Marist Brothers International School


Upper School

Curriculum overview

Grade 9

This course uses the theme of “Coming of Age” to explore literature and language learning. Focus areas include reading comprehension, literary analysis and appreciation, composition, grammar and mechanics, vocabulary, and speaking. Students read classic and contemporary selections from world literature, encompassing a wide range of time periods and diverse cultures. Literary terms, concepts, and active reading strategies are reinforced via various activities and assessments. Students will develop their compositional skills, in a variety of formats, including narrative, expository, and argument essays.

The Honors course integrates literature and language at a sophisticated level, utilizing high-quality classics and contemporary selections. Students will read and respond to historically/culturally significant texts. Aesthetic and historical approaches to literature are utilized. Students are expected to craft well-developed essays in a range of formats, including narrative, expository, descriptive, and argumentation, and will deliver oral presentations that utilize classical forms, as well as incorporate modern, multi-modal technologies. This course is designed to provide a smooth transition to advanced courses in later grades.

Topics covered in the first semester are measuring and classifying angles and plane shapes, statements and reasoning, parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles and congruence, triangles and bisectors, and properties of triangles and quadrilaterals. The second semester continues into plane transformations and vectors, ratios and triangle similarity, right triangles and the Pythagorean Theorem, Right Triangle Trigonometry, circle geometry, and finishes with surface area and volume of polyhedra.

Integrated Science 9 is a course based on California’s Next Generation Science Standards. The course will be a combination of life, physical and earth scientific concepts. The course starts with students learning scientific inquiry skills. In the first semester students will learn about materials, types of chemical reactions, heat, sound and light, electromagnetic radiation, and electricity. The second semester will continue to focus on scientific inquiry skills, body coordination, disease, ecosystems, and plate tectonics. Emphasis is placed on the utilization of mathematical, analytical, data acquisition, scientific writing, and communication skills as well as interdisciplinary approaches to discovery. Concepts and skills are reinforced by a strong emphasis on hands-on laboratory experiences.

World History I is the first year of the two year-long World History class during which students study the history and culture of various societies during the Middle Ages. Areas of focus include Medieval Europe, ancient China and India, the Muslim World, societies of Mesoamerica and Andes, as well as Medieval African Empires. Following the completion of the first year of World History, students should have a basic understanding of the events, ideas and societies that helped shaped the pre-modern world. The sequence of the class is both historical, advancing through the years and geographic, advancing across the continents of the earth. A major goal of the course is to continue basic historical investigation skills, encourage critical thinking, draw conclusions from historical evidence and make inferences.

It is the goal of the Physical Education program for students to learn the skills and rules necessary for the enjoyment of sports and develop a positive attitude towards physical fitness, and to encourage a personal awareness of the choices that will lead to a healthy lifestyle. Students will demonstrate knowledge of and competency in motor skills, movement patterns, and strategies needed to perform a variety of physical activities. They will achieve a level of physical fitness for health and performance while demonstrating knowledge of fitness concepts, principles, and strategies. Some of the activities taught in Grade 9 Physical Education include Team Building, Volleyball, Fitness, Fitness Testing, Soccer, Badminton, Softball, and International Games.

The Grade 9 Religion course looks at major Religions’ teachings such as morality, norms and values This course is designed to enrich students’ interest and ultimately make a stand on modern day issues facing society on the whole relating to life, science and ethics in relation to their religion. Topic areas include understanding truth as presented in varied ways, scientific development like, but not limited to, In Vitro Fertilization, cloning, genetic engineering, abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment. A look at the different religious response to these issues will also be covered. This course’s intention is not to resolve those issues but to make available to students enough information to allow them to form an educated personal opinion about the issues.

Students will build upon prior art knowledge and experience developed through study at the elementary and middle school levels. Students will continue the study of materials, skills, and techniques of drawing and painting, printmaking and 3D design. Emphasis is on the exploration and development of individual expression, form, and content. Students will grow in their ability to describe, interpret, evaluate, analyze, and produce. They will continue to use a wide range of subject matter, symbols, art history content, and creative license in order to create unique works of art.

In the MYP Design course, students will engage with the design process, blending both product and digital design to address real-world problems creatively and critically. Throughout the course, students will explore areas such as graphic and web design, textiles, architecture, and 3D design. By working on various projects, they will develop essential skills in research, analysis, problem-solving, and technical execution. The curriculum encourages students to think like designers, using the MYP design cycle to create innovative solutions while considering the needs of end users and the impact on their communities. This hands-on, inquiry-based approach aims to foster creativity, collaboration, and a deeper understanding of how design influences and shapes the world around us.

Symphonic Band: This is a performance-based course intended to further students’ music literacy skills through playing wind band instruments. Previous music experience is recommended but not required. During the course, students will continue to develop their instrumental skills, play band repertoire, and learn historical and theoretical musical concepts. This class performs four major concerts during the year: at Food Fair, the Christmas Concert, the Spring Concert, and on Founder’s Day. Students also have the opportunity to learn and perform a solo at a festival.

This course helps produce The Maroon and Gold, the MBIS yearbook, as well as a student newsletter, the Marist Gazette. In this course, students will gain skills in the following areas: page design, publishing techniques, copywriting, editing, photography, record keeping, time management, teamwork, and leadership skills. Students are tasked with producing a timeless, creative, and innovative publications which will record our school’s community, memories, and events.

The Advanced Japanese course will improve the student as a bilingual speaker, reader, and writer.  Students will focus on writing essays both in English and Japanese which will increase their ability to express complex thoughts and subjects in Japanese.  Students will also learn the systematic view of Japanese society and its culture and will gain knowledge and understanding of technical terms through textbooks, stories, and newspaper articles from medicine, geography, history, politics, finance, and science.  By the end of this course, students will have a better view of how to explain/express their opinion using appropriate words, styles, and translation in Japanese.  Students will work extensively in improving their Kanji ability.  Students will learn approximately 150-200 Kanji depending on their level.

The Intermediate course is designed for students with some previous learning of Japanese. Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills will be developed around the main themes of everyday activities and personal and social life. Students will learn to write informative passages about a familiar theme and read and write in Kanji. Students will participate in simple group discussions related to social and global issues,  and share their thoughts in writing and in presentations. Students will also learn and experience Japanese culture. The four language skills will be assessed through a variety of tasks using specific rubrics. Students will work extensively in improving their Kanji ability.  Students will learn approximately 150-200 Kanji depending on their level.

This course is designed to develop Japanese communication skills in all four language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. The course will integrate previously acquired language and cultural knowledge to effectively communicate personal perspectives on various topics. Students will be able to recognize an increased number of kanji and to use them in writing. Students will also be able to read text containing Kanji.

In addition to acquiring Japanese language skills, students will have the opportunity to write Japanese Haiku, participate in local or national essay writing competitions and speech contests.