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Understanding the Israeli Educational System: The Basics

Senior High School
Senior high school in Israel includes grades 9-12 (tet, yud, yud aleph, and yud bet). Senior high schools fall into the category of independent recognized schools, and are operated by the municipalities or by various national authorities or associations, such as ORT, or by private boards of directors.The Ministry of Education supervises curricula and matriculation examinations, although the subjects considered obligatory vary according to each school's orientation. The subjects common to all students include History, Jewish Studies, Hebrew Language and Literature, Social Sciences, English, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Physical Education.Students may also choose to add on classes in such topics as physics, chemistry, biology, or an additional foreign language.

The structure of the high school curriculum allows students to choose the scope, level, and pace of the subjects that they will study. The students are required to major in a particular subject area starting in the 11th grade. As there is a wide variety in the high school trends, it is difficult to generalize about the atmosphere in Israeli high schools. Students can at times be taking upwards of 10 subjects , which means that they have a considerable breadth of exposure. As a result of the emphasis on field trips and extracurricular activities, students are usually very involved in their schools. A wide range of activities is usually offered in high schools, including clubs, volunteer work, music, sports, films, etc. In addition, every class elects a class committee, and together all of the school's class committees choose representatives for a student council to represent the entire student body. The student council organizes events, publishes the student newspaper, and represents student interests to the administration.
Mandatory Electives
There are some 45 electives from which every student must chose at least one in which he will be tested. At Mosenson the students have pre-choosen subjects for them according to their Hebrew Level
In senior high school, students study subjects from each of the following groups:Mandatory core subjects Mandatory electives Additional electives
Study Levels
High school subjects are all studied at varying “study levels.” A study level is defined by the number of “study units” undertaken for that subject. The number of study units indicates the depth of study of the subject, the level of difficulty at which the student is tested, and the number of hours devoted to that subject. Study levels range from between 1 and 5 study units. One study unit is usually worth 90 classroom hours. This means that subjects that were studied at the level of 5 study units involve at least 450 classroom hours. There are three levels at which subjects may be studied:Elementary: 1-3 units.Intermediate: 4 units.Advanced: 5 units. Each student may choose the level at which he wishes to study and be examined (provided that he fulfills the minimum requirements for each subject). In grade 10 (kita yud), all students at all levels study the mandatory core subjects, while in 11th grade (kita yud aleph) students choose their study tracks in the humanities, science, or technology.
Note: Not all subjects are available as majors at all schools every year.
The grade that is given for a particular subject is a combination of the average grade received on the in-school exams, the final class grade, and State-administered exam (“Bagrut” or Bagruyot”).
Mandatory Subjects
In order to matriculate, high school students are obligated to study the following subjects:Tanach (Bible) – 2 Study UnitsMath – 3 Study UnitsEnglish – 3 Study UnitsLiterature –­ 2 Study UnitsHistory – 2 Study UnitsHebrew Expression – 2 Study UnitsCitizenship – 1 Study Unit Note that a minimum of two study units of Tanach (Bible) is the mandatory requirement in non-religious schools. In religious schools, students are expected to study Tanach at a higher level.Students are entitled to increase the number of study units beyond the minimum requirement for any mandatory subject. In such a case, the student will be tested at a higher level. The system encourages higher level of study in all subjects and grants a higher weighted grade to higher level of study; special bonus points are credited to those undertaking 4 & 5 unit courses of study.