High School Curriculum Overview
- Foundation subjects
- High School Diploma
- French International Bac
- FRENCH BAC
- International Baccalaureate
The "Foundation Subjects" form the basis of high school studies and are necessary to prepare for the baccalaureate.
- FRENCH (10th & 11th grades)
- PHILOSOPHY (12th grade)
- ENGLISH (LVA)
- WORLD LANGUAGES (LVB)
- HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY and CIVICS
- PHYSICAL EDUCATION
- Professional Immersion
FRENCH (10th & 11th grades)
The French program enriches students' reading and expression skills. It expands literary and artistic culture, trains the mind and develops imagination and literary insight.
Language structure is just as important as the study of literature, deepening students’ understanding of texts and improving their ability to express themselves. The program focuses on four study areas: Poetry, Philosophical literature through the press, Novels and storytelling, and Theatre.
PHILOSOPHY (12th grade)
Depending on their proficiency in English, students are divided into groups by level.
For students who have received their entire middle school and high school education at Rochambeau, the minimum level required is B2 or C1. The students have the following options:
- International Baccalaureate Option (OIB)
- Advanced Placement English Literature preparation
- Foreign Language and Literature
WORLD LANGUAGES (LVB)
The language program structure is common to all languages taught. Focusing on oral communication, it reflects the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages CEFR.
Priority is given to digital technology, allowing students to progress with the help of teachers both inside and outside the classroom.
Students are divided into groups according to their level. There are three groups: Spanish, Advanced Spanish and Honors Spanish. Entry into a group is determined by placement tests.
- Spanish: This course corresponds to the National French Curriculum.
- Advanced Spanish: Although the content is similar to the Spanish group, this course is meant for students who are capable of progressing at a faster pace. Vocabulary and grammatical concepts are acquired more quickly and students study themes that reference the many varied cultures from different Hispanic countries.
- Honors Spanish: The course is designed for students who have a more in-depth knowledge of the Spanish language. The "Honors" level allows students to refine and broaden their oral and written communication and expression skills.
As their required language elective, students may choose the German language. The program is based on themes that help develop students' linguistic oral and written skills as well as decoding the country's complex cultural references (e.g. power structures and forms, the concept of progress, etc.).
HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY and CIVICS
The program enables students to understand the evolution of societies, cultures and policies, demonstrating how past and present choices influence the world today.
10th grade history and geography focuses on how the modern world developed from antiquity and the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Students study the environment, socio-economic progress and the mobility of different peoples within nations.
11th and 12th grade history covers from 1789 to today. In geography, students study what has changed in today's world with an emphasis on the increased importance of cities and infrastructure.
Civic education helps students to become responsible citizens, conscious of both their rights and responsibilities. They explore different themes in each year of high school:
- 10th grade: “Freedom”,
- 11th grade: “Society”, and
- 12th grade: ”Democracy”
Earth and Life Sciences (SVT):
The Life and Earth Sciences (SVT) program gives students a solid scientific base to understand the world in which they live with a focus on three main areas: Earth, Life and the evolution of life; Contemporary global issues (the environment, sustainable development, resources and risk management); the Human body and health.
Physics and Chemistry:
Explores reality, from the infinitely small to the infinitely large. The program covers four main areas: Creation and transformation of matter; Motion and interaction; Waves and signals; and Transformation of energy. With useful concepts from everyday life, the program focuses on experimental practice.
Common core math instruction consolidates middle school teaching and helps students both master abstract notions and develop a taste for math. The program covers: Numbers and Calculation; Geometry; Functions; Statistics and Probabilities; Algorithms & Programming.
Digital science and technology:
The digital science and technology program covers the main concepts of digital science, teaching students how to use digital technologies in their daily or professional lives, with thought and reason. The themes covered include the internet, social networking and digital photography.
Economic and social sciences:
The program will help students master the key hypotheses of economics, sociology and political science, heightening their awareness of global and domestic economic, social and political issues.
Rochambeau PE teachers come from diverse backgrounds, nationalities, and have differing training methods and experience. Their human qualities and open mindedness are just as important as their formal training.
French physical education programs are based on principles including equality of the sexes, cultures and origin. Students are divided into groups based on activities. In many cases, teams or groups are mixed since there are very different levels and strengths in racket or ball sports, gymnastics and swimming as well as track and field sports.
Physical education offer students the chance to practice a physical activity that develops the pleasure of taking an active part in sports. The program enables everyone to develop their motor skills, learn to prepare and train, improve social behavior and develop their health.
JOB SHADOWING PROGRAM (10th g)
10th grade students participate in a two-week Job Shadow program which gives them a more practical understanding of the professional world and a deeper awareness of the economic realities of business operations.
This two-week internship also helps shape student career paths. There is a wide range of talents and interests within our student body, who relish the chance to learn and gain hands-on experience of engineering, the media, research, business management, finance, health sciences, IT, arts, and much more.
Students work on two projects:
- The first part, completed before the job shadow starts, contains their resume, a motivational letter, and a Company presentation
- The second project happens after the job shadow experience and takes the form of a formal student interview led by a professional jury.
START'UP WEEK (10th g)
Many challenges and opportunities await students in the outside world. To help them prepare, Rochambeau initiated Startup Week, enabling students to understand the challenges of business and teaching them to recognize and seize opportunities as and when they appear. During Startup Week, 10th grade students work in teams to develop new ideas, as well as plan and create their own Startup companies:
Every morning, the teams participate in conferences led by business professionals and captains of industry, who offer concrete advice on best business practices.
In the afternoon, the teams discuss and plan how to use this information to develop and improve their startup projects,
At the end of the week, the teams present their Startup to a jury of business professionals. They present a comprehensive business plan which includes production costs, sales forecasts. marketing materials and financial requirements.
In addition to the Foundation Subjects and starting from 11th grade, students must choose 3 speciality courses from among the following seven:
- Life and Earth Sciences (SVT)
- Economic and Social Sciences
- History-Geography, Geography, Geopolitics and Political Science
- Humanities, Literature and Philosophy
- Foreign Languages and Literature in English
- HISTORY-GEOGRAPHY, GEOPOLITICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE:
- HUMANITIES, LITERATURE & PHILOSOPHY
- OTHER SPECIALTIES CONTENT COMING SOON...
The "Mathematics" specialty program offers a more in-depth study of the concepts taught in the second year of high school and introduces new concepts. This specialization helps students acquire a taste for mathematics, better appreciate complex concepts, and master abstraction.
The program is divided into five main parts: "Algebra", "Analysis", "Geometry", "Probability and Statistics" and "Algorithmics and Programming".
The French educational approach to mathematics favored by Rochambeau, and the curriculum set by the French Ministry of Education, are our guidelines. We have developed a comprehensive approach to teaching math, with one single math teacher teaching geometry, (pre)calc, algebra, etc. In this way, we create an upwards learning spiral that confirms students’ knowledge base year upon year. Each year, key areas are covered again, but in much greater depth.
Having one dedicated teacher for mathematics allows connections to be made between topics that might otherwise have been seen as unrelated; between geometry and algebra, for example.
The French curriculum puts great emphasis on critical and logical thinking, evaluating the response process as well as the result. This is particularly true when teaching mathematics. Each step of a student’s thought process and rationale must be justified and documented to provide and present a convincing answer.
HISTORY-GEOGRAPHY, GEOPOLITICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE:
The specialty course of History-geography, geopolitics and political science gives students the keys to understanding the contemporary world through the study of different major political, social and economic issues. Each theme covered by the program is an opportunity to not only observe the current world, but also to explore in greater depth historical and geographical contexts in order to measure what has influenced and evolved in a political issue. Analysis, reinforced by a reflection on international relations, develops students' critical sense, and allows them to master methods and necessary in-depth knowledge in the many different disciplines combined here.
HUMANITIES, LITERATURE & PHILOSOPHY
The Humanities, Literature and Philosophy specialty proposes an in-depth study of literature and philosophy from all periods through the reading and discovery of numerous texts in order to refine thinking and enrich each student's culture. The course is founded on major questions that have accompanied humanity from antiquity to the present day: how to use words, speech and writing? How can we imagine the world, the one in which we live and those in which other men and women have lived and are living? This course develops the student's ability to analyze different points of view, formulate personal and reasoned opinions and debate on issues that are among the major challenges facing humanity.
OTHER SPECIALTIES CONTENT COMING SOON...
In addition to the foundation subjects, High School students can choose from among a variety of elective options to provide personally meaningful and challenging learning opportunities.
A distinction must be made between optional courses offered as part of the baccalaureate (Group 1) and optional courses offered as part of the Rochambeau curriculum (group 2). Based on the student's orientation project, we encourage families to carefully choose the proposed options by ensuring that the student has the skills to handle a heavy workload.
GROUP 1 (BAC ELECTIVES)
- AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SECTION (OIB)
- THE ARTS
- LANGUAGES & CULTURES OF ANTIQUITY (LCA)
- LVC (3rd foreign language)
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SECTION (OIB)
American International Sections
At the end of 12th grade, students who have taken the American International Section take the final exam called OIB: International Option of the Baccalaureate.
This BAC option is explained under the tab dedicated to the OIB.
The arts education elective combines creativity with the construction of a diverse artistic culture. Through its foundation in artistic creation, it connects contemporary forms with those left by art history; drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, digital creation, new ways of producing images and contemporary artists' attitudes. Through this plurality of domains and aesthetics, languages and means, processes and practices in mind, it allows the student to discover a great diversity of works and artistic approaches. The program's dynamic results from a combination of experimentation and exploration, research and invention, individual and collective projects and meaningful encounters with and reflection on artistic creation.
Cinema & Audiovisual
This specialty offers students training in the broadest forms of image and sound creation, based on historical, stylistic, technical and sociological approaches. It also includes the practices of writing, directing, recording and editing, and on learning about the techniques, professions and economic constraints associated with mass-market broadcast (films, series, videos broadcast on the Internet, video games, etc.). In 11th grade, particular attention is paid the status of the author: how can a style and purpose develop within the multiple constraints of the production system? How can a director's project emerge from a collective process driven by both artistic and technical teams?
History of the arts
The Arts History specialty offers a panorama of forms of artistic creation and studies them within the context of their creation, whatever their era and geographical origin. The objective of this course is to provide analytical keys to approach and understand the visual arts, music, the performing arts, cinema, architecture, etc. It also offers an introduction to cultural practices through the works encountered during visits to various cultural institutions. In 11th grade, teaching focuses on the modalities of creation : the techniques, the artist, the public and its expectations; the political, economic, social and artistic context; the popularity and posterity of the work over time.
Music education develops the fundamental skills necessary to both individual and collective musical expression. Students acquire a broad and deep musical culture shaped by listening, analyzing and performing a large number of works. They carry out musical projects and thus develop their reflection on musical practices and the roles played by music, yesterday and today, in France and elsewhere. They also develop skills related to group work or the presentation of work to an audience.
This optional specialty course combines acting practice with a deeper spectator experience through the discovery of numerous shows and the construction of a theatrical culture. This course provides the analytical vocabulary essential to understand the choices that must be made throughout the creation of a performance and historical knowledge through the study of several major periods in the development of theatrical art, including non-Western traditions. Beyond the adaptation of a text to the stage, the student learns to question what constitutes and characterizes a play, as well as the relationship between a performance and its audience. He discovers and experiments, through actual staging practice, all the technical components of the theatre.
LANGUAGES & CULTURES OF ANTIQUITY (LCA)
Latin studies are offered in High School, as part of the LCA program (Languages and Cultures of Antiquity) The program offers a comparison between the ancient and modern worlds and develops a humanist consciousness in the students.
In addition to the reflection on "Man" in 10th grade, and on "The City" in 11th grade, the theme of "The Mediterranean" enhances geographical and historical foundations.
LCA studies have two central objectives:
- to contribute to the training of the individual and the citizen, in connection with the learning of French and humanities, by providing the Greek-Roman linguistic and cultural heritage to the students, and
- to promote specialist training in the literary and humanities disciplines.
The choice of Latin as a baccalaureate elective (oral exam) offers a very advantageous coefficient of three, for any points above the average score.
LVC (3rd foreign language)
GROUP 2 (ROCHAMBEAU ELECTIVES)
In French language
- Mathematics (for students who do not take the Math Specialty course). ATTENTION: This option cannot replace a specialty course
- English Literature
- US History
- US Math - Calculus
Students who have chosen to take the International Baccalaureate Option (OIB) continue to study a specific course in both English and History and Geography.
High School Diploma
To receive a High School Diploma from the State of Maryland (Montgomery County), within the context of the French education system, Rochambeau students must obtain a minimum of 22 credits. Nineteen of these credits must be in the subjects specified below. The additional three elective credits may come from any subject. Rochambeau students generally exceed these requirements.
MARYLAND HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA Requirements:
- 8 credits in a combination of French and English
- 6 credits in Mathematics and Science (including at least 2 science and 2 math credits)
- 2 credits in Social Studies (including 1 credit in U.S. History)
- 2 credits in a 3rd language
- 1 credit in Physical Education.
Because the Maryland high school diploma typically is awarded to students before their last year of study at Rochambeau, students who have earned the diploma and who plan to attend North American universities have the option of leaving Rochambeau without completing 12th grade and without taking the Baccalaureate exams. However, more than 95% of Rochambeau students choose to stay in 12th grade in order to take their Baccalaureate.
French International Bac
Rochambeau offers the French International Baccalauréat (BFI)
The French International Baccalauréat is a diploma accredited by the French Ministry of education. It replaces bi-cultural version of the French Baccalaureate, formerly called OIB.
The BFI is offers the same core curriculum and evaluation structure as the French Bac, but is enhanced with additional courses in languages. Students can select the bilingual (French/English) or trilingual track (French/English and another language.) The BFI one of the most popular options for native or bilingual English-speaking students and provides a formalized framework in which the school’s bi-cultural philosophy really comes into its own.
American International Sections starting in 6th grade
The French Baccalaureate (Bac) marks the successful completion of the French high school program and follows curriculum guidelines established by the French Ministry of Education. It is a demanding and extensive pre-university program taught entirely in French.
What changeD FOR THE 2021 BAC?
The baccalaureate final grade will be based on both continuous assessment (40% of the final grade) and examination results (60% of the final grade). The ongoing assessment will include test results and report card averages for 10th and 11th grade students.
WhAt are the benefits of this new bac?
The new baccalaureate signifies the end of the traditional L, ES and S tracks. It will enable all high school students to benefit from the same foundation subjects, adapted to each student with a wide choice of elective options and specialty courses.
Rochambeau, French International School is the home of a new International Baccalaureate Diploma track (IBDP) for all students in 11-12th grades. Rochambeau offers the full diploma to all IB students with the choice of sitting for the French-English Advanced Bilingual Diploma examination.
The IB diploma, along with the French baccalaureate, provides a rigorous educational framework which seeks to develop students who are creative and compassionate individuals by promoting international awareness and understanding. All IB Programmes worldwide operate under the fundamental philosophy that by educating students, we create a better world.