XV. gimnazija, Jordanovac 8. Zagreb

Course Outlines

LANGUAGE A (first language)

Language A occupies a central position in the curriculum since it is not merely a subject in itself, like any other component of the IB Diploma, but also a key to all the other subjects. It is therefore important to maintain an appropriate balance between the study of the language as a means of communication, awareness of its wealth and subtleties, appreciation of its literature and increasing slope in analysis of the texts. In view of the international dimension of the IB, it is essential that the literature of a country should be viewed as an integral part of the common cultural heritage of all mankind. For this reason the programme is augmented by a study in a selection of major works of world literature in translation.

Higher level:

1. a detailed study of two prescribed texts by major author

2. the study of some of the characteristic works of at least six authors selected by the teacher from the IBO prescribed list

3. The study of at least 5 works belonging to the category of world literature

4. Guided coursework: the study of a literary topic chosen by the candidate.

At Standard level the requirements are naturally less demanding and the programme is less extensive.



English B         a) HL    b) SL

German B        a) HL     b) SL

French B          a) HL    b) SL

The emphasis of the Language B courses is on communication and interaction. A selection of texts are being analysed, both written and spoken, both literary and non-literary (newspaper articles, film, TV) covering three central topics:

1. Exploring groups

2. Exploring change

3. Exploring leisure

Students familiarise themselves with the social and cultural traditions of the Language B speaking  countries, and by doing so in an intellectually stimulating and amusing manner, master four different skills:

1. Text-handling

2. Written Production

3. Oral presentations and activities

4. Listening activity

During the school year oral presentation, language, written production and grammar tests, as well as interaction are assessed on the scale from 1 – 7.

At the end of the first and second semester students sit for the so-called trial exams, models of the final exam of the Diploma programme. The oral part of the exam is a ten-minute-discussion with the teacher about a topic of the student’s choice. This conversation is recorded on an audio-cassette, just like for the final exam. The written part of the exam consists of a number of text-handling tests and written production and lasts for 120 minutes (60 minutes each). The mark at the end of the first and second semester is formed like this: 50% for the exam grade and 50% for the class grade. The final grade for the fourth class preceding the finals at the so-called “mocks” is 25% for the exam and 75% for the class grade.

Students sit for the final exam in the May session of  the final year. The written part of the exam lasts for 180 minutes (again text-handling tests and written production are written). The teacher records the final oral exam in March of the final year  and gives 30% of the final mark for this part of the exam. The cassette is sent for moderation to the examiner. The remaining 70% are the mark for the written exam, which is externally marked.




Psychology is the systematic study of human behaviour and experience. Modern psychology has found itself occupying a unique position as a meeting ground for both the natural and social sciences.,  After studying the IB psychology programme candidates will learn to appreciate that psychology’s reliance upon the construction and testing of theories through rigorous empirical investigations has enabled it to develop as a social science quite distinct from neighbouring disciplines.


1. to develop an appreciation of the broad scope of psychology ,

2. introduce diverse methods of psychology inquiry,

3. develop an understanding of different theoretical approaches to understanding behaviour,

4. promote an awareness of and respect for the psychological diversity of human beings with      reference to biological, social and cultural influences,

5. explore practical applications of psychology and demonstrate the relevance of psychology  to

daily life.


The curriculum model comprises three components:

1. study of four psychological perspectives (behavioural, cognitive, humanistic, and biological)

2.  Optional subject areas (one area is required for SL and two areas are required for HL)

Comparative Psychology

Cross-cultural Psychology

Dysfunctional behaviour

Health Psychology

Life span Psychology

Psychodynamic Psychology

Social psychology


3. Research methods, statistics, and ethical issues

The syllabus requires a candidate to undertake practical research study – one simple study for SL and one study using statistical analysis for HL.

During the school year candidates are regularly tested in both written and oral forms. The final grade is composed of 20% practical study and the rest 80% final exam grade.




The search for acceptable levels of economic well-being is common to all societies. Individuals, firms and governments constantly make choices which affect their well-being and that of society as a whole. In this subject we look at the “what?”, “by whom?” and “for whom?” such decisions are made. We search for a better understanding of the working of the human society


1. To develop disciplined skills of economic reasoning.

2. To develop an ability to critically analyse economic situations, theories, concepts and data and explain the findings.

3. To develop competence in the understanding how individuals and societies organise themselves in pursuit of economic objectives.

4. To rationalise the diversity of economic realities on an international level in which individuals and societies function.


1. Resources and Markets – Foundation of Economics.

2. Business Economics- Introduction to Microeconomics.

3. Macroeconomics Arguments- Introduction to Macroeconomics.

4. International Issues- Introduction to International Economics.

5.Development Economics- Introduction to Developmental Economics


Grading process:


At the end of the 2nd year students of standard level will have two externally assessed written exams. They contribute 75% towards the final grade. During the two year Economic course standard level students are required to select five extracts and write commentaries of about 400 words each, as a part of Economics coursework which is internally assessed. The completed portfolio counts for 25% of final IB score.

Higher level students, at the end of the 2nd year, a re taking three written exams which are externally assessed and contribute 80% towards final grade, while internally assessed portfolio of eight commentaries of 400 words each counts for 20% of final IB score.



Biology is offered at both Higher and Standard levels as a two-year course. The emphasis is on students’ own experience with different life forms and structures. The practical work involving experiments and observations in laboratory and in natural ecosystems, makes a significant part of the course. By the end of the course, student will accumulate considerable comprehension of biological structures and processes as well as practical and mental skills indispensable for a flexible scientific approach to and analysis of biological problems.

The programme for Standard level deals with the following topics:

1. Ultrastructure of cells

2. The chemistry of life- basic biochemistry that most organisms have in common

3. Genetics- biochemistry and expressions of genes, laws of heredity

4. Energy of cells – photosynthesis and respiration

5. Ecology- theoretical principles and environmental issues

6. Human health and physiology- digestion and nutrition, the transport system, the immune

system, gas exchange, homeostasis, reproduction


The higher level deals with these topics more in details and involves additional topics: Classification and diversity, plant science.


At Standard level, students have to choose three options, while at higher level they must choose two options.  These are three kind of options: those specific to SL students, those specific for HL students, and those that are common to SL and HL with some extensions for HL.

SL options:    1. Diet and human nutrition

2. Physiology of exercise

3. Cells and energy

4. Applied human physiology

SL/HL options:           1. Evolution

2. Neurobiology and behaviour

3. Ecology and conservation

HL options:    1. Further human physiology




The IB Chemistry programme may be taken at standard level (SL) with 4 periods per week or higher level (HL) with 5 periods per week.

The syllabus is split into three parts: the subject specific core, the additional higher level material and options.  A brief summary of the content of the first two parts is:


Atomic Theory



States of Matter



Physical and Chemical Equilibrium

Acid and bases


Organic Chemistry

The options include: A-Higher organic chemistry, B-Higher physical chemistry, C-Human biochemistry , D-Environmental chemistry, E-Chemical industry, F-Fuels and energy, G-Modern analytical chemistry, and H-Further organic chemistry.

SL candidates are required to study any three options chosen from A-F, while HL candidates are required to study any two options chosen from C-H.

Since chemistry is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigation skills.  All students are required to spend at least 25% of the teaching time for practical work, related to all aspects of the programme (common chemical techniques such as chromatography, calorimetry, UV-VIS and IR spectroscopy, conductometry and potentiometry are used).

The IB chemistry programme provides a sound chemical bases for those students intending to study chemistry, chemical technology, physics, biology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nutrition, agriculture, forestry, engineering, metallurgy, and in other fields.



This subject, like many others, can be selected at the higher level (HL), or at the standard level (SL). The length of the HL course is 240  hours (one hour = 60 min), while the length of the SL course is 150 hours. The HL programme is an intensive course in general physics, but without calculus. Its syllabus corresponds well to the Croatian national syllabus. At the end of the HL course a student will be well prepared for a university career in physics or related subjects. The SL programme is less complex than the HL programme but represents also a good background for a university career in which physics is a prerequisite. The SL syllabus does not contain some topics contained in the Croatian national syllabus.


Both levels comprise the following areas of physics:

– Mechanics

– Thermal physics

– Waves

– Electricity

– Atomic and nuclear physics


Besides these areas, the HL students, learn additionally two areas, usually chosen by the teacher of the course, amongst the following ones:

– Biomedical physics

– Historical physics

– Astrophysics

– Relativity

– Optics


The teaching of the both levels is strongly influenced by the scope and depth of the final exam. It is well known that the last can examine each detail of the syllabus. The final grade of a student is derived from two grades: the exam grade, which contributes with 76%,  and the grade for the experimental work, which contributes with 24%. The experimental work is assessed internally by the teacher of the course, but this grade may be moderated by external examiners. All students are required to spend about 25% of their teaching time on practical work which is related to all aspects of the programme.


During the course, the students of both levels are regularly tested internally by a lot of small tests. Their laboratory work is assessed too. At the end of each term, or school year, the students are examined internally by exams which comprise all topics taught during that term, or the school year. These internal exams contribute usually with 50% to the final internal grade. All these internal tests and exams do not contribute at all to the final IB grade, which is the most important for the continuation of education at universities.




Mathematics is a compulsory subject in the International Baccalaureate Programme, so our school offers two mathematical subjects: Mathematics Higher Level and Mathematics Standard Level.

Mathematics Higher Level is intended for the students who have an interest in Mathematics and will need it for their future University courses. It is a very demanding course and requires a substantial background of presumed knowledge.

Mathematics Standard Level in intended for the students who will choose Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Economics, Business Studies, or different Social Studies as their major at a University.

Subject Topics:

1. Number and Algebra

2. Functions and Equations

3. Trigonometry

4. Vector Geometry

5. Matrices

6. Probability and Statistics

7. Calculus


In the period of two years, a student has to produce two pieces of work called Math Portfolio assigned by the teacher that will contribute with 20% to the final mark.


Candidates are required to have a graphic display calculator at all times during the course.





Computer Science deals with the use of computers and their application in every field of human activity. Computers not only perform routine tasks more quickly and accurately than traditional manual methods, but they can also be programmed to carry out decision-making previously considered to require human intelligence.

Designing a dependable and efficient program depends on the proper structuring of data and the use of correct procedures in their manipulation. This is also a central consideration in the course. Computer Science provides techniques to carry out analysis, research, control and simulation which the student will find useful in any other field as well.

The aims of the programme in Computer Science

1. Form a realistic view of the role of computers, their applications and limitations and their effect on     the quality of life in different societies

2. gain familiarity with general computer architecture and with appropriate aspects of its operation

3. promote the ability to develop logical processes and critical analysis in problem solving

4. promote the acquisition of the practical skills involved in programming

5. develop an awareness of the limitation of computing technology so that good judgement can be exercised in decisions concerning the suitability of hardware for the particular tasks.

6. impart an understanding of the historic evolution, present status and future progression of computer hardware and software technology

7. promote the application of the computer in processing data, designing simulations, enhancing presentations and improving communications

The subject is taught at two levels which differ in the number of periods per week.


All students are required to study the following topics:

   1. Software Development

   2. Computing System Fundamentals

   3. Computing Systems and Society


   4. Computer Mathematics and Logic

   5. Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms

   6. System Life Cycle

   7. File Organisation

A Program Dossier representing the work of the student over the course is maintained and counts for 35% of the final assessment.




The aims of the programme in Art/Design are to:

1. provide students with the opportunities to develop the aesthetic, imaginative and creative faculties

2. stimulate and train visual and tactile awareness, sensibility and perception

3. enable students to discover individually and to develop different means of creative expression

4. encourage the pursuit of quality, through training, individual experiment and persistent endeavour

The subject is taught at two levels, HL and SL, which differ in the amount of tuition hours and the intensity of teaching.


This course consists of two parts, both of which are compulsory:

A. Studio Practical Work

B. Research Workbook

Studio work will represent 70 % of the candidate’s total mark. The Research Workbook will represent 30 %. Grading according to the established criteria.



At Standard level the candidate will choose:

either   A. Studio Practical Work

or          B. Research Workbook

The content of this course is identical to that at Higher level, but it differs from it in the amount of teaching material and in the intensity of teaching.


In this course students are introduced to and encouraged to explore in practice the artistic elements of the Form (line, colour, light, space…) and the fundamentals of Design and Composition.


The aim is to encourage a personal and critical investigation of particular fields of study. The workbook will contain both visual and verbal information on the candidacies research.



Theory of knowledge is a specific subject which differs from all the other IB subjects. Theory of knowledge reflects critically, after the fashion of contemporary philosophy, methodology of science and of related metascientific disciplines, upon the premises and properties of cognition in particular scientific disciplines (natural and humanistic sciences) and in the fields of political, moral and aesthetic judgement.

The main aim of the course is to enable candidates to reflect and integrate knowledge by relating subjects studied to one another. The Theory of Knowledge occupies 100 hours of tuition in the two-year course.



1.      Perception

Nature and limitations of perception; its relativity, subjectivity and limits.

Perceptive illusions

2.     Emotion

What part does emotion play in the acquisition of different Areas of Knowledge?

Relationship between emotion and education, emotion and culture, emotion and politics, emotion and knowledge.


3. The Arts

Can we discuss aesthetic judgements?

Different interpretations of art; is there progress in art?

Relation between human knowledge and the Arts i.e. between truth and the arts.


4. Language as a PREMISE/SUPPOSITION of Cognition

Language as symbolic communication; the function of language, the concept of meaning and semantic POLISEMY/: language and social experience; language and national cultures

5. Logical Structure of Thought

The relation between knowledge and logic; logical imperatives of consistence, coherence and uncontradictoriness; recognition of logical structure in everyday speech; types of logical judgements; problem of fallacies in conclusion

6. Diversity of Knowledge: Specific Properties/Characteristic Qualities of Scientific Disciplines

a) Mathematics

The language of mathematics; the relation between mathematics and logic; mathematical cognition; the major properties/characteristics of mathematical conclusion

b) Natural Sciences

The concept of scientific method; the concept and formation of scientific theories; the development of natural science cognition; the relation between natural sciences and other fields of science and of human behaviour/activity

c) Human Sciences

The concept of society and basic categories of social analysis; humanistic sciences methods and language; the problem of quantification of social relations

d) History

Methods of cognition in the past; the concept of historical time; historical facts and their interpretation; Historia magistra vitae?

7. Value Judgements and Knowledge

a)    Ethics

Concept of ethics

How can moral judgements be possible; Moral RELATIVITY; the relationship between knowledge and moral judgement. Relation between science and ethics. Freedom versus responsibility.

b)    Ethics and Politics

Ethical ideas and political systems.

Influence of politics on morality, arts, education, natural and humanistic sciences

Relationships between national and international.

8. Theory of Knowledge and the problem of truth

Instrumental and intrinsic value of knowledge; the relation between knowledge and religion; progress in human knowledge/cognition; knowledge/cognition as an intersubjective activity/act

Students must make one or more individual and/or group oral presentations to the class during the first year, and complete a self-evaluation report. It is internally assessed by the TOK teacher (0-20 points).

Each candidate must submit for external assessment (0-40 points) an essay  (1200-1600 words) on one of the ten titles prescribed by the IBO for each examination session.

XV. gimnazija