take part one of this course in grade 11 and part two in grade 12.  Part 2 of IB Visual Arts SL (taken in grade 12) grows from where we left off in grade 11. Students will complete a second sketchbook and pursue a largely self-directed studio practice. The sketchbook will support, inform, develop and refine studio endeavors through ongoing critical investigations of the relation between media, art and culture. Students will continue to pursue research into concepts, media, techniques, and art theories towards how they relate to themselves, their culture and the cultures of others. By the end of this course, students would have created a cohesive portfolio of five to eight major works to be evaluated by external examiners.   Instructor: Mr. Syme

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) *

TOK is a required course for all IB diploma students and is also offered as a certificate course for non-DP students.  The goal of the course is to develop individuals who are open-minded, critical thinkers who ask and explore questions and appreciate the views and perspectives of others.  The course is designed to promote the development of a broad understanding of the ways of knowing and key concepts related to knowledge (evidence, certainty, truth, culture, interpretation, power, justification, values, explanation, objectivity, perspective, and responsibility) and how these are used in the pursuit of knowledge within the areas of knowledge (mathematics, arts, history, human science, and natural science).  Through active inquiry, and drawing upon their prior knowledge and personal experience, students will learn to develop and explore knowledge questions and come to understand the significance and implications of personal and shared knowledge. Formative evaluation will be based on items such as participation in class discussions, written essays, presentations, a reflection journal, and creative group work.  IB summative assessment requirements for TOK include an externally evaluated, 1200-1600 word essay on a prescribed title and an internally evaluated exhibition on a knowledge question.   Instructor: Ms. Singh