Victoria Shanghai Academy

The Written Curriculum

Diploma Programme students study six courses, 3 at higher level and 3 at standard level. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 3 or 4 (social studies or experimental sciences).

In addition the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding:

  • Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom, such as volunteer work, learning a new skill or developing an existing skill.
  • The Extended Essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to a subject of interest to them.
  • Theory of Knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different kinds of knowledge.

The Taught Curriculum

The three core requirements of the Diploma Programme are reinforced throughout each subject’s syllabus and are used to inform the delivery of the curriculum. Published subject guides, subject reports, and stated learning outcomes, all provided by the IB, are used by teachers to plan units of study that ensure success in both internal and external assessments.

The Assessed Curriculum

Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners. The International Baccalaureate assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of each Diploma course.

(www.ibo.org – The Diploma Programme)

Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is the culminating project of the Diploma Programme. It is a 4000 word, independently written, research paper that provides the opportunity for students to explore a personal interest, within one of the academic disciplines they are studying.

Students must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the theories, tools and techniques of a specific discipline explored through a topic of their choice. This provides students with preparation for undergraduate research and an opportunity to demonstrate their enthusiasm and intellectual initiative for a chosen topic.

Diploma Courses (Certificate)

Students may opt to study Diploma courses instead of the full diploma. This gives students more flexibility in the subjects they want to study and the level of study. Students on the certificate programme can take up to 6 subjects, at any level. There is no requirement to complete the core, although some students may opt to do so.

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