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Curriculum Overview

TGS has proven beyond any doubt that a school is not a place but a habit of mind. Schools are not built of brick and mortar but of young people and great ideas. Put TGS students in anyone else’s classroom and you can pick them out… by the fearless way they speak out, ask questions, and pursue ideas. That’s the TGS identity.

-Blog post by Brad Ovenell-Carter, 2010-2011 TGS Head of School.

Our mission at THINK Global School is to provide a challenging academic experience for multinational students in a multicultural learning environment, with a specific focus on engaging with the local culture in each of our host cities and integrating those experiences into our academic curriculum. As the world’s first global, mobile high school, the world is our classroom, and its citizens are our fellow students and teachers.

Our core courses provide the backbone of this ambitious curriculum. They supply our students with the fundamental tools for intellectual growth, introducing the basic concepts and conversations that come alive in our interdisciplinary projects and experiential learning activities. This fosters a sense of shared inquiry and discovery, and prepares students for university study and future employment.

Though our “traveling school” setup provides us with unique opportunities and resources, we also hope to pioneer useful new models and techniques for everyone who works in the rapidly changing world of international education.

Four Year Course Plan, with IB Exams

Click here to view the curriculum for Grades 9/10
Click here to view the curriculum for Grades 11/12

Accreditation Status

THINK Global School is accredited by the IBO and WASC.TGS has been authorized as an official IB World School by the International Baccalaureate Organization. The school’s curriculum is guided by the IB Diploma Programme, with students taking the IB examinations prior to graduation at the end of their fourth year. TGS is also accredited for grades 9-10 by the U.S.-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Teaching Philosophy

Classroom instruction at TGS is student-driven, but facilitated by the teacher, with an emphasis on investigative inquiry and deliberative dialogue. Inspired by the concepts of diversity and global citizenship, we create an inclusive educational environment in which every view is discussed with interest and compassion. This is an ambitious goal that requires each student to be thoughtfully prepared for his or her daily lessons.

THINK Global School’s integrated technology program supports our cooperative pedagogical approach, facilitating both group collaboration and individual exploration. Teachers post weekly course outlines, requirements, and due dates on THINK Spot. Students access the portal from their iPads, iPhones, and MacBooks, submitting assignments, essays, and exams, while interacting with teachers, parents, and other teenagers both in their host schools and around the world. THINK Spot allows students to probe connections between their coursework and the physical and digital worlds that surround them. Click here to find out more about the role that classroom technology plays in helping TGS students develop.

Applied Learning of Core Content and Skills

TGS creates a rich program of curriculum-linked field research, guest lectures, and workshops in each host city. Applied learning gives students the opportunity to utilize core content and skills in real-life situations, and to formulate new questions and insights through an integrated approach to problem-solving. For example, in order to study the sustainability of marine life in Sydney Harbour for their science course, our students learned proper swimming and diving techniques in their wellness course, called upon their geography skills to map out survey transit lines, and used data modeling techniques from their math course to make sense of the information they collected about the health of the sea urchin population. In Beijing, TGS students participated in a workshop dedicated to introducing English to a group of Chinese migrant students by devising games and songs as memory aids. This required them to apply ideas from their Global Studies course about the economics and politics of globalization, call upon techniques from their Creative Arts course, and draw from their emerging ability to perform basic translations in Mandarin. See the WeXplore page for a more detailed list of our experiential learning activities.

Assessment Methods

THINK Global School students are expected to meet three criteria: that they thrive academically, that they cultivate good character, and that they become contributing members of the school community.

Most assessment at THINK Global School is formative, and is meant to provide continuous narrative and quantitative feedback to the students on their acquisition of knowledge and their development of skills and habits of mind. Each teacher also makes formal, summative assessments of student work at least twice a term. These assessments are outcome-based; they are also criteria-referenced rather than norm-referenced. What this means is that for each academic subject and each class level, TGS compares student performance on tests, essays, projects, and so forth with what is reasonable to expect of a student at the end of the school year. Thus, students generally receive lower marks at the beginning of the year and progress to higher marks by the end as their skills and knowledge develop.

GRADE 9/10 PRE-IB

Click a course name to view the description.

  • English (World Literature)
  • Global Studies (Anthropology, Current Events, Geography, History)
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Math (Statistics, Geometry, Algebra, Pre-Calculus)
  • World Languages (Spanish 1, 2, 3)
  • World Languages (Mandarin 1, 2, 3)
  • Visual Arts (Photography, Film, Drawing, Painting)
  • Physical Education
  • newMedia Lab

Grade 11/12 IBDP Course Descriptions

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) constitutes the final two years of study at TGS, beginning in the 11th grade and concluding with the sitting of the IB exams at the end of the 12th grade. All TGS students will enroll in the IBDP and study for their IB diplomas. They will additionally attend a weekly newMedia Lab, which provides relevant support for the needs of their IB course work. Students also have the opportunity to take IB Visual Arts courses.

We offer enough courses on campus in IB core and IB groups 1-6 for students to complete their IB diplomas, but in order to expand our curriculum to suit a variety of interests, we are also offering additional IB courses online. Students are limited to a maximum of two online courses. Each of these online courses has its own requirements regarding internal and external assessments; generally students are required to do a mixture of oral presentations and written essays. The IBDP culminates in formal written examinations in most subjects.

The International Baccalaureate Organization has stipulated a rigorous course of study for Diploma Programme students, and TGS has created a structure of courses and study support to help our students succeed in this program. The basic requirements associated with the IB diploma are:

  • Three IB core requirements
    • Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
    • Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
    • Extended Essay (EE)
  • One course from each of the following IB groups
    • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
    • Group 2: Language Acquisition
    • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
    • Group 4: Experimental Sciences
    • Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Group 6: The Arts
  • Six group courses in total, three at Standard Level (SL) and three at Higher Level (HL)

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme courses offered at TGS are:

  • IB Core
    • Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
    • Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
    • Extended Essay (EE)
  • Group 1
    • Language A: World Literature SL/HL
    • Language A: Self Study World Literature SL
    • Language A: Self Study Language and Literature SL/HL
  • Group 2
    • Language B: Spanish SL/HL
    • Language B: Mandarin SL
    • Language B: Spanish Ab Initio SL (online)
    • Mandarin Ab Initio SL
  • Group 3
    • History: Route Two SL/HL
    • Geography HL
    • Economics SL/HL (online)
    • Environmental Systems and Societies SL
    • Information Technology in a Global Society SL/HL (online)
    • Business and Management SL/HL (online)
    • Psychology SL/HL (online)
    • Philosophy SL (online)
    • Social and Cultural Anthropology SL/HL
  • Group 4
    • Environmental Systems and Societies SL
    • Biology SL/HL
  • Group 5
    • Mathematical Studies SL
    • Mathematics SL/HL
  • Group 6
    • Visual Arts SL/HL
    • Film Studies SL

Course descriptions for THINK Global School IBDP courses delivered by TGS teachers on campus:

Click a course name to view the description.

  • Core Course: Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
  • Core Course: Creativity Action, Service (CAS)
  • Core Course: Extended Essay (EE)
  • Group 1 Course: Language A (Language and Literature)
  • Group 2 Course: Language B (Spanish)
  • Group 2 Course: Mandarin Ab Initio
  • Group 3 Course: History Route Two
  • Group 3 Course: Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Group 4 Course: Biology
  • Group 4 Course: Environmental Science and Society (ES&S)
  • Group 5 Course: Mathematical Studies
  • Group 5 Course: Mathematics Standard Level
  • Group 5 Course: Mathematics Higher Level
  • Group 6 Course: Visual Arts

Course descriptions for Pamoja Courses delivered online:

All descriptions below come from the Pamoja website at www.pamojaeducation.com

  • Group 2 Online Pamoja Course: Spanish Ab Initio SL
  • Group 3 Online Pamoja Course: Business & Management
  • Group 3 Online Pamoja Course: Economics
  • Group 3 Online Pamoja Course: Philosophy SL
  • Group 3 Online Pamoja Course: Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS)
  • Group 3 Online Pamoja Course: Psychology
  • Group 6 Online Pamoja Course: Film Studies SL