THE CURRICULUM

Organisation

Detailed information on the school’s curriculum is set out in the curriculum booklets and option booklets available on the school website.

The secondary curriculum is organised into three parts:

Key Stage 3 (KS3)

This includes Years 7, 8, 9. Guided and structured by the National Curriculum for England, adapted to our international context.

Key Stage 4 (KS4)

This includes Years 10 & 11. Core studies of International Life Skills and Physical Education and compulsory examination courses supplemented by ‘optional’ examination courses leading to Cambridge International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSEs).

Sixth Form

This includes Years 12 & 13. Core studies of International Life Skills and Physical Education and compulsory examined courses and optional examination courses forming the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

Each of these areas of the curriculum is described in detail in individual booklets which are given to new parents and available on the school website here:

https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/vietnam/ho-chi-minh-city/bis/learning/curriculum/secondary-curriculum

and

https://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/vietnam/ho-chi-minh-city/bis/parents-essentials/school-publications-and-documents

Options (Electives)

Various curriculum options (electives) are available to students with the choice increasing as they progress through secondary education.

Key Stage 3

Some language choices. See BIS KS3 Curriculum Handbook.

Key Stage 4

Four subject choices and various routes through core subjects. See BIS KS4 Curriculum Handbook and Options Booklet.

Sixth Form

A wide range of choices from six areas. See BIS IB DP Handbook and Options Booklet.

Homework

Homework is an essential part of an effective partnership between home and school that helps to encourage successful learning. Homework not only reinforces classroom learning, it also helps all BIS students to develop skills and attitudes they need for successful lifelong learning. It can support the development of independent learning skills, including enquiry, critical thinking, metacognition, personal organisation and perseverance.

Recording homework

Students record homework in their diaries and are expected to tick when complete. Parents play a key role in supporting the aims of homework by providing a quiet place to work and encouraging the routine of completing homework on the night set so that the learning is fresh in the mind and submission deadlines will be met.

Homework timetable

Homework is set according to a timetable that is published to students and parents in August each year.

Secondary Homework timings

The time required for a task will in part depend on the student approach. The depth of engagement and quality of thinking is most important. The timings offered are a guideline only. Should you feel your child is spending too little or too much time on their homework tasks please refer to their Form Tutor.

Years 7 & 8: Approx 30 minutes per subject, 3-4 subjects per night, Mon-Fri.

Year 9 : 30-40 minutes per subject, 3-4 subjects per night, Mon-Fri.

Years 10 & 11: 40-50 minutes per subject, 3-4 subjects per night, Mon-Fri.

Years 12 & 13: Up to 60 minutes per subject, but also longer term work; research and assignment writing.

Holiday homework

Holiday homework is not set for years 7-9. This does not preclude a teacher providing students with optional holiday tasks such as a short reading list.

Holiday homework is often set for years 10-13. Students approaching external examinations will be guided on the nature and quantity of revision that is expected and recommended.

Instrumental Lessons

Students are encouraged to learn a musical instrument. All students are provided the opportunity to develop keyboard skills through our KS3 Juilliard partnership. Lessons in brass, woodwind or string instruments take place during the day by withdrawal from regular lessons. This should be considered before embarking on instrumental lessons. There is a rotation so that the same lesson is not missed each week. Piano tends to be by private tutor at the teacher or student’s house. Lessons are taught by BIS staff or peripatetic teachers – they must be paid for in advance. Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM) examinations are also offered at the school.