AMERICAN CURRICULUM (20% of the school week)
Literature: Five hours per week: The Terminale year adheres to the guidelines for the Option Internationale au Baccalauréat (OIB). By this year, students are expected to study literary works at a very sophisticated level, most significantly, as a culmination of their study of language and literature in the American Section. They will be prepared to take the year-end four-hour written examination and a half-hour oral examination on the literary texts studied over the past two years. Students may choose to write one two-hour essay and to write a two-hour prose or poetry commentary on a passage from an unknown literary work, testing the extent to which students are able to apply their acquired skills of close reading and analysis to this piece of literature. Starting with the OIB session in 2017, students will be able to choose the creative writing option instead of the text commentary. The oral examination includes a close analysis of a passage or poem from texts which the students have studied in depth followed by a question and answer session about the literary works studied during the two-year program.
According to OIB guidelines and in conjunction with other OIB schools, by the end of Terminale, students will have studied the following texts: one play by Shakespeare, two nineteenth or twentieth century English language novels, two English language plays, a selection of works by two English language poets, one English language non-fiction text or selections of non-fiction writing, and four non-English language works of literature in translation. Our students also study texts that amplify their understanding of the required texts. Students have free choice readings from the library throughout their time in Upper School.
History: Three hours a week: Designed by the French Ministry of Education, the Terminale History/Geography curriculum is a well-defined program that has students focusing on five to six major themes in both History and Geography. In History, those themes include the relationships of societies to their past, the role of opinions, beliefs, ideologies, and media in forming public opinion, the rise of China since 1911, the role of the U.S. on world affairs from 1919 to the present, regions of conflict focusing on the Middle East, international governance since 1945, and U.S. domestic history from World War II to the present. This grand historical survey is half of the program.
In geography, students study different aspects of globalization (including an in-depth look at a global product or service), the Americas (comparing the superpower of the United States with the rise of Brazil, representing a BRIC nation), the challenges of development in Africa, and issues pertaining to the economic growth of Asia. The breadth of this program, with each theme resembling a semester-long course in university, is coupled with the demand for students to effectively synthesize and analyze the information on their year-end OIB exam. Two weeks after the four-hour written bac in June, all OIB students also have a fifteen minute oral exam. It is normally the last épreuve of the Terminale year.
FRENCH CURRICULUM (80% of the school week)
In Terminale, students continue in their respective filières of L, ES, or S all in preparation for the year-end battery of baccalaureate exams. All students, no matter their specialty, take the philosophy exam as something of French rite of tradition when the bac begins. In addition, all American Section students take the OIB in both History/Geography and English Literature. For more information on the content and skills developed in French during the year, go to the website of the French Ministry of Education:
The OIB and Graduation
The International Option of the French Baccalaureate (or OIB) was created nearly two decades ago by the French government to offer a genuinely bilingual education to its citizens living abroad or returning from overseas, as well as to foreigners studying in French schools around the world or residing in France for a significant period of time. It is a particularly demanding version of the French Baccalaureate.
Every year, approximately 600 students in the country take the OIB examinations. After following a fully bilingual curriculum during their last two years of school, students take oral and written exams in English and French, each language having to be at a standard enabling them to work at ease in any subject at university level. The class of 2015 had a 75% rate of mention très bien.
The American portion of the OIB is supervised by the Franco-American Commission of Paris in conjunction with the Advanced Placement section of the College Board, who work in close collaboration with the French General Inspectorate of the National Ministry of Education.