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At the high school level at Busan Foreign School, grades 9-12, all students are placed in a rigorous AP college preparatory program.Our current foundational core courses are in the Advanced Placement program in English, History, Economics, Chemistry, and Psychology. These courses are primarily for our upper level students – grades 11 and 12.

Students are granted one graduation credit per year of either a core required or a year of an elective course. Students must successfully complete an array of required and elective courses equally 24 credits through 2016. From June of 2017 on, all BFS graduates must have completed 26 full year credits.

Families and students can refer to the Student Handbook for specific graduation requirements.

The course descriptions for the 2017-18 school year can be found here.

English Language Arts (ELA)

BFS offers ELA lessons adapted to each grade level and an AP Language and Composition course available from grade 10.

Grade 9 Introduction to Literature

This class focuses on expanding students’ understanding works of literature through a genre approach. The goal is to provide students with a strong foundation in literature as they progress through high school. Literature will include short stories, poetry, a young adult novel, mythology, selections from The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet and non-fiction, among others. In addition, vocabulary, through the study of Greek and Latin roots, and grammar will be addressed. Writing skills will focus on the essay and using evidence effectively to support a thesis.

Grade 10 American Literature Survey

This year-long course covers the central themes and movements of American Literature. Readings will involve a wide variety of forms chronologically from the Puritan through contemporary periods. Class activities will include Socratic seminars, informal small and large-group discussions, close reading strategies, web quests, presentations, research, essays, and written responses. Occasional ties to American history class may occur. Grammar and unit-specific vocabulary will also be addressed throughout the course.

Grade 11 Critical Reading, Writing, and Speaking

This class will focus on cultivating students’ appreciation for the craft of writing and encourage students to develop their own writer’s voice in both academic and creative genres.  While this class will focus primarily on reading nonfiction works like memoirs and professional essays, we will also read and rhetorically analyze the award-winning book The Kite Runner.  In order to develop a command of the English language in their own writing, students will engage in intensive grammar exercises as well as write several essays including: compare/contrast, rhetorical analysis, argument, personal essay, and an intensive research paper with all steps of the writing process, including an annotated bibliography.  In addition to reading and writing, students will participate in Socratic Seminars and small group discussions as well as make regular contributions to class discussions.

Grade 12 Senior English: College Preparation Literature and Composition

This course, specifically designed for BFS seniors, will have several purposes: successful completion of the college application process, preparation for writing at the collegiate level, and an in-depth look at upper-level literature. Literature may vary from year to year. For 2017-2018, readings will focus on British and World Literature. Students will reflect and analyze timeless and universal themes and consider their place as a world citizen confronting the world beyond highschool and in many cases beyond South Korea. In addition, students will formally research topics using library databases, for a variety of rhetorical purposes (expository, argumentative, and a synthesis essay analyzing a trend) and produce an appropriate paper through the entire writing process, document sources. Speaking activities may include Socratic discussions, formal speeches or informal group work.

Grades 11, 12 Contemporary Literature Through Film

This course will explore the relationship between contemporary pieces of literature and the films of the same genre. The genres, films, and novels that students explore are determined by the class. Throughout a unit, students will read, analyze, and discuss their independent reading novels, write an essay, and watch films from that novel’s genre. Students will then discuss and analyze the films we view as a class.

Grades 10, 11,12 AP Language

AP Literature and Composition covers literature and composition in depth. The focus will be on poetry and the novel, but other types of literature will be addressed. The course is modeled after a college seminar; therefore, all reading is done outside of class, and class time is spent in discussion and writing. A summer assignment is required. Students will have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement Exam in the spring and college credit may be granted upon successful completion of this exam.

Grades 10, 11,12 AP Seminar

AP Seminar is the foundational course in the AP Capstone diploma that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literacy, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.

Mathematics

Busan Foreign School has many mathematics lessons available and open to our High School students:

Grade 7, 8, 9 Algebra I

In this enriched class, students will investigate and explore equations, inequalities, functions and linear functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and polynomials, factoring polynomials, quadratic functions and equations, data analysis and probability. For advanced students, some of Algebra II topics will be introduced (exponential, radical and rational functions and equations). Emphasis will be placed on fully communicating mathematical work, understanding mathematical notation, and multiple representations, i.e., exploring mathematical concepts simultaneously through graphs, tables, equations and written explanations.

Grade 9 Geometry

This course involves the student as a problem solver, one who can reason mathematically and who can communicate and make connections among various mathematical ideas, including the following: points, lines, planes and angles, parallel lines and planes, transformations and congruence, congruent triangles, similar polygons, right triangles, circles, areas of plane and solid figures, volume and surface area of solids, organizing proofs logically and using formulae to solve problems.

Grade 10 Algebra 2

In this course, students will be investigating Algebra as a tool for calculation and problem solving. We’ll start with some review of Algebra I and Geometry and focus on quadratic functions and factoring, polynomial functions, rational exponents and functions, rational functions, data analysis and statistics, sequence and series, quadratic relations and conic sections. Students will start learning how to use graphic calculator with activities and work on research projects for in-depth understanding.

Grades 9-12 Algebra 2 with Trigonometry

The content of Algebra 2 with trigonometry is organized around families of functions, including linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, and rational functions. As students study each family of functions, they will learn to represent them in multiple ways – as verbal descriptions, equations,tables, and graphs. They will also learn to model real-world situations using functions in order to
solve problems arising from those situations.

In addition to its algebra content, Algebra 2 with Trigonometry includes lessons on probability and data analysis as well as numerous examples and exercises involving geometry and trigonometry. These math topics often appear on standardized tests, so maintaining students’ familiarity with them is important. To help students prepare for standardized tests, Algebra 2 with Trigonometry provides instruction and practice on standardized test questions in a variety of formats – multiple choice, short response, extended response, and so on.

Grade 11 Pre-Calculus

In this course, the students will review and learn more depth in Trigonometric, Geometric, and Algebraic techniques and how to integrate them to prepare for the study of calculus and strengthens their conceptual understanding of problems and mathematical reasoning in solving problems. In addition to work out problems by hand, the students will learn how to use technology such as TI 83/84/89. These standards take a functional point of view toward those topics. The most significant new concept is that of limits.

Grades 10-12 AP Statistics

The purpose of this AP course in statistics is to strengthen students’ understanding of the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

  1. Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
  2. Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
  3. Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
  4. Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

The AP Statistics course is an excellent option for any secondary school student who has successfully completed a second-year course in algebra and who possesses sufficient mathematical maturity and quantitative reasoning ability. Because second-year algebra is the prerequisite course, AP Statistics usually will be taken in either the junior or senior year.

The decisions about whether to take AP Statistics and when to take it depend on a student’s plans:

  • Students planning to take a science course in their senior year will benefit greatly from taking AP Statistics in their junior year.
  • For students who would otherwise take no mathematics in their senior year, AP Statistics allows them to continue to develop their quantitative skills.
  • Students who wish to leave open the option of taking calculus in college should include Pre-Calculus in their high school program and perhaps take AP Statistics concurrently with Pre-Calculus.

Students with the appropriate mathematical background are encouraged to take both AP Statistics and AP Calculus in high school. Students who take the AP Statistics course are strongly encouraged to take the exam.

Many are the subjects available to BFS students on the Social Studies area, whether History or Psychology, students are sure to find a subject of interest.

Grade 9 Asian History

This course offers a detailed study of Asian history, geography, and cultures as it follows the social and political development of the Asian continent. Students will be able to describe the physical geography of Asian countries. They will become familiar with the major religions practiced and how these religions shaped the development of each country. They will discover the how the past has influenced the development and present of Asian countries. Students will be assessed through tests, quizzes, homework, and group and individual projects.

Grade 10 U.S. History

This social studies course is aimed at developing an understanding of the history of the United States. The course content takes you through a somewhat comprehensive journey through U.S. History with an emphasis on the most impactful periods in U.S. history.   Students will learn about the institutions, individuals, groups, ideas, circumstances, and events (both good and bad) which shaped the U.S. into what it is today.  Throughout the learning process, students will work to gain an understanding of key historical, political, geographical, and economic concepts which can be applied outside the context of U.S. history.  In addition to content, students will work to develop their academic reading, writing, research, presentation, and communication skills to better prepare them for future coursework. Students must complete reading assignments, notes, and participate in discussion in order to be successful. Assessment will take place through frequent quizzes, tests, and projects.

Grades 10, 11, 12 History Through Film: 20 Century Social Movements

In this course students will examine significant social movements in US History and how they are told and explained by Hollywood by viewing major motion pictures including such films as Selma, Rent, and Iron Jawed Angels.  Students will create a variety of video responses, essays, and projects to demonstrate their understanding of historiography, how accurate Hollywood movies are, and why people use movies to understand the past.

Grades 10, 11,12 Global Issues/MUN

The world has become much smaller in recent years as new technology increases the speed and flow of information from one part of the world to the next. In this course, students conduct inquiry into contemporary and emerging global issues. Students work to gain an understanding of how history, culture, politics, and economics play important roles in shaping many of the global issues of our time. The course will also promote and enhance research, collaboration, and multimedia presentation skills which can transfer to future academic coursework. Students will participate in the Model United Nations (MUN) competition through the South Korea Activities Conference (SKAC) and will have the opportunity to participate in a regional MUN competition.

Grades 10, 11, 12 Comparative Government

This social studies course reviews how governments are created and how politics
and government come together to create policies that either enhance or intrude on human freedoms and quality of life. Significant issues occurring in the world today will be at the base of the course. Students will engage in creating their own government systems, analyzing and comparing contemporary public policies and developing an awareness of how one issue can be dealt with in a variety of ways depending on the government system and nation to which it belongs.

Grades 11,12 AP Macroeconomics

Economics is a social science that studies how individuals, governments, firms and nations make choices while attempting to satisfy unlimited needs and wants with limited resources.  You and I practice economic behavior every single day, without even knowing it.

The purpose of the AP course in Macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics.

The purpose of the AP course in Microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply specifically to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, includes the study of factor markets, and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.  Whereas macroeconomics is the study of the behaviors and goals which drive the economy as a whole, microeconomics focuses on the individual units that make up the economy, such as the common behaviors of businesses and individuals.

Grades 10,11,12 AP World History

Explore key themes of world history, including interaction with the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures, from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Learn to apply historical thinking skills including the ability to craft arguments from evidence; describe, analyze and evaluate events from a chronological perspective; compare and contextualize historical developments; and analyze evidence, reasoning and context to construct and understand historical interpretations.

As student progress through High School a wider variety of science related courses are available.

Grade 9 Biology

Biology is the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of biology and to prepare students for a general biology course in university. The course topics are: lab safety and lab materials, the science of biology, the chemistry of life, cell structure and function, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and fermentation, cell growth and division, introduction to genetics, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis, human heredity, Darwin’s theory of evolution, evolution of populations, classification, history of life, introduction to animals, animal evolution and diversity, animal systems I, animal systems II, digestive and excretory systems, nervous system, skeletal, muscular, and integumentary systems, circulatory and respiratory systems, endocrine and reproductive systems, and immune system and disease.

Grade 10 Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, properties, and change of matter. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of chemistry and to prepare students for a general chemistry course in university. The course topics are: lab safety, lab materials, and math review, matter and change, measurements and calculations, atoms: the building blocks of matter, arrangement of electrons in atoms, the periodic law, chemical bonding, chemical formulas and chemical compounds, chemical equations and reactions, stoichiometry, states of matter, gases, solutions, ions in aqueous solutions and colligative properties, acids and bases, acid-base titration and pH, reaction energy, reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry.

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 Environmental Science

Using skills and tools that all scientists use, students in the environmental science course will study how living things, including humans, affect and interact with their environment. Based on current issues and a knowledge of all the earth sciences and social sciences, we will explore how people use natural resources and, at times, create serious issues that need attention. In this applied science course students investigate practical solutions to current environmental problems. Students will become aware of human interaction with environmental systems and search for ways in which they can steward their surroundings and the planet. Be ready to debate the issues, create authentic projects that improve and protect our surroundings, and discover ways we can enhance the planet we have inherited from our ancestors.  A field science class, we will spend many class periods outdoors in all seasons.

Grades 11,12 Physics

Physics is the study of the motion of matter, energy, and forces. The objectives of this course are to provide students with a general knowledge of physics and to prepare students for a general physics course in university. The course topics are: lab safety, lab materials, and math review, the science of physics, motion in one dimension, two-dimensional motion and vectors, forces and the laws of motion, work and energy, momentum and collisions, circular motion and gravitation, fluid mechanics, heat, vibration and waves, sound, light and reflection, refraction, electric forces and fields, electrical energy and current, circuits and circuit elements, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, and additional content.

Grades 11,12 AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry is the study of matter and the properties, changes, and interactions it undergoes. The objective of this course is to provide students with the knowledge of a general chemistry course in university. The course topics are: lab safety and lab materials, select topics from HS chemistry, reactions in aqueous solutions, gases, thermochemistry, intermolecular forces and liquids and solids, physical properties of solutions, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, acid-based equilibria and solubility equilibria, entropy, free energy, and equilibrium, electrochemistry, and additional content.

BFS offers electives in high School in the areas of Life Skills, Technology, Arts, and world languages.

GENERAL

Grades 9, 10,11, 12 Marine Science
Oceans cover more than 70% of the surface of our planet, yet scientists report that less than 3% has been explored.  Considered a part of the field of Earth Science, Marine Science is the exploration and scientific study of the ocean including its chemistry, physical properties, ecosystems, and biology of life forms within the water.  Students will participate in lab and field experiences to dive into a deep study of that which makes our planet Earth known as the “Blue Planet”.  Tides and currents, physical and chemical properties of ocean water, and life in marine environments will form the basis for studies in this course.  This applied science will also examine the human influences on the oceans and ocean systems.

Grades 9,10,11,12 Physical Education (PE) / Health
The best way to live a healthy life is to prevent health problems before they occur. This course creates opportunities for students to apply new skills and knowledge to experiencing the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. Students will be required to complete a mixture of physical activities, tests, and a research paper—and to record in their workout log cardiovascular, flexibility, strength and endurance activities. Health education using Fitness for Life will be embedded within the Physical Education course including nutrition, diet, and managing stress. By the end of the course, they will have gained the knowledge needed to begin developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

TECHNOLOGY SKILLS

Grades 9,10,11,12  Digital Media Creation
As technology and social trends change the way that people create and consume media, it is becoming more important for corporations, organizations, and individuals to stay updated on the most effective ways to create digital media that helps us spread our ideas. This course will combine short case studies, student creativity, proven structures, and technology to create digital media projects that can be used in short-term or long-term promotional campaigns. Students will learn practical skills that they can apply to help future extra-curricular clubs, non-profit organizations, etc. Through application within a team atmosphere, students will improve writing, photography, video editing, journalism, presentation and promotion skills. Members of this class will also create multiple Shark Tank broadcast video episodes throughout the school year.

Grades 9,10,11,12 Yearbook
In this course, students will become journalists, editors, photographers, and graphic designers as they carefully create each page of the BFS yearbook. This class offers students the opportunity to dive into graphic designing programs, Photoshop, and other computer programs.  Through interviews and data collection, students will use their creative writing skills to craft articles documenting all of the exciting events and activities of the BFS Sharks. Students will learn how to best capture each memory in a photo to add visual content to the yearbook. After researching designs and layouts, students will create each page using a yearbook software.  Yearbook students will help preserve school memories in a fun and creative way.

COMPUTER SCIENCE

Grades 9, 10 Computer Science 1 – Javascript
This class focuses on foundations of computer science and basic programming, with an emphasis on helping students develop logical thinking and problem solving skills. Once students complete the CodeHS Introduction to Computer Science course, they will have learned material equivalent to a semester college introductory course in Computer Science and be able to program in JavaScript. The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the fundamentals of programming. Each module is made up of short video tutorials, example programs, quizzes, programming exercises, challenge problems, and unit tests. The Computer Science 1 class in JavaScript is designed for complete beginners with no previous background in computer science. The course is highly visual, dynamic, and interactive making it engaging for new coders.

Grades 11,12 Computer Science 2 – Python
This class focuses on building skills in computer science and teaches the fundamentals of computer programming as well as some advanced features of the Python language. Using CodeHS, students use what they learn in this course to build simple console-based games, and this course is equivalent to a semester-long introductory Python course at the college level. This course does not assume any prior programming experience. Learn the basics of programming, and then gradually harness the power of some of Python's more advanced features to make games and solve real-world problems. Students can take this course as their first introduction to computer science or as a secondary introductory course that explores a new language, after Computer Science 1 in JavaScript.

Grades 11, 12 AP Computer Science Principles
AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and career through digital projects that showcase your creativity. It is recommended that students have successfully completed high school algebra course and have knowledge of a Cartesian system before taking this course.

Grades 11, 12  AP Computer Science A
The AP Computer Science A course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics including problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. Prerequisites for this course are knowledge of basic English and algebra, including functions and function notation.

ARTS

Grades 6 – 12 Studio Arts
This is a class designed with the serious art student in mind. We will emphasize art as an ongoing process that involves you making informed and critical decisions while working in a number of different artistic realms: drawing, 2-D and 3D pieces. You will add to your technical artistic skills and become more aware of all aspects of visual artistic elements. Students will create projects that range from the political to the personal and whimsical by using a variety of media – for example, a collage that makes a powerful visual statement about an important issue or a Picasso-like sculpture splashed with color and pattern. A key focus is the language of art, known as the Elements and Principles of Design. Some key art movements are studied as well as the larger question: “What is Art?” Feedback and reflection are other important parts of the learning process, facilitated by our art teacher. This class will open students’ eyes to new ideas about art and creativity.

Grades 10 – 12 AP Studio Art
AP Studio Art is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of creating an art portfolio. The class focuses on critical analysis and innovative art-making processes in which students create and submit portfolios for 2-D Design, 3-D Design, and Drawing. Students should be able to recognize quality in their own work, concentrate on sustained investigation of a particular visual interest or problem, and use a range of approaches in the formal, technical, and expressive means of an artist.

Grades 6 – 12  Orchestra A/B
This performance based class includes music composed for small instrumental ensembles and performed without a conductor. Traditionally intended for performance in a room or reception hall, often solely for the performers’ own pleasure, chamber music is now often heard in concert halls. Students will hone their musical skills and perform publicly numerous times throughout the year. Students may take Orchestra A (Period 1) or Orchestra B (Period 7), but not both.

Grades 10 – 12 AP Music Theory
AP Music Theory is a college level class covering musicianship, theory, musical materials, and procedures. Musicianship skills, including dictation and other listening skills, sight singing, and harmony, are an important part of the course. Through the course, students develop the ability to recognize, understand, and describe basic materials and processes of tonal music that are heard in a score. The class also includes developing mastery in the rudiments and vocabulary of music, including hearing and noting pitches, intervals, scales and keys, chords, meter, and rhythm.

WORLD LANGUAGES

Grade 9-12   HS Spanish 1
This first-year high school Spanish sequence will introduce students to the foundation of the language and help to develop their expressive confidence. Through individual and collaborative activities, students will communicate about their family and friends, likes and dislikes, school, food, culture, and the world around them. Lessons will focus on specific strategies to help students develop vocabulary, literacy, and improve in the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Grades 9 – 12    Spanish II
This second-year Spanish sequence will build on skills learned in Spanish I, expand vocabulary, increase grammar proficiency, develop literacy skills, and give students confidence to express themselves more fully in the Spanish language. This course will prepare students to communicate in varies times and tenses through the exploration of topics such as the body, the home, shopping, and travel. Through songs, introductory novels, videos, and other authentic materials, students will be immersed in the Spanish language and related cultures in order to improve in the four skill areas of listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Grades 9 – 12    Spanish III
This Spanish 3 course will review and build on prior skills learned in Spanish I and Spanish II, moving students closer to fluency. This level of Spanish instruction assumes a basic-intermediate knowledge of grammar concepts and vocabulary introduced in Spanish I and II. Emphasis is on communicating in Spanish through reading, listening, writing, and speaking in various contexts and aspects of time. Students also study Hispano-American and Spanish cultures, geography, and history through literary texts, film, pop songs, and other authentic materials. Students will frequently participate in individual, paired, and group activities as well as complete written and oral projects to practice and apply new vocabulary and grammar concepts.

Grades 10-12   AP Spanish
This advanced Honors Spanish course will review, build upon, and greatly enhance prior skills learned in Spanish I-IV.  This level of Spanish instruction assumes an intermediate-high knowledge of grammar concepts and vocabulary.  The course will be structured much like a Humanities course, with strong emphasis is on inquiry, composition, and communication in Spanish, rooted in literature and in-depth projects. Students will be expected to actively participate (individually, in partners, and as a whole class) through daily reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Sample course topics include: the Spanish Civil War, comparing cultures and writing persuasively, and examining identity through the Chicano movement.

Grades 9 -12   Korean for Non-Native Speakers
This course is for non-native speakers of Korean only. It is a beginning class – very basic to advanced beginner – and students within the class will receive lessons appropriate for their level of Korean understanding.

Grades 9 – 12   Korean for Native Speakers
This course is for Native Korean speaking students who want to learn academic Korean language. In this course, students deal with Korean literature and historical background of the times the literature written. Students also will have chances to make creative writings and presentations in Korean.

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