Course Descriptions

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LA

The Language Arts curriculum goes beyond focusing on the language communication skills of writing and speaking, reading and listening – it looks at language as an extension of who we are and how we interact with our world. Two main features of any course are an emphasis on scholarly research as well as the art of literature, used to develop critical thinking and for how it relates to analysis of life. In Language Arts, these areas are not separate functions, but interconnected – and so any given day in the classroom could see students doing a combination of each simultaneously, exploring informal class discussions, close reading analysis, or frequent writing assignments. An exploration of a graphic novel such as Persepolis, for example, may lead to a genre comparison analysis between words, visuals, and even animation, resulting in a variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding through multimedia presentations.

Each skill is assessed in every course in a variety of ways, such as group and individual projects and presentations, labs, portfolios, demonstrations, as well as traditional paper exams. Skills are revisited and refined throughout courses and for the length of the program, which is required every year until graduation. The Language Arts program may culminate with upperclassmen opting to take either of the following courses during the junior and senior years of high school: AP English Language and Composition, or AP English Literature and Composition.


Social Studies

Social Studies courses are designed to allow students to develop and demonstrate perspective, cultural competence, collaboration, core knowledge, and, in particular, critical thinking. And while KPIS uses an American curriculum, there is plenty of emphasis on local and asian culture and analysis. Students in class develop questions and apply disciplinary tools to them. There is a focus on exploration through discussion in which they evaluate evidence and information of cause-and-effect – what caused something to happen, and what was the result and why – and communicate their conclusions and how those conclusions relate to the world today. Assignments are often inquiry-based, and come in a full range of possibilities, with emphasis on interactive projects and presentations. In Asian Studies, in analyzing the state of education in ancient China, students may write home to their “parents” explaining life in their Confucian school, while the letters actually go across the hall to the LA class for cross-curricular work, and the LA students respond to the letters; SS standards are assessed for content, while LA standards are assessed for writing skills.

Throughout the program, students have a wide variety of exposure to and choices in the disciplines of social studies in order to complete three years of credits, including world history, asian studies, geography, psychology, and business economics. Included under the discipline of the social sciences, AP Psychology is also offered to upperclassmen as social studies credit.


Mathematics

The mathematics curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students who have varying backgrounds, knowledge and skills, as well as diverse interests and career goals. The goals of the mathematics programs are to provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves and to encourage them to do so, to provide students with options, and wherever possible, keep doors open to high level math offerings, and to ensure that all students learn what they need for college success and real-world experience. In Business Math, students learn to, among other things, manage their personal finances, like calculating banking interest rates, insurance rates, or converting monetary currency in other countries.

All students are required to earn at least three years of math credits in high school in order to graduate (depending on their goals for university). Possibilities include Common Core courses in Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Business Math and AP Statistics and Calculus. It is generally recommended that students take math for all four years of high school.


Science

KPIS seeks to develop students who are science-literate and that possess both a knowledge of facts and an understanding of concepts through a wide range of scientific disciplines. They should also have the opportunity to develop, through experimentation, the skills that encourage and enable continuous learning and critical thinking. The goal is to produce students who understand and appreciate the interrelationships of science, technology, and society. All courses incorporate technology-based laboratories and interactive resources. Any given class period might see students moving seamlessly from lecture to group work to practice and experimentation. A highlight of the academic year is the annual KPIS S.T.E.M. Fair (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), in which, within guidelines, students compete individually and in small groups projects and activities they present for submission at the event. In one particularly popular experiment, students received a set of prescribed materials and had to make a musical instrument with only those materials that could make a specific song with the correct musical notes.

All KPIS students must enroll in a biology course. Other courses include physics, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences. All graduates will have completed at least three years of science, with most earning four or more science credits.


Physical Education

Health and fitness are an integral part of developing young people, and Physical Education program (PE) is a vital part of our students’ education and wellness.
The main focus in secondary is to develop, utilize and adapt skills in a variety of activities, to pursue a worthwhile physical experience. Activities and events in PE may include everything from track and field, to basketball, to our stellar swimming courses, not to mention our various health and health-related fitness programs, and, in their final year, a sports leadership course.

Areas of skill and assessment include: demonstrating knowledge of and competency in motor skills, movement patterns and strategies needed to perform a variety of physical activities, as well as achieving levels of fitness for health and performance while demonstrating knowledge of fitness concepts, principles and strategies, as well as knowledge of psychological and sociological concepts, principles, and strategies. Students must successfully complete two years in PE at the high school level.


Thai

Based on the key skills recognized by the Thai Ministry of Education and taking their core elements, KPIS has applied them to an international school learner profile. Thai language serves as a communication tool for creating mutual understanding and relationships among people. Language skill requires training in language use for purposes of communication, effective learning and application in daily life. Reading for comprehension and for acquiring thinking skills in analyzing and synthesising knowledge from the readings for adapted application in daily life are important elements in Thai language courses.

Traditional Thai texts and stories may be used for content, while using them to study the language itself. Writing in accord with rules of Thai orthography, various kinds of communications, compositions, and reports based on study and research, as well as imaginative, analytical and critical, and creative writing all feature strongly in these classes. Listening and speaking are also vital, to express opinions, feelings, speaking on various matters in logical sequence, on various occasions, both formal and informal; and persuasive speaking.

KPIS strictly follows the MOE curriculum for all students K-8; in high school, while all Thais must complete Thai language and culture classes, foreign students, while required to complete Thai culture courses, in high school may choose another language such as Chinese.


Chinese

Research shows that learning of multiple languages in the early stages of development opens the pathways of mind, accentuates the cognitive process and correlates with higher IQ. Therefore, KPIS requires all students study not only English and Thai, but also Chinese for grades K-5. Chinese language users address a wide variety of themes and topics that are appropriate to their age and level. As students become literate in Chinese, they acquire relevant content through the study of various themes. This in turn expands their access to information from around the globe.

Moreover, the content that students acquire in the language classroom enables them to make connections and reinforce knowledge from other content areas of the curriculum. At the same time, students use of the language may culminate in participation in our annual Chinese New Year event. KPIS offers Chinese language courses K-12, and is required K-5. Our curriculum standards are in line with the US Common Core World Languages standards. And in the near future, we hope to offer AP Chinese.


ICT/Computer Science

This hands-on course will give students the opportunity to appreciate and understand the depth at which businesses, engineering, and our daily interactions are dependent on computer science. It provides an introduction to coding and computer science principles. Students learn by carefully designing a solution (algorithm) to problems, programming, and testing/debugging. Students will use Java and computational thinking strategies to design, write, and test programs. Java is common to all high-level programming languages and is the language of instruction for AP Computer Science A (which KPIS plans to introduce in the 2018-19 school year).

Examples of programming applications to be reviewed include financial, probability, simulations of payrolls, simulations of trip planning, games, and many math problems. This course is designed as an exciting and inviting jumping-off point for those who want to understand what coding is and how it relates to the technological world in which we live. No prior knowledge of Java or programming is required. Successful completion of the course will fulfill the prerequisite for AP Computer Science.


Visual and Performing Arts

Having established a firm foundation in all of the arts during their primary years at KPIS, secondary students choose a yearlong course of study in dance, music, theatre,
or the visual arts. All will take at least one arts course to meet high school graduation
and college entrance requirements. They will also have the vocabulary needed to converse about the arts in school and in social settings. With their deepened understanding of the different cultural dimensions in the arts, students find their voice in an ever-changing world. And having ample opportunities to collaborate with other students with the same interests in the arts, they can determine more fully their own points of view and artistic choices.

Given opportunities to apply their artistic abilities to creating and performing in the arts, students are prepared for constructive feedback from their teachers and their peers. In all the arts they are now prepared to compare how artists in each of the arts disciplines use their own source to convey an idea or emotion. For example, they might reflect on such things as patriotism or football as expressed in a song, a statue, a monologue, or a dance performance. KPIS also intends to introduce Drama classes to our offerings soon.