Diploma Programme (DP)
As part of the International Baccaleaureate (IB) continuum of international education, Harare International School (HIS) is proud to have an authorized Diploma Programme (DP).
The three IB programmes (PYP, MYP, DP) share a common philosophy and a commitment to a high quality, international education that HIS believes promotes our ability to thrive and reach for excellence. Across the continuum, our teachers are committed to the principles of an IB education, promoting inquiry-based teaching strategies and conceptual-based learning that support the IB Learner Profile and foster students’ growth in the Approaches to Learning (AtLs).
As the culminating program in the continuum, the DP is designed for students in grades 11 and 12. It is a comprehensive, two-year program that uses a standardized curriculum within the IB framework. As with the PYP and the MYP, DP students are at the center of the program model and, as such, we recognize their importance in the learning process through our instructional strategies.
The DP is a rigorous academic program, emphasizing critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and exposure to a variety of points of view. It encourages students to ask challenging questions, develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture, learn how to learn and develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures. Additionally, DP students continue to refine their transferable, 21st Century skills through the approaches to Learning (ATLs).
At HIS, we believe all students will benefit from the Diploma Programme as it prepares students for university and life beyond. Research conducted on IB graduates from around the world informs us that IB students are more likely than their non-IB peers to graduate from university and would recommend the program to others (Facts and Figures. Web. International Baccalaureate. 2015)
For further information about the IB and its programmes, please visit https://www.ibo.org
If you would like more information on the IB Diploma Programme at HIS, please contact the IB MYP/DP Coordinator at email@example.com
As an IB Continuum school, we use the IB framework for teaching and learning to shape our units within each of the DP courses. In addition to the IB framework, all Diploma Programme courses have a unique, subject specific guide with IB defined aims and objectives. These guides also include a syllabus outline and content, as well as assessment criteria and objectives.
Within the scope of this larger framework, we utilize backwards design to create our units. To this end, we design authentic and developmentally appropriate assessments and use relevant approaches to teaching strategies. We further embed the development of our students’ approaches to learning (AtL) skills and IB Learner Profile attributes in our lessons and units.
All of these aforementioned individual elements are combined symbiotically to form our DP curriculum.
DP teachers provide information about course content and assessment practices in their course outlines, which are given to students at the beginning of the school year. Every DP parent at HIS has access to these course outlines via ManageBac (MB). We encourage parents to use MB to explore what their DP student is learning by looking at the individual course outlines.
For additional information on the DP courses and program at HIS, please refer to our DP Course Selection Guide.
As part of our curriculum, DP students participate in the HIS CORE program. Through the CORE, students engage in CAS (creativity, activity, and service), as well as academic enrichment, HL extension, and pastoral care. Information about this program is outlined in our CORE selection guide.
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At HIS, we believe that the concept of assessment is multi-faceted and broader than a narrow set of pedagogical guidelines. In line with our IB framework for teaching and learning, we believe assessment is a continuous, ongoing process to be used for 1) the assessment of student learning and growth, i.e. summative assessment, and 2) for the purposes of shaping student learning experiences and teacher planning, i.e. formative assessment. We have, therefore, organized our conceptual understanding of assessment around the broad ideas of formative and summative assessment. While these two categories of assessment provide us with a framework for shaping our assessment philosophy and practices, we acknowledge that assessment is much more than the brief definitions provided above. We are currently in the process of reviewing our HIS MYP/DP Assessment Policy, which will be posted to the website once it is completed.
In addition to our internal, HIS assessment, there are external assessments within the IB Diploma Programme for students pursuing individual IB DP courses and the IB DP full diploma. Some of these external assessments are completed during the two years leading up to the final May exam session. Most, however, are written in May and follow the IB published exam schedule.
For more information on HIS internal assessment, please contact your child’s teacher directly. If you would like more information on IB DP external examinations, please contact the IB MYP/DP Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separate from the IB Diploma Programme external examinations, students may opt to take the SAT and ACT for college admissions purposes. Information on these examinations is available at SAT and ACT. If you have questions that are specific to the use of these examinations in the college admissions process, please contact the MYP/DP Counselor at email@example.com.
The Group 4 Project
The Group 4 project is part of the Internal Assessment requirements for all DP science students. This project encourages an understanding of the relationships between all scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method, whilst also developing and applying students’ information and communication technology skills in the study of science.
This year’s Group 4 Project was on the topic of “Developing a technology that utilizes energy and is sustainable.” Students considered a holistic approach to this question, looking to create a solution that would be ‘applicable to Zimbabwe.’ Our students came up with a wide variety of well-researched topics like microbial fuel cells, solar updraft turbines, solar cookers using concentrated sunlight and Earth batteries using the soil as an electrolyte.
Kudos to all our budding HIS researchers!
Visual Arts: Gallery Visits
As part of their course work, students studying the visual arts visit local art galleries on a monthly basis. During their visits, students meet with artists to discuss the artist’s work and concepts related to art. This is a wonderful opportunity for DP visual arts students to connect with the vibrant Zimbabwean art community. One of our grade 12 students shared the following about the gallery visits, “I like being able to see other people’s work and knowing that there is a lot of creativity within the art community in Zimbabwe. Their work also gives me inspiration for my pieces.”
Grade 11 students working with Grade 2 students
The description below was written by two of our grade 11 students to describe their experiences working with the 2nd graders.
The year 11 ESS students presented to the grade 2 students on how the ecosystems of the world function, specifically the animal life and human life that co-exist in these ecosystems. This presentation was a significant addition to the elementary students’ knowledge of their respected ecosystems, as the different presentations provided simple and child-friendly information that covered all the necessary topics. In addition, the year 11’s presented the effect of human impact and climate change on these ecosystems and how it affects the environment and the living beings that reside in these different ecosystems. Overall, this task was done in order to provide the second-grade students with information that they would be able to understand and to view the perspectives of the older students who have taken part in such an activity pertaining to ecosystems, the biotic species and human impact/climate change. The second grade students will be using this information as a basis for their own summative assessment.