Secondary School

Welcome to the Secondary School

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Secondary School at VIS.

The school has chosen to adopt three International Baccalaureate programmes. In the Secondary School, the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP; Grades 6 -10) provides us with a curricular framework from which to build, not only our students’ knowledge but also their conceptual understandings, which transcend subject boundaries. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme years (grades 11 and 12), provides the best possible preparation for tertiary education. Our students receive significant support and guidance and successfully access universities of choice worldwide.

We are committed to a holistic education for our students. While our curricular programmes are strongly academic, we invest in ensuring the holistic development of all our students. The School has an extensive extra-curricular programme that encompasses sports; music; mathematics competitions; Model United Nations; student publications and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (to name but a few).

All our students participate in Service and Action projects. It is central to an IB education and to the values of VIS that every student should contribute to better the world. This includes projects that improve the lives of others, the environment and society as whole. We aim to educate ethically driven, contributing members of our global community who are empowered to be positive drivers of change in the world.

Vienna International School has strong values that our students understand and respect. We have a strong pastoral team, who support students and parents through any challenges, be they academic or personal. We take a constructive approach to student behaviours that are outside of our expectations.

We know that if the relationship between the home and the school is strong we can successfully work to support students in achieving personal success. We therefore engage parents as partners in the learning journeys of our students and expect that our parents will support the values of the school and its approach to learning, student success and well-being.


Elisabeth Stanners
Secondary School Principal

The Vienna International School prides itself on a very strong and successful arts programme. From music to visual and performing arts, the students have the ability to immerse themselves in the genre that best suits their talent. With highly qualified and dedicated artists and musicians as teachers, the students are able to develop and hone their skills, which allows them express themselves as confident and competent artists. 

Purpose-built facilities at VIS include three digital design laboratories, two product design studios and a fully equipped food design kitchen. Mandatory study in G6-G8 allows students to follow the design cycle to solve open-ended briefs in product design, digital design and food design contexts. These programs assist students to develop skills in the areas of investigating problems, designing creative solutions, planning, creating and evaluating. 

The Physical Education department uses sports and activities as a tool to help every student to become responsible and guide each individual to achieve their own potential and reach success, in any aspect of society. Therefore, PE at VIS is geared to develop three domains: the psychomotor (physical development), cognitive (thinking, reflecting skills) and affective domain (emotions, feelings, attitudes, behaviour). We offer a range of sports and activities to provide students with a contemporary and holistic education. Moreover, all lessons are inquiry-based and are students centred.  We offer a range of sports and activities and teach them in clusters: Striking & fielding (e.g. Softball, cricket), Invasion games (e.g. Ultimate frisbee), Racket/net games (e.g. Badminton/volleyball), creative movement (dance, parkour), and Track & field.

Science is taught with a high level of hands-on practical work aimed at making the subjects both relevant and exciting. We have seven well-equipped laboratories that are fully able to manage the demands of practical science work. The Science Department also makes good use of the surrounding environment and local excursions and field trips to enhance the classroom experiences for students.

Languages

The English curriculum is an exciting and entertaining experience for young people with an aim to expose students to a range of language and literature and to engender a love of writing and highly developed writing skills. In keeping with the IB Middle Years Programme, students experience thematic units based on open-ended questions in which they encounter texts from around the world both ancient and modern. Assessment is continuous and balanced, incorporating tasks written and oral, analytical and creative, formative and summative; all designed to prepare students for success in the IB Diploma Programme. 

The Romance Language Department at VIS offers French and Spanish to all secondary students. Our curriculum aims to construct learning around relevant and authentic situations and develops the four skills speaking, reading, writing and listening.  From G6-G10, we work under the MYP framework, which aims to develop a respect for, and understanding of, other languages and cultures, and is equally designed to equip the students with a skills base to facilitate further language learning. In G11 and G12 we follow the curriculum of the DP program, based around five themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organization and sharing the planet. 

As the language of the host country, German is taught to all secondary students at VIS. We offer courses at all achievement levels in each grade. Our teachers are all native speakers who teach with enthusiasm and passion. Excursions and field trips add to the authentic approach of the teaching and expand the cultural experience of learning German. 

Humanities

Geography is a dynamic subject that is firmly grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies and the physical environment in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions and examines the processes behind them. Geography is distinctive in that it occupies the middle ground between social sciences and natural sciences. At VIS, Geography is part of the IB Middle Years Programme for G6-G10. It is a required course and students take geography in either the first or the second semester, alternating with History. At the IB level, students may elect to take geography at either the standard or higher level. By the end of the course G12 higher and standard level will have covered the core themes of: population in transition; patterns in resource consumption; disparities in development; and environmental sustainability. 

As a social science, economics uses scientific methodologies that include quantitative and qualitative elements. The IB Diploma Programme economics course emphasizes the economic theories of microeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting individuals, firms and markets, and the economic theories of macroeconomics, which deal with economic variables affecting countries, governments and societies. These economic theories are not to be studied in a vacuum—rather, they are to be applied to real-world issues. Prominent among these issues are fluctuations in economic activity, international trade, economic development and environmental sustainability.

The emphasis of History is on building analytical skills, essay writing and knowledge and understanding of the past. The course of study in History is done thematically which enable the students not only to build their historical skills but also to make links to the present and other areas of knowledge. History at the IB diploma level is a popular choice at the school and focuses on Modern European History. 

Psychology is offered as an IB course as a two-year programme at both standard and higher levels. (There is no prior knowledge requirement and psychology is not offered at VIS prior to the IB diploma/certificate level courses).  Students in standard level study the “core” of biological, cognitive, and sociocultural psychology as well as one optional topic (form five prescribed by the IBO) and conduct a simple experimental study that involves replicating published research. At higher level, students complete the same core requirements and study two of the five options, complete a simple experimental study that also involves inferential statistics, and study qualitative research as an additional topic.