Tutorial House As students transition to the high school, the focus in the curriculum shifts from a more interdisciplinary focus to academic specialization. In doing so, UNIS recognizes the subject-based knowledge and understandings most essential for the UNIS Diploma, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma and IB Courses, and college admissions. Students study across a broad and balanced range of subject domains including languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics, technology, the arts, and physical education, drawing on content from educational cultures across the world.
Through the Tutorial House Curriculum, UNIS Students:
- Examine central ideas of an issue or question and communicate effectively
- Demonstrate higher-order critical thinking skills to solve and construct new meaning and understanding.
- Take risks in learning, are open minded and are reflective,
- Develop an international perspective and an understanding of global issues.
Students in T3 (Grades 11) and T4 (Grades 12) follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma or Courses Program.
Pathways to UNIS Graduation
UNIS supports every student in identifying the academic pathway which is best for them. The right pathway enables students to reach their fullest potential by engaging in an appropriate level of challenge. TH students follow a common course program in T1 and T2 with the addition of course electives. Students have two options for their T3 and T4 studies at UNIS that both require a two year commitment:
OPTION 1: IB Diploma Program
This option provides a broad range of opportunities for students to gain entry into tertiary institutions worldwide. When selecting DP courses students should bear in mind subject areas that they enjoy and excel in but they should also consider future university options and possible careers pathways as this can impact course selection.
All students at UNIS have the opportunity to study the IB Diploma. This requires students to complete:
- 1 Studies in Language and Literature course
- 1 Mathematics course
- 1 Language Acquisition course
- 1 Science course
- 1 Humanities course
- A sixth course which may be in Arts, Science, Humanities or Language.
Students must choose three Higher Level (HL) courses, three Standard Level (SL) courses, and meet the requirements of the three Core Components (Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and Creativity-Activity-Service).
OPTION 2: IB Course Program
This option provides courses that lead toward the fulfilment of the UNIS Diploma combined with the acquisition of an IB Courses Transcript. Individual examinations are selected from subjects offered within the Diploma.
The IB Course Program allows for a more flexible program of study that is adaptable to individual requirements, particularly in case of documented learning differences, lack of English proficiency (particularly in the case of recent transfer students), or when faced with difficult social-emotional challenges. Students who are transferring into UNIS into T4 and whose T3 course selection at their previous school cannot be offered at UNIS, might also be enrolled at UNIS as IB Course candidates. IB Course program candidates can take up to two Higher Level (HL) courses (other courses will be at Standard Level). Theory of Knowledge is optional but they must still meet the CAS requirement and must complete an Independent Project.
Overview of UNIS Student Pathways to Graduation
The English program in Tutorial House continues to develop and refine the same skills students learn in Middle School. UNIS has adopted the NY State Next Generation ELA Standards to offer a rigorous and engaging educational experience for students. In Tutorial 1 and 2, students learn about various text types and their conventions, key literary concepts, the art of close reading, and the application of research and writing skills, which are assessed by a mix of multi-modal, creative projects and timed, analytical assessments. In teaching them the skills of “Knowledge and Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation, Organization, and Language,” students are better prepared for the skills-based and concept-based Language A course in the IBDP. In Tutorial 3 and 4, UNIS offers the two courses of Literature and Language and Literature at both the Higher and Standard levels. We hope that, through the development of global citizenship, critical thinking, and persuasive speaking and writing skills, we prepare students to be agents of positive change.
T1 English, 1 credit, 1 full year
T1 English is the first year of a two-year course that provides the foundations for our IB Language and Literature courses.
In the first semester, through the close reading of literary and non-literary texts such as articles, poems, reviews, comics, short stories and a play, students will gain a sophisticated understanding of how language changes according to audience, purpose and genre. Students will learn how to communicate their ideas and comprehend the ideas of others effectively. The skills gained this semester will be tested when they evaluate the extent to which a version of a Macbeth alters, maintains or loses meaning contained in Shakespeare’s original text. In the second semester, students will strengthen their abilities to express their ideas through writing and speaking. They will do this through an immersive exploration of various forms of poetry, a critical evaluation of a reviewer’s claims, and a self-driven research project leading to an oral presentation. With their expressive abilities well-developed they will be in good shape for the challenges of Tut 2.
All T1 (Grade 9) students are required to take T1 English.
T2 English, 1 credit, 1 full year
T2 English is the second year of a two-year course that provides the foundations for our IB Language and Literature courses.
Our study will consist of units that revolve around character-driven literature. All of the characters you will explore in T2 are deeply flawed yet powerful antagonists seeking to find their paths in this world. Your analytical MLA papers will be built around comparing two long works in deep and exciting ways. You will also be cultivating a collection of poetry and identifying the various ways rhetorical appeals work within speech. Your year will culminate into an interpretive project based on Shakespeare.
All T2 (Grade 10) students are required to take T2 English.
T3 and T4 English, 2 credits, 2 full years
All T3/T4 (Grade 11-12) students are required to take one of the one subject from studies in language and literature. The courses offer a broad range of texts, and students grow to appreciate a language’s complexity, wealth and subtleties in a variety of contexts. Students take their studies in a language in which they are academically competent.
Through each course, students are able to develop:
- a personal appreciation of language and literature
- critical-thinking skills in their interaction with a range of texts from different periods, styles, text-types and literacy forms
- an understanding of the formal, stylistic and aesthetic qualities of texts
- strong powers of expression, both written and oral
- an appreciation of cultural differences in perspective
- an understanding of how language challenges and sustains ways of thinking.
Through studies in language and literature, the DP aims to develop a student's lifelong interest in language and literature, and a love for the richness of human expression.
UNIS students may choose one of the following IBDP courses:
IBDP English Language A: Literature Standard Level or Higher Level
The language A: literature course introduces students to the analysis of literary texts. The course is organized into three areas of exploration and seven central concepts, and focuses on the study of literary works. Together, the three areas of exploration of the course add up to a comprehensive exploration of literature from a variety of cultures, literary forms and periods. Students learn to appreciate the artistry of literature, and develop the ability to reflect critically on their reading, presenting literary analysis powerfully through both oral and written communication.
IBDP English Language and Literature Standard Level or Higher Level
The language A: language and literature course introduces the critical study and interpretation of written and spoken texts from a wide range of literary forms and non literary text-types. The formal analysis of texts is supplemented by awareness that meaning is not fixed but can change in respect to contexts of production and consumption.
The course is organized into three areas of exploration and seven central concepts, and focuses on the study of both literary or non-literary texts. Together, the three areas of exploration of the course allow the student to explore the language A in question through its cultural development and use, its media forms and functions, and its literature. Students develop skills of literary and textual analysis, and also the ability to present their ideas effectively. A key aim is the development of critical literacy.
Mathematical learning builds on the curiosity and enthusiasm of children through developmentally appropriate experiences that challenge children to explore ideas and to take risks in their learning. We believe that mathematics learning must be active, rich in language, and filled with problem-solving opportunities. Our mathematics program is one where mathematics is taught for understanding.
Students acquire mathematical concepts and skills through practical tasks, real life problems and investigations of mathematical ideas. Embedded into each strand of the UNIS math curriculum are process standards that cover mathematical reasoning, contextualization, problem solving and computational fluency. As students deepen their mathematical understanding both collaboratively and independently, they are able to demonstrate their abilities to apply mathematical knowledge and skills in context.
UNIS TH Mathematics is an integrated math curriculum where number sense, algebraic, geometric and statistical thinking are embedded throughout the four year program. Spiraling concepts in this way allows students to explore the relationship between algebraic, geometric and statistical concepts and help them develop strong problem-solving and reasoning skills through the continued practice of mathematical skills and concepts.
T1 Mathematics, 1 credit, 1 full year
T1 UNIS Mathematics is the first year of a two-year Math course that provides the foundations for our IBDP offerings: IBDP Math Applications (SL or HL) and IBDP Math Analysis (SL or HL).
T1 students will explore the concepts of Sets, Linear Algebra, Coordinate Geometry, Congruence, Polynomial, Quadratic equations, Similarity and Triangles, Probability and Circles Theorems.
All T1 (Grade 9) students are required to take T1 Math or T1 Math Extended.
Students in the extended group are further challenged with more complex and unfamiliar problems.
T2 Mathematics, 1 credit, 1 full year
T2 UNIS Mathematics is the second year of a two-year Math course that provides the foundations for our IBDP offerings: IBDP Math Applications (SL or HL) and IBDP Math Analysis (SL or HL).
T2 students will explore the concepts of Algebra, Functions, Trigonometry, Transformations, Exponents and Logarithms, Statistics
All T2 (Grade 10) students are required to take T2 Math or T2 Math Extended.
Students in the extended group are further challenged with more complex and unfamiliar problems.
T3 and T4 Mathematics, 2 credits, 2 full years
All T3/T4 (Grade 11-12) students are required to take one of the IBDP Mathematics courses.
Individual students have different needs, aspirations, interests and abilities. For this reason there are two different DP subjects in mathematics, Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation. Each course is designed to meet the needs of a particular group of students. Both courses are offered at SL and HL and include the Mathematics domains of
- Number and algebra,
- Functions ,
- Geometry and trigonometry,
- Statistics and probability,
The aims of these courses are to enable students to:
- develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles
- develop logical, critical and creative thinking
- employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization.
Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.
UNIS students may choose from one of the following IBDP Math courses:
IBDP Math Analysis & Approaches Standard Level or Higher Level
The IB DP Mathematics: analysis and approaches course recognizes the need for analytical expertise in a world where innovation is increasingly dependent on a deep understanding of mathematics. The focus is on developing important mathematical concepts in a comprehensible, coherent and rigorous way, achieved by a carefully balanced approach. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve abstract problems as well as those set in a variety of meaningful contexts. Mathematics: analysis and approaches has a strong emphasis on the ability to construct, communicate and justify correct mathematical arguments. Students should expect to develop insight into mathematical form and structure, and should be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between concepts in different topic areas. Students are also encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.
IBDP Math Applications & Interpretations Standard Level or Higher Level
The IB DP Mathematics: applications and interpretation course recognizes the increasing role that mathematics and technology play in a diverse range of fields in a data-rich world. As such, it emphasizes the meaning of mathematics in context by focusing on topics that are often used as applications or in mathematical modelling. To give this understanding a firm base, this course includes topics that are traditionally part of a pre-university mathematics course such as calculus and statistics. Students are encouraged to solve real-world problems, construct and communicate this mathematically and interpret the conclusions or generalizations. Students should expect to develop strong technology skills, and will be intellectually equipped to appreciate the links between the theoretical and the practical concepts in mathematics. All external assessments involve the use of technology. Students are also encouraged to develop the skills needed to continue their mathematical growth in other learning environments.
Without an understanding of science we cannot truly appreciate the complexity of the world around us, or even ourselves. Science is both an activity for generating knowledge about the natural world and a set of ideas - the mental models of chemists, physicists and biologists - about the origin and content of that world and the interactions that take place in it. More professional pathways than ever now have a scientific component, all our lives are being transformed by technology and the application of these ideas. Challenging ethical issues arise with each new scientific discovery, and changing scientific ideas shape and reshape our thinking about who we are as well as who we want to be as a society.
The UNIS science programs seek to establish a climate of learning in which students feel that they are prepared not only for analysis and investigation of accepted scientific theories, but that they have the skills to thrive as we move into the unknown. Students learn that only ideas that can be tested experimentally are scientific ideas, and that science proceeds by making predictions based on these ideas and testing them. The program is designed to develop in students the practice of critical thinking and logical argument, and to encourage, recognize and value creativity in finding solutions to scientific and technological problems.
All T1 (Grade 9) students are required to take T1 Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
T1 Biology, 0.25 credit, 1 full year (4 periods per 10 day cycle)
T1 Biology is the first year of a two-year Biology course that provides the foundations for two of our IB science offerings: IBDP Biology Standard Level and Higher Level, and IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies Standard Level.
T1 students start their exploration of life science studying human body systems, how their structure relates to their function, and how they maintain an internal balance in response to their environment. In the second semester, T1 students explore the world of biochemical molecules and the processes to obtain and use energy. The year culminates with the study of the cell, the common unit of life.
T1 Physics, 0.5 credit, 1 Semester (6 periods per 10 day cycle)
T1 Physics is the first part of a two-semester Physics course (T1 and T2 Physics) that provides the foundations for our IB DP Physics Standard Level and Higher Level courses.
T1 students begin by investigating waves and wave behavior. They then examine the relationship between waves and wave technology by examining how the properties of electromagnetic waves allow us to communicate and learn about the world.
Then they turn their attention to the fundamentals of electricity and magnetism, by modeling electric and magnetic fields and building related technology.. Students will be able to build upon the electrostatics taught during 8th grade to engage in an inquiry-based, hands-on introduction to electricity and magnetism, in which students can discover relationships around electrostatic forces and induced currents. This hands-on introduction offers opportunities for students to experience fundamental phenomena, gain exposure to the concept of energy stored in a force field, engage in engineering projects and learn about new technologies.
T1 Chemistry, 0.5 credit, 1 Semester (6 periods per 10 day cycle)
T1 Chemistry is the first part of a two-semester Chemistry course (T1 and T2 Chemistry) that provides the foundations for our IB Chemistry Standard Level and Higher Level.
T1 students start their exploration of the organization of all matter, including atomic structure, the periodic table and chemical bonding. Students will also begin their study of the reactions that take place in nature, learning about the concept of the mole and balancing equations. The work of the Chemistry pioneers will also be studied in the context of how we know what we know about Chemistry.
All T2 (Grade 10) students are required to take T2 Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
T2 Biology & Introduction to Environmental Sciences, 0.25 credit, 1 full year (4 periods per 10 day cycle)
T2 Biology is the second year of a two-year Biology course that provides the foundations for two of our IB science offerings: IBDP Biology and IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies.
T2 Biology students deepen their understanding of how the basic structure of the cell can sustain life and provide the basis for all of life’s diversity. Inheritance and the variation of traits is investigated. These principles extend to an exploration of the concepts of biological evolution. In the Spring semester, students investigate ecological relationships and the cycling of matter and energy. In developing their understanding of these relationships, students will explore the importance of Earth’s materials and natural resources while developing an understanding of relationships between the biotic and abiotic systems and the impact of humans on the biosphere. The semester ends with an optional research project about human impact.
T2 Physics, 0.5 credit, 1 Semester (6 periods per 10 day cycle)
T2 Physics is the second semester of a one-year course that provides the foundations for our IB Physics science course.
The second semester of our T1/2 Physics Course begins with Newtonian Mechanics, which follows the storyline of modern classical physics beginning with Isaac Newton’s discoveries about force and motion. Students will learn force and motion concepts like kinematics, Newton’s Laws, and conservation of momentum, which aligns with the T2 Math sequence. Students will be designing experiments to calculate gravity by free fall, and seeing first hand Newtons force laws applied to air tracks and trolley experiments,
The next unit, energy builds naturally from the force and motion unit. Students gain a deep understanding of forces and how they relate to motion, momentum, and energy. Students will explore through applying these concepts to reducing energy transfers, and projectile motion labs.
T2 Chemistry, 0.5 credit, 1 Semester (6 periods per 10 day cycle)
T2 Chemistry is the second semester of a one-year course that provides the foundations for our IB Chemistry science course.
T2 students begin with a continuation of the chemical mathematics that was begun in the first semester (T1). Concepts and ideas will be built upon and further explored. Later, students will examine the different types of chemical reactions that occur and perform experiments to illustrate those reactions. Students will also study electrochemistry and electrochemical cells, acids and bases, and organic chemistry.
T3 and T4 Sciences, 2 credits, 2 full years
All T3/T4 (Grade 11-12) students are required to take one of the IBDP Science courses.
Through studying a science subject students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, the emphasis on a practical approach. In addition, through the overarching theme of the “Nature of Science” this knowledge and skills will be put into the context of the ways science and scientists work in the 21st Century and the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavour.
The sciences are taught practically. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. The investigations may be laboratory based or they may make use of simulations and data bases. Students develop the skills to work independently on their own design, but also collegiately, including collaboration with schools in different regions, to mirror the way in which scientific research is conducted in the wider community.
UNIS students may choose one of the following IBDP Science courses:
IBDP Biology Standard Level or Higher Level
Biologists investigate the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques.
At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions. At the other end of the scale biologists investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function. Many discoveries remain to be made and great progress is expected in the 21st century.
It is often called the central science as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, chemistry is often a prerequisite for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, biological science and environmental science.
IBDP Physics Standard Level or Higher Level
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies.
Despite the exciting and extraordinary development of ideas throughout the history of physics, observations remain essential to the very core of the subject. Models are developed to try to understand observations, and these themselves can become theories that attempt to explain the observations.
IBDP Environmental Systems & Societies Standard Level
Through studying environmental systems and societies (ES&S) students will be provided with a coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies; one that enables them to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face.
The teaching approach is such that students are allowed to evaluate the scientific, ethical and socio-political aspects of issues.
The UNIS Humanities curriculum encompasses historical as well as social scientific perspectives. It is designed to give students the knowledge, skills, and competencies to be active, informed citizens who are able to think critically understand and explain the perspectives of others, make judgments, and communicate ideas effectively.
Through their study of historical events, students will gain an understanding of the people, places, issues, and events that have shaped the world they live in. By studying some of the many different cultures and ways of life that exist and have existed throughout the world, students will develop both a deeper understanding of the differences between peoples and an appreciation of the aspects of human experience shared across time and space.
The Humanities curriculum provides students with an understanding of their place in the world and the connections between the human and natural environment. The increasing interconnections between societies and awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability is a crucial part of informed citizenship. Students also develop knowledge and understanding of economic and political processes and problems such as war, inequality, development and globalization, and how policies have consequences at individual, local, national, and international levels.
Ninth and tenth grade Humanities aims to provide opportunities for students to learn about the rights and responsibilities of ethical global citizens. It explores how students can have an impact on the decisions made in their society and advocate for causes important to them. Students will also understand the importance of being open to new ideas and civil to those with whom they disagree in creating a vibrant and equitable society.
T1 Humanities, 1 credit, 1 full year
T1 Humanities is a yearlong course that examines the evolution of the idea of rights. It challenges the notion that rights have always been universal, and investigates their changes in the context of power and duties. Indeed, they are a focus for struggle. Students will examine political, economic, and social rights in a global context, placing emphasis on both historic and contemporary rights-related issues, and the connection between the two. Per the UNIS mission statement, the notion of rights forms the basis of each unit. This cross-disciplinary year is constructed as a broad humanities approach to issues in a global context.
All T1 (Grade 9) students are required to take T1 Humanities.
T2 Humanities, 1 credit, 1 full year
T2 Humanities is a yearlong course that focuses In the study of how power works, changes, and is contested, particularly in the context of human rights. The course focuses on changing ideas, how individuals and institutions use / abuse power, and how people / groups can be empowered and disempowered. Students explore the ramifications of these concerns, looking at the motivations for war, and the potential for conflict to be productive. Particular focus is paid to single-party states. The assumption that the future will be non-violent and fruitful is explored and challenged. This unit sets students on a course to study these events from the foundational context of a historical perspective while providing a framework for understanding contemporary and future challenges to humanity.
All T2 (Grade 10) students are required to take T2 Humanities.
T3 and T4 Humanities, 2 credits, 2 full years
All T3/T4 (Grade 11-12) students are required to take one of the IBDP Groups and Society courses. Studying any one of these subjects provides for the development of a critical appreciation of:
- human experience and behaviour
- the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit
- the history of social and cultural institutions.
In addition, each subject is designed to foster in students the capacity to identify, to analyse critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.
UNIS students may choose one of the following IBDP Humanities courses:
IBDP History Standard Level or Higher Level
The Diploma Programme (DP) history course is a world history course based on a comparative, multi-perspective approach to history and focused around key historical concepts such as change, causation and significance. It involves the study of a variety of types of history, including political, economic, social and cultural, encouraging students to think historically and to develop historical skills. In this way, the course involves a challenging and demanding critical exploration of the past.
The DP history course requires students to study and compare examples from different regions of the world, helping to foster international mindedness. Teachers have a great deal of freedom to choose relevant examples to explore with their students, helping to ensure that the course meets their students’ needs and interests regardless of their location or context.
IBDP Global Politics Standard Level or Higher Level
The global politics course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, equality, sustainability, and peace in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels.
It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives.
Global politics draws on a variety of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. It helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real world examples and case studies, and also invites comparison between such examples and case studies to ensure a transnational perspective.
Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims.
IBDP Social and Cultural Anthropology Standard Level or Higher Level
The IB Diploma Programme's social and cultural anthropology course offers an opportunity for students to explore and understand humankind in all its diversity through the comparative study of culture and human societies.
In studying this course students will come to appreciate how anthropology as a discipline contributes to an understanding of contemporary issues, such as war and conflict, the environment, poverty, injustice, inequality and human and cultural rights. The study of social and cultural anthropology offers critical insight into the continuities as well as dynamics of social change and the development of societies, and challenges cultural assumptions.
Students undertaking this course will have the opportunity to become acquainted with anthropological perspectives and ways of thinking, and to develop critical, reflexive knowledge. Perfectly placed in group 3, individuals and societies, social and cultural anthropology contributes to a distinctive approach to intercultural awareness and understanding. It allows students to develop the capacity to recognize preconceptions and assumptions of their own social and cultural environments through an exploration of both the familiar and unfamiliar worlds of other people.
IBDP Philosophy Standard Level or Higher Level
The emphasis of the Diploma Programme philosophy course is on “doing philosophy”, that is, on actively engaging students in philosophical activity. The course is focused on stimulating students’ intellectual curiosity and encouraging them to examine both their own perspectives and those of others. Students are challenged to develop their own philosophical voice and to grow into independent thinkers, in addition to engaging with some of the world’s most interesting and influential thinkers. The course also develops highly transferable skills such as the ability to formulate arguments clearly, to make reasoned judgments and to evaluate highly complex and multifaceted issues.
All students study a core theme entitled “Being Human". This theme provides an opportunity to explore the fundamental question of what it is to be human. This exploration takes place through a discussion of key concepts such as identity, freedom, and human nature, and through a consideration of questions such as what sets humans apart from other species, where the boundaries of being human lie, and whether animals or machines could be considered persons. Students also develop their skills through the study of other philosophical themes and the close reading of a philosophical text. They also learn to apply their philosophical knowledge and skills to real-life situations and to explore how non-philosophical material can be treated in a philosophical way.