Integrated educational program

Integrated educational program

Approved by

Board of AEO Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools

Dated on 16 August 2017

Minutes No. 41



AEO “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools” – NIS-Program


Modern school focuses on the interests of an individual, which is characterized by encouraging students to make conscious choices and independent decisions and responsibly participate in social life. These circumstances demand that an innovative model of education should be developed to combine the best traditions of national and global education. Such model is to bring up a highly educated individual, proactive and able to compete internationally. The development of an innovative model requires that a number of steps determining the quality of education should be taken. Those are reinforcing the values, changing the structure and content of education, using active learning methods and effective assessment of student achievements, and establishing a system of relationships.

One of the priorities of the state educational policy in implementing these objectives is the establishment of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (hereinafter referred to as the Intellectual Schools), which aims to ensure a better development of students’ skills and potential. Upper secondary school is aimed to prepare students to study in leading national and foreign universities.

According to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the status of Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and Nazarbayev Fund”, the Intellectual Schools are an experimental platform carrying out the development, monitoring, research, analysis, piloting, and implementation of advanced models of secondary school curricula.

AEO “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools” Educational Program – NIS-Program, developed in collaboration with Cambridge International Examinations, the strategic partner of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools AEO (hereinafter referred to as NIS), is focused on the implementation of Science and Mathematics education.


1.1.            This AEO “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools” Educational Program – NIS-Program (hereinafter referred to as the Educational Program) establishes values and long-term objectives, expected learning outcomes, composition and structure of content of general education, as well as assessment model of students’ learning achievements, requirements for educational process in the Intellectual Schools. The content of this Educational Program covers the content of subjects in accordance with the State Compulsory Educational Standards of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and is compatible to the content of the International GCE AS/A level (Great Britain).

1.2.            The Educational Program is used in the following institutions:

-          the Intellectual schools implement primary, lower and upper secondary programmes aiming at advanced study of Science and Mathematics and the integration of the best national and international educational practices;

-          Center for Educational Programmes develops subject programmes, long-term plans, textbooks and  teaching and learning materials;

-          Center for Pedagogical Measurements provides research, organizational and information technology support for the student and teacher selection procedures, carries out monitoring of educational achievements, final certification of NIS graduates, quality assurance of educational services, assessment of trainers and teachers’ work at CoE professional development courses;

-          Center of Excellence performs the professional development and retraining of NIS teachers.

2.         Regulatory references

For the purposes of the Educational Program, references to the following normative documents are used:

-               The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On education” dated April 9, 2016, No.501-V as amended on July 3, 2017;

-               The law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the Status of Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and Nazarbayev Fund” dated January 19, 2011, No.394-IV LRK;

-               The 2016-2019 State Education Development Programme approved by Presidential Decree No.205 dated March 1, 2016;

-               NIS 2020 Development Strategy approved by NIS Management Board on April 18, 2013.

3.         Basic notions

The Educational Program uses terms and definitions in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On education” and “On the Status of Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and Nazarbayev Fund”. The following terms are used:

NIS stands for Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools Autonomous Educational Organization.

Compulsory education applies to grades 1-10.

Basic content of secondary education is the compulsory content studied in grades 1-10 and sufficient for the student to continue studying at the subsequent stages of education.  

Intellectual Schools are the branches of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools Autonomous Educational Organization, the main activity of which is to organize educational process.

Extracurricular activity is the activity of the participants in educational process of the University and Intellectual Schools aimed at comprehensive development and implementation of individual abilities of students, carried out in the form of learning activities, the list of which is approved by the decision of the relevant school board.

Elective courses are the form of implementation of educational programmes organized according to the student’ interests; the element of variative learning component of the curriculum, aimed to expand students’ training.

AEO "Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools" Educational Program – NIS-Program is a normative conceptual framework document defining the overall approaches to organization of educational process and the content of education in the Intellectual Schools focused on implementation of Science and Mathematics education. This document describes basic principles, rules and conditions of organization of the educational process focused on results.

Subject programme of the Intellectual Schools stand for educational and regulatory document intended for the organization of the educational process on a particular subject. It sets goals, objectives, and expected learning outcomes, the composition and structure of the curriculum content; academic load; approaches to the assessment of students’ achievements.

Long-term and mid-term plans are course plans for a particular subject, aimed to organize educational process within one academic year and one term respectively, which specifies the curriculum objectives, expected outcomes as well as content of sections and topics; the list of teaching materials to organize the educational process.

Short term plan is a lesson plan specifying the teaching objectives (reference for teacher’s activity) and learning objectives (reference for students’ activity), resources and stages of educational process.

Profession oriented teaching is a process of differentiation and individualization of learning, as well as organization of the educational process with due account for the interests, inclinations and abilities of students.

Educational activity is a process of target oriented, pedagogically reasoned and consistent interaction of subjects of education, which involves solving the tasks of learning, development and upbringing of an individual.

Expected learning outcomes stand for a multilevel system of long term and short term educational objectives (learning and upbringing, which are the indicators of students’ development, and which reflect expectations of an individual, society and state. They allow tracing students’ learning achievements in their progress towards overall objectives of education.

Criteria based assessment is a process of correlating the real achievements of students with the expected learning outcomes based on the criteria developed.

Formative assessment is a type of assessment that is carried out in the course of the educational process, provides feedback between the teacher and students and allows for timely correction of teaching.

Summative assessment is a type of assessment that is carried out after completing the study of units/cross-cutting themes of the subject programmes, or at the end of a particular academic period (term, level of education).

4. General provisions

4.1.The Educational Program is a regulatory conceptual document defining values, objectives of education in the Intellectual Schools, the content of education and overall approaches to organization of the educational process in the Intellectual Schools focused on implementing Science and Mathematics education.

4.2.                This Educational Program is aimed at:

-                implementing the NIS policy on integration of Kazakhstani and international curricula in the area of secondary education;

-                implementing trilingual education in the Intellectual Schools by organizing the educational process in the Kazakh, Russian and English languages;

-                improving the quality of education by establishing a system of objectives presented in the form of expected learning outcomes;

-                combining academic and practical orientation of Science and Mathematics education, particularly in upper secondary school, which provides for the study of scientific research methods and doctrines about methods of cognition;

-                step-by-step increase of subject knowledge and skills to ensure the depth and complexity of subject content, taking into account the age-specific features of students;

-                strengthening the role of pastoral work in the educational process through the creation of favorable conditions and friendly atmosphere to develop an individual;

-                ensuring continuity of pre-school, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary school  and higher education;

-                contributing to the economic and social development of the country by improving the quality of national education.

4.3.                This Educational Program is the basis for the development of:

-                subject programmes for primary, lower and upper secondary school;

-                long-term and mid-term course plans;

-                textbooks and teaching and learning materials;

-                student achievement indicators;

-                professional development programmes for NIS teachers;

-                other documents related to the organization of education in the Intellectual Schools.


5.                      Values and Objectives of education in the Intellectual Schools

5.1. The Educational Program establishes values defining the importance of education. The main point is that they become a leading factor in developing a successful individual raising the quality of their life and environment.  These values, as life guidelines, allow students to become harmoniously developed intellectual persons:

-        RESPECT;






5.2 The stated values are the core of students’ daily activities and are to demonstrate themselves in the ability to:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

-                think critically and creatively to make the right decisions and constructively participate in social life;

-                communicate and creatively use a variety of means to act and work in a team;

-                respect other cultures and opinions to reflect the reality in an objective way;

-                take responsibility, perform active citizenship to carry out their duties to the motherland and contribute to the development of Kazakhstan;       

-         be friendly and caring to treat themselves and others with respect;

-                be ready to learn lifelong to regulate the process of learning independently in any real life situation or career promotion.

5.3. Within the stated values, the objective of establishing the Intellectual Schools is to create an educational environment favorable for the harmonious development of a highly educated, creative individual with a range of universal skills, namely:

-      creative use of knowledge;

-      critical thinking;

-      ability to conduct research;

-      use of ICT;

-      application of communicative methods including language skills;

-      working in a group and individually;

-       problem solving.

These skills allow graduates of the Intellectual Schools to harmoniously combine universal and ethno-cultural values, to demonstrate functional literacy and competitiveness in any real life situation.

6. Educational structure of Intellectual Schools

6.1. The Intellectual Schools carry out educational process at three levels of education:

-                Primary education is carried out in primary school (grades 1-5);

-                Basic secondary education is carried out in lower secondary school (grades 6-10);

-                General secondary education is carried out in upper secondary school (grades 11-12).

This structure takes into account the stages of growing up of students, age specific features of cognitive development, as well as positive international experience in organizing the process of education.


6.2.                Primary school (grades 1-5)

The main task of primary school is to ensure the development of initial learning skills and to form propaedeutic knowledge. Primary school creates conditions for the acquisition of knowledge about human, nature and society; development of moral values, intellectual skills and creative abilities; and acquisition of necessary learning skills. Those will form the basis for the further study of environment, awareness of one’s place in the world, and the development of one’s personality and intellect.

The normative period of education is 5 years.  The recommended age is 6-11.

Upon the completion of this level, students will have developed the following:

-               Independence in learning;

-               communication and collaboration skills;

-               basic knowledge in subject areas;

-               basic research skills.

6.3. Lower secondary school (grades 6-10)

The aim of lower secondary school is to create conditions for students to complete basic education, choose a focus (profile) within the science and mathematics education, and develop independence through the harmonious combination of general learning, projects and research.

The normative period of education is 5 years (grades 6-10).  The recommended age is 12-16.

Upon the completion of this level, students will have developed the following:

-               basic knowledge and skills required to study in upper secondary school;

-               research skills;

-               creative and critical thinking skills;

-               information and communication skills;

-               experimental activity skills;

-               academic writing and presentation skills;

-               independent work and team work skills.

6.4. Upper secondary school (Grades 11-12)

The main aim of upper secondary school is to implement profession-oriented education in science and mathematics, and to provide students with academic knowledge necessary to enter higher education institutions. It is upper secondary school that implements more intensive and targeted development of learning, communicative, social, research, and problem-solving skills and abilities. Upper secondary school ensures social, professional and civil self-identification of students.

The normative period of education is 2 years (grades 11-12).  The recommended age is 17-18.

Upon the completion of this level, students will have developed the following:

-                readiness to build up an individual learning path according to their personal interests and skills;

-                skills of obtaining knowledge in the Kazakh, Russian and English languages;

-                ability to enter leading national and foreign higher education institutions;

-                positive motivation to perform lifelong learning, self-development and self-improvement.

7. Expected learning outcomes across educational areas

7.1. Expected learning outcomes form a system of long-term objectives comprising each educational area. The expected outcomes are the planned final “product” of education for all levels of secondary education (primary school, lower secondary school and upper secondary school).

7.2. Expected outcomes are the basis of subject programmes. In subject programmes, these brief expected outcomes are specified as learning objectives for the specific subject, grade, and unit, thus forming a multi-level system of learning objectives.

7.3. The system of expected outcomes provides for step-by-step progress towards the long-term learning objectives to be achieved at graduation. In order to achieve them, students need to achieve the long-term, mid-term and short-term (lesson) outcomes.

7.4. Success in achieving the long-term objectives is characterized by readiness to integrate subject knowledge and competence with life experience in order to make successful decisions in any educational context according to age-specific abilities.

7.5. Expected outcomes are developed taking into account the specifics of each educational area which combines several related subjects.

In general, the content of education in the Intellectual Schools includes 6 educational areas which serve as the compulsory components of functionally complete education, i.e. Language and Literature, Mathematics and Computer Science, Natural Sciences, Person and Society, Arts, Physical Education.

7.6. Expected learning outcomes in educational area Language and Literature.


-                has the skills of speaking and writing in the Kazakh, Russian and English languages, uses language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) to obtain, choose, process and transfer necessary information according to the stated objectives as well as to solve problems;

-                expresses thoughts and ideas creatively in speaking and writing in the three languages according to the given context, both in the educational process and in everyday life;

-                develops communicative skills in order to communicate in any real life situations, to express their personal emotional and values-based attitude to social reality;

-                is aware of the importance of language as an instrument of cognition, and as a tool for reasoning their position in solving various problems;

-                appreciates the national and world literature, as a part of the world’s cultural heritage, and considers it the basis for their personal development and improvement.

7.7. Expected learning outcomes in educational area Mathematics and Computer Science.


-                is able to use mathematical language, laws, regularities, terms and notions to acquire knowledge about the environment and adequately interact with it;

-                is able to use different forms of presenting mathematical information correctly (formulae, diagrams, tables, schemes, graphs) to justify and make constructive decisions in educational and real life situations;

-                is able to apply, analyse, and transform information to create models of real objects and processes by using information and communication technologies;

-                uses ICT and mathematical language for oral and written communication, including justification of research findings in a given context;

-                systematizes required mathematical data, and selects mathematical procedures (measuring, calculating, reading and drafting tables, diagrams, graphs etc.) to make decisions in a given situation.

-                is able to present quantitative ratios and spatial forms to solve practical tasks in different contexts, to determine the unknown quantity based on the known quantities, to make a classification;

7.8. Expected learning outcomes in educational area Natural Science.


-                is able to use scientific notions, laws of development of the organic world, to determine the cause-effect relationships of processes in living nature to get knowledge of the world and be aware of their place in it;

-                is able to conduct experimental and research work in order to discover the essence of natural phenomena and processes, laws and regularities, as well as their interpretation;

-                orients in information and concepts of natural sciences, knows how to use them to expand their understanding of the scientific picture of the world;

-                is able to recognize the interrelation of changes in the environment, the impact of human activity on ecosystems to make a constructive decision, and to justify the need for nature preservation;

-                projects knowledge of natural sciences into real practice to interact with social reality, taking into account ecological and industrial factors and moral code.


7.9. Expected learning outcomes in educational area Person and Society.


-                is able to use the basic notions, regularities of social development, data on the nature of historical processes and the meaning of historical facts to interpret actual social events and phenomena; 

-                is able to select necessary information and use it to evaluate certain social situations and define the nature of a problem and make a reasoned conclusion; 

-                is able to analyse and evaluate situations of daily social life to critically assess the situation and prove their position, comparing them with moral code;

-                is able to orient in actual social events, demonstrate Patriotism-in-Action and social activism.

7.10. Expected learning outcomes in educational area Arts


-                is able to identify types of art and characterize their distinctive features using special terms and notions;

-                      is able to express their impressions, feelings and emotions in art and music activity;

-                      is able to use knowledge of art to express their attitude to modern trends in cultural sphere;

-                knows how to analyse and discover the value of various artistic and musical works and express their personal attitude to them;

-                appreciates the artistic and musical culture of their nation and world culture as the basis for understanding the cultural heritage and characteristics of each epoch;

-                possesses applied practical skills (modeling, drawing, singing, playing instruments, art craft, design, technology);

-                knows how to identify the main means, methods, ways of fixing visual information;

-                is able to use the tools of manual and computer graphics to display visual information and project proposals.


7.11. Expected learning outcomes in educational area of Physical Education


-                uses different types and forms of sports and recreation activities as basics of hygiene and physical culture;

-                is able to choose and apply recreation methods efficiently to improve physical fitness;

-                systematizes the necessary information from various sources about human health, analyses and uses it objectively to maintain a healthy lifestyle; 

-                        is able to use the rules and methods of interaction in group, team to play team games;

8.      Сontent of education

8.1. The composition and structure of the content of NIS education base on the integration of the basic content of national and international secondary education curricula.

8.2. The content of education is a means of achieving a range of objectives: NIS educational objectives, objectives in educational areas and subject-specific learning objectives.

8.3. In shaping the content of education, NIS focuses on the following:

-           consistency of the volume and structure of content, as well as the continuity of subjects in pace with the age-specific dynamics of development;

-           systematic training in scientific methods of cognition and research and development of creative and critical thinking;

-           cross-curricular integration in the content of education.

8.4. The content of NIS education generally focuses on the in-depth study of science and mathematics as the basis for developing the intellectual potential of an individual. In-depth study of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology is realized through projects and research.

8.5. The content of NIS education implemented within the framework of trilingual education. The objective of the trilingual education is to form a multilingual individual: a citizen of Kazakhstan who speaks three languages, can successfully communicate in various fields, appreciates the culture of their nation, understands and respects the culture of other nations.

The trilingual education is practically implemented as follows: 

1) ensuring level-based learning of the Kazakh, Russian and English languages;

2) teaching subjects in the Kazakh, Russian and English languages;

3) introduction of the Language Immersion Programme as one of the most efficient methods of teaching students the target (Kazakh) language.

Language Immersion is the creation of a learning environment by educational institutions to encourage the student to acquire the target language and use it in communication and learning. The Intellectual Schools implement an early language immersion model (full and partial) in Kazakh language through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The use of language immersion is carried out at parents' discretion.

 Within the full language immersion, Kazakh language becomes both the objective of education and the means to achieve this objective and acquire knowledge of environment. In the first year and half of primary school, students are fully immersed in the Kazakh language, as teaching is carried out in Kazakh. The Russian language is introduced in the second half of grade 2, and English in grade 3. 

8.6. In general, the content of education in the Intellectual Schools includes 6 educational areas as compulsory components of functionally complete education: Language and Literature, Mathematics and Computer Science, Natural Sciences, Person and Society, Arts, and Physical Education. The content of education, that of the academic subjects and various educational areas is built on integration. Thus, the content of Technology is integrated with the content of Arts and Information and Communication Technologies, which belong to different educational areas.

A new subject, Global Perspectives and Project Work, is not included into any of the educational areas, because it is primarily focused on the development of research skills and critical thinking.



Primary school

Lower secondary school

Upper secondary school


Grades 1-5


Grades 6-10

Grades 11-12


6–11 years old


11–16 years old

16–18 years old


Kazakh Language and Literature (L1) / Russian Language and Literature (L1),

Kazakh Language (L2) / Russian Language (L2),

English Language

Kazakh Language (L1), Kazakh Literature / Russian Literature, Kazakh Language and Literature (L2) / Russian Language and Literature (L2),

English Language

Kazakh Language and Literature (L1) / Russian Language and Literature (L1), Kazakh Language and Literature (L2) / Russian Language and Literature (L2),

English Language


Information and Communication Technologies


Computer Science

Mathematics, Computer Science


Natural Science

Biology, Physics

Chemistry, Geography

Biology, Physics

Chemistry, Geography

World Understanding, Self-Cognition


 History of Kazakhstan, World History, Basics of Law, and Self-Cognition

History of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan

in the Modern World), Economics



Global Perspectives and project work



Graphic arts and design

Physical Education

Physical Education

Physical Education


8.7. Compulsory subjects, projects, elective courses, and extracurricular activities are established for all levels of education in Intellectual Schools. The introduction of compulsory projects will develop students’ research, collaboration, presentation and critical thinking skills. The elective subjects are established for upper secondary school, which are studied on standard and advanced levels.

8.8. Content of education in primary school

The content of education in primary school is established in accordance with the new primary school mission, according to which it is necessary not only to teach but also to lay the foundations of students’ spirituality and socially important skills. The content foundation of primary school education aims to develop functional learning skills: reading, writing, counting, logical expression of thoughts, establishment of cause-effect relationships, and development of research and creative skills.

Language and Literature educational area includes Kazakh Language and Literature (L1) / Russian Language and Literature (L1), Kazakh Language (L2) / Russian Language (L2), English Language.

In teaching the first (native) language there is a transition from the traditional study of Kazakh/Russian grammar to the development of students’ communication skills. The integration of Kazakh/Russian languages and Literature is based on the use of literary texts to develop all four language skills (listening, speaking, writing, reading). Upon the completion of primary school, the students have oral skills, initial writing skills and reading skills.

Teaching the second and third language (Russian/Kazakh, depending on the language of instruction in schools, and English) is focused on the organization of level-based language proficiency. The content of education of these subjects is aimed at developing an interest and positive attitude to language learning through playing and learning activities, as well as at forming initial communication skills for sharing information, the ability to work with a text as speech material, understanding the meaning of phrases and expressions and their use in specific situations.


The content of Mathematics and Computer Science educational area is presented in the following subjects: Mathematics, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

The content of Mathematics in primary school is aimed at developing students’ knowledge of basics of mathematical language and spatial intelligence, conducting arithmetic operations, mastering oral and written computational algorithms, calculating numerical expressions, solving tasks with texts, developing common methods of solving tasks, and building logical judgments based on measuring and computing skills.

The main objective of studying ICT in primary school is to develop the skills of using basic ICT tools, as well as to form the ability to search, select, and transfer information and think logically.

Natural Sciences educational area comprises Science.

With the Intellectual Schools specialising in in-depth study of Natural Sciences, the NIS primary school contains a new independent subject, Science. An integrated subject, it will provide a basic level of scientific knowledge within the Human-Nature System. The content of the subject is aimed at developing students’ natural curiosity, research skills, at expanding their horizons about the world, as well as developing scientific understanding and vision of the world. Science is the introductory course in secondary school to study the following subjects: Biology, Physics and Chemistry. 

Person and Society educational area comprises World Understanding and Self-Cognition.

World Understanding is an integrated subject which is focused on providing propaedeutic knowledge within the Person-Society System. This subject covers the basics of the humanities. The subject content aims to form an initial understanding of human history, influence of the past on the present, formation of social order, and relationships in family and society. This subject provides a smooth transition to the study of independent secondary school subjects within the Person and Society area.

Self-Cognition is a key subject that creates the conditions to form moral foundations of students’ personalities, it is aimed at spiritual enhancement, development of natural abilities and creativity of each student.


Arts educational area comprises Arts, which involves an integrated study of music, visual arts and technology. This subject is based on a holistic approach to aesthetic and cultural education.

Education is implemented through a variety of individual and group activities, such as singing, playing instruments, recording, listening to and arranging natural and artificial sounds, drawing, modeling, etc. A close integration of the subject with additional extracurricular activities of artistic and aesthetic character (dancing, visiting theatres, holding clubs, etc.) is implied.

Physical Education educational area is implemented through the physical training course, which aims to develop the skills of health protection and improvement.

8.9. Content of education in secondary school

The content of education in secondary school is determined taking into account the need to complete systematic course of academic subjects in all educational areas. They all contribute to form a system of students’ attitudes, principles, norms of behavior, life skills and communicative competence as a basis for interaction in society.

Language and Literature educational area includes Kazakh Language (L1) / Russian Language (L1), Kazakh Literature / Russian Literature, Kazakh Language and Literature (L2) / Russian Language and Literature (L2), English Language.

The curriculum content of Kazakh and Russian Languages as subjects in the first language (L1) aims to develop students’ communicative skills, ability to use different kinds of speech activities in various situations, to form the competent writing skills and develop academic speaking.

Literature of Native Language is presented as a separate subject. Kazakh Literature and Russian Literature (depending on the language of instruction in school) aim to develop students’ reading skills and give them opportunities to study world literature and culture in order to obtain knowledge and skills contributing to successful social adaption. They develop a holistic view of the world corresponding to the modern development of science and culture, and help students understand the value of literary heritage as an exploration tool and the value of the national literature as a part of the world’s cultural heritage.

The content of Kazakh/Russian Language is focused on the development of interpersonal skills (in the national language and the language of international communication). The content of these subjects is integrated with the literature. Upon completion of secondary school, the students are able to regulate the case-specific language behavior, both in educational and in future professional activities.  Students are ready to use various sources of information and modern information technology to express and justify their own opinions.

The content of English Language is aimed at providing the students with opportunities to communicate in English through interactive exercises involving both formal and informal communication by using oral and written presentations. It helps them understand the main ideas of complex texts on global and academic topics, and develop fluent and literate speech and the ability to express personal opinions. Teaching English in secondary school will ensure achievement of the English proficiency level required to be able to study in upper secondary school and use the English language as a means of acquiring knowledge.

Mathematics and Computer Science educational area in secondary school comprises Mathematics and Computer Science.

The content of Mathematics in secondary school develops mathematical thinking as a means of communication and enables students to solve problem situations based on mathematical models.

Computer Science is focused on the development and adequate use of not only the skills of applying computer technology, but also skills of programming, making individual and collective projects using a variety of software applications to study all subjects.

Natural Science educational area includes Natural Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Geography.

Geography is aimed to form geographical knowledge as a means of obtaining knowledge about the world and interaction with it. This subject content is focused on discovery of the idea of natural diversity of continents and oceans, geographical position of Kazakhstan in the international community, development of skills to work with different maps, use information contained therein to argue and prove viewpoints and approaches in various case studies.

In secondary school, the study of Natural Science completes in grade 6. A parallel study of independent subjects of Biology, Physics and Chemistry begins in grade 7. These will enable students to identify their strengths and interests so that in upper secondary school they would be able choose a set of subjects to specialize in.

Biology aims to reveal the structure and properties of plants and animals; diversity of living organisms; ecological factors and their influence on living organisms; and the relationship between human and natural world; and develop an understanding and awareness of the human’s place in it.

The content of Physics expands students’ scientific knowledge of the world with physical laws and regularities. The cognitive abilities of secondary school students are considered in formation their scientific understanding of matter existence form (substance and field, integration of macro- and micro-world), their interaction and consequence in nature. Using physical tools to develop students’ cognitive skills – observation, experiment, measurement and modelling is provided.

The content of Chemistry provides an opportunity to get sufficient knowledge and understanding of a variety of substances and their transformations, to understand the nature of chemical processes, the meaning of the laws and regularities for their safe use in real life. This subject forms students’ skills to investigate chemical phenomena in nature that are accompanied by critical evaluation of situation, experimental work, data collection and analysis, recording the results of research project.

Person and Society educational area comprises History of Kazakhstan, World History, Basics of Law, and Self-Cognition.

History of Kazakhstan and World History aim to create a learning environment to form a historical picture of the world, to create a desire to adopt the set of moral values developed by humankind over the centuries. These subjects develop historical thinking skills based on the understanding and comprehension of the past, analysis and systematization of learning materials from various sources.

Study of Basics of Law starts in grade 9. The necessity to study this subject in grade 9 arises from two reasons. The first one is to avoid overloading students in grade 10 and to have a reserve time for studying subjects for which an external evaluation will be conducted. The second one is that the compulsory subject of Basics of Law has to be completed in Secondary school. The content of this subject aims to develop students’ understanding of the ideals and values of the society, such as human rights, democracy, civil society and legal state, separation of powers, law and order. On the basis of this subject and the ability to determine their personal attitude to the events, thus educate social activism and patriotism.

 Self-Cognition aims to develop emotional responsiveness of children, to create the conditions for developing self-respect and self-esteem based on the position of a child and their life experience.

Arts educational area. In secondary school, the integrated study of music, visual art, design and technology is continued taking into account the age-specific cognitive abilities.  The Integrated course is aimed to develop an aesthetic taste and artistic culture based on practice in specific fields of art and creativity.

Physical Education educational area is implemented by a course on physical training, which is aimed at developing students’ motivation to practice a healthy lifestyle in the daily practice.

8.10. Content of education in upper secondary school

The content of upper secondary school is determined in consideration of its main purpose, which is to provide students with pre-university preparation. In this regard, in the content of education a special emphasis is made on social skills and students mobility, on their own interests, perspectives and selection of their future life path. In general, the content of education in upper secondary school is functionally complete as there are subjects from all the six educational areas.

Language and Literature educational area includes Kazakh Language and Literature (L1) / Russian Language and Literature (L1), Kazakh Language and Literature (L2) / Russian Language and Literature (L2), English Language.

The curriculum content of Kazakh Language and Literature (L1) and Russian Language and Literature (L1) provides for understanding of any oral and written communication, drafting texts in various styles and genres, supports conscious choice of language means in accordance with a communication task as well as speaking and writing norms, mastering in-depth understanding and interpretation of literary works of different complexity levels; forming the main aesthetic and theoretical and literary concepts as conditions for full perception, interpretation of literary text. These subjects are aimed at development of ability to have a dialogue with other people and achieve mutual understanding in the process of educational, socially useful, educational and research, creative and other activities.

Kazakh Language and Literature (L2) and Russian Language and Literature (L2)  are focused on developing oral and written communication skills; skills of conscious, fluent, expressive reading, understanding and appreciation of Kazakh, Russian and other cultures.

The curriculum content of English Language develops potential in self-education skills using English language in a variety of subject areas, and gaining experience of project and research work using English language.

Mathematics and Computer Science educational area includes Mathematics and Computer Science.

The content of Mathematics in upper secondary school is focused on the development of mathematical thinking style based on the use of induction and deduction, generalization and concretization, analysis and synthesis, classification and systematization, abstraction and analogy, ability to formulate, reason and prove the statements, application of mathematical concepts, formulas, and expanded spatial representations in drafting layouts, drawings and diagrams in real life. All the above mentioned skills are necessary for success in higher education institutions.

For the purpose of differentiation and providing flexibility and freedom in choosing subject study depth depending on future speciality, Mathematics will be taught under two programmes, 7-hour weekly load and 10-hour weekly load ones.

The 7-hout programme fully covers the content of Algebra and Basic Analysis and Geometry subjects under the natural science and mathematics stream according to the State Compulsory Educational Standard of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The 10-hour one covers a range of supplementary topics to provide students the opportunity to continue study in national and international higher educational institutions on specialties requiring a higher level of mathematical education.

Computer Science is aimed at the acquisition of the following experience: project work, works with different types of information using advanced software tools, as well as development of computer models and their collective implementation.

Students are able to choose to study Computer Science at the standard or advanced level. At the standard level, Computer Science will be studied 3 hours a week in Grade 11 and 1.5 hours a week in Grade 12 (3 hours per week during the first half-year only). The standard level enables students to master the main skills of using information technologies and programming they will need in further higher education by chosen specialization and future career not related to Computer Science.

At advanced level Computer Science is studied with a 6-hour weekly load in Grades 11 and 12. The course is aimed at achievement of A-level. Students who relate their further study with computer science may choose this course.

Natural Science educational area includes Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Geography.

Biology is aimed at forming and developing a scientific worldview and natural scientific thinking, understanding the laws and regularities of phenomena and processes of wildlife existence.  This subject is aimed at building the integrity of perception and understanding the diversity and evolution of flora and fauna, as well as understanding the impact of human activity on the environment. Understanding the relationships and interactions of biological processes, skills to analyze problems of ecosystem disturbance will help the student to apply knowledge and skills in a daily practice.

 Physics is focused on the skills of using physical models of phenomena and processes for understanding the world around and interacting with it, taking into account the environmental, technological and informational factors. Physics is aimed at giving the foundations for a scientific worldview, which implies an in-depth understanding of natural phenomena, as well as forming and developing critical thinking for comprehension of scientific issues in the world.

Chemistry is aimed at developing an understanding of the cause-effect relationships of environmental changes, chemical processes in nature, economic activities, skills of planning an experimental study in a given context and suggesting ways to address them. Experimentation, the foundation of chemistry, develops students’ cognitive activity and analytical skills by creating problem situations and encouraging independent search of solutions. Chemistry develops design skills. Students learn to make a hypothesis, select methods, evaluate risks, draw conclusions, and assess findings and mistakes.

        Geography is aimed at developing the ability to use the informational and conceptual notions of geography to expand one’s understanding of the geographical picture of the world.

Students may choose to study Biology, Physic and Chemistry at the standard and advanced levels.

At the advanced level, two subjects out of Biology, Computer Science, Physics, and Chemistry are studied with a 6-hour weekly load in Grades 11 and 12. The courses are aimed at achievement of A-level. Students may choose any combination of two subjects for the purpose of early profilisation and continuing study at a higher educational institution on chosen specialty.

          At the standard level, one subject out of Biology, Physics, Chemistry, or Geography (one electively) is studied with a 3-hour weekly load in Grades 11 and in the first half-year in Grade 12. Thus, students will have an opportunity to study three subjects of the natural science stream (two at the advanced level and one at the standard level).

Person and Society educational area comprises History of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan in the Modern World), and Economics.

History of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan in the Modern World) is an integrated subject that completes the citizen-forming cycle aimed at developing students' knowledge of historical heritage and development of the modern Kazakhstan in the context of global community. The programme covers the most important aspects of the past and the modern history of the country, as well as bases on the knowledge, skills and abilities formed in the course of studying History of Kazakhstan in lower secondary school. At the same time, the programme includes sections on domestic and foreign policy, social relations, economic and cultural development of modern Kazakhstan, which in turn requires the acquisition of initial knowledge in such disciplines as Political Studies, Sociology, Economics, and Cultural Studies.

This course is aimed to support the understanding and awareness of the responsibility of each citizen for the future development of Kazakhstan and contribution to the further progressive development of the country.

The content of Economics is focused on the development of practical skills based on the ability of properly interpreting social and economic developments at the local, national and global levels through basic understanding of fundamentals of micro and macroeconomics, as well as on the ability to clearly justify the rational decisions requiring knowledge of economic and financial literacy. By studying this subject, students learn to evaluate textual, graphical and numerical data to develop statistical calculating skills to be used in research.

Arts educational area comprises Graphic Arts and Design.

Graphic Arts and Design is an integrated course combining a range of subjects with a view to provide their functions within the context of modern requirements. The main purpose of this subject is familiarization with and learning of the theory of images, gaining knowledge of projection method patterns and graphic modelling, assisting to development of project, creative activities, formation of their graphic skills and culture by traditional and modern means of graphics. This subject develops creativity, provides for polytechnical and functional graphical literacy, familiarizes with the basics of design and guides in choice of future profession.

Physical Education educational area includes Physical Education and Basic Military Training. These subjects are aimed at developing skills of rational applications of health-improving techniques to enhance physical fitness, as well as at forming initial knowledge and skills in basic military training. Physical Education educational area is implemented by a course on physical training, which is aimed at developing students’ motivation to use healthy lifestyle in a daily practice.

8.11. Global Perspectives and Project Work is a subject introduced in upper secondary school. It is focused on the development of skills rather than content knowledge. It covers a wide range of issues that contribute to the development of philosophy and formation of a personal point of view. In Grade 11, students will master skills such as analysis and evaluation of findings, reasons, argumentations and statements; critical analysis and interpretation of the context and proof of the arguments; self-reflection; the ability to effectively present the results of the study. 

8.12. Curriculum implementation in upper secondary school is expected to reduce the number of subjects by giving students the right to choose subjects. Reducing the number of compulsory subjects in upper secondary school contributes to the targeted preparation of students for further study in higher educational institutions.

8.13. Taking students’ individual interests and needs into account, a flexible selection system is proposed at two levels of education. Students independently choose subjects that are important for them and which will be studied at the advanced level and at the standard level. At the advanced level, which is characterized by a larger number of hours than the standard level, students study profession-oriented subjects. At the standard level, students study non-profession-oriented subjects. In this case, some of the selected subjects can be completed in Grade 11. The students may choose 2 subjects to study at the advanced level and 1 subject at the standard level:


*the student who choose the 10-hour Mathematics programme will be released from choosing the subject at the standard level.

** 1 hour will be given in a mandatory manner to team sports in the afternoon.

The model will be implemented from Grade 11 starting from 2017-2018 academic year.

 8.14. The NIS Trilingual Policy approved by NIS Management Board on August 12, 2013 (Minutes No. 44) envisages that in upper secondary school subjects are taught in the Kazakh, English and Russian languages.

The teaching of the History of Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan in the Modern World) and Geography is carried out in the Kazakh language. The integrated literature and language courses (in first and second languages) are taught in the Kazakh and Russian languages, respectively.

Mathematics and Graphic Arts and Design are taught in the first language (Kazakh or Russian), depending on the language of instruction.

The teaching of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, ICT, Economics, and Global Perspectives and Project Work is carried out in English. Elective subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Informatics) are taught in English at both the advanced and the standard level


9. Assessment of students’ achievements

Assessment of students’ achievements is carried out on the basis of criteria-based assessment.

Criteria based assessment is a process of correlating the real achievements of students with the expected learning outcomes based on the criteria developed.

Criteria-based assessment is based on the interrelation of learning and assessment. The results of the сriteria-based assessment are used for effective planning and organization of the educational process.

The system of сriteria-based assessment involves formative assessment and summative assessment.

Formative assessment is carried out continuously. It ensures feedback between the teacher and students and allows for timely correction of teaching.

Summative assessment is carried out after completing the study of units/cross-cutting themes of the subject programmes, or at the end of a particular academic period (term, level of education).


10. Organization of educational process in the Intellectual Schools

10.1. The principle of unity of learning and upbringing is implemented in the educational process of the Intellectual Schools. This principle is based on NIS values and objectives of education and can be traced both in the system of expected learning outcomes at the graduation stage and the multi-level system of learning outcomes across educational areas.  These values and objectives are guiding the daily processes of learning and upbringing in accordance with the common logic of education and thus reveal the meaning of the question “why should one go to school?” Expected learning outcomes define the content basis of both learning and upbringing.

10.2. In the process of education, the issues of upbringing are addressed by the means of each subject (learning leads upbringing). All types of upbringing are aimed at addressing issues of learning and acquiring subjectively new knowledge (upbringing leads learning). Organization of various forms of extracurricular activities in total ensures the implementation of civil and patriotic, spiritual and moral, cultural and aesthetic, and labor education. The whole system of value teaching in the Intellectual Schools (in-school, extracurricular, out-of-school) along with the learning process contributes to the implementation of professional orientation of students, their health improvement, to the development of intellectual abilities and creativity potential of students, to the formation of students’ confidence in their significance in the future of the country and its prosperity. The value teaching system based on partnership relations with the community includes all the cultural and creative activities both in school and outside it.

10.3. In the organization of the educational process, the priority role is given to learning as the main type of students’ activity.  Learning involves the use of interactive teaching methods, which are based on making the students get experience through taking initiative to seek, to be active in discussing the issues, in argumentation of opinion and to make constructive decisions.

Active work of the student both in cognitive and social terms takes place not in isolation, but in interaction with other students and the teacher. A variety of interactive methods, both individually and in various combinations, create conditions for learning in collaboration of all the participants of education avoiding authoritarianism in their relationships.

10.4. Interactive teaching methods as special forms of organization of students’ cognitive activities support acquisition of the learning information in the process of creative search and ensure the success of all participants in achieving the outcomes of collaborative work. As a result the cognitive process moves into a higher form of cooperation and collaboration as each participant contributes to the achievement of the outcome, actively shares knowledge, ideas and methods of activity.

10.5. The use of interactive methods allows turning the instruction into a model of social interaction of students in an actual creative work instead of simple communication in the reproductive learning activities. Interactive methods, conventionally grouped as training, dialogue and reflective ones, can be used creatively by the teacher considering students’ age peculiarities and teaching opportunities of the contentof a particular learning material.

10.6. Ensuring consistency in the development of the project, scientific and research activities of students is one of the basic principles in the organization of educational process in the Intellectual Schools. Students’ abilities, purposefully developed to enable students to carry out projects and scientific research, promote their independence, fulfil their intellectual potential, and motivate students to set their own life goals and choose proper ways to achieve these goals, which do not contradict the moral code. Through the project and research activities, students obtain new knowledge, not only within the compulsory subjects, but also in the organization of their extracurricular activities. This type of students’ activity develops their critical thinking and ability to orient in the  information space. In the course of implementation of projects and research, students construct their knowledge independently, focus the process of scientific cognition on the necessity to get and understand scientific knowledge and key scientific concepts, and accumulate all their knowledge and abilities to solve actual scientific problems.

10.7. The project form of activity involves independent organization of students' activity aimed at achieving the planned results. In this case, in order to implement a project students make a content integration of various subject-specific knowledge and skills, ICT user skills and gained life experience. The project work, as well as the process of obtaining its final product, involves the students’ use of a variety forms of activities, the use of various sources of information, and making responsible choice. In terms of organization, the project activity is carried out in the form of student’s individual work, work in small groups, group projects, and major social projects. In terms of content, the project activity can be either subject-specific or cross-curricular, and focused on the use of both learning and extracurricular material. Projects can be carried out not only in the form of academic project activity, but also in the form of value teaching project activity.

10.8. When studying Science and Mathematics subjects, the students’ project work acquires scientific and research nature, which is evident in lower and upper secondary school. Age-appropriate scientific research becomes a crucial factor when forming general literacy of students. Research allows students to reflect and analyse, to collect and process the facts, to explain and draw conclusions, to understand the ethical aspects of decisions made, and evaluate the significance of the obtained results for people and the environment.

10.9. General literacy of students, formed on the basis of scientific research with the means of Science and Mathematics subjects, is projected by them to any of the studied educational area and type of activity; it is demonstrated in any situation in competent problem-solving. General literacy enables students to understand the personal meaning of education, recognize the positive role of education in their life and the need for education throughout their lives.


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Published: 07 October