Academics

The SOS-HGIC DISTANCE INTERVENTION PROGRAMME (DIP)

The Distance Intervention Programme (DIP)

The Distance Intervention Programme (DIP) is a learning-support schedule for candidates wishing to enrol in the College from the SOS-Children’s Villages in Africa. In its full form, the programme covers two academic years of English, Mathematics and Science as the main subjects. 

The course content and suggested approaches to its delivery are designed to build on what candidates have learnt within their regular programmes at school in order to meet the demands of the SOS-HGIC entrance examinations. The DIP is not meant to supplant the national curricula of participating countries.

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The programme principles

The DIP,

  • seeks collaboration between SOS-HGIC and the SOS Children’s Villages across Africa. This collaboration is aimed at the effective transfer of students ( ages 13 – 16 years and in Grades 7-9) from the SOS Children’s Villages into year 1 of the IGCSE course in SOS-HGIC;
  • is focussed on continuous preparation and build-up of core knowledge , skills and understandings of candidates on the programme;
  • is based on a process of curriculum continuity which requires DIP teachers to

- know which topics have already been covered in the different subjects

- know what skills and understandings have been well established

- know the pace and style of learning of candidates

  • use the above knowledge to prepare candidates for selection into HGIC in a way that will build their confidence, challenge them and take them forward rapidly once they enrol in the College.

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The process involves

  • each country appointing a contact person or coordinator per Village;
  • designating specific teachers for each subject area per Village;
  • identifying potential candidates for SOS-HGIC at an early stage and supporting them to prepare for HGIC over a period of time;
  • providing an advance list of such candidates (in grades 7 – 9 ) to HGIC;
  • conducting of Baseline Assessments by HGIC for potential candidates;
  • assigning and assessing different types of Module tasks at scheduled stages for candidates in grades 8 and 9;
  • using data from the Baseline Assessments and performance on the module tasks to plan interventions with the help of Teacher Support Materials (TSMs) provided by HGIC and materials from the teachers’ own sources ;
  • candidates doing the module tasks on their own so that progress of individual candidates can be measured meaningfully.

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Timelines

  • In order for the programme to work well, a consistent and workable system is agreed between SOS-HGIC and the SOS Villages. 
  • Where this schedule is not feasible at all for any country, more workable dates are discussed and agreed upon with the HGIC DIP Coordinator.
  • Centres are expected to complete three modules for each level (i.e. Modules 8A, 8B & 8C for candidates in grade 8 and Modules 9A, 9B & 9C for those in Grade 9) within an academic year.

In late March or early April of each year, teams of teachers from HGIC visit various Recruitment Centres to administer entrance tests in English, Mathematics and Science to candidates who successfully completed the DIP. Both the results of the entrance examination and the recruitment teams’ evaluation reports on face-to-face interviews with candidates are used by the College to make admission decisions in May.

Presently, the DIP is run in twenty seven (27) SOS Children’s Villages in 12 countries across Africa. These countries are Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The current HGIC DIP Coordinator is Paul E. Ahiable (Physics Tutor and Director of Boarding).

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Languages

Language Profile

SOS-HGIC has approximately 350 students from about 20 different African countries. A minority originate from further afield, such as the UK or the USA. About two thirds of students are Ghanaian or of Ghanaian origin while one third come from other African countries including Ethiopia and Burundi, where English is not an official language.

A quarter of the student population do not consider English as their best language, while a large proportion of those who claim that English is their best language are not exposed to it all the time. On the other hand, the majority of students speak several of their local languages with various degrees of proficiency.

The majority of staff are Ghanaian and speak one or several local/Ghanaian languages. A minority originate from other African countries or further afield.

Language Philosophy at SOS-HGIC

In keeping with the SOS-HGIC Mission Statement, the SOS-HGIC Language Philosophy celebrates the diversity of cultures and variety of languages spoken by our College community.

The emphasis in language use at SOS-HGIC is deliberately on English in order to facilitate learning in an English-medium curriculum and to further students’ academic career potential. SOS-HGIC recognises that the knowledge and acquisition of other languages not only promotes cognitive growth but is vital to social interactions, both formally and informally, in and out of the classroom, at home and within the international community.

There is a strong link between learning a language and learning about a culture. It is therefore in the spirit of Pan-Africanism and, more generally, the development of international mindedness, that students are encouraged to be proud of their own language and culture and, equally, learn a language other than their own.

Overview of Language Courses

First Language English

The English courses offered at SOS-HGIC are:

  • IGCSE First Language English
  • IGCSE English Literature
  • IBDP English A Literature (HL and SL)
  • IBDP English A Language and Literature (HL and SL).

First Languages other than English

The First Languages courses offered at SOS-HGIC are:

  • IGCSE First Language French
  • IBDP Amharic A Literature (SL)
  • IBDP Swahili A Literature (SL)
  • IBDP French A Language and Literature (SL).

At IB Diploma level, other Language A options may also be offered as School-supported Self-taught Language A if required by students. Somali A and Portuguese A have previously been offered.

Foreign Languages

The Foreign Languages courses offered at SOS-HGIC are:

  • IGCSE Foreign Language French
  • IBDP English B (HL)
  • IBDP French B (HL and SL)
  • IBDP Spanish ab initio (SL)
  • IBDP Swahili B (HL) (a November session examination)
  • IBDP Swahili ab initio (SL).

For more information on Language Use at SOS-HGIC, on language courses offered at IGCSE and IB Diploma level as well as on language support available at the college, please download the Language Policy Draft that can be found below.

Language Policy

 

CAS at SOS-HGIC

With our motto “Knowledge in the Service of Africa”, SOS-Hermann-Gmeiner International College (SOS-HGIC) emphasizes its CAS component not only as an IB programme requirement, but as an integral part of the school’s philosophy.

CAS simply means Creativity Activity Service, and is at the heart of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning, and is organised around the three strands of creativity, activity and service defined as follows:

  • Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance
  • Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle (not necessarily meaning sports)
  • Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need

As a shining beacon of our values, CAS enables students to grow as unique individuals and to recognize their role in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide them with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment, as well as enabling students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways.

CAS in SOS-HGIC dates back to the establishment of the school. By our unique nature as a college built and partially funded by SOS-Kinderdorf International, a charitable, non-profit organisation which provides home and education for abandoned, orphaned and destitute children in many countries in the world, the college from its establishment, emphasized the importance of community service even before we received recognition as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma school. This was to create awareness of the less fortunate in society among our students and to inculcate in them the spirit of giving back to the society.

It was expected that as the students participate in the community service programs, they will acquire the attitude and values that will enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their countries and Africa as a whole.

CAS cuts across the entire college population involving staff and students, as well as parents and other stakeholders. When we try to live our school motto, “Knowledge in the service of Africa”, through CAS, we try to start close to home, so to be able to give as much as possible without being restricted by time and distance.

IB1 CAS Fundraiser

As part of our tradition and the IBDP, each year, our first year IB students raise funds to support our Community Service work with deprived communities in both urban and rural areas close to the school in the following areas:

  •  Water and Sanitation
  •  Literacy
  •  School Library / ICT Facilities
  •  Health Awareness and Screening
  •  ICT Awareness

 Some of the communities and schools we have worked with successfully are:

  •  Kakasunaka, Greater Accra Region
  •  Dedenya, Shai Hills
  •  Mafi Aklamador,
  • Padmore Street School, Community 1, Site 1,
  • Community 8 No. 2 School, Tema
  • MAKAD Community Library, Mampong Akuapem
  • Zoozugu, Tamale.

Thursday CAS programme

As part of our school schedule, CAS in SOS-HGIC runs on Thursdays from 3:15 -5:00 pm. A variable range of CAS opportunities are created for students’ experiences every Thursday afternoon from 3:15 – 5:00 pm. These include:

Art CAS:

Students engage in a range of visual art disciplines including:

  • Pottery/ ceramics
  • Wire weaving
  • Basket weaving

Items produced by students are sold at school events to raise funds for our CAS projects.

Fashion and Accessories:

Students learn beading and macramé techniques to produce jewellery, decorative household items and fashion accessories. Items are sold at school events to raise funds for our CAS projects.

Sewing:

This group focuses on students learning the basic techniques of sewing to produce simple clothing, fashion and home accessories. Items produced by this group are also sold at school events to raise funds for our CAS projects.

Learning Links Literacy and ICT programme:

The Learning Links programme is intended to engage with local communities and schools where students provide support to Primary and Junior High School pupils in areas of literacy and ICT. The schools we currently work with are Padmore Street School, Community 8 No. 2 JHS and Star Community School in Tema. St. Nicholas School, located in Tema New town, has been added to the programme this year. Students, with the guidance of CAS supervisors, devise curriculum materials and lesson plans to meet the varying needs of the school children they work with in these schools

SOS Village Community Service:

As part of our Thursday CAS programme, some SOS-HGIC students visit the SOS-Children’s Village in Tema to interact with the children through games, sports and their academic work. Students are affiliated to the various homes in the village and assist the children who are aged between 4 – 15 years with homework, as well as teach them some basic learning and life skills. The most important aspect of this is the relationship that develops between our students and the children, and the values of care, thoughtfulness and love our students develop through their interaction with them.

Techno CAS Video:

Students in this group develop skills in taking and editing videos and are involved in covering major school events like Christmas Concert, Band in Concert, Careers’ Day, to mention but a few.

Red Cross:

This group ran for the first semester only. Students learnt a range of skills that enabled them to provide medical assistance at major school events including school sporting events, the sponsored walk and annual fundraiser.

Drama:

Students are taught disciplines and techniques in acting through a range of activities and exercises. The group showcases their work during the annual CAS School Play.

Cultural Dance:

Students learn traditional Ghanaian and African dance routines, together with drumming and storytelling. The group normally performs during school events like National Day celebrations and the end of year Speech and Prize Giving Day.

Batik tie & dye:

Students are taught how to produce beautiful fabrics through basic and somewhat complex tie and dye, and batik techniques. Fabrics produced are used for the school choir attire and sold at various school functions to raise funds for our various community service projects

Creative recycling:

This group focuses on converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

Saturday Community Service:

Twice every semester, IB1 students engage in a class wide community service where members offer their support and assistance in cleaning, teaching, etc. to a selected underprivileged community or school.

 

Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is the central academic course of the IB diploma programme and accordingly is offered by all IB students in the school. TOK provides a dedicated opportunity for students and teachers to explore the nature of shared systematic knowledge across the academic field and beyond into the more informal and personal domain.

The bulk of the course is concerned with an examination of the scope, applications, concepts, methods and historical development of various areas of knowledge, such as the natural and human sciences, the arts, mathematics, history and so on, and of how knowledge in these areas is produced by professionals and consumed by the wider public, including students such as those following the IB programme.

This description of TOK indicates how TOK has intimate connections with all other IB subjects, and while many of the issues mentioned here can and should be addressed across the curriculum, it is in TOK that a greater space is created for stepping back from the relentless acquisition of knowledge itself in order to gain a deeper perspective on what it is that the curriculum insists should be learned.

The course starts by exploring the differences and relations between knowledge in the public domain and knowledge of which each of us has taken personal possession. We then proceed to examine a range of attributes that all of us use for knowledge acquisition, such as reason, language, sense perception and imagination, and then look at how the processes that they involve are also paramount in the construction of knowledge in academic disciplines. Those areas of knowledge are treated more broadly in turn throughout most of the rest of the course.

Students are provided with a text that gives them a foundation for the course, and reading and small exercise assignments are set from it preceding the corresponding lesson so that students are prepared for what is to come.

Assessed tasks in TOK fall into two groups. Written assignments are geared to the eventual production of a full-length 1,600-word essay that is marked by an external examiner, and oral assignments build toward a final TOK presentation that is assessed by the teachers and moderated externally. There is also a TOK weekend spent away from the campus that is dedicated to a range of TOK activities, including presentations by students. Semester grades are awarded for TOK on the letter scale from A to E.

Membership of the TOK teaching team varies slightly from year to year, and currently comprises the following teachers:

 

Joyce Dzide-Tei

Aba de Graft-Hanson

John Kamau

Sahlu Kidane

Julian Kitching

Michael Oduro

Keli Tsikata

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