Advanced Placement Sciences
Science 10 AP is composed of four units; Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Environmental Studies. The grade 10 Science program is designed as a foundation course to prepare students to be successful in one or more of Chemistry 20 AP, Biology 20 AP and/or Physics 20 AP. Assessment that is done in Science 10 AP is identical to that which takes place within the regular Science 10 program. This is to ensure that student marks are not adversely affected as a result of taking Advanced Placement. Enrichment is done in the Chemistry Unit where students are introduced to Stoichiometry. In the Biology Unit, students complete three Advanced Placement inquiry labs. This method of learning ends the listen-to-learn paradigm of the classroom and gives them real and authentic goal challenges to overcome. Inquiry labs will continue in the 20 level Science programs of study.
The AP Biology Program has undergone a recent curriculum framework change. The key concepts and related content that define the revised AP Biology course and exam are organized around four underlying principles called the Big Ideas. The big ideas are evolution, cellular processes, genetics and biological interactions. A more student-directed, inquiry-based lab experience supports the AP Biology course revisions and curricular requirements.
By maintaining an average of 75% or greater in Science 10AP, students may continue in Biology 20AP in second semester. In Grade 11, students enrol in both Biology 35AP for 3 credits, which is accompanied by an optional fieldtrip to the Bamfield Marine Center, and Biology 30AP for 5 credits. By May, students are prepared to write the AP exam, and in June, the Alberta Diploma Examination. Although this requires extra effort in Grade 11, it significantly reduces the course load in Grade 12 for AP students. A field trip to the Bamfield Marine Station on Vancouver Island is part of the Biology 35 AP program.
AP Chemistry is a general introduction to chemical phenomena, with emphasis on problems and methods in Chemistry. The goals of the course are: 1) to introduce students to concepts required for solving problems in Chemistry and understanding chemical reactivity; and 2) to develop analytical and critical thinking skills for potential science majors.
Students who earn a mark of 75% or greater in Science 10AP may register in Chemistry 20 AP. Chemistry 20 AP and 30 AP are full semester programs offered in Grades 11 and 12 respectively. Chemistry 20 AP begins with a microscopic description of the structures of atoms and molecules, including a description of electronic orbitals and their relationship to chemical properties. The properties of gases, liquids, solids and solutions are covered, along with basic equilibria and acids and bases.
The topics covered in Chemistry 30 AP are chemical equilibrium, thermochemistry, electrochemistry, and organic chemistry. This program is completed first semester and students write their Diploma exam in January. During the second semester students enrol in Chemistry 35 AP (3 credits) where they take an in-depth look at thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, equilibria, electrochemistry, and prepare to write the AP exam in May.
The Physics 20/30 program of studies in Albertais a high standard curriculum. Students in this program face the challenges of a number of first year post-secondary physics topics. The AP Physics program works to enrich these topics and deliver the components required by most universities. Physics students are given the option of a couple of AP exams that potentially award them credit for an array of first year Physics courses and prepare them for the vigour and depth of post-secondary studies.
Advanced Placement English
In Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition, highly motivated students are exposed to great literature, and become discerning readers and writers. Students learn to read critically and comprehend some of the finest poetry, drama, novels, short stories and essays written at various historical times. They learn how to discover meaning in literature by being attentive to various techniques and strategies authors use to evoke emotional responses from readers. Students are expected to justify their interpretations by making reference to details and patterns found in the text. Although knowledge of history is not the main goal of this AP course, students should learn about the eras in which the texts are written, enabling them to see an historical work in its original context as well as in the context of contemporary human experience.
Students begin the Advanced Placement curriculum in their grade 10 year. Archetypes found in literature are the basis for the English 10-1 AP course. Students will be given opportunities to write both critically and creatively through various forms of text creation. In their grade 11 year, English 20-1 AP students will learn to recognize prominent characteristics of style, tone and diction. In their grade 12 year, a major component of the English 30-1 AP course will be to use their knowledge to not only analyze various writers’ styles, but also to refine their responding skills in preparation for both the Advanced Placement exam and the Provincial Diploma exam.
In essence, when students successfully complete the AP exam in May, they can qualify for up to one year’s credit in English at select colleges and universities.
Advanced Placement Social Studies
AP European History focuses on understandings equivalent to those in a university level introductory course. Emphasis is on the general narrative of European history from 1450 to the present time. The study includes an examination of the political and diplomatic, intellectual and cultural, and social and economic history of Europe. Students evaluate historical materials to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented by historical research, describe the social, intellectual and political modernization of Europe’s changing position in the world, and analyze themes in modern European history. Social 10-1 AP plays an integral role setting the stage in preparation for Social 20-1 AP. In Grade 11, students are enrolled in a full-year Social 20/30 AP course. The two levels of Social Studies are blended so students can complete the AP curriculum and prepare for both the AP exam in May and the Alberta Diploma in June.
Advanced Placement Mathematics
The AP Mathematics program is intended for highly motivated and capable students. It prepares them for post-secondary studies in a mathematics intensive program.
Mathematics 10C AP in Grade 10 covers the objectives of the Mathematics 10C program of studies as outlined by Alberta Learning with some higher level questioning.
Mathematics 20AP in grade 11 covers the objectives outlined by Alberta Learning for Mathematics 20-1 program at an accelerated pace. This provides time for additional topics of the Binomial Theorem, Radical Functions and Function Operation to be covered.
The program continues with Mathematics 30 AP and 31 AP Calculus (AB) in grade 12 and culminates in the Advanced Placement Calculus AB exam in May. The AP Calculus AB course is primarily concerned with developing the student’s understanding of the concepts of calculus and providing experience with its methods and applications.
Advanced Placement Art
AP Studio Art is for highly motivated students who are seriously interested in the study of art. The program demands significant commitment including weekly tutorials offered outside the school day. During these tutorials students work on assigned projects for portfolio development, areas of concentration and complete in-class projects.
In May students submit their portfolio to be reviewed by college, university and secondary school art instructors. Students achieving a favorable grade may be eligible to earn university credit and /or advanced placement while still in high school.
Students who are planning a career in the arts must submit a general portfolio as part of the entrance requirements into art school. This program provides an excellent opportunity to do so under the guidance of the Art Department.
Advanced Placement French
Extended French students who achieve at a level of excellence in the French Language Arts program may choose the AP French Language Arts in their grades 10, 11 and 12 years.
Students enrolled in this program will prepare for an exam that tests their:
- Ability to understand spoken French in various contexts.French vocabulary sufficient
for reading newspaper and magazine articles, literary texts, and other non-technical writings.
- Ability to express themselves in an accurate, coherent, resourceful and fluent manner in both written and spoken French.
Upon completion of the French 20 AP course, students will have completed the requirements in order to write the AP exam. Students may choose to continue working in an enriched environment to prepare for the Alberta Diploma examination in a French 30 Honours course.
Advanced Placement Spanish
The Spanish AP program is intended for students who are interested in developing proficiency and integrating their language skills using authentic materials and sources. Students who enrol in Advanced Placement Spanish should have a basic knowledge of the language and cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples and have attained a reasonable proficiency in using the language.
Spanish 20 AP and 30 AP focus on the understanding of spoken Spanish in various contexts, the development of a strong vocabulary, gaining insight from a variety of written works, the use of Spanish for active communication and the development of the ability to express coherently, resourcefully and fluently in both written and spoken Spanish. The Spanish AP course closely follows the regular stream Spanish course.