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Grade 9 Curriculum

English Language & Literature

In Grade 9 English, students explore literature and language through four units: Drama, Short Stories, Poetry, and The Novel. Students focus on written and oral language skills throughout the year. Assessment takes a variety of forms including essays, presentations, creative tasks and reflections.

German Language & Literature

In German Language & Literature (i.e. Mother Tongue German), students read age–appropriate texts on topics of interest. They read short stories, novels and poetry. They are encouraged to think and discuss their ideas in classroom and in writing. They cover a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures, which they are able to use with ease, flair and creativity when speaking and writing.

German Language Acquisition

Students are grouped according to their proficiency levels, which are structured in Phases. We offer from Phase 1 (beginners) through to Phase 5 (highly proficient). In all Phases, we cover productive language skills (speaking and writing) and receptive language skills (visual interpretation and reading comprehension). The language is taught through topics, which become more demanding as the student's language skills develop.

Personal Development Programme

The Grade 9 Personal Development Programme focuses on Responsibility, Decision-Making and Leadership skills. The students are further challenged to find suitable Service, Learning and Community Engagement projects that can be sustained throughout each term and/or for the entire year. Specific themes are discussed over the course of the year, such as Study, emphasising the importance of goal-setting and time-management; and Health, highlighting the importance of practising good decision-making based on being informed regarding sexual and emotional health-related issues. Behaviour and Ethics explores the risks and rewards of social media as well as encouraging students to foster a positive attitude towards their community. In addition, students engage in sessions that prepare them for their academic future, particularly for Grade 10. Grade 9 Field Week consists of different kinds of trips with varying foci, such as leadership/outdoor education and performing arts.

Spanish Language Acquisition

The course (Phase 3) builds on previous knowledge, applying more sophisticated texts and enabling the students to apply new vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. The students will further develop their communicative skills by covering relevant and meaningful topics.

French Language Aquisition

Students will build on the previous year’s knowledge and read more difficult texts relevant to their age and develop a more sophisticated way of expressing themselves when discussing relevant topics.


Grade 9 students further develop the Mathematics skills and processes learned in Grade 8. Unit titles for this year are Matrices, Algebra, Trigonometry, Statistics and Geometry. Emphasis is placed on problem-solving through the use of investigations two or three times per school year. These are assessed alongside more traditional knowledge and understanding tests. Mathematics is also offered at the Extended Level in Grade 9. Students in Extended Mathematics study the same content areas as those in Standard Mathematics but the content is presented in greater depth and at a higher level of abstraction.


Grade 9 Science focuses on five units of study: Measurement and Uncertainties; The Particulate Nature of Matter and Osmosis, which examines particles, Brownian motion, kinetic theory and movement of water within cells; The Atomic Theory unit, which examines the atom and evidence for sub-atomic particles; The Periodic Table Unit, which focuses on elements, groups, periods and elemental families; and The Nutrition and Genetics Unit, which introduces students to food groups and basic genetics. This culminates in the Vitamin A-Deficient project where students discuss the moral and ethical issues of gene modification. Assessment is through section tests, lab reports, short essays and active in lab experiments.

Individuals & Societies (Humanities)

The Grade 9 Individuals & Societies course focuses on four themes of social and environmental change, and the human responses to them. These themes are:

  • changes in Urban Areas,
  • the causes and results of Demographic Change,
  • the Agrarian and Industrial Revolutions, and
  • developments in Food Production and Slavery and Human Rights; including the Slave Trade and the American Civil War.

The course is directed towards the acquisition of knowledge and language, understanding new concepts and the development of skills in analysis, organisation and appropriate forms of presentation for the topics studied.


Grade 9 Design uses the notion of ‘digital disruption’ as the starting point for teams to create and design products. The design-based thinking is within a ‘business model canvas’; as a result, students will be introduced to business concepts. The course endeavours to foster entrepreneurial thinking within a design framework.

Physical Education

The Grade 9 units vary from traditional Games such as football and racket sports to sports like Ultimate Frisbee as well as a variety of aesthetic activities. The units are geared towards encouraging fitness for life through a conceptual learning approach. The Fitness unit this year will focus on the students designing and producing a fitness programme for an individual with specific needs. They will learn the basic theories behind designing a PFP as well as take part in activities that could be used in different types of fitness programmes.

Visual Arts

In 2D Visual Art, students will research the different aspects of Pop Art, including its influences from, and its effects on, society, and the style of artists such as Warhol and Lichtenstein. In response to this students will create their own compositions in acrylic paint based on symbols of popular culture.

In 3D Visual Art, the students research the work of Claes Oldenburg and his sculptural legacy. By drawing and disassembling a shoe, students gather insight into its structure of components. The sculptural theme goes on to examine the human form, its bone structure, and muscles through observational drawing and measurement to enable the construction of an armature.


Students explore the key concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication and Identity through three units of work: Theatre of the Oppressed, Commedia dell'Arte, and Romeo and Juliet. The year culminates with an inter-disciplinary Visual and Performing Arts Indonesian Puppetry unit. They develop and apply practical performance and composition skills, explore their creativity and learn to respond to their own and others' artwork. Students work as individuals and small groups to explore drama using voice, physicalisation, research, design and technology.


Students explore the key concepts of Aesthetics, Change, Communication and Identity through four units of work: Protest Music, Mash-Ups & Arrangements, Classical Music and Film/TV Music. The year culminates with an inter-disciplinary Visual and Performing Arts Indonesian Puppetry unit. They develop and apply practical performance and composition skills; explore their creativity; and learn to respond to their own and others' artwork. Students work as individuals and small groups to explore music using voice, instruments, music notations, and technology.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is for EAL (English as an Additional Language) students who need to develop their higher academic English language skills and/or study skills. The aims of this course are to extend and develop reading, writing and presentation skills necessary for success at the IB Diploma level. The topics are linked to MYP subject specific curricula.

Learning Support

The Learning Support Programme focuses on the specific skills that will allow students to be successful in their academic performance. Learning Support is provided in all areas of the curriculum, which is tailored to the students’ needs in order to help maximise their learning opportunities in lessons, tests, and assignments.This is to ensure that all learners can achieve their full potential in every class.

Grade 9 Curriculum Guide

You can download the Grade 9 Curriculum Guide here, or read it online below.

ICS Inter-Community School Zurich
Strubenacher 3 | Postfach | 8126 Zumikon | Switzerland
+41 (0)44 919 8300 |
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