Course Overview IMS
The IB MYP consists of eight subject groups integrated through five areas of interaction that provide a framework for learning within and across the subjects.
Students are required to study their native language (German or English at GAIS), a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology.
The math program prepares students exceptionally well: most GAIS graduates have placed into high school Algebra I Advanced or Algebra II. GAIS students’ average score in the SAT-10 was in the 95th percentile. As with other subjects in the Middle School, the GAIS math curriculum is developed by the school to conform to IB, local, and European standards.
German is taught as a native language to students entering the Middle School from the GAIS Elementary School, and as a foreign language for students new to GAIS. The subject is taught for seven periods a week for students in grade 5 and for six periodes for students in grades 6-8.
Students who are fluent in German can also choose to take their Math and Humanities classes in German, increasing their German instruction to up to sixteen periods per week for grade 5 and fifteen periods for grades 6-8.
To date, all of our German students have passed the AP German exam in eighth grade. Every year we have students who have pieces chosen for publication by the German ZfA writing competition (Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen). In addition, all of our students get certified in German based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages through the German government. This supports the students’ ability to study abroad.
The English department is academically rigorous and equips students with linguistic, analytic and communication skills that can also be used in an interdisciplinary manner. Students take seven periods of English per week in grade 5 and six periods in grades 6-8.
We have an integrated reading and writing emphasis and develop excellent communication skills of both native and non-native English speakers. GAIS students take the SAT-10 in English. There is additional support for ESL (English as a second language) students.
Students take four periods of either Spanish or French per week (two periods in grade 5) and become proficient in one of these languages in addition to graduating fluent in both English and German (if they were enrolled in the GAIS Elementary School).
The Middle School teaches an integrated science curriculum in 5th and 6th grade, biology and physics in 7th grade, and physics and chemistry in 8th grade. We have a new science lab and a dedicated, experienced science teacher. Experiments and other hands-on projects are an important part of the program. In addition, robotics and programming classes are offered as extracurricular classes.
Health and Social Education
At GAIS, the staff and teachers know each student on an individual basis. They help each one to grow socially and emotionally in the critical middle school years. Through health and social education, students can identify and develop skills that will enable them to function as effective members of society.
Students also learn about how they are changing and how they can make informed decisions related to their own well-being. The IB MYP program encourages an integrated approach to teaching nutrition, health and human biology. These subjects are taught in the science curriculum, in PE, and addressed in other subjects, as appropriate.
Middle School students are fluent in the use of technology. We require students to have a laptop and provide parents with a recommended configuration. Students present their school work to the class and their teachers in multiple formats, including using computer technology.
Digital media content creation (Podcast, Movies, Broadcasting, e-Learning) is included in the art program and is also integrated in the core subjects.
Digital media and robotics classes are offered in the after-school program. The school has projectors and smart boards.
In addition, in keeping with the IB program, the curriculum raises students’ awareness of the impact of the technology-related decisions they make.
On campus, our students take two hours of physical education per week. The PE program‘s primary goals are to encourage lively participation in sports and to encourage an understanding of the importance of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
GAIS hosts an annual SportFest competition at the Stanford Track for all Elementary and Middle School students.
GAIS Middle School students are members of many local teams, including soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, swimming, volleyball, ice-hockey, fencing, track and field and dancing; the school can make referrals as appropriate.
GAIS is a member of the Small School Intermediate League (SSIL) and by 2012 intends to field three sports teams.
Visual & Performing Arts
The instrument program creates musical awareness and literacy. Visual, digital media, and performing arts are taught at the Middle School. Dance is available as an extracurricular class.