Secondary Curriculum


Green Hills Academy is a candidate school for accreditation with “AdvanceEd”, one of the largest United States accreditors. Its academic standards are aligned with the requirements for US accreditation, which along with the inclusion of IGCSE and IB programs helps ensure we maintain a good standard for our students academic aspirations. Green Hills believes in a balanced education that establishes a solid foundation for all students in literacy and numeracy while allowing students to explore specialist areas dependent on their interests, strengths, ablity, and college aspirations.

The High School curriculum is based on a credit-earning system. A “credit” is earned when a student earns a passing grade in a subject (a passing grade being a score of 4 or above on our 7 point grading scale.

Students must earn a minimum number of credits in order to be eligible for “promotion” (moving upwards to the next grade), or graduating. Students who do not earn sufficient credits for promotion may the opportunity to earn the missing credit via summer study (University of Nebraska Online High School), or may have to repeat the year. During the four years of high school, students must earn 28 credits, within the following areas:

English 4 Credits, Math 3 Credits, Humanities 3 Credits, Science 3 Credits, 2nd language 3 Credits, Physical Education 3 Credits, Arts or Technology 2 Credits, along with 7 elective credits.

In addition, all students must participate in at least 150 hours of “Creativity, Action and Service”.

Students enrolled in the IB Diploma program can have adjustments made to graduation requirements in the event that their Diploma requirements are not aligned with graduation requirements.

For promotion to, or placement in, grade 10, a student must have earned 7 credits. For promotion to, or placement in, grade 10, a student must have earned 14 credits, and for promotion to, or placement in, grade 12, a student must have earned 21 credits.

In Grades 9 and 10, Green Hills Secondary offers courses based on the Cambridge International Examinations “IGCSE” system, and also some courses designed within Green Hills in areas such as Kinyarwanda and Humanities in French. Most students sit for at least five IGCSE external examinations, with the results of such exams serving as a guide for International baccalaureate course in Grades 11 and 12.

In grades 11 and 12, the curriculum is based around the International baccalaureate system, in which students can either take as a “full diploma” (Six IB Subjects, three at “Higher level”, three at “Standard level”, as well as Theory of Knowledge, participation in 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service, and the completion of an “Extended Essay”.), or as “Certificates”, in which the full diploma requirements are not expected. Students taking IB as certificates must study 5 academic subjects at the “Standard level”, as well as ensure they include sufficient additional studies to meet the credit-based graduation standards.

Grades 9 and 10 – Cambridge IGCSE

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In Grades 9 and 10 students study the International General Certificate of High Education (IGCSE) curriculum of Cambridge University. Courses are taken for two years, with an external examination in each subject at the end of that time. The assessment system is appropriate for students of all abilities.

The IGCSE is a balanced curriculum especially tailored to international needs and designed to encourage high academic standards through a practical approach to teaching and learning. The program allows students to study subject areas and topics introduced in Year 7 and 8 in much greater depth, and it is a good preparation for students who are planning to enter our International Baccalaureate program in grade 11.

The examination body is the CIE (Cambridge International Examinations). All examinations are set in the United Kingdom and the answer scripts are sent there for marking. The structure and content of the syllabi are validated by the UK Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, ensuring a strong education for our students. The progress of our students is carefully monitored throughout the course. They are taught to set their own goal targets and determine the actions necessary to achieve them.

Subject Choices: students choose one subject from each block.

Block 1 First Language: English – French
Block 2 Second Language: French – English – German
Block 3 Optional English Literature, depending on ability
Block 4 History – Physics
Block 5 Biology
Block 6 Chemistry – Geography
Block7 Mathematics
Block 8 Art – Band - Business Studies – Physical Education – Information Technology
Additional Courses GHA also offers the following non-IGCSE courses: History in French, Kinyarwanda, Physical Education

Grades 11 and 12 – International Baccalaureate (IB)

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The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a two-year programme of study designed to lead to a Diploma or a Certificate, both of which are accepted as university entrance qualifications throughout the world. (Note: some restrictions apply.) While the IB is a challenging programme, it is open to students of a wide range of abilities. Green Hills Academy has been an IB World School since 2005, offering the IB to students in Grades 11 and 12, with English as the language of instruction, and has been the only school in Rwanda to do so.

For the IB Diploma, students are required to study six subjects, from six different groups, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level, as well as a core programme. In all subjects, students are assessed through a combination of coursework throughout the two years and exams at the end, which are marked externally. The top grade in each course is 7, and up to 3 bonus points can be gained for the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. A total score of 24 is required to be awarded the Diploma. Students for whom the full Diploma programme would be too challenging can opt to take the Certificate which allows a wider range of course choices. The Principal and the IB Coordinator will give advice on the most sutiable academic programme for each student.

Subject Areas:

Group 1 Language A English: Language & Literature
French: Language &Literature
(Note: in these courses, students study not the language, but the use of language in communication.)
Group 2 Language b English B
French B
French ab initio SL
German B
Group 3 Humanities Business and Management
Economics
Geography
History
Psychology SL
Group 4 Natural Science Biology
Chemistry
Environmental Science & Society
Physics
Group 5 Mathematics Mathematics SL
Mathematical Studies SL
Mathematics HL
Group 6 Visual Art, or another subject from one of the other groups

In the table above, all subjects can be taken at either the “Higher level” or the “Standard level”, unless indicated as restricted to one or other of the two levels.

For the Diploma, three subjects are taken at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL), but some subjects are only taught at one level. While all the above subjects are offered at Green Hills Academy, it may not be possible to accommodate all possible combinations of subjects: students usually follow either a science or a humanities oriented programme. For some students it may be more appropriate not to follow the whole IB Diploma programme, but to take IB Diploma Courses in individual subjects.

Core Programme:

CAS (= creative, active, service) There are a wide range of options, including visiting a local orphanage, raising funds for charity, publishing the school’s yearbook and taking part in a variety of sports.
Extended Essay This is a piece of individual research in one of the student’s subjects, with support from the subject teacher. About 4000 words.
Theory of Knowledge (ToK) This is a course in reasoning and critical thinking, focusing on different areas of knowledge. Two hours per week.

The core programme is an integral part of the IB, and one of the reasons that the Diploma is so highly regarded by universities. At Green Hills Academy, even students who are not taking the full IB Diploma are expected to be involved in the CAS program and the ToK course. As of last year, even students studying for the Certificate can gain credit for ToK and an Extended Essay: this will make their university applications stronger.

Contact

Diane Umubyeyi, School Secretary secondarygreenhills@gmail.com 0735832348
Alan Shanks, Principal principal@secondary.greenhillsacademy.rw
Tr. Anna Bagabe, Vice-Principal (responsible for grades 11-12 annabagabe@gmail.com
Tr. Angela Lutalo, Vice-Principal (responsible for grades 09-10 alutalo@gmail.com