The IB Diploma Programme (Grades 11 – 12)
Established in 1968, for students aged 16-19, the DP provides students with a balanced education, facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding.
Through the DP, at IGB International School, we are able to develop students who:
- 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 an international outlook and intercultural skills.
The DP curriculum
The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (ToK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay.
Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.
The three core elements are:
- Theory of knowledge (ToK): students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
- The extended essay (EE): an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
- Creativity, activity, service (CAS): students complete a project related to those three concepts.
The six subject groups are:
- Studies in language and literature
- Language acquisition
- Individuals and societies
- The arts
There are different DP courses within each subject group. At IGBIS, we offer 27 subjects, as follows:
Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level (HL), and the remaining at standard level (SL). At IGBIS, we favour three HL and three SL subjects.
HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level.
Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.
Using external and internal assessment
The IB uses both external and internal assessment in the DP.
Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses. This is because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability.
- structured problems
- short-response questions
- data-response questions
- text-response questions
- case-study questions
- multiple-choice questions – though these are rarely used.
Teacher assessment is also used for most courses. This includes:
- oral work in languages
- fieldwork in geography
- laboratory work in the sciences
- investigations in mathematics
- artistic performances.
Why offer the DP?
International research shows that there are many benefits to choosing the DP over other 16-19 curricula. For example:
- DP students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them, according to one study
- Analysis of DP students in Canada, the UK and the USA found that the DP’s extended essay improves students’ approach to learning in higher education
- 72% of students taking the DP in China attend one of the world’s top 500 universities, according to a 2013 study.
You can read more key facts about the DP on the IBO’s website.