The IB Diploma Programme (Grades 11 – 12)
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, created in 1968, is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education designed for motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19. The programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to over 2000 of the world’s leading universities and preparing them for success in further studies and life beyond. The Diploma Programme’s grading system is criterion-referenced: each student’s performance is measured against well-defined levels of achievement consistent from one examination session to the next.
The programme is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum that is taught through a variety of languages in over 140 countries. The Diploma Programme incorporates the best elements of multiple national systems, without being based on any one. Internationally mobile students are able to transfer from one IB school to another and have few issues moving back into their national systems, if required. Students who remain closer to home benefit from a highly respected international curriculum that offer further opportunities.
The programme was borne of efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. International educators were motivated by practical considerations but also by an idealistic vision: students should share an academic experience that would emphasize critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students.
The programme has the strengths of a traditional and broad curriculum with students studying six academic subjects concurrently, but has the addition of a core component featuring three important and unique features. Students are able to make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the critical thinking based Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course. For their Extended Essay students undertake in-depth and independent research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines, guided by a teacher supervisor and gaining valuable experience in developing an academic research paper at a university level. And by leading and participating in activities that support the Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) aspect of their studies, students enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning.