HS Electives

Intro to Graphic Design

The Intro to Graphic Design course explores the fundamentals of design, typography, color theory, and composition. Students learn about the history and current use of Graphic Design to create projects to delve into how to convey information through visual communication. Students will explore the concepts of visual communication and image-making. Projects in this class will explore the mediums of photography, design, and digital illustration. Students will also be contributing to the school’s yearbook in both aspects of design and photography. The course culminates with a student-directed project where each student gets a chance to design their own project.

This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Advanced Graphic Design

A prerequisite of this course is Intro to Graphic Design. Advanced Graphic Design is a continuation of the Graphic Design course. Students will continue to learn and explore the ideas of design, typography, color theory, and composition. Students will further their exploration of visual communication and image-making with more advanced projects. Projects in this class will explore the mediums of video, photography, design, and digital illustration. Students will also be contributing to the school’s yearbook in both aspects of design and photography. This course culminates with a student-directed project where each student gets a chance to design their own project.

This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Performing Arts

This course focuses on performing skills for a range of productions. There are three projects, each culminating in a performance:

1. ‘No 4th Wall’ Theatre Festival: (Skills: Ensemble, Characterisation, Improv, Devising)

As a group, you will create an original performance and perform it for our community. Note: our festival begins on Sunday October 6th followed by 2 days of absence from classes on Monday & Tuesday.

2. High School Musical: (Skills: Ensemble, Singing, Dance, Stage Design)

This is the largest project of the year. You will also complete short projects in Research and Casting. Every member of the cast will sing and dance as part of the chorus. You may also audition for larger roles.

3. One-act Movie: (Skills: Ensemble, Acting for Camera, Storyboarding, Editing)

In this project you will work independently, in small groups, on an original script from our Creative Writing students and develop it into a short film. Along with your regular teachers, and you will also work with visiting workshop leaders, choreographers and filmmakers. HS Performing Arts is an excellent choice if you are considering IB Theatre. This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Performance Technology

Through hands on experience with some very exciting new equipment, students in the Performance Technology elective will learn about stage lighting, sound, projection, set construction and other backstage related skills (such as Theatre Safety). Students will learn technical theatre terminology and how to use the equipment, as part of a team. This class will also serve as the tech/backstage crew and assist/work at different school functions and events including the No4th Wall Festival, the HS Benefit, the HS Musical and CEESA events.

This course is open to all, although an interest in both art & technology is highly desirable.

This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Visual Arts

Art Foundation

The elective in visual art for grades 9/10 is centred on the skills of drawing, painting, and composition in several media. The underlying goal of the course is to develop students’ basic technical skills both for their own enrichment and in preparation for those who will pursue IB Visual Arts beginning in grade 11. Assignments run the range of individual technical exercises and studies to larger, more elaborate, and more thoughtfully finished pieces.

This now includes, among other academic topics, an exploration of Modernism and the dichotomy between objective and non-objective art. We want to produce art but also to understand it, some of its ideas and history. As drawing is said to be the probity of art, an emphasis of the course will be on drawing in its many forms. Basically, it’s an informal course, so we kick back, explore all kinds of art, try out our skills, put on a display of our work from time to time, and listen in the background to cool music.

This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Art Expression

The Art Expression elective in visual art for grade 10 is centred on the skills of drawing, painting, and composition in several media, building on the skills acquired in Art Foundation. The underlying goal of Art Expression is to further develop students’ technical and imaginative skills both for their own enrichment and in preparation for those who will pursue IB Visual Arts, beginning in grade 11. It is especially important for those future IB art students. Assignments run the range of individual technical exercises and studies to larger, more elaborate, and more thoughtfully finished pieces.

This now includes, among other academic topics, an exploration of Modernism and the dichotomy between objective and non-objective art. We want to produce art but also to understand it, some of its ideas and history. As drawing is said to be the probity of art, an emphasis of the course will be on drawing in its many forms. Then students will explore beyond this, to discover the richness of visual language. At heart, this is an informal course, so we kick back, experiment, explore all kinds of art, push beyond our basic skills, put on a display of our work from time to time, and listen in the background to cool music.

This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Music

The class is open for students with previous experience in playing a music instrument and singing.

Main focus is on:

  • Continue to develop the instrumental skills necessary for ensemble and solo performances;
  • Songwriting unit – understanding of style, music analysis and theory;
  • Use of music technology in a new age music creation;
  • Annual “Benefit Gig” – how to create a well balanced music concert program and to become a valued performer;
  • Basics of Music management business – Professional studio recordings and release of authentic CD album.

Students will have to be creative, risk takers, and willing to “dive” into the various musical experiences.
This course counts towards Arts credit required for AAS diploma.

Design & Technology – Foundations

Maker capacities of looking closely, exploring complexity and finding opportunity will be used in conjunction with the collaborative design process of: Discovery, Interpretation, Ideation, Experimentation, and Evolution means you’ll be working with others to design solutions to problems, test those solutions, redesign and adapt and then finalise your product.

Students will learn design software for 3D printing, they will work with wood, 3D printing, and micro-controllers. For each medium there will be structured lessons and projects (individual, small group and whole class). Some students will complete independent projects at the end of each trimester.

Focus will be on the Design Process and Makers will be expected to blog about their progress.

Students do not need to know everything, but be willing to discover, take risks, and be independent learners. Safety is extremely important as both hand and power tools will be used. The first module is a mandatory safety orientation and testing.

Design & Technology – Advanced

Maker capacities of looking closely, exploring complexity and finding opportunity will be used in conjunction with the collaborative design process of: Discovery, Interpretation, Ideation, Experimentation, and Evolution means you’ll be working with others to design solutions to problems, test those solutions, redesign and adapt and then finalise your product.

This class will allow students to explore areas of their own particular interest, and develop projects related to those interests. Areas of exploration often include STEM related fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) such as programming, electronics, and robotics, but could also include crafts, design and building. Focus will be on the Design Process and Makers will be expected to blog about their progress. Students are expected to come into the class with some experience either from two MS Maker Space electives or the HS Foundations MakerTime course.

Students do not need to know everything, but be willing to discover, take risks, and be independent learners. A great deal of maturity and self-direction are mandatory.

Safety is extremely important as both hand and power tools will be used. The first module is a mandatory safety orientation and testing.

Pre-requisites: Design & Technology Foundations or two semesters of 7/8 Design & Technology, or Special Permission based on an interview.

Bulgarian Language and Literature in
Mother Tongue

This course is intended for native Bulgarians who wish gain support and develop speaking, writing and analytic skills in mother tongue, and to expand the knowledge about the Bulgarian culture – in particular history, folklore and national character. It is planned as a skill-based program which can be considered as both a pre-IB Bulgarian Literature course and general language and literacy.

This course will seek to encourage reflective and analytic explorations of literature. Students will learn how to engage in independent literary criticisms and to express their ideas with clarity, coherence, conciseness, precision, and fluency in both written and oral communication. It will also emphasise on the precise oral and written use of language.

The course of study will examine classic and modern works of literature, and will offer activities for deeper understanding of the Bulgarian national characteristics and features.

Creative Writing

In this course, students will explore the power of words and discover how they can use language to share their voices and visions. Through a workshop approach as part of a community of writers, students will develop skills in four genres of creative writing: poetry, prose fiction, creative non-fiction and drama. By studying the works of professional writers, they will gain an understanding of literary conventions, and develop the techniques and tools essential to effective writing and editing. Students will learn how to generate ideas, create works, give and receive feedback in writer response groups, reflect on the feedback provided, revise, edit and publish their work.

Students will create a portfolio of publishable writing each trimester. They will also be required to submit their work to the literary magazine, Lux, and other writing contests. Assessment will be based both on a final online portfolio of publishable writing, as well as documented evidence of reflection on the writing process through maintaining a Writer’s Notebook.

Writing Support

This one-year-long elective is available to students in grades 9 and 10 who would like to improve their writing skills. Lessons will focus primarily on academic genres, though good writing of all types has similar characteristics and these will be explored in interactive and engaging ways. Students will study writing as a process: prewriting, writing, revising, editing and publishing.

The program will cover different types of essays as well as some grammar within the context of these. To the extent possible, students will work on writing projects that are directly connected to their core subjects, rather than separate discrete projects. In addition, this course will look at academic integrity in writing and academic research.

Math Support

This elective is available to students who are determined to succeed in either Extended Mathematics or Core Mathematics, but who do not find the subject easy and would benefit from extra support. Students will have the opportunity to get individual help and guidance to enhance the learning taking place in regular math classes. An alternative range of materials and resources will also be available to both support and extend the students’ learning.

Structured Study Period

This is a teacher supervised study/work period intended for students to work independently. Students are expected to plan their work and be accountable to the supervisor for the work they accomplish during the period. Note: Students can only select one Structured Study Period as elective.