Grade 10

Curriculum Guide


6 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

Literature in the Western World

In the 9th grade we studied the origins and archetypes of Western literature in ancient Greece and Medieval Europe. In the 10th grade we will analyse how Western literature developed to the twentieth century. The most important elements of grade 10 English are those of improving writing, building vocabulary and increasing the sophistication of critical reading. The skills learned in grade 10 English will help students to prepare for PSATs, SATs, and APs.

  • Selected poems
  • Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls
  • William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
  • George Orwell’s Animal Farm
  • Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Note: Not all the readings are included in this initial course description. We will read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction to prepare for the PSAT and SAT.

Homework and Assignments:
  • Reading
  • Journal writing
  • Vocabulary exercises
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects
  • Essay writing
  • Literature assignments
Student Learning Expectations
The student will
  • Develop a familiarity with and critical understanding of some of the dominant themes expressed in American and European literature beginning with the Renaissance
  • Distinguish and critique the different literary forms, styles, and techniques with which these writers experiment
  • Develop critical reading skills
  • Learn to write for different purposes and audiences
  • Various forms of writing: In-class essays, formal essays, journals and creative writing
  • Oral presentations, class discussions
  • A final written exam


5 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

From Grade 9 through 12 the curriculum is essentially preparatory for university and is designed to enable students to meet admission requirements for tertiary institutions in most countries through covering high school mathematics topics from many countries, and also those required for the PSAT and SAT mathematics examinations. An integrated approach is emphasized. Technology is fully incorporated into the syllabus and all students are taught how to use a TI-84 Plus CE graphics calculator, which can be purchased through the school.

Grade 10 is divided into Enriched and Standard groups after careful consideration by the Head of Department. Each group covers the same core curriculum, allowing students to make a smooth transition from one group to the other where necessary.

The focus of the Grade 10 year is Algebra, with emphasis on equations and inequalities, including;

  • Absolute value equations
  • Linear systems and matrices
  • Linear programming
  • Quadratic functions
  • Factoring and complex numbers
  • Polynomial functions
  • Rational exponents and radical functions
  • Inverse functions, including exponential and logarithmic functions
  • Trigonometric functions and laws
Main Text
Algebra 2, Larson, Boswell, Kanold, Stiff


One Year - 1½ Credit

In Grade 10 students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Science is presented as a field of enquiry rather than just as a body of knowledge, therefore the courses emphasize the development of the skills of scientific investigation as well as the acquisition of knowledge and the understanding of scientific concepts. Laboratory work forms an integral part of the courses.

Grade 10 science students are grouped by the ability shown in previous grade levels. The two classes are ‘Regular’ and ‘Core’. All classes study the same basic program except that the Core class does not study Stoichiometry in Chemistry and the more difficult mathematics is removed from the Physics and Chemistry units. The Biology is identical in both courses. For this reason, a student in Core Science is only able to pursue Biology and Environmental Science into grade 11 & 12, not Physics or Chemistry.

Biology 2: 3 periods per week in both semesters

The course builds on the foundations laid in Grade 9 Biology 1. The topics studied are: The Circulatory System, Defense Against Disease, Control and Coordination: nervous system, hormones, homeostasis, Senses, Excretion, Inheritance: cell division, genetics, molecular genetics, Reproduction, Evolution
Text: Biology for IGCSE, Pickering

Chemistry 2: 4 periods per week for one semester

This course builds on the foundations laid in Grade 9 Chemistry 1. The topics studied are: Atomic Structure and Stoichiometry, the Gas Laws, Organic Chemistry, Redox Reactions and Electrolysis
Text: Chemistry for IGCSE, Gallagher and Ingram

Physics 2: 4 periods per week for one semester

This course builds on the foundations laid in Grade 9 Physics 1. The topics studied are: Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Cosmology, Heat
Further use of the vernier interfaces, sensors and software is developed in the students’ lab work.
Text: Physics for IGCSE, Pople.

Homework and Assignments: Laboratory reports, practice and review questions, data analysis exercises, short research papers, preparation for short oral presentation.

Social Studies

6 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

Key Themes of the Twentieth Century

This course will introduce students to the history of East Asia, North America and Europe in from the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Cold War.

The main units of study will integrate themes from the following topics:
  • Family History Project
  • Germany: Versailles to Russo-German War
  • Russia: 1905 Revolution to Soviet-German War
  • Japan: Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War
  • China: Treaty of Nanjing to Cultural Revolution
  • United States: Louisiana Purchase to Imperialism
  • Cold War: 1945-1989

Selected course objectives are to:
  • Improve students’ understanding of comparative and transnational historical events.
  • Enable students to identify key leaders, events and concepts.
  • Introduce students to relevant modern philosophers and political thinkers.
  • Enable students to develop their analytical skills.
  • Enable students to gain an appreciation for interpretations of historical events and historiography.
  • Enable students to improve their ability to understand the relationships between historical events.
  • Prepare students for Advanced Placement (AP) studies in Grades 11 and 12.

  • Reading primary and secondary sources
  • Summarizing and note-taking
  • Analyzing sources
  • Written assignments

  • Research
  • Research papers
  • Essays
  • Group projects
  • Presentations


FRENCH: 4 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

Language as communication is the basic concept of the Grades 9 and 10 French programs. All students are placed according to their proficiency in the language skills of reading, thinking, speaking and writing. A minimum of 3-4 students is required to open a Beginners’ class in Grade 9. At all levels, students are encouraged to extend their language skills beyond the program when possible. Students in French will learn to read, to speak and to write about a variety of topics. Grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary are presented in dialogues, descriptions, short stories, poems, small plays, drill exercises, educational games, songs, as well as using videos and Internet resources. They are integrated through specific projects and productions. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary expansion, verb tense mastery and pronunciation.

Within the study of the language students will also get to discover French culture, as well as other cultures included in the French speaking world known as La Francophonie. Each year, the French Department focuses on one country from the Francophonie and organizes events and workshops in relation to this country, in order to deepen the understanding of students, as well as to make the language alive.

The levels taught are in line with DELF’s exams of French Ministry of Education and the levels of the Council of Europe' s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

Reference book (among a variety of customized material)
  • Et Toi 1 Manuel + Exercise book. (A1- Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • or
  • Et Toi 2 Manuel + Exercise book. (A2.1- Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) or
  • Et Toi 3 Manuel + Exercise book. (A2 - Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
  • E-texts
  • French magazine: Okapi

  • Homework
  • Prepared exercises on text comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading
  • Writing of short stories
  • Internet-related activities, such as watch a video
  • JAPANESE: 4 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

    The International School of the Sacred Heart offers two Japanese programs: as a Second Language (JS-for non-Japanese speakers) and Japanese as a First Language (JF-for Japanese speakers).

    Japanese as a Second Language

    This course is for students who would like to learn Japanese as a Second Language. Students are placed in different levels according to their language ability. The aim of this course is for students to acquire sufficient competence in Japanese to meet their communicative needs, to gain knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture and to enjoy using the language so that they may become life-long learners. Students will acquire sufficient competence in Japanese by developing all four skills: listening; speaking; reading and writing. Classroom activities include oral, reading, writing, role-play, skits, interviews, essays, journals, projects, presentations, etc.

    Japanese as a First Language

    This course is designed for native Japanese speakers and follows the Japanese language curriculum program used in the Japanese schools. Students follow a balanced program, which incorporates development in the four language skills. Students develop critical thinking, linguistic sensibility and sensitivity through reading of fiction and nonfiction, appreciating poetry and writing on varied topics. Kanji skill is developed as well as relevant and accurate expressions in writing and speaking. Students are given the opportunity to connect with their own experience and to foster a positive attitude to Japanese culture and other cultures. Teachers use varied methodology in class and students are placed in levels according to their language ability.

    ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: 5 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

    Our ESL Program

    Our program aims to help students who are not used to learning in English. The ESL teachers provide courses that help students to refine their academic English language skills, using materials from the mainstream classes to further support proficiency and understanding. We focus on developing all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), but our main aim is to help students to read and write a range of academic texts such as narratives, recounts, procedures, explanations, research reports and literary essays.

    A student’s growth in English is monitored on a regular basis through reading journals, weekly diaries, vocabulary tests and a variety of oral, reading and written tasks. Effort and in-class participation are also important criteria in the assessment of progress.
    Once a student has acquired a level of competency that allows her to function in the content areas along with her peers, she may transfer from the program to take either Japanese or French.

    Recommended texts
    All students should have access to a reputable online bilingual dictionary, as well as the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Students may also wish to have a paper version of the bilingual dictionary for use during tests and exams.

    Creative and Performing Arts

    2 periods per week - One Year - ½ Credit

    This program offers an experience to students in Art, Pottery and Music.


    The course aims to promote an enjoyment and appreciation of art while developing the necessary skills to enable the realization of successful works of art. Students will complete projects that give them experience in the areas of Drawing, Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking and Design. Emphasis is placed on both creativity and skill development. By teacher demonstration and practice students will learn to use art materials, equipment and techniques with confidence and proficiency. The development and improvement of observational skills will be encouraged as well as the ability to develop a thoughtful, original, and well composed finished piece.


    Grade 10 Music is an exploratory music course that allows students at all levels of musicianship to broaden their skill and interest levels. The students choose from various options for projects and presentations, including music theory or history, non-western music, composition, and performing.
    The students do preparatory study for the AP (Advanced Placement) examinations in Music Theory. The students are introduced to music software for orchestrating, arranging, recording and editing both acoustic and electro-acoustic music.


    Much of the work created in this course is eligible to be submitted for the A.P.3D portfolio “Breadth” section. This course is all about MAKING and allows students to work in 3 dimension using ceramics, glass, metals, wood and other materials. Projects vary in technique as do the choice of materials. Clay work ranges from large hand built forms to delicately thrown pieces. Students learn about pewter, slip and glass casting and jewelry making. Digital image altering, photo silk screen printing are also features of this exciting and demanding course. Students in grade 10 are also eligible for the High School Pottery sleepover workshop led by Master Potter Euan Craig. This workshop includes the now famous “Pottery Olympics” Team event! Students in Grade 10 take one day to visit Musashino Higashi specially integrated school for autism to work on a joint art project with their students that is presented at the annual Artscape exhibition in Tokyo (


    2 periods per week (Semester courses only) - One Year - ½ Credit

    There are seven Values programs in Grade 9 and Grade 10. There is very little or no homework set in each of the Values courses.

    Action for the Blind

    This is a practical program in contact with the direct needs of blind people. The students are privileged to have a visually handicapped visitor to the class each week to proof-read the students’ Braille work. Students learn Braille either in English or Japanese. They experience a guided ‘blind-walk’ with the use of an eye mask, collect stamps, and engage in and initiate other activities. They learn about the lives and needs of the blind and meet individuals who have seeing-eye dogs and who share their experiences of being blind in today’s society.

    Christianity and Sacred Heart Schools

    This course is an introduction to Christianity where students can learn the main teachings of different Christian denominations, as well as gain a deeper understanding of the Society of the Sacred Heart across the globe.

    Japanese Religions

    This course aims to encourage students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the country they live in now, and of their own cultural and religious traditions, along with those of others. This course mainly looks at the Japanese indigenous religion, Shinto. It studies the relationship between the religion, and Japanese history and traditions. The influence of Buddhism, Christianity and other major religions on the life of Japanese people is also considered.

    Moral Decision Making

    This course will help students define and clarify their own personal moral code. Students will examine different controversial issues – personal social or global issues - by examining the facts around some current events, relevant debates, problems and possible solutions to them. At the end of the course, students should be able to offer good reasons for their own beliefs and opinions while gaining a respect for other ideas as well as the perspectives of their classmates.

    Peace Studies

    The course aims to identify and explore the structural inequalities that are often at the root of global conflict. The students are encouraged to recognize and analyze the interrelationship between conflict, violence and justice. The course also aims to cultivate the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to sustain a global culture of peace. Understanding and transforming violence is central. Students are encouraged to actively contribute to the struggle for human dignity, reconciliation and peace. Students will investigate ways to contribute to a peaceful society both locally and internationally.

    Prayer and Meditation

    This is a practical course in which students take time to reflect, pray and learn to center their lives in a quiet and prayerful atmosphere. Students are helped to think about their personal values and goals and to find ways of enhancing their lives through various relaxation methods and meditations.

    The Social Action Project

    In this Values course, you will identify a problem that you are interested in addressing, for example an issue affecting the environment. This would be followed by research into the problem, prototyping a solution, testing the solution and getting feedback. You then adjust your prototype and repeat the process until you have a solution. The semester will include a simple design notebook for tracking ideas, through a combination of sketches, photos, quotes and text and even, video. It will conclude with a short, final presentation or written piece in which you will reflect on your learning.

    Personal Education

    1 period per week - One Year - ¼ Credit

    The personal education program focuses on developing self-awareness, self-confidence and a sense of personal responsibility. It concentrates on the skills of working with and relating to others and being able to cope with the demands of an increasingly changing society and world. A range of issues are explored that relate to physical, social and emotional well being, as well as trying to address issues of interest and concern to students, such as vocational awareness.

    Physical Education

    3 periods per week - One Year - ½ Credit

    The Physical Education program promotes mental, physical, emotional and social development through guided sports activities. The students work in an educational environment which promotes an enjoyment of sport and provides opportunities for students of all levels to improve their skills, ability and understanding in the sport or activity being studied.

    In Grade 10 students participate in a number of sports / activities covering skills, game play, rules and strategies.

    Incorporated within the program is extensive fitness testing