Açı Secondary School Diploma program is a four year structure where academic lectures and educational attainments are connected to each other horizontally and vertically and supported by learning experiences. Learning experiences in social responsibility projects, student association, elective courses and school teams are significant learning activities which enhance the implementation of learnings acquired in-class and out-of-class experiences.

The academic program consists of Turkish, Math, Social Studies, Science , English courses as well as French and Spanish. English curriculum is a continuation of the attainments in Primary School and focuses on English Literature. French or Spanish, as a second foreign language, starts in the 6th grade. The learning attainments of the courses are based on National Education Ministry curriculum, but expanded with additional studies based on the student’s accumulation and potential.

It is crucial to examine the academic curricula’ purpose and attainments, explained in these pages, from two intersecting axis; to understand the program as a whole and  its consistency. These two axes are the targeted achievements of all courses as a whole in each grade and the attainments of students in a single specific course over 4 years of education. The thematic approach in primary school is replaced by education attainments and experiences which are getting independent from each other and go in more depth in their respective fields while the scope of learning is also increasing.

The academic program, with all its methods used in education, its learning environment and the activities taking place both inside and outside of the classroom, its evaluation processes and applications, has an overall integrity across all grades.

Curriculum

Açı Secondary School Turkish Department’s philosophy is based on educating thinking, interpreting, questioning and creative individuals. The school has a curriculum which would allow students to express themselves correctly through listening, speaking, reading and writing activities in accordance with the rules of the language and also develop a high level of intellectual skills.

Within this scope, texts selected from outstanding examples of Turkish and world literature are analyzed to help the students acquire cultural and literary elements of the mother tongue. At this stage, the particularly emphasized elements in text analysis studies for our students are; to relate fiction to their daily lives, to be aware of cultural factors and values, to propose solutions to the issues discussed in the text and be aware of their own responsibility towards the world in which they live.

To get them acquire a lifetime reading habit, a reading process under 2 headings, “class novel” and “selective reading”, is carried out. In our corpus, there are novels enriched with factors such that they will arouse curiosity and the students can relate to themselves and develop their imagination with books that have interdisciplinary connections. The reading program which develops communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and presentation skills also promotes students who are responsible for their own learning. The analysis of a novel is made through the projects students prepare by using technology and differentiated learning tools

With “Structured and creative writing” course students develop their written expression skills ans some of them use Açı Magazine, which is an elective course, as a medium to apply all these gained skills. Participation in the contests held on different platforms outside of school also helps our students, who have a passion in writing, to gain different experiences.

Author interviews and excursions planned according to course objectives also support the Turkish program which is carried out in accordance with the Ministry of Education curriculum.

Mathematics course curriculum, of which the attainments are in line with the curriculum of Ministry of Education, is enhanced with activities where daily life issues and concrete materials are used to enhance awareness. When planning these activities, the aim is to get the students use their mathematical skills and develop their understanding, reasoning, problem solving, questioning, critical thinking, analyzing, making generalizations and expressing skills which are vital in their lives.

In the Mathematics curriculum, instead of directly teaching topics and concepts, a learning environment is created for the students to explore a new topic through their knowledge and skills. To this end, questions such as; “Why?”, “How did you find this result?” and “What other solutions are there?” lead students to think, analyze and interpret.

Mathematics curriculum uses various technological tools so that students can understand and interpret different disciplines and add value to their lives.

The students interested in Mathematics are supported by elective courses they can choose to participate, such as Mind and Brain Teaser Games, Go, and Chess, through which they can develop thinking skills and obtain experience by participating in national and international competitions.

Within the scope of Science course, the lesson planning is supported by STEM projects consisting of merging basically science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. With this program it is aimed to enhance the development of curiosity, learning through experiments, creativity, critical thinking, cooperation skills as well as making connections between the natural events around them and their daily lives.

Science curriculum enriches learning by; extracurricular activities such as excursions, observations and interviews. Interdisciplinary studies in education at all levels serve to ensure that learning is permanent and the local and out-of-town trips support this goal. In addition to the academic activities, students are encouraged to participate in national and international science projects and competitions. Edinburgh Science Festival and TÜBİTAK Research Project can be given as examples.

Science literacy is supported by clubs; such as Science Club, Science Kitchen and Ecoschool where interested students can choose to participate and have a chance to experiment their learnings in different areas.

Our curriculum’s attainments are in line with Ministry of Education’s curriculum program and it is further enriched by the use of the related education technologies.

The purpose of the Social Studies in Açı Secondary School is help the students understand himself, his family, his country and the world; see the pros and cons by comparing different cultures with his culture; become an exploring, questioning, sensitive individuals.

The subjects of the Ministry of Education are planned with student focus such that they can question and research. Students are given the opportunity to do research about the attainments by using computer and tablet applications, the library and other learning materials and then present the research findings to their friends.

One of the tools that support the student learning is local and out-of-city school excursions. These excursions allow students to learn in depth what they study in the class.

It is expected that the students would be able to apply this information to their social lives, besides reaching academic goals.

Our English curriculum gives the students the opportunity to internalize the values and to develop language skills within a positive learning environment. The academic curriculum aims to improve students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through interdisciplinary links. This program targets students to become individuals who are critical, creative, highly motivated, independent and  collaborative and have sound presentation skills. Through various applications, it is expected that students take well accepted examples from different literary genre in the world, understand and analyze thems making also connections to their lives to enrich their the cultural and intellectual knowledge. In addition to the academic curriculum, elective courses such as DI (Destination imagination) and Global Connections are offered. Moreover, the Language Weeks, the collaborative projects conducted in two languages, namely Turkish and English, the social responsibility projects, Açı TV, Açı Radio type of activities help the students develop their language and life skills.

 

Açı Secondary School Second Foreign Language program embraces the principle of creating a positive learning environment while helping studnets develop 4 skills, namely reading, writing, listening and speaking.

It is aimed that our students would develop listening-comprehension, reading-comprehension, verbal and written expression skills right from the beginning level to the intermediate level on sound foundations. The program also helps students gain knowledge of French and Spanish culture and look at the world they live in from different perspectives.

The program appreciates and supports the efforts of students thanks to its content and implementation methods; and also ensures that they enjoy learning a second foreign language as well as gaining new knowledge with the help of this language. The program hels the students become aware of their individual potential and develop their individual learning skills by setting goals that will constantly lead them to higher levels. The Languages Week, held every year and opportunities such as elective course activities reinforce the students’ learning outside the classroom.

At the end of the 5th grade, our students choose one of the French or Spanish languages. The second foreign language course that begins in the 6th grade continues at Açı High School as well and students who complete the program have advanced language competence. Our second foreign language teaching is also assessed by international measurement instruments such as DELF (French) and DELE (Spanish) in accordance with the CECR, and our students are entitled to receive a diploma with international validity.

ICT

The ICT course which has started in primary school continues as a one hour per week class in secondary school. The foundation of the High School Cambridge IGCSE international program is laid in 5th, 6th and 7th grades. The ICT academic program, based on application, is carried out in the computer lab on various subjects and it aims to use technology correctly and safely.

With an elective course named “Digital Design”, 2 hours a week, motivated and interested students are supported. Apart from these, “Açı Tech” group consisting of proficient students with high ICT skills make studies on technology content, during after-school hours. The aim of this course is to encourage students to explore their capabilities in the technology area and to orient them correctly towards producing a project.

The ICT course attainments are ensured to become permanent through interdisciplinary connections; it is planned parallel to the contents of science and social studies courses. Students produce projects where content is derived from different fields.

8th grade ICT course is planned completely within the framework of the IGCSE-ICT attainments. The 130-hour IGCSE program starts in the 8th grade so that students can take the IGCSE-ICT exam in the 10th grade. Starting from 8th grade, the course contents, applications and evaluations are made entirely based on IGCSE standards. At all grade levels students are supported according to their needs with extra studies and by digital documents which will facilitate their learning.

 

Secondary School Elective-Digital Design

“Digital Design” is an elective course in the scope of secondary school curriculum which interested and skilled students in ICT field, prefer. This 2-hour a week course develops students’ digital creativity, introduces them to new technologies and provides an opportunity to explore their own capabilities. Technology becomes an art.

This curriculum starts in 5th grade and continues until the 8th grade. Digital video, visuals, drawing and 3D design concepts are studied. Students participating in this class learn graphic design with Photoshop and Illustrator which are advanced level Adobe products and digital video design with iMovie and Movie Maker, as well as 3D design with Tinker Cat and SketchUp.

 

Secondary School Extracurricular Activities – Açı Tech

Açı Secondary School 5th, 6th and 7th grade students, who are interested and talented in ICT above the standards and very motivated to work in this area, are selected and guided by the ICT teachers to join this work group. During the after-school studies, students are trained on a regular basis on topics other than the regular and elective courses and realize a project.

Açı Tech students fully work with ICT teachers in their areas of interest and ability. Students develop their proficiencies with projects carried out in fields such as 3D design, graphic design and programming. Students in this group, where new technologies are examined, excursions are made and projects are being developed, also take ICT related responsibilities in the school activities.

Secondary music curriculum aims to raise students as individuals who can recognize different types of music in historical, cultural and social context and show respect for them; can express emotions, thoughts and images created by music with correct terminology; have the opportunity to experience music individually and collectively.

The foundation of correct terminology on the subject of “musical elements” is laid  down on 5th and 6th grades. Studies about different music types and musicians continue at these grades as well. Small class orchestras are formed by matching class instruments with the instruments played by students. In the 7th and 8th grades, the course takes on two paths and it is taught interchangeably, as “Music Culture” and “Music Practices”. In the course of “Music Culture”, the students start to put in a chronological order, many musical pieces, artists and music that they have encountered since primary school, connect them to historical and political events while comparing and analyzing them in terms of location and time. “Music Practices” consists of activities in which the students form small groups and experience making music together with various practices, in the studio environment.

Art

Secondary school art program aims students to grow up as individuals who include art in their daily lives both as audience and as practitioners. Although being an artist is not the target, they would understand art, enjoy watching and joining art activities and establish the habit of going to art exhibitions. The basic knowledge and skills acquired in primary school art program now move to next level in secondary school. Secondary school art program’s general objectives are to obtain knowledge on the selected artists and art movements; to distinguish the differences between art movements; to learn design principles such as balance, contrast, harmony, rhythm, unity and proportion; to find the opportunity to use their imagination in various fields; to develop hand skills and creativity by using different techniques and materials.

Secondary school physical education classes consist of; athleticism, handball, basketball, gymnastics, football, badminton, climbing and volleyball. Healthy living and fitness tests are made during the classes to measure physiological development of students and the body composition values, physical-motor features and development trends of these properties are checked periodically. In the secondary school physical education lessons, it is aimed that the students like sports and take it as a part of their daily lives both as a spectator and as a participant. Our aim is to educate our students as individuals who have a sports culture and enjoys sporting events.

In Açı Schools, measurement and evaluation is carried out with a positive approach to support each student’s self-development, individually. All measurement tools are used to encourage learning and motivate students. Evaluations are aimed at enabling students to think strongly about their own learning and to show them their strengths and needs to develop further by setting targets. According to this goal, the student may always seek help from a teacher for a study program or supplementary study materials.

Another aim of the evaluations is to guide the teachers in assessing the teaching programs and restructuring. Assessment analysis help to determine the areas where learning deficits are found, to investigate the causes, and to decide how to address them.

Attention is taken to ensure that all given measuring instruments comply with the student’s individual capacity and prior knowledge. The initial level of students is determined according to readiness. Measures are taken to ensure that the student reaches the curricular goals, and the evaluations are prepared according to the objectives of the curriculum.

Measurement is never used to threaten the student and under no circumstances the student assessment grades are read aloud in the classroom; they are shared with the student individually. No measuring instrument will be used if there’s no evaluation target. Homework is also included within this scope. All measurement results are recorded in the automation program, using standard coding.