High School Diploma (G11-12)

Grades 11 and 12 prepare students for life, university and a career.

Students entering Grade 11 are given the option of enrolling in either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or the High School Diploma. Both programs focus on engaging and challenging students academically along with developing attributes associated with personal well-being and a genuine care and concern for others in the local, national and global community.

The SSIS High School Diploma (HSD) is designed for those students seeking a broader range of subjects than those offered in the IB Diploma and also offers the rigour necessary for university entrance whilst allowing for a more flexible approach to program design.   Students are given the option of enrolling in a selection of year long courses during Grades 11 and 12. To ensure university recognition the HSD has been accredited by both the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of School and Colleges (NEASC).

SSIS is committed to creating a wide range of courses of study that can be combined with a selection of traditional IB Diploma courses. In addition to the school-based courses we have designed, we also make a commitment to providing preparation for HSD students to sit for national exams such as those found in the Korean system or international English language qualifications such as TOEFL and SATs.

Subjects studied

The HSD student begins accumulating credits in Grade 9 and continues until the end of Grade 12. A minimum of 24 credits, and meeting certain criteria, are required to gain the HSD.

Students in the HSD will be given the option of completing two-year IB Diploma courses in certain subjects and achieving a DP Certificate. If HSD students successfully complete one year of a two-year DP course they will be given an academic credit for that course. 

We are very conscious of the necessity for high academic standards but also recognize that a great high school experience must include opportunities for students to participate in a variety of activities. HSD students will also take part in the Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) programme and Health and Wellness. There is also a Careers course that, in addition to CAS and the various extra-curricular activities at SSIS, will help HSD students to enjoy a balanced and productive academic experience.

The following table is an example of the subjects offered for the HSD, which may be supplemented by some of the IB Diploma courses

Subject Area Subjects Offered
Studies in Language and Literature Chinese Language and Literature, English Language and Literature, German Language and Literature, Japanese Literature Studies, Korean Literature Studies
Language Acquisition Chinese B, English B, Mandarin ab initio, Spanish B and Spanish ab initio
Individuals and Societies Asian Studies, Economics, Global Studies
Sciences Biological Science, Computer Science, Food Technology, Environmental Systems and Societies and Physical Science
Mathematics Mathematics, Mathematical Studies
The Arts Music, Visual Art, Graphic Design

*Please note these subject offerings vary on a year-to-year basis and are dependent on student numbers and available teaching resources.

English support

As the HSD is a rigorous pre-university course students are expected to meet specific English language competencies to enter Grade 11 and 12.


The instructional school day runs from 8.20 am to 3.30 pm every day. Classes are divided into 65 minute instructional blocks. A break occurs mid-morning from 10.30 am to 10.50 am. Lunch for Secondary School students is divided into two times; one from 11.55 am to 1.00 pm, and the other from 1.00 pm to 2.05 pm.


The school’s philosophy is that homework should have a purpose. It may be to:

  • reinforce work that is already carried out in the class,
  • prepare students for forthcoming class work,
  • act as a bridge between work that has been done and work that is about to be tackled,
  • practice or revise skills already developed,
  • develop creativity in students where there has been no previous opportunity,
  • occasionally to finish off uncompleted class work.

Careful consideration has been given so that HSD students are not overwhelmed with unmanageable amounts of homework and unreasonable assessment deadlines. An assessment calendar exists for both Grade 11 and 12. A  Student Assistance Team also meets on a regular basis and discusses any support the students require collectively or individually in meeting their academic requirements.

Students are also encouraged to keep a clear record of homework to be completed through the use of a Homework Diary or, should they choose, the use of an electronic means of a calendar / ‘To Do’ list. Homeroom teachers monitor the use of the diary so as to encourage appropriate meaningful usage. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the teachers via the students’ homework diaries or through email.

Assessment & Reporting

Students are assessed continuously in their time in the HSD. This assessment is carried out in a wide variety of ways – including formal tests, end of unit exams, on-going project work, essays, oral presentations, development workbooks, etc. At the end of the two-year programme, students are assessed both internally and externally.

Evidence of student learning is collected and feedback is given to students regularly and to parents through interim and end of semester reports, and Parent Teacher Conferences. Parents and students share the learning journey through Student Portfolios at Student Led Conferences towards the end of the year.


Elicia Mendonca, DP Coordinator,