Grades 5–8 Curriculum
The curriculum for grades 5–8 (lower secondary school), covers a broad range of subjects. Some of the most distinctive features include:
The English program focuses on establishing skills in composition, reading comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and oral response. Class readers with historical content are used to provide a valuable context in which to study and perfect these skills. Exposure to literature, in the class Anthology lessons, continues to develop critical analysis skills and an appreciation of the world’s literary genres.
Mathematics in lower secondary school is taught as an integrated discipline, allowing for fluidity across boundaries between different branches of math. Starting in grade 7 students are taught algebra, set theory, and computer science. In grade 8, the study of algebra and computer science is continued along with the study of geometry.
The mother-tongue language program follows the state curriculum of North Rhine-Westphalia (“Kerncurriculum NRW”) and integrates the study of classical German literature starting in grade 7 and continuing through grade 12.
Science as a general course is presently offered at ISR in grades 5–8. Students in these grades focus on the study of life, earth, physical sciences, and mathematical methods. In-class explorations are used to engage critical thinking and hands-on participation.
Curriculum in grades 5–6 focus on map reading skills as well as a look at the impact of explorers and leaders throughout history. Grades 7–8 at ISR focus on the study of history from ancient civilization to the 20th century. Students gain knowledge and understanding of these time periods through the texts used. Project work allows the students to further explore areas of special interest. Additionally, local German content in history, politics, and institutions is integrated into German lessons in grades 7–8.
Beginning in grade 6, students choose between French or Spanish as their third language. As is the case with both English and German, third language classes focus on developing students’ skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, oral response, and writing and cultural awareness.
Art, music (vocal and instrumental), computing, and physical education round out the academic program at ISR. These courses are required in grades 5–8 (PE to grade 10) and expose the students to the liberal arts, giving them a broad base of subjects to choose from in grades 10–12.
Music courses in grades 5, 6 and 7 focus on learning to play the violin, cello or contrabass. Students also learn fundamental music theory and note reading as well as pitch recognition. The music program in grade 8 allows the students to broaden their personal field of musical interest but introduces more advanced theoretical concepts. Grade 9 music program concentrates on composition, theory and performance as a pre-requisite for the IB Diploma program.