THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAMME
In the IB Diploma Programme pupils study six subjects for two years. The subjects are chosen from the following groups, though not all combinations may be possible because of timetable constraints:
Group One (Language A): Study of Literature (German or English)
Group Two (Second Language): ‘Working’ knowledge of a Foreign Language: French, German, Greek, Spanish, Mandarin and Latin
Group Three (Individuals and Societies): Humanities – Geography, History, Philosophy
Group Four (Experimental Sciences): Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Design Technology
Group Five Mathematics): ‘Analysis and Approaches’ or ‘Applications and Interpretation’
Group Six (The Arts): Visual Arts, Music, Drama or another subject selected from Groups Two – Four
Pupils will take the six subjects, three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. In general, the distinction between taking a subject at Higher Level and a subject at Standard Level is that Higher Level study covers a greater amount of subject content comparable to an A level. Standard Level subjects are as conceptually demanding as Higher Level subjects but contain less content.
The Diploma core involves Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the extended essay and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS).
Theory of Knowledge is taught for approximately one hour a week discretely. It is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience that pupils have gained from the six subject groups and from their activities outside the classroom. It is assessed by a chosen presentation and a 1500 word essay.
The extended essay enables each pupil to research in depth a topic, usually in one of their higher level topics, that is of particular interest to them. This aspect of the IB Diploma instils in pupils the kind of independent research and writing skills required by universities.
Creativity, Action, Service responds to the IB’s conviction that action and reflection are necessary and complementary activities. It requires creativity in the arts, physical exertion and unpaid, voluntary service. The focus is as much on what pupils discover about themselves and the world around them and the spirit in which they undertake the component activities as it is about the level of proficiency that they attain.