Academics

Middle & Upper School Curriculum

We follow the core curriculum of the German International Abitur (Deutsches Internationales Abitur, or DIA for short).  The DIA is an internationally acclaimed college preparatory program and diploma that provides an academically exceptional and culturally rich multilingual education to students of all nationalities and backgrounds.  GIS is one of five German schools in North America to offer the DIA.
 
By inspiring inquisitive, open-minded, independent thinkers through a robust, internationally-oriented, interdisciplinary curriculum of languages, science, mathematics and the arts, the DIA opens doors to the finest colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, the UK and Europe and creates a world of opportunities for its graduates.
 
Beginning in fifth grade, geography, biology and physical education are taught in both German and English.  Music theory and visual arts courses are taught increasingly in English from fifth through ninth grades, and exclusively in English from tenth grade on.  Also taught in English are American History, which begins in eighth grade, and economics which begins in tenth grade.
 

Our Curriculum and Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom

In line with the GIS concept differentiated instruction, individualized and independent learning is strongly promoted in our classrooms. This not only includes the acquisition of learning content but also the quantity and quality of learning tasks and use of media.  We also promote awareness of individual learning styles and different approaches to learning.   Through differentiated instruction, we try to ease the integration of new students in the classroom and set up individual support measures for them. Differentiated instruction uses heterogeneity as a positive aspect.  
 
The GIS methods concept offers a repertoire of strategies for individualized learning and differentiated instruction. In order to accommodate different learning styles, teachers use a variety of methods, for example, group puzzles, learning stations, talks with experts, workshops, group, partner and individual work. In addition, tasks may be of unequal length and difficulty.
 
Teachers use a variety of assessment instruments for the documentation of a student’s achievement including portfolios, self-assessment tests, competency grids.   At GISNY, students in the “Gymnasium” and “Realschule” track are instructed in the same classroom. Differentiated instruction is necessary with respect to content, competencies and grading for students in these two tracks as well as students with differences in language competencies. Also the exams for students in the “Realschule” are adapted to their level.    
 

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