Arts

Our curricular Arts program forms an integral part of our school’s mission of promoting critical, creative thinking in an international framework. Through the Arts, students expand their perspectives, engage world culture, take on challenging material and express their own creativity.

Arts are a required part of the curriculum in 9th and 10th grade. In 9th grade, students sample two artistic disciplines over the course of the year. In 10th grade, they focus on a single discipline for a full year. In 11th and 12th grade, students can make intensive study of film, theater, music or visual arts a central part of their IB Diploma. Students in the French Baccalaureate track can take option classes in theater or visual arts.


Please contact the Head of the Department for any questions about our curricular programs or extracurricular opportunities.

Grade 9

VISUAL ARTS 
[One semester, 2 periods per week]

Introduction to the Language of Art

This first-year course aims to develop creativity and visual response, introduce techniques in a variety of media, encourage critical thinking and problem solving in the arts, and introduce the language of art criticism. Throughout the year, selected works from the history of art and various cultures are introduced not only to expand the art literacy of each student but also to provide stimulus and to influence studio work. Students explore techniques in two-dimensional and three-dimensional media in the studio. A series of highly structured assignments provides the framework for the course.

Assessment competencies: 
• Shows evidence of growth through sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement
• Exhibits commitment by making sincere effort, showing full class participation and using class time effectively
• Produces refined pieces of work reflecting an accomplished resolution of technical skills and synthesis of ideas

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Eva Strohmeier, Art teacher and Brad Coorman, Head of Arts Department



STAGECRAFT  
[One semester, 2 periods per week]

Design: Scene, Costume & Environment

Students will complete projects in the following areas: 

  • Costume Design: Students are assigned a short One-Act play and are required to complete a costume design for all of the characters in the play. They must present their design and defend it in class. As a final project they are to bring a completed costume of one character from the play to class.
  • Scenic Design: Students are assigned a short One-Act play and required to complete a scenic design. Students will provide thumbnail sketches to show the progression of their conceptual idea, a to-scale ground plan for their set, and a final rendering or model of the set.
  • Production: Students will assist in preparation for school productions when available.
  • Lighting: Students will be taught how to properly handle and focus theatrical lights, as well as how to operate the light board.
  • Sound: Students will learn the basics of a sound mixing board and how to operate it during a production
  • Props: Students will be given prop acquisition or construction assignments that will coincide directly with school productions.

Assessment competencies: 
Participates willingly and energetically in ensemble and individual class activities
Demonstrates a commitment to developing technical skills in both performance and production
Demonstrates a willingness to learn and an application of safe working habits

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Brad Cooreman, Head of Arts Department and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher
 

THEATER   
[One semester, 2 periods per week]

Scene Creation and Critique

Students will complete projects in the following areas:

  • Warm up exercises: Movement, awareness, ensemble building and play.
  • Scene building and blocking notation: Lecture/demonstration on creating scenes by establishing “who, what, why, where” and simple exposition, climax, resolution plot form. Also, stage types and blocking notation on script and ground plan.
  • Silent Scenes: Five exercises in silent movement exploring the use of pauses, stage areas and levels, and rhythm. In each, students working in pairs devise a scene, block it and perform it.
  • Open Scenes: All students prepare one open scene for performance using skills learned in class. 
  • Critique: Students regularly critique the scenes of others according to established guidelines.
  • Journal: Journals kept according to established guidelines are turned in monthly, read, graded, and commented on. 

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates a basic understanding of stage movement, its notation and vocabulary
Provides evidence, in a journal, of an awareness of the process of creating performance and is able to reflect honestly on his/her progress in learning that process
Understands the importance of ensemble and works well with others

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Brad Cooreman, Head of Arts Department and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher
 

FILM AND VIDEO 
[One semester, 2 periods per week]

Language of Film
Film and Video is a hands-on course in video production. Students will work in small groups to conceive, script, storyboard, shoot, and edit original work. Students learn camera safety and operation as well as digital editing with Final Cut Pro. We also begin to learn the basics of film analysis. Students will explore what we mean by “the language of film” and apply what they learn to their own video projects. They are required to write one critique of a film of their choice.

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates technical skills in the video making process
Demonstrates an understanding of course material through class activities and discussion
Demonstrates critical skills through written assignments

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Matthew Perifano, Film and Video teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher
 

MUSIC  
[One semester, 2 periods per week]
This course introduces students to ensemble playing through an all-class guitar ensemble. Students will learn to play and read music on guitar, and will perform as a class in the end-of-semester Winter Concert. Basic music theory, music history and critical listening will also be introduced

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates a development of performance skills through solo and/or ensemble music making
Demonstrates a development of compositional skills through exploration and investigation of musical elements
Writes reflectively and critically using appropriate language, notation and terminology
Participates actively and perceptively in seminars and class discussions using appropriate musical languages

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Phillip Lenberg, Music teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher


Grade 10

VISUAL ARTS 
[Full year, 3 periods per week]

Interpretation of the Human Condition
Artistic learning requires a high level of cognitive activity that is both intellectual and emotional. Study of the visual arts allows students to discover ways in which to interpret and comment critically on the human condition. Furthermore, the inspiration engendered by artistic activity can become a driving force in other studies and throughout life. Through slide presentations, web research, video screenings and visits by local artists, students are provided with an appreciation of art history and an understanding of the multiplicity of art from a variety of cultures.General course objectives include the ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the elements of history of arts and concepts
  • Develop and practice a variety of techniques and media styles
  • Handle a formal challenge and propose solutions
  • Make an informed choice for IB arts courses.

Assessment competencies: 
Produces refined pieces of work reflecting an accomplished resolution of technical skills and synthesis of ideas through the manipulation and refinement of a variety of art media and processes.
Shows evidence of growth through sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement, and written reflections on his/her creative process.
Analyzes artworks from different time periods and cultures, including his/her own, through the use of vocabulary specific to the visual arts.
Exhibits commitment by making a sincere effort, showing full class participation and using class time effectively.

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Eva Strohmeier, Art teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher


THEATER 
[Full year, 3 periods per week]

Performance and collaboration through scene work and plays 
Tenth grade theatre develops skills and knowledge in acting as well as writing, directing, design and stagecraft. Students will develop their personal creative and expressive skills, while also developing the collaborative skills vital for ensemble-based work. 

There are four major units:
• Introductory principles to movement (Viewpoints) and naturalistic acting (Stanislavski)
• Exploring character through scene study and performance
• Creation of an original play for young audiences
• Final performance project reflecting students’ interests.

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates a commitment to developing technical skills in both performance and production
Provides evidence, in a journal, of an awareness of the process of creating performance and is able to reflect honestly on his/her progress in learning that process
Is able to assess the work of peers and self in a creative and critical manner

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Brad Cooreman, Head of Arts Department and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher


FILM  AND VIDEO

[Full year, 3 periods per week]
American Cinema

Students will continue to develop their skills in all aspects of video production, working either individually or in small groups in creating two original videos over the course of the year. The scope of Grade 10 Film and Video is broadened to include a study of the development of American cinema over that last century. Through observing various film genres, our study of film includes censorship, the studio system, representation of groups and individuals in movies, and the historical and cultural context of individual films. Students will be given critical tools for analyzing films and extracts from films. Students are required to write three film critiques. 

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates technical skills in the video making process
Demonstrates an understanding of course material through class activities and discussion
Demonstrates critical skills through written assignments

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Matthew Perifano, Film and Video teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher


MUSIC  
[Full year, 3 periods per week]

Through participation in the all-class guitar ensemble, students will develop skills in note reading, ensemble playing and rehearsal techniques, as well as developing skills in music theory, history and critical listening. The guitar ensemble will perform in both the Winter and Spring concerts, where students are additionally encouraged to perform on their primary instrument or form smaller chamber ensembles within the class.

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates a development of performance skills through solo and/or ensemble music making
Demonstrates a development of compositional skills through exploration and investigation of musical elements
Writes reflectively and critically using appropriate language, notation and terminology
Participates actively and perceptively in seminars and class discussions using appropriate musical languages

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Phillip Lenberg, Music teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher

DESIGN TECH
[3 hours per week]


International High School is now proud to offer a new UC-approved Design Tech course as part of the Arts elective in grade 10. This program will help foster a community of interdisciplinary, experimental, innovative and forward-looking thinkers engaging in making design and technology with a strong focus in Science.

Core topics of the IB Design Tech are based on the study of concepts such as the design cycle, product/industrial design, environmental design, product innovation and Architecture, as well as knowledge of materials and strategies for product development and evaluation.

This new course offers students a lively, collaborative and dynamic environment in which they are experiencing the design process through project-based learning activities. The students are fully immersed in hands-on building opportunities, brainstorming, and prototypes making as part of their creative process.

Students can pursue design technology with a greater engineering and science focus in the IB Design Tech program, under the science group of the IB.  


Assessment Competencies:
Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the different phases of the design process
Uses design concepts and principles to express creative solutions and ideas
Communicates and presents clearly technological information
Applies thinking skills critically and creatively to identify and resolve design issues and technological problems through reasoned decision making
Shows curiosity and empathy

Standards alignment: School defined
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Barbara Abecassis, Design Tech and Art teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher

Grades 11 & 12

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE 

IB VISUAL ARTS SL/HL
[2 years, 5 periods per week]
Exploration and Production of Art

The goals of this course are to provide students with opportunities to make personal, socio-cultural, and aesthetic experiences meaningful through the production and understanding of art. Students are encouraged to inquire and investigate approaches to the visual arts in their historical and contemporary forms. The class is also intended to promote visual and contextual knowledge of art from various cultures, to encourage the pursuit of quality through experimentation and purposeful creative work in various expressive media, and to enable students to learn about themselves and others through individual and, where appropriate, collaborative engagement with the visual arts.


The course at Higher Level has three compulsory parts: 


• A process portfolio consisting of carefully selected materials that evidence experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual art activities during the two-year course.
• A comparative study consisting of independent critical and contextual investigation exploring artworks, objects, and artifacts from differing cultural contexts.
• An exhibition portfolio consisting of a selection of resolved artworks reflecting technical accomplishment and an understanding of the use of materials, ideas and practices.

Assessment competencies: 
Shows evidence of sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of art media and art making processes, and written reflections on his/her creative process.
Analyzes and compares artworks from different time periods and cultures, including his/her own, through the use of vocabulary specific to the visual arts.
Produces refined pieces of work reflecting an accomplished resolution of technical skills and a synthesis of ideas through the manipulation and refinement of a variety of art media and processes.

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Eva Strohmeier, Art teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher

 

IB THEATER ARTS SL/HL
[2 years, 5 periods per week]
Exploring International Theatre through theory, practice and collaboration

The IB Theater Arts program invites students to explore world theatre and develop as artists through creating, collaborating, and performing, as well as through studying history, plays and theory. Students undertake four major projects: 

• Creating a 15-minute lecture on one aspect of a world theater tradition
• Creating an original, collaborative performance piece
• Developing a portfolio showing how they would direct a play of their choice
• (HL only) creating a short, one-person show that explores some aspect of theory.
 

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates a commitment to developing technical skills in both performance and production
Demonstrates a practicable understanding of the elements and processes of bringing a theatrical text to life
Provides strong evidence in journal of a wide range of theatrical activities (including analysis of outside performances) and of critical and honest self-reflection
Researches and analyzes theatrical traditions and puts that research to practical use

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Brad Cooreman, Head of Arts Department and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher 

  

IB FILM SL/HL
[2 years, 5 periods per week]
Film Theory and History
The goal of IB Film is to develop students’ skills in becoming adept in both interpreting and making film texts. This comprehensive two-year course will provide students with advanced knowledge in all aspects of video production, film theory and history, and film analysis. To achieve an understanding of internationalism within the world of film, students will be taught to consider film texts, theories, and ideas from the points of view of different individuals, nations and cultures. The IB film course emphasizes the importance of working individually and as a member of a group. The IB curriculum focuses on the clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis that is achieved through practical engagement in the study of world cinema.

Scene Analysis: Final assessment is an oral presentation analyzing a scene from a film. (HL and SL)
Film History and Theory: Research Project comparing at least 4 films (HL) or 2 films (SL) from different countries.
Video Production: Create and produce an original video individually or as a part of a team along with a production portfolio (SL and HL). Create a trailer for the video (HL).

Assessment competencies: 
An understanding of the variety of ways that film creates meaning.
An understanding and effective use of appropriate film terminology.
Technical skills in video production

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Matthew Perifano, Film and Video teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher 

 

IB MUSIC SL/HL
[2 years, 5 periods per week]
  • Music in Relation to Time and Place
  • Solo, Group and Composition
  • Mastery of Performance Skills
Candidates who have completed the program are expected to have mastered:
  • The development of performance skills through solo music making
  • The development of their compositional skills through exploration and investigation of musical elements
  • The use of appropriate musical language and terminology to describe and reflect their critical understanding of music
  • The development of perceptual skills in response to music
  • The knowledge and understanding of music in relation to time and place

Assessment competencies: 
Demonstrates a development of performance skills through solo and/or ensemble music making
Demonstrates a development of compositional skills through exploration and investigation of musical elements
Writes reflectively and critically using appropriate language, notation and terminology
Participates actively and perceptively in seminars and class discussions using appropriate musical languages

Standards alignment: International Baccalaureate Organization
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Phillip Lenberg, Music teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher 

 

LE BAC: OPTIONS

THÉÂTRE
[2 periods per week]
Develops skills (through exercises) and knowledge (play analysis) in all aspects of theatre in order to understand better the nature of the theater.

The class is divided into two units of study:
Scene Work/Classical Theatre - Individual or Small Group projects
Approaches to Contemporary Theatrical Creation, based on living artists - Group projects

Assessment competencies:
Engagement dans le jeu au sein de la classe
Saisir les enjeux du théâtre
Verbaliser ses émotions esthétiques, et exprimer un jugement personnel argumenté.
Déchiffrer, dans les spectacles vus, un parti pris, le situer, en comprendre les enjeux, les fondements

Standards alignment: Ministère de l’Éducation nationale
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Franck Bessone, Theatre teacher and Michelle Haner, Theatre teacher


ARTS PLASTIQUES
[2 periods per week]

The option Arts Plastiques is a 2-year studio-based curriculum that provides students with opportunities for hands-on activities while learning about different artistic tools and techniques in order to visually communicate ideas through the exploration and development of skills and media. At the end of the program, students are asked to develop a strong, cohesive portfolio of art that reflects on a big idea or theme of their choice.

From high-level conceptual thinking to producing, presenting, and defending tangible artworks, students are exposed to all aspects of the creative cycle. In the process, students also develop communication skills, presenting ideas in front of an examiner at the baccalauréat, supported by the visual products they have created using various art media throughout their projects.


Assessment competencies: 
Shows evidence of sustained experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of art media and art making processes, and written reflections on his/her creative process.
Analyzes and compares artworks from different time periods and cultures, including his/her own, through the use of vocabulary specific to the visual arts.
Produces refined pieces of work reflecting an accomplished resolution of technical skills and synthesis of ideas through the manipulation and refinement of a variety of art media and processes.

Standards alignment: Ministère de l’Éducation nationale
Updated: August 2016
Authors: Barbara Abecassis, Art teacher and Brad Coorman, Head of Arts Department


< back to page list

International High School

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102-5912

Phone: 415.558.2000

Directory Our Locations

An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

powered by finalsite