IB Diploma Programme
OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAMME
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is a two- year academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final external examinations that prepares students aged 16 to 19 for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The Diploma Programme prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:
- Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from 6 subject groups
- Develop the skills and a positive attitude towards learning that will prepare them for higher education
- Study at least two languages and increase their understanding of cultures, including their own
- Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique Theory of Knowledge course
- Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the Extended Essay
- Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through Creativity, Activity & Service
The DP is preceded by the IB’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP). The three programmes are philosophically aligned, each centred on developing attributes of the IB learner profile. The IB continuum is unique because of its academic and personal rigour, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth.
Its focus on international education is achieved by developing citizens of the world in relation to culture, language and learning to live together, building and reinforcing students` sense of identity and cultural awareness and fostering students` recognition and development of universal human values.
DIPLOMA PROGRAMME CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK
The curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups. The six subject groups are:
GROUP1: Studies in language and literature
GROUP2: Language acquisition
IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Student may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 4 (see SUBJECT SELECTIONS).
Bilingual students may wish to take two subjects in group 1 (Studies in Language and Literature), in which case they do not need to take another subject from group 2 (Language Acquisition).
At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level, while the other subjects are taken at standard level. Students can study and take examinations, in English, French or Spanish.
In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Programme features three mandatory, core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills. The three core elements are:
- Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
- The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
- Creativity, activity, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.
The grades awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay (see the DP Programme Matrix - also listed below). Therefore, the highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points (see ASSESSMENT AND GRADING).
The school adopts a, generally, non-selective admissions policy for the IB DP Programme based on the premise that all students stand to benefit by the strong programme and everyone should be allowed to strive to reach their own potential (see ADMISSION TO THE IB PROGRAMME).
The major aim of the IB Diploma at ISA is to help students develop into life-long learners and confident, internationally-minded individuals. Since 1972 ISA has always implemented academic programmes, which provide opportunities and experiences that develop the whole individual. The introduction of the IB Diploma in 2000 simply reinforced many of the features, which the academic programmes at ISA were already designed to bring out and nurture in students in order to make them Knowledgeable, Communicators, Positive, Caring, Open-minded, Ethical, Balanced and Reflective individuals.