Curriculum Overview

Three phases of academic excellence.
Our academic curriculum is divided into three phases: Primary (Grades 5), Middle (Grades 6-10) and Senior (Grades 11+12). Our Primary phase is an immersive introduction to international education characterized by experiential interdisciplinary learning and English language development. In Grades 6-10 we offer the IB Middle Years Programme which is focused on acquiring deep knowledge and understanding through enquiry, and in Grades 11 and 12 our students study the globally recognised and externally assessed IB Diploma Programme.

To know, to question, to share.
At StGIS, Excellence in Education is about inspiring our students to acquire knowledge and develop the skills and personal attributes they need to meet their future goals. Central to excellence in education at StGIS is our learning mantra; to know, to question, to share; which aligns with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile and Approaches to Learning.

"To develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding
and respect."

Primary Phase

Ready to grow.
The aim of the Primary phase is to offer a welcoming introduction to an international education, laying the foundations of curiosity and building the confidence to explore within a caring immersive environment.

The personal touch.
The small class sizes in our Primary Phase ensure that each student is given a very high level of personalised care and attention. Teachers encourage and support our students to develop progressive learning habits that prepares them for a full education. The learning atmosphere is purposeful and inclusive, with every child being nurtured in an ideal learning environment.

Learning to fly.
During this programme we focus on building essential skills and laying a strong foundation of the love of learning. We do this with three key approaches:

– Authentic Assessments: We design meaningful tasks that replicate real-world challenges
– Concepts: We focus on big ideas that have relevance within and across subject areas
– Connecting Subjects: Through interdisciplinary teaching, we allow students to transfer knowledge, concepts and skills across different subject areas.

Focus on the big ideas.

In the Primary Phase, students study under seven subject groups and deepen their learning with a focus on ‘big ideas’, ‘enquiry questions’, and ‘interdisciplinary themes’.

The following subjects are taught in each Primary grade:

  1. English
  2. German
  3. World Studies
  4. Science
  5. Mathematics
  6. Art
  7. Music
  8. Movement and Wellbeing

“Being a Primary student at StGIS has transformed my world – I now see learning in a totally different way and cannot wait to come to school each day!”

Middle Phase

In addition to acquiring new knowledge and skills, our Middle Phase students (Grades 6 to 10) learn how to apply creative, critical and reflective thinking to the world around them. This includes theoretical and practical studies of essential tools that will help them overcome challenges in the future. Developing an intercultural understanding and a global mindset is key in this phase and we strive to ensure that every student is prepared to actively and responsibly participate in our complex and ever changing society. This approach prepares students for a lifetime of learning, both independently and in collaboration with others, no matter which path they choose.

Becoming you.

These school years overlap with a period of significant personal growth when students begin developing a heightened awareness of the self – physically, emotionally, intellectually and ethically. Our curriculum is specially designed for this dynamic period and mirrors the social, emotional and cognitive growth that the students go through. As students grasp complex new concepts, knowledge and skills – they are also empowered to learn about themselves and make sense of their place in the world.

Why the MYP?
The IB Middle Years Programme follows a framework rather than a specific curriculum. This gives us the flexibility to meet the unique needs of the individuals that make up our school community. The MYP is a five-year programme and students who complete this phase are well-prepared to begin the IB Diploma Programme (DP).

For more information, please click here.

Get up close and personal.
The MYP culminates in an independent learning project – the Personal Project. This involves our students being given the freedom to choose a significant personal inquiry as a project, and develop it over the course of their Grade 10 year (their final MYP year), encouraging them to consolidate their learning and reflect on the outcomes of their work.


Reach your potential and discover a life-long love of learning.

Focusing on the big picture.
The MYP Focuses on:

  • Learning to learn: Developing the essential skills needed for learning
  • Concepts: Focusing on big ideas that have relevance within and across different subject areas
  • Global Context: Providing lenses through which students can make observations and connections with the real world
  • Service Learning: Encouraging meaningful action throughout the curriculum
  • Authentic Assessments: Presenting students with real-life challenges and genuine problems.
  • Connecting Subjects: Enabling students to transfer knowledge, concepts and skills across different subject areas through interdisciplinary teaching.)

Powered by a balanced curriculum.
In the Middle Phase, our students study a broad and balanced curriculum within eight subjects groups plus an interdisciplinary unit:

  • Language and Literature (including English and German)
  • Language Acquisition (for example: English, German or Spanish)
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Arts (Music, Art, Drama)
  • Design (which includes both Product and Digital design)
  • Movement and Well-being (Physical and Health Education)

"The Middle Phase at StGIS has helped me grow into a confident independent learner, and I now feel ready for the IB Diploma Programme – it doesn’t scare me anymore thanks to the knowledge and skills I now have!"

© International Baccalaureate Organization, 2019

Senior Phase

St. Gilgen International School is proud to be an IB World School and offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IBDP for Grades 11 and 12 is a rigorous two-year curriculum leading to an IB Diploma or individual IB Diploma course certificates. The IBDP encourages students to become “active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right”.

Live up to your reputation.
The IBDP is widely respected and highly regarded by universities and employers around the world as these students:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • study at least two languages
  • excel in traditional academic subjects
  • explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique Theory of Knowledge course
  • have outstanding research and communication skills as evidenced in the Extended Essay
  • are creative, active and seek meaningful ways to serve those around them both in the local and global context through the CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) programme

Open every door.
The holistic nature of the IBDP is summarised in the DP model. A broad course offering is available at StGIS and provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue nearly all university and career pathways.

"To develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect."

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)​

Go all in.
The IB Diploma Programme consists of:

  • Six subjects: three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level
  • The Extended Essay (EE)– a personal research project of up to 4000 words
  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK) – a practical philosophy course
  • Creativity, Activity and Service – (CAS) – a programme of sports, artistic & cultural activities and voluntary service

The choice is yours.
Our IBDP curriculum is made up of the following choices from the six subject groups. Students must select one subject from each of the first five subject groups. In Group 6, they can either choose an Arts subject or an additional subject from Groups 1-4.  Each subject is offered at both Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL). IB Diploma students must choose three subjects at HL and three at SL.

Group 1
Language and Literature: this is usually the student’s best language, for example; German A Language and Literature or English A Language and Literature Self-Taught Language (e.g. Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, etc.)

Group 2
Language Acquisition: for example; English, French, German and Spanish at either beginner or intermediary/advanced level.

Group 3
Individuals and Societies: for example; Economics, Geography, History or Global Politics

Group 4
Experimental Sciences: for example; Biology, Chemistry or Physics

Group 5
Mathematics: a choice between Applications and Interpretation, or Analysis and Approaches

Group 6
The Arts/Options: for example, Music, Theatre Studies, Visual Arts or an additional option from Groups 1 – 4

The final IB Diploma is scored out of a maximum of 45 points, with each of the six subjects graded from 1-7, and 3 additional bonus points available for EE and ToK. Our students typically excel, with point scores consistently above the world average ensuring entry into elite universities around the world. Please note we do not publicize average scores or other associated details as we strongly believe that success is different for every student and do not define or measure the achievements of our students with just a final number out of 45.

The IBDP Core

Discover your inner core.
A key distinguishing feature of the IB Diploma is the Core requirements; Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Extended Essay (EE). Providing exceptional opportunities for personal growth and development, we are exceptionally proud of the outstanding Core programme at St Gilgen International School. The Core ensures our students flourish by developing self-awareness. 

Question everything.
In the ToK course, the focus on critical thinking means our students are prepared and encouraged to question everything. During the EE journey, our students develop the resilience and discipline needed to complete a formal academic research paper. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our students are encouraged to be mindful, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and commit to community service through CAS, which supports the students in making a positive difference in the world.

“The IB Diploma Programme is challenging, but with the guidance and support I get at StGIS, I am confident I will complete it successfully and be ready to make a difference in this world”

Beyond StGIS

Dream big, dream bold.
We equip every StGIS graduate to go on and ‘live a good life’, but what this means for each and every graduate will be something different. We are confident that the education and experiences they gain from their time at St Gilgen International School will ensure they are ready to make a difference in whatever field they choose and wherever they choose to pursue it. From medicine to law, art to design, politics to journalism, sports to science – whether it’s London, New York, Paris, Seoul or Madrid – our graduates leave us not just qualified, but truly educated and prepared for the modern world.

Grow your own way.
Our graduates follow a broad range of different paths, and some examples of recent destinations can be found below:

  • Harvard University, USA
  • University of Oxford, UK (PPE And Law)
  • New School of the Humanities, London, UK (Philosophy)
  • Bangor University, Wales, UK (Marine biology)
  • Exeter University, UK (International Relations)
  • Graz University Medical School, Austria (Medicine)
  • University of Vienna, Austria (Medicine)
  • St. Andrews University, USA
  • Parsons School of Design, New York, USA (Fashion)
  • Imperial College London, UK (Engineering)
  • Florida State University, USA (Biology)
  • Charles University, Czech Republic
  • Munich Business School, Germany
  • University of Gronigen, the Netherlands (Chemistry)
  • American University, Paris, France
  • LSE London, UK (Business and Management)
  • Kings College London, (Law)
  • St. Andrews University, Scotland
  • Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Italy
  • Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria


Ready for the next step.
We believe our individualised support is key for ensuring that all our students find the direction that is right for them. In addition to ongoing guidance from our designated Careers and Higher Education Counsellor, we also support students with preparation for various university entrance tests, such as the American SAT/ACTs, LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test, UK), BMAT (Biomedical Admissions Test, UK) and other university entrance requirements. This includes completion of application forms, admission essays and preparation for interviews.

“I graduated from StGIS in 2015 and it really did prepare me for university and my career – not only through the knowledge I acquired in lessons, but also as a result of the many other great opportunities.”