Course Descriptions

IB Courses offered at Horton

The following courses are designed for hard working, self-motivated students who are enrolled in the IB Diploma Program. Students must have successfully completed Horton pre-IB grade 10 courses or have permission of the IB Coordinator to enroll in these courses.

IB English HL  
Instructor: Mr. Charles

IB English is a two year literature course for IB students that will introduce students to a range of literary works from different genres, historical periods, cultures and social contexts. Students will be expected to analyze and discuss major literary texts from around the globe. Students will develop the skills necessary to express their ideas clearly, precisely, coherently and fluently through oral communication, and in writing. Students will be expected to engage in rigorous literary analysis in order to encourage a personal appreciation of literature and to develop a greater understanding of the techniques involved in literary study and criticism. This course will introduce students to both literary classics and modern writing and will promote an international perspective through the comparative study of works from a variety of cultures. Students writing and speaking skills will be assessed through the use of a number of different assessment tools that are intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the students linguistic proficiency and ability to think critically.

IB French SL
Instructor: Mr. Joice

This course is designed for students of a Core French background who are enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. 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.

IB Geography SL/HL
Instructor: Mr. Millar

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.

IB History SL/HL
Instructor: Mr. Richard

The IB Diploma Programme standard level history course aims to promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of sources, methods and interpretations. Students are encouraged to comprehend the present by reflecting critically on the past. They are further expected to understand historical developments at national, regional and international levels and learn about their own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of different cultures. In addition, the course is designed to:

  • Encourage the systematic and critical study of human experience and behaviour; physical, economic and social environments.
  • Develop the capacity to identify, analyse critically and evaluate theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society.
  • Enable students to collect, describe and analyse data used in studies of society, test hypotheses, and interpret complex data and source material.
  • Develop an awareness that human attitudes and beliefs are widely diverse and that the study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity.
  • Enable the student to recognize that the content and methodologies of the subjects in group 3 are contestable and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty.

The candidates will examine the following topics in considerable depth:

  • Peacemaking, peace-keeping, international relations, 1918-1936
  • Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states
  • The Cold War

IB Biology SL
Instructor: Mr. Fuller

IB Biology SL is a two-year in-depth biology course for IB students planning on enrolling in life sciences at post secondary school. Topics include: cell biology (structure, function, chemistry, transport, & cell processes), human anatomy and physiology (digestion, urinary, immune, reproduction systems, muscles & movement, nervous system including behavioral studies), genetics (classical inheritance patterns and molecular), evolution, ecology and plant science. 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.

IB Chemistry HL
Instructor: Ms. Coldwell

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 semester 2 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, organic chemistry; (Year 2) energetics (thermochemistry), kinetics, equilibrium, acids & bases, and oxidation & reduction (electrochemistry). 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 science project in the first semester of their second year. The IB Chemistry exam will be written in May of the (grade 12) second year.

IB Physics SL
Instructor: Mrs. Fuller

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.

IB Math Studies SL 
Offered through the Nova Scotia Virtual School – online course

The purpose of IB Math Studies is to give students experience in several topics of mathematics with practical applications. Some of the topics covered include: statistics, set theory, probability, geometry, trigonometry, algebra, finance, functions and an introduction to differential calculus. Students will complete an independent project by collecting information, analyzing data and making inferences using mathematical skills learned in class. Students will learn to think logically, extract relevant information, make conclusions and communicate solutions clearly.
Note: This course would not be suitable for students intending to pursue a math or science degree in their post-secondary studies. Students intending on post-secondary mathematics or science studies should enroll in IB Mathematics SL

IB Mathematics SL
Instructor: Mr. Easton

Mathematics SL is a two-year course designed for students who enjoy mathematics and have a strong background in mathematics. Students choosing this course are intending on pursuing post secondary programs with mathematics as a major component such as, sciences, engineering and technology. The course will emphasize the development and application of problem solving skills in meaningful contexts. Some of the topics covered include: polynomials, rational and trigonometric functions, vectors, statistics and calculus. In addition to in-class assessment, students will complete an external assessment meeting with the IB curriculum and standards.

IB Music SL
Instructor: Ms. Greene

This two-year course is designed for music students with varied backgrounds in music. The typical IB SL Music student is either a performer (solo or group) a composer/arranger, improviser, or music technology composer. The aim of the IB Music Program is to give students the opportunity to explore and examine the diversity of music throughout the world by enabling them to creatively develop their knowledge, abilities and understanding of historical and global music. This is accomplished through listening, responding, performance and composition. Students will be expected to use appropriate musical language and terminology to analyze musical works from a variety of cultures and historical periods. Composers and technology composers will critically explore and examine their own works, and works of others. External assessments of listening and musical investigation will constitute 50% of the grade, and internal assessment will be done by the teacher in the areas of performance and/or composition to fulfill the remaining 50% of the grade. Those students choosing Group Performance must be a member of an appropriate music group. Students should discuss this with the IB music teacher.

Prerequisites for IB Music SL:
One year of any high school music course and/or permission of the instructor. Music Theory and/or AP Music Theory would be preferred. Students must have a good working knowledge of music theory fundamentals. They will study music of many cultures and time periods to understand fully its musical construction and societal connections, and therefore should have a solid understand of musical language and terminology. Students should be able to work independently and demonstrate a strong investigative nature. This course prepares students for the Standard Level examination in IB Music to be taken at the end of the course of study. A culminating performance or demonstration of the students compositions is required in addition to the written exam.

IB Visual Arts SL
Instructor: Mr. Syme

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 IBs 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 investigative workbook
  • 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 investigative workbook (IWB) and pursue a largely self-directed studio practice. The IWB 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.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
Instructor: Ms. Gillis

TOK is a required course for all IB diploma students. The goal of the course is to develop individuals who are open-minded, critical thinkers who ask and explore questions to enable them to develop a broad understanding of the areas of knowledge (mathematics, arts, ethics, history, human science, natural science, religious knowledge systems, indigenous knowledge systems) and to appreciate the views and perspectives of others through investigating the ways of knowing (emotion, reason, language, perception, memory, faith, imagination, intuition). Through active inquiry, and drawing upon their prior knowledge and personal experience, students will discover and express their views on knowledge issues, the nature of knowing, shared versus personal knowledge, and justification of knowledge claims. Part of the learning process will involve making connections between course topics and knowledge issues through a critical analysis of belief, truth, certainty, evidence, interpretation, explanation, technology, values, and culture. Assessment of student progress will be based on participation in class discussions and activities, critiquing and writing essays, critiquing and delivering presentations, personal reflections, and analysis and review of various media sources (articles, reports, etc.). IB assessment requirements for TOK include an externally evaluated, written essay on a prescribed title and an internally evaluated presentation that demonstrates an understanding and analysis of knowledge questions derived from a real-life situation chosen by the student(s).