The IB Diploma Programme is for students aged 16-19. It is an academically challenging and balanced, two-year programme made up of both internal assessment and final examinations. The IB aims to foster critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness in its students.
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)
Theory of knowledge
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, usually this is related to one of the subjects they are studying in the Diploma.
Theory of Knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different Ways of Knowing (perception, emotion, language, memory, imagination, intuition and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical, historical, religious and indigenous).
The Taught Curriculum
The three core requirements of the Diploma Progamme are reinforced throughout each subject’s syllabus and are used to inform the delivery of the curriculum.
Within each subject, a variety of formative teaching practices and assessment strategies are used to meet the requirements of the syllabus in preparation for the written examinations.
In addition, 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 for 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 highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.
The International Baccalaureate assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of each Diploma course.
Diploma Programme assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills, for example:
analysing and presenting information
evaluating and constructing arguments
solving problems creatively
(www.ibo.org – The Diploma Programme)