Our US high school diploma affords graduates the opportunity to pick any university or college in any country for tertiary studies.
High School students have individualized schedules and take eight classes a year. We work on an alternating schedule whereby the students take the same four 80-minute classes on Mondays and Thursdays (A-day classes) and then four other 80-minute classes on Tuesdays and Fridays (B-day classes). On Wednesdays, they alternate between A-day and B-day classes. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, students have an advisory time called Communitas (Latin for community) with their homeroom teacher for 20 minutes. This time is used for character education, distributing information and announcements, receiving academic support, and general community building.
Our High School offers 65 courses each year. Each year students take courses in the five core areas: English, science, social studies, math, and foreign language. In addition, they take three electives which include a balance of variety and focus areas.
Students take semester exams in the core subjects of English, science, social studies, math, and foreign language. These exams are worth 20% of the semester grade while the two terms in the semester consist of 40% each.
HIGH SCHOOL LEARNING AREAS
AFRICAN LITERATURE is an elective course which offers a comprehensive study of fiction and non-fiction works produced across the African continent. The purpose of the course is to allow students to explore the various threads that tie the continent together as well as the subtleties that make each country distinct. The nature of this course allows us to capitalize on the wealth of cultural experiences we have in our international school and we regularly invite parents, grandparents and other school community members into the classroom to share their own stories and experiences of Africa.
ART & DESIGN is AISCT’s visual arts course. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop artistic perceptions, creative expression and aesthetics of art as well as developing their ability to make the connections between art and other aspects of life. Students will have the opportunity to develop themes of work according to their ability levels. Units and themes are designed to teach and review art skills and vocabulary and include some exposure to relevant art history. There is a strong emphasis on the process of creative thinking and expression (rather than focusing only on the finished product).
ASTRONOMY is an elective course which provides an introduction to this fascinating and challenging field of science. Students will learn the basic elements of our Universe from the constituent parts of our own solar system to the nearby galaxy and extragalactic cosmos. The course also presents students with the challenge of translating difficult topics for themselves and their peers as the topics covered provide an excellent opportunity for students become experts and ambassadors for an often misunderstood field. The South African skies provide a multitude of stargazing opportunities and Astronomy students are invited to participate in the annual Astronomy 3-day field trip to SALT (the Southern African LargeTelescope) in Sutherland which boasts some of the best stargazing in the world.
AISCT BAND performs publically at most school events. It is a small ensemble of musicians and vocalists who already have a certain level of proficiency. During the course, students are introduced to basic and advanced music theory, history, performance technique, composition and improvisation. They have the opportunity to experience being part of a live, active band under the guidance of a professional multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer and educator, and they experience the pressures of practising and preparing for a live performance.
BUSINESS STUDIES is a one-year elective course which is designed to provide students with an introduction and general overview of entrepreneurism and basic principles within business. It will also encourage an entrepreneurial mindset so that students can succeed in their chosen career path. The course includes both theoretical and practical activities to get students thinking like an entrepreneur.
DANCE encourages students to explore and discover dance forms from various cultures/countries and will enable students to express themselves through a non-verbal means of communication. The course is primarily performance based but does include some theoretical units about cultural dance styles and researching choreographers. The High School Dance course helps students develop a comprehensive understanding of dance as they learn, analyze and create their own dance pieces. Students are expected to work together on productions and reflect on their own performances and experiences.
IT focuses primarily on digital media (audio and visual) and website technologies/web design. Students gain experience in working with digital media and they learn how to apply these skills to complete tasks that are important in everyday life. Students also gain insight into the technologies that form the basis of the physical structure of the Internet as well as the technologies that are used to create the content which makes the Internet so influential. More importantly, students will be able to create their own websites so that they are not only users of the Internet, but also its architects. Finally, students explore and experience the utility and basic functions of a versatile programming language, Python.
MARIMBA is one of our most popular High School electives. It introduces students to the sounds and histories of this iconic African instrument. At the end of one year in the Marimba Music elective students will be able to read notated music, be able to focus on a selected section of a music part as part of an immediate larger whole performance, be able to focus on directing the ‘live’ performance and obtain a more thorough understanding of songwriting/song construction and what it takes (in terms of weekly practicing and mental preparation) to create a successful ‘live’ public performance.
MODEL UNITED NATIONS (MUN) encourages critical thinking and develops an international awareness of global issues facing today’s society. This debating class simulates the real procedures and protocols of the United Nations and students act as both delegates and chairs of the various UN councils. MUN students are invited to participate in two annual conferences (one national and one international). They are also responsible for the planning and management of their own MiniMUN conference for our Middle School students every December.
PSYCHOLOGY is designed to introduce students to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major fields within psychology. Students also learn about Ethics and the methods psychologists use in their science and practice. The course has a research element and students are expected to engage in experiments and conduct their own study on a chosen topic area. Emphasis is given to helping students relate their understanding of this subject to their daily lives.
PUBLICATIONS gives students the opportunity to work together as a team to develop, design, write and publish marketing material, articles and a school yearbook which the community can enjoy. In addition, students will practice using the editorial process in journalism, constructing material based on format, outlay, design, alignment and proximity, and are expected to be responsible, self-reliant members of a publishing community.
SOCIOLOGY is an elective course which introduces students to the study of social life, social change, social causes and consequences of human behavior. Subject matter can range from family life to organizations, from crime to education and much more. The purpose of this course is to provide students with tools to critically understand the ways people relate to one another through the organization of society and how its structures and cultures influence our lives.
THEATRE ARTS is an elective course which introduces students to a wide range of disciplines in theatre by means of practical application. The course is designed to give students practical experience in many aspects of theatre including performance, set and costumes, marketing, directing and theory. There are two Theatre Arts public performances per annum (one per semester) and students are heavily involved in the planning, marketing and managing of these productions (in addition to their performance roles). There is a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration as well as theatrical technique.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses are university level courses taken in high school and prepare students for higher education internationally. More than 90 percent of universities in the United States as well as 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP exam grades. AISCT has a University Advisor/ Guidance Counselor who fully understands the university application processes globally and whose role in the school is to counsel students regarding applications.
AISCT currently offers 17 AP courses to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the following subject areas: English Language & Composition, English Literature & Composition, Calculus AB, Statistics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics I, Environmental Science, Psychology, US History, European History, French Language & Culture, Spanish Language & Culture, Studio Art (Drawing and 2-D Design) and the AP Capstone Diploma program classes of Seminar and Research.
For more information https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/home
ONLINE STUDY OPPORTUNITIES
The AISCT course offering is designed to offer a wide range of choice based on student ability and interest. We accept however, that there are limits to what we can offer in-house for our students. In the event that a student wishes to follow a course that we do not offer, we invite students to supplement their AISCT courses with online study. We currently work with the Virtual High School Collaborative and K12 International Online.
AISCT runs on a US credit-based system with a WASC-accredited USA high school diploma as its exit qualification. A specified number of credits must be earned in each discipline in order for a Grade 12 student to be eligible to graduate from our program. One year-long course equals one credit. Graduation requirements also include a certain number of service hours, participation in Innovation Term, and the successful completion of our Senior Project (an independent research project).
UNIVERSITY GUIDANCE & ACCEPTANCE
The High School counselor at AISCT provides counseling support to the upper school and university guidance to the high school students. Our graduates apply predominantly to colleges/universities in the USA and Canada, but we also have a number of applications to the UK, European, and South African universities. We are a registered center for both Common App and UCAS application processes.
AISCT’s Service Learning program provides students the opportunities and confidence to positively impact the world through genuine engagement in collaborative, meaningful action with local partners.
AISCT has targeted specific social causes and selected partner organizations appropriate for students in ECD to Grade 5. In the Middle School, students also work within their grade level groups with various organizations to include South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA), Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS), Two Oceans Aquarium, Miracle Kids, and Greenpop.
High School students are required to complete 50 service hours to graduate from AISCT. In their freshman, sophomore, and junior years, students complete a minimum of ten hours per year; in the senior year this increases to 20 hours. Students are encouraged to complete their service hours with charitable organizations of their choice based on the students’ interests.
AISCT is a recognised examination center for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), which is a world-leading, globally-recognised, awarding body for acting. Students are coached privately and assessed annually on campus in October by visiting LAMDA examiners. Students who qualify for the grades 6, 7, and 8 LAMDA exams can qualify for UCAS points which can be used when applying to universities. The course is a great way to develop communication skills and confidence. Classes are offered to students in grades 3-12.