International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Group 1: English A1

English A1 is primarily a pre-university course in English literature. Often perceived as arcane, it is a world that is not completely unfamiliar as literature often deals with human experiences, and is an avenue for personal expression.

The challenge lies in relating this personal expression to the world surrounding us. The aims of the Language A1 programme at both Higher and Standard Levels are to:
• Encourage a personal appreciation of literature and develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism.
• Develop the students’ powers of expression, both in oral and written communication, and provide the opportunity of practising and developing the skills involved in writing and speaking in a variety of styles and situations.
• Introduce students to a range of literary works of different periods, genres, styles and contexts.
• Broaden the students’ perspective through the study of works from other cultures and languages.
• Introduce students to ways of approaching and studying literature, leading to the development of an understanding and appreciation of the relations between different works.
• Develop the ability to engage in close, detailed analysis of written text.
• Promote in students an enjoyment of, and lifelong interest in literature. Through critical engagement with the syllabus, which has included the past years authors like Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw, Donne, Blake, Shelly, Yeats, Miller, and close to home, Kolatkar, de Souza, Ezekiel, Mistry and an assortment of women writers from the Indian subcontinent, the English Department at HVB Global Academy promises a course that scintillates.

The prerequisites for the course are a keen sense of awareness and a perpetual state of intellectual curiosity, which eventually moulds students into responsible, perceptive and critical young citizens who constantly question the platitudes that a global world asks us to accept without enquiry.

Group 2: Hindi/French

Hindi

Documentaries, Serials, Computer Technology, Stories, Drama, Cinema and Mass Media are part of the IB curriculum. They provide a good opportunity to students for critical thinking, logical reasoning, brainstorming, discussions and practical learning.

French

French is an official language in 29 countries, most of which form what is called in French, La Frilcophonies, the community of French-speaking nations. It is an official language of all United Nations agencies and a large number of international organisations. It is the third most spoken second language in the European Union.

French ab initio is designed for beginners who have little or no previous experience of the language. French BSL is for students with some previous experience of the language. The objective of both these courses is to be able to give the students a platform to become effective world citizens in today’s globalised environment.

The school follows an evolved pedagogy and French is taught through various activities such as role play, quiz, singing, reviewing films and even the organising of food festivals of French cuisine.

Group 3: Social Sciences

Economics

Economics is a dynamic social science that looks at how people choose to use scarce resources. The subject also addresses the collective behaviour of businesses and industries, governments and trading blocs in relation to finance. Economics is applicable to a wide range of fields, including: administration, law, finance and governance.

The objectives above are integrated in the modules:
• Human Resource
• Accounts and Finance
• Marketing
• Operations Management

Business Strategy (For Higher Level Only)

The course work also includes a research project based on a real organisation and an issue investigated by the student, with the student attempting to suggest recommendations that are of value to the management.

History

History aims at inspiring students to look beyond just events that take place, to feel the passion to enquire and investigate the causes of various happenings and link them to their global contexts. History to us is more than a study; we believe it is a process of recording, reconstructing and interpreting the past through investigation of a variety of sources. We believe that today is based on the palm of yesterday; waiting to spring into a different new tomorrow. IB History courses can be taken at 2 levels, HL and SL. Both include an investigative study of conflict among and within nations, including the history of Europe through the First World War, the Depression, the rise of Fascism and the subsequent development of the United Nations. HL students also research the history of the Americas with special emphasis on the growth of the civil rights movement. Both groups look at dictatorship as well.

Psychology

Psychology is the study of individual and group human behaviour. It is offered at HVB Global Academy at both HL and SL. All students survey various approaches to the study of behaviour (such as biological, cognitive and socio-cultural). In addition to this, SL students opt for research into human relations and HL students also do developmental psychology, the study of how children grow mentally and physically.

Psychology includes practical experimentation so that all students can better grasp concepts, such as memory, learning difficulties, and so on.

This is an exciting course offered by very few schools at Diploma level in Mumbai, using a variety of media (like film and games) and one which students find immensely rewarding. The study of psychology complements biology, business and management and many other professional career paths.

Business and Management

Business and Management is always a popular option for IB Diploma students. As such, it is, of course, available at both SL and HL. The syllabus includes diverse topics, such the introductory chapter on what business is, to finance, marketing, production, strategy and human resources – in other words, the core aspects of any business.

Study methodology includes: case studies of Indian and international companies, industrial visits, the development of presentation and communication skills and research projects.

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Use of Information and Communication (ICT) is encouraged throughout the course in both practical and theory work.
The application of ICT is integral to the practical understanding of the development of the subject, aiming at enabling the students to evaluate data and information critically.

Physics

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles—quarks (the milestone on this seems to keep on moving)—to the vast distances between galaxies. The IB Physics course gives students a taste of the exciting extremes of modern physics while building a solid foundation. It is a challenging and rewarding course, well-suited to (although not limited to) students who wish to study science or engineering at university.

The theoretical section of the course focuses on developing conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. Students study six core topics—Physics and Physical Measurement, Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, Atomic and Nuclear Physics and two optional topics, Relativity and Optics. HL students study additional material in each topic, including the optional topics.

Some competency in Mathematics is required as it is the language of Physics. Although not a formal requirement, it is recommended that students taking HL Physics also take Mathematics HL and students taking SL Physics also take Mathematics SL, as the courses complement each other well. One quarter of the course is experimental work, with students undertaking a variety of investigations linked to different theoretical topics. By planning and evaluating their own investigations, students develop an appreciation of the scientific processes used by working physicists. They also have the opportunity to exhibit creativity in experimental problem-solving while building their manipulative, collaborative and analytical skills.

Chemistry

Chemistry involves studying the properties and behaviour of matter. It is an extremely practical science and has been very influential in its impact on our daily living. It lies at the heart of countless issues from health care to environmental protection. Throughout the IB course, Chemistry is placed in context and our multitudinous encounters with everyday Chemistry are discussed.

IB Chemistry is divided into three sections: Core, Additional Higher Level and two options. The SL students study the core and two options, whereas the HL students study the Core, the Additional Higher Level material and the two options.

The core is made up of 11 topics in Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry. Students study the nature of the atom followed by trends in physical and chemical properties within the Periodic Table. Chemical Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and Bases and Redox reactions also follow. Organic chemistry is introduced through the study of hydrocarbons and extended to look at the interrelationships between significant functional groups.

Both HL and SL students have two options. The options available are: Higher Physical Organic Chemistry
(SL, HL), Chemical Industries (SL and HL), Fuels and Energy (SL and HL), Modern Analytical Chemistry
(HL only) further Organic Chemistry (HL only).
Where an Option is available at both HL and SL, the SL students study the ‘core’ material whereas the HL students study the ‘core’ and ‘extension’ material.
Students are encouraged to read widely, to use the library, and to access available software and the Internet in order to expose themselves to as much Chemistry as possible.

Biology

Biology courses at SL and HL have four basic biological concepts that act as unifying themes. These are Structure and Function, Universality versus Diversity, Equilibrium within Systems and Evolution.

The curriculum offers scope to learn, apply and appreciate within the global context various dimensions of Biology at:
• Cellular Level
• Biochemical Level
• Genetic Level


There is emphasis on:
• Human Physiology
• Applied Plant and Animal Sciences
• Ecology and Conservation

The syllabus is divided into three parts: the Core, Additional HL Material and the Options. The HL course provides an excellent qualification for entry into universities of Biological Sciences and Medical courses.
The SL course provides a good understanding of these and the implications of science for society.

Global Health The intent of the IB curriculum for Environmental Systems and Societies is to provide a coherent perspective on the environment. The core topics enable a student to understand the fundamental structure and functioning of natural systems and the broad impact of human activities. The options focus on methodologies as well as specific environmental issues that have both local and global significance.

Environmental Systems and Societies Transdisciplinary subject (Group 3 and 4) Aims of Environmental Systems and Societies:
• Raise awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology
• Develop experimental and investigative skills The curriculum offers the ability to understand, imbibe and apply the principles of:
• Ecosystems • Biodiversity • Conservation • Use of Natural Resources • Pollution Management
Helping the student contribute towards the maintenance of environmental balance is an important objective.

Biostatistics/Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies

Microbiology and Biotech

A new module has been incorporated with the core topics. This module will improve the scientific evaluation of not only general laboratories, but also help in enhancing data presentation of an extended essay done by the students.

Environmental Systems and Societies

These days one cannot open a newspaper without reading about another man-made disaster or threat to the survival of the globe. Even students who might not have enjoyed traditional experimental sciences at school are therefore often enthralled by the practical experimentation that goes into better understanding such burning issues as waste disposal, soil erosion, the population explosion and many others. At the same time, they pick up the basic scientific skills that they will find useful throughout life.

ESS at HVB Global Academy is firmly based in practical work, but has a sound theoretical underpinning. It is only offered at SL.

Group 5: Mathematics/Computer Science

Mathematics

Mathematical knowledge provides an important key to understanding the world in which we live. Thus, learning to appreciate underlying patterns and logical reasoning, makes the study of mathematics an enjoyable experience. Courses in Mathematics offered by IB prepare students to apply mathematical concepts to real-life situations.

Mathematical Studies Standard Level (SL)

Mathematical studies SL is designed to help students gain a functional knowledge of the subject and appreciate the utility of numbers. A student requires fundamental skills and rudimentary knowledge of basic mathematics to participate fruitfully in society. This course caters to the needs of students aiming at careers in Mass Communications, Commercial Arts, Psychology, Literature Studies, etc.

Mathematics Standard Level (SL)

This course is for students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and a sound mathematical background. Mathematics SL prepares a student for future studies in subjects such as Chemistry, Economics, Business and Management, which require mathematical rigour.

Mathematics Higher Level (HL)

Math HL is for students with a good background in Mathematics, who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills. Students opt for this subject because they have a strong interest in Mathematics, enjoy the subject as a challenge, and wish to pursue careers in Physics, Engineering and Technology. This course is demanding and requires students to study a broad range of mathematical topics employing a number of different approaches to varying degrees of depth.


Computer Science

Problem Solving: Computer science involves solving problems using computers. Therefore, a full understanding of logical problem-solving is essential along with a detailed knowledge of how computers operate.

Students of the IB Diploma Programme computer science will be guided by problem-solving strategies that will be continually reinforced in their coursework. The initial stages of the process will involve indentifying and defining the problem(s) to be solved using a computerised system. The problem will be broken down (decomposed) into parts, with each part requiring a particular solution. From this problem-definition, the student will construct appropriate algorithms to create a solution.

Java: Students are expected to acquire mastery over the specified aspects of Java. Suitable mechanisms include encapsulation, polymorphism and inheritance. Mastery of a particular aspect (or mechanism) of computer science is defined as the ability to use that aspect appropriately for some non-trivial purpose that is well documented. Mastery will be demonstrated through work submitted in the program dossier.

The courses: The Computer Science Standard Level (SL) course focuses on software development, fundamentals of computer systems and the relationship between computing systems and society. The Higher Level (HL) course encompasses all these elements but is extended to include computer mathematics and logic, advanced data structures and algorithms, further system fundamentals and file organisation.

Group 6: The Arts

Visual Arts

Visual Arts is initiated in such a way, that it provides students with tools to analyse the aesthetics of art, constantly emphasising the social and cultural factors that affect its production. Students are expected to produce studio work and maintain a research journal. Artistic expression is explored through techniques such as:
• Drawing
• Textiles
• Sculpture
• Ceramics
• Painting (any medium)
• Thematic Studies
• Computer Art
• Collage
• Video
• Photography

The studio work will combine several of these techniques and any medium may be employed.

Extended Essay

Investigative study is at its best here. Students choose a subject they love, a topic they are passionate about, and research it extensively. A 4,000-word essay is their goal here. The teacher works as a guide and mentor, and lends a helping hand whenever the student falters and acquaints him/her with independent research and writing skills expected at the university level.