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  • Academics at Newman

    The middle and high school years are some of the most meaningful, as students explore ideas in great depth, discover their passions, develop relationships, and cultivate a sense of purpose beyond self. 

    From the very beginning of their school experience, our students are engaged in the process of becoming educated adults and global contributors through an enriching learning environment in one of the world’s greatest cities.  

Teacher, The Newman School

I believe there are three elements to being a good teacher: know your subject profoundly well, be continually fascinated by your subjects, and care about your students and their learning.

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  • Explore Our Program

Newman Curriculum

Students at The Newman School can be assured of a robust and engaging academic journey whether they pursue a Newman diploma or the IB Diploma (in addition to a Newman diploma).

Newman Diploma: students take a minimum of five classes in 11th and 12th grades. These can be IB DP courses or a combination of IB DP and non-IB electives. Students can also elect to take part in any/all of the IB Core (see below).

IB Diploma: students take six IB DP classes in 11th and 12th grades. These six classes are taken over two years, resulting in a significant depth of knowledge. At least three of these classes are taken at higher level (HL) and the remainder are taken at standard level (SL). Additionally, students must fulfill the IB DP core, composed of three components, which aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The IB core:
  1. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): students undertake and engage in activities related to each of the three strands.

  2. Extended Essay (EE): an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating with a 4,000-word paper. Students are free to choose the subject of exploration and are paired with a faculty advisor.

  3. Theory of Knowledge (TOK): students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know. TOK meets regularly as a discussion-based class, culminating in a 1,600 word essay.

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  • Course Selection

    IB DP students choose individual classes from each of the six subject groups.
      • Studies in language and literature (English)
      • Language acquisition (Newman offers: French, Latin, and Spanish)
      • Individual and societies (history/humanities/geography)
      • Sciences (biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental sciences, and physics)
      • Mathematics 
      • Arts (film, music, theatre, and visual arts)
  • IB DP Core - three requirements

    Knowledge, we know, is not learned by rote, it is acquired.  The Theory of Knowledge course at the center of Newman’s IB curriculum examines knowledge at its very core.  Together, students and teachers examine the origins and validity of various forms of knowledge.

    Content for the course originates from the subject areas the students are learning as well as their own personal beliefs.  Art, history, science and math – we interweave knowledge from all its sources, contemplating moral, ethical and scientific questions within the context of the world today.

    The process is critical reflection on what the student claims to know and what is professed as knowledge by others. Students of different cultural backgrounds are encouraged to compare and contrast their diverse attitudes and perceptions. With this focus on inquiry, there may not be right or wrong answers, but there are standards for judgement and defenses of knowledge claims.

    • Students develop a critical capacity to consider and understand the importance of evaluating knowledge claims
    • Students learn to be aware of subjective and ideological biases
    • Students develop a concern for rigor in formulating knowledge claims, and intellectual honesty
    • Students make connections between personal experience and Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge through linking questions
    • Students demonstrate an understanding of the influence that personal views, judgements and beliefs have on their own knowledge
    • Students can use oral and written language to communicate ideas clearly and appropriately
    • Students demonstrate an understanding of knowledge at work in the world

    EE is an independent piece of research, culminating with a 4,000-word paper.

    • practical preparation for undergraduate research
    • an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of personal interest to them, which relates to one of the student's six DP subjects, or takes the interdisciplinary approach of a World Studies extended essay.
    Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:
    • formulating an appropriate research question
    • engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
    • communicating ideas
    • developing an argument. 
    Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.

    Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) is at the heart of The Newman School’s IB Diploma Program. 

    CREATIVITY: Experiences that encompass original thinking, including artistic activities and other learning and teaching experiences.

    Experiences that contribute to a healthy lifestyle through participation in individual / team sports, as well as any other activity which focuses on physical exertion. 

    Experiences that involve interactions with individuals or groups, which provide benefits to the community. These experiences should not only involve contributions to others, but also with others, while developing a deep commitment. 

    Development of Character, Mind and Body
    Creativity, Activity, and Service enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Program. Both challenging and enjoyable, the program is a personal journey of student self discovery. Each individual student has a different starting point, and therefore different goals and needs, but for many their CAS activities include experiences that are profound and life changing.
    For student development to occur, CAS Should Involve:
    • Real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes
    • A personal challenge—tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope
    • Thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting
    • Reflection on outcomes and personal learning

  • IB Learner's Profile

    Students are encouraged to embrace the values inherent in IB’s curriculum. The Learner Profile presents a set of ideals that can position one for success and spiritual well being in our global village.
    IB Profile
  • What to Expect

    A student who decides to participate in the IB Program, as a Diploma candidate or as an IB Courses candidate, can expect to:
    • Be challenged to work hard to improve themselves
    • Approach tasks with a sense of purpose
    • Demonstrate self-discipline and responsibility
    • Learn from fellow students as well as teachers
    • Seek assistance, and give it, without hesitation
    • Be open to constructive feedback
    • View adversity and challenge as an opportunity
    • Share with, and contribute to, the community
    IB students should expect to be educated, amused, curious, delighted, and at times disappointed and frustrated. If the student has the motivation, an IB Diploma or Course Certificate is a realistic goal. Students learn to grapple with adversity and understand the privilege of pressure.

Course Offerings

Adam, The Newman School, Babson College

I started my college career a step ahead of other members of my class in terms of independent work and organization.  This is how Newman helped me the most.  

The class size and structure gave me a huge advantage in college, where courses are a lot less structured and more research oriented.
Newman provides opportunity for students from broadly diverse backgrounds to pursue serious studies in a welcoming and supportive environment where self and community are paramount.