Secondary School

Shaping the Future – Grades 6 to 12

The FIS Secondary School consists of Grade 6 through to Grade 12. Adolescence is a time for increased independence in learning and preparation for life after secondary school. Our programs and a range of enriching experiences help students develop the skills, dispositions and understandings needed for secondary school success. FIS graduates are well prepared for higher education at universities around the world, and our alumni have achieved success in a variety of careers and endeavors.

Students in Grades 6-10 follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme. The MYP is an academic framework that encourages learners to embrace and understand the connections between traditional disciplines and the world around them, as well as becoming creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The program ensures a solid foundation for students as they move into Grades 11 and 12.

Students in Grades 11 and 12 study courses from a range of IB Diploma Programme course offerings. While all students pursue a FIS High School Diploma, they can choose to pursue the full IB Diploma or to take courses for IB Course Certificates.

All our programs and enriching experiences foster the attributes that the FIS cherishes; namely, the nurturing of international mindedness, respect for all cultures, responsible global citizenship and equipping students with the tools to be a life-long learner. These are core values at the FIS.

A normal Secondary School day runs on weekdays from 8:25 to 15:40.

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

Over the past 25 years, the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) has aimed to develop active learners and internationally-minded young people who can empathize with others and pursue lives of purpose and meaning. This program aligns with the FIS Mission and Vision and empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. Aligning with our strategic plan, the MYP helps students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. Schools choose to offer the MYP because research shows that it gives students the opportunity to build confidence in managing their own learning, to learn by doing, to connect the classroom to the larger world, to consistently have greater success in IB Diploma Programme examinations, and to develop an understanding of global challenges and a commitment to act as responsible citizens. (Adapted from “About the MYP”)

The MYP, that runs from Grades 6 to 10 in Secondary School (MYP 1 to 5), provides sound preparation for students who will be participating in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) in Grades 11 and 12. Every student is also given the opportunity to graduate in Grade 12 with the FIS High School Diploma.

For detailed information about the DP curriculum and courses, please refer to the MYP 4 and 5 Curriculum Booklet 2021/2022.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) comprises eight subject groups:

  • Language acquisition
  • Language and literature
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical and health education
  • Design

The MYP requires at least 50 hours of teaching time for each subject group in each year of the program. In MYP years 4 and 5, students have the option to take courses from six of the eight subject groups within certain limits, to provide greater flexibility in meeting local requirements and individual student learning needs (MYP curriculum).

MYP Recognition in Bavaria

The MYP is recognized by the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle für den Freistaat Bayern as an equivalent to the Mittlerer Schulabschluss, a school graduation awarded at age 16. The authoritative and detailed information on MYP recognition by the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle should be carefully consulted in the following document:

The process of recognition has to be undertaken by the parents/students themselves, on an individual basis, at the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle für den Freistaat Bayern. It is recommended to make initial contact with the Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle by the end of Grade 9, to confirm requirements, process and timeline.

Please note that, as of 2019, the office where IB MYP and Diploma Programme recognitions are received and processed is in Gunzenhausen (formerly in Munich):

Bayerisches Landesamt für Schule
Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle
Stuttgarter Straße 1
91710 Gunzenhausen
Telephone: 09831 / 686 – 252
Email: zast@las.bayern.de

Further details and opening times on their website.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The rigor of the IB Diploma and Certificates is recognized by universities and colleges around the world. Some institutions actively recruit Diploma students. Most universities and colleges have IB recognition criteria published on their websites. Some insist on a Diploma with a minimum of 28 points and/or 5 points, or better, in Higher Level subjects. Prestigious institutions often have higher minimum standards such as 6 or 7 points in Higher Level subjects.

Students who wish to study at Bavarian universities must meet conditions set by the Bavarian Ministry of Education, and their Diploma may be recognized as an equivalent status to the Abitur. The Bavarian Ministry of Education made changes for the recognition of the diploma in April 2019 and 2020 and they can be found below.

The FIS offers the following IB Diploma courses for study. Courses run subject to student demand and timetabling constraints:

Group 1:

  • English A Literature (Standard and Higher Level)
  • English A Language and Literature (Standard and Higher Level)
  • German A Literature (Standard and Higher Level)
  • German A Language and Literature (Standard and Higher Level)
  • School supported Self-taught A Literature (on request)

Group 2:

  • English B, German B and Spanish B (Standard and Higher Level)
  • German ab initio (Standard Level)

Group 3:

  • Business Management (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Geography (Standard and Higher Level)
  • History (Standard and Higher Level)

Group 4:

  • Biology (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Chemistry (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Computer Science (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Physics (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Sports Health and Exercise Science (Standard and Higher Level)

Group 5:

  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Mathematics: Applications and interpretation (Standard Level)

Group 6:

  • Music (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Theatre (Standard and Higher Level)
  • Visual Arts (Standard and Higher Level)

FIS High School Diploma

Every student is given the opportunity to graduate in Grade 12 with the FIS High School Diploma. This diploma is offered in addition to the IB. The IB is an academically challenging program, therefore it is hoped that the FIS High School Diploma will be the minimum requirement with which every student will be graduating.

All students who successfully complete their studies receive a FIS High School Diploma. Credits are earned per semester for grades of 3 or higher in each course taken in Grades 9 to 12.

The minimum requirement for a FIS High School Diploma is 24 units of credit as follows:

  • 4 – English
  • 3 – Mathematics
  • 3 – Humanities
  • 3 – Science
  • 2 – Arts or Design
  • 2 -Physical Education
  • 3 – Additional language
  • 4 – Further credits (Languages, Arts, Design, Humanities, Mathematics, Sciences)

For award of the High School Diploma, students must demonstrate continuous participation in the Service as Action (Grades 9 and 10) and Creativity Activity Service programs (Grades 11 and 12), meeting all stated learning objectives.

Continuous participation in Physical Education is required for graduation.

In High School, an overall minimum 85% attendance level (including excused and unexcused absences) is required for successful graduation and the award of a High School Diploma.

At the exceptional discretion of the Head of School, students who do not meet all of the above criteria, but have nonetheless demonstrated valid academic achievement to the required level in other ways, may be awarded a High School Diploma. In such a case, the Diploma will be supported by an explanatory letter, issued to the student.

The FIS High School Diploma is recognized for entry into a number of American colleges through our accreditation with New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC). It may be recognized for entry into a number of North American colleges and universities, or post-Secondary options in other parts of the world.

Research shows that students learn better in a positive culture that connects them to learning. Having a safe and caring environment, supportive and personalized learning experiences, and personal relationships allow students to develop a connection to the school and optimize educational success. They can also reduce at-risk behavior and minimize discipline problems within the school environment. Adolescents, in particular, are dealing with many challenges physically, emotionally, and cognitively. An Advisory Program can provide the elements necessary to help students develop socially and to succeed academically.

The goal of the Advisory Program at the FIS is personalization. Through an ongoing mentor relationship with a teacher-advisor in a small group setting, students will develop interpersonal skills that will help them cope with the increasing demands of schooling, as well as the more complex social demands of adolescence. Specifically, the purpose of the Advisory Program at the FIS is:

  • To help students identify and build on their strengths
  • To provide developmental guidance, both formal and informal
  • To explore the process of group development
  • To foster communication within the home and school environment, and among members of the school community
  • To encourage supportive peer relationships and practice conflict resolution
  • To promote awareness of diversity and tolerance
  • To embrace service learning both within and outside the school
  • To develop and nurture student leadership
  • To foster a sense of community within the Secondary School

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is experiential education, it is learning from experience. CAS aims at developing the personality of the students, helping them become more active, compassionate and aware citizens than they would have been otherwise. CAS has its genesis in the academic work of David Kolb and Roger Fry and the writings of Kurt Hahn, the renowned German educationalist. Students at the Franconian International School are required to engage in meaningful and global CAS activities in Grades 11 and 12. CAS is not an academic content area and does not mandate a grade, but it is a requirement to graduate.

BOOKBRIDGE – a Core CAS Project at the FIS

BOOKBRIDGE strives for a worldwide balanced access to education, regardless of religious, ethnical or geographic origin. By providing access to books and quality education, we empower people with a sustainable basis to help themselves and therefore break the cycle of poverty. BOOKBRIDGE would not be possible without the exceptional support of our strong partners. The students at the FIS collect and sort all donated books and continue their efforts by traveling to Mongolia to build libraries for the book collections. This is an authentic CAS activity focusing on “Every Book Counts” and together we achieve more.

For information about the BOOKBRIDGE, please visit http://www.bookbridge.org/.

University & Careers

The Career Exploration and University Advising Program at the FIS supports students in developing capacities for career success, as well as direction in determining next steps beyond Grade 12.

Career Exploration

In Grades 9 and 10 students investigate the world of work, identifying personal interests, preferences, motivations, abilities, and talents that influence career choice and success. To aid in this process, the FIS utilizes the Morrisby Profile, which provides students with an interactive, personalized career planning tool.

Morrisby: https://www.morrisby.com/

Grade 10 students embark on a two-week work experience, or practicum, where they step into the world of work to gain experience in potential career fields. In preparation, students research placements, create CVs and LinkedIn profiles, and apply, based on interests.

Developing Global Employment Readiness

The changing global workplace and its accompanying requisite employability skills and traits are key topics addressed within the Career Exploration Program, through Advisory sessions, our annual Career Day, Work Experience, skills-based workshops, and presentations by guest speakers. These topics are also imbedded into the general curriculum.

Higher Education Advising

Applying to university and other educational programs is an exciting and revealing experience that gives students the chance to further examine who they are, what they value, and what direction they would like to take. Navigating this process can at times be complicated and time-consuming, and the FIS provides guidance and support to students and parents as they research, make choices, visit campuses, select, and apply to institutions worldwide.

Managing the Transition

With a view to the transition out of Secondary School, as well as transitions to come, a focus is placed on how to manage the potential personal, social, and cultural challenges of change. It is our aim that students leave the FIS at the end of Grade 12 comfortably equipped with both practical skills and understandings for independent living, as well as an understanding of how “leaving well” is important to a healthy transition emotionally.

The FIS is an SAT test center

Details, study materials and registration through CollegeBoard