Grade 9

Curriculum Guide


6 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

Origins of World Literature

Origins of World Literature

In Grade 9 we will study the beginnings or origins of several major literary traditions and their connection to the cultures that produced them. The course will also enhance vocabulary development, reading comprehension and increase students’ understanding of a variety of writing structures.

  • Excerpts from Homer’s Iliad
  • Sophocles Oedipus Rex and Antigone
  • Medieval poetry and drama including the morality play Everyman
  • 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
  • Develop a familiarity with and critical understanding of some of the dominant themes expressed in the early world literary traditions of Greece, Judeo-Christianity, and China.
  • Distinguish and critique the different literary forms, styles, and techniques which exist within these traditions
  • Express this understanding in critical expository writing
  • Express this understanding in oral presentations and class discussions
  • Mathematics

    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 9 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.

    • Number and Computation - learn and use rules of set theory, handle ratios and proportions in various settings, including direct and inverse variation and time-distance graphs, consolidate knowledge of exponents
    • Algebra - learn and use principles of coordinate geometry, including distance, midpoint, and other formulae; solve linear, simultaneous, and other equations; handle rates, proportions, direct and inverse variation; calculate area, perimeter, volume, and surface area; apply Pythagoras’ theorem and trigonometric ratios
    • Shape and Measurement - learn and use principles of plane geometry, including work with parallel lines and angles, polygons and triangles and their angles and areas, circles and the angles created by tangents, chords, and arcs, volume and surface area
    • Probability and Statistics - draw Venn diagrams; understand and apply theory to probability, calculate mean, median, mode, and standard deviation, find line of best fit; draw tree diagrams and box plots
    Main Text
    Australian Signpost Mathematics New South Wales 10


    One Year - 1½ Credit

    All students study a two-year balanced Science program in Grades 9 and 10. Students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics in both grades. 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 important part of the courses.

    Biology 1: 3 periods per week in both semesters

    The topics studied are: Characteristics and organization of living things; Diffusion and osmosis; Animal nutrition: Diet, digestion and absorption; Respiration and gas exchange; Plant nutrition: Photosynthesis, transpiration, mineral Nutrition; Ecology
    Text: Biology for IGCSE, Pickering

    Chemistry 1: 4 periods per week for one semester

    This course builds on the foundations laid in Grade 8 Physical Science. The topics studied are: Review of atoms, Elements, compounds and the periodic table; Rates of reaction; Chemical bonding; Symbols, formulae and equations; Metals and the reactivity series; Acids and alkalis
    Text: Chemistry for IGCSE, Gallagher and Ingram

    Physics 1: 4 periods per week for one semester

    This course builds on the foundations laid in Grade 8 Physical Science. The topics studied are: Radioactivity; Kinematics;
    Dynamics; Energy, work and power; Waves.
    Use of the Vernier interfaces, sensors and software is introduced into their lab work.
    Text: Physics for IGCSE, Pople

    Homework and Assignments
    Laboratory reports, practice and review questions, data analysis exercises, short research papers, short oral presentations

    Social Studies

    5 periods per week - One Year - One Credit

    Colonialism and Development

    This course is designed to introduce students to the concept of development and developing nations and to assess the impact of colonization in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    The main units of study integrate themes from the following topics:
  • Measuring and assessing development
  • The colonization of India, the rise of Indian nationalism, and efforts toward independence
  • The “Scramble for Africa” and the process of colonization
  • South Africa under apartheid and the end of apartheid
  • The Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Development issues in the 21st century

  • Selected course objectives are to:
  • Interpret statistical data and engage in research.
  • Analyze current events in relation to history.
  • Foster an understanding of development problems and solutions.
  • Foster students written, oral and comprehension skills.
  • Enable students to develop their analytical skills.
  • Enable students to gain an appreciation for interpretations of historical events.
  • Enable students to improve their ability to understand the relationships between different historical events.

  • Homework
  • Reading
  • Summarizing note-taking
  • Analyzing sources
  • Written assignments

  • Assignments
  • Research
  • Research papers
  • Essays
  • Group projects
  • Role-playing
  • Presentations
  • Languages

    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 (Trimester courses only) - One Year - ½ Credit


    The course is designed to challenge students to use the skills they have developed in a more self-expressive way. We will begin with several exercises aimed at lifting students’ logical-brain desire to make something ‘good’ or ‘accurate,’ and tap into students’ creative-brain intuition and the physical experience of drawing and painting. Students will complete color mixing ‘experiments’ to broaden their understanding of how different colors are produced by mixing paint tones. The final project is an expressive self-portrait based on a blind-contour line drawing. The aim is not for the portrait to look exactly like the person, but for it to represent them either symbolically or through the creative use of the elements & principles of design. Emphasis is placed on using technical skills in a creative/experimental way.

    Computer Graphics

    Students in this course meet once a week for a double period. As a quarter course, it meets for approximately eight sessions.

    The students will:
  • Use Photoshop CS and get familiar with this professional software
  • Develop a variety of skills, as Photoshop users, through the productions of digital images
  • Know about: menus, brushes, eraser, layer, layer mode, text, selection tools and more
  • Have an appreciation of what is possible to do with an Image Editing Software, and explore the computer as a means for artistic expression
  • Write a log (with images and comments) to reflect on the image editing process in general and their own progress in particular.
  • Integrate a method of self-teaching to know how to acquire new skills

  • Music

    The course is titled ‘Music Production’ and uses the Apple “GarageBand” application combined with analogue instruments (piano, violin, flute, etc.) to create original compositions. In so doing students will improve their rhythmic reading and understanding of meter, scale construction, primary chord progressions and a full understanding of the layout of the piano keyboard. A final project demonstrating understanding and awareness of these elements will help the students feel comfortable and confident enough to pursue future music theory classes.

    Weeks 1-3
    • Examination of a piece of music and identify rhythm, meter, melody/scale, instruments
    Weeks 4-7
    • Student creation of an original song using above elements
    Week 8
    • Presentation and performance of compositions


    This course is called “Pottery for the Table”. Students make pieces primarily using the wheel. Inspiration comes from the works of international contemporary potters (some who help to critique the students’ work). The work is made to prepare, serve or cook specific foods and drink in. For example, students make an apple pie dish then cook pies in the kiln and serve on their own apple motif plates with fresh cream! The traditional tea party with English teapots and cups and saucers is also a possible focus. Students in grade 9 are also eligible to attend the High School Pottery sleepover workshop led by Master Potter Euan Craig. This workshop includes the now famous “Pottery Olympics” Team event!

    In March students are asked to choose between music, art or pottery for the following year.


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

    Incorporated within the program is extensive fitness testing