The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a challenging two-year curriculum, primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities.
The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts.
Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level. All three parts of the core—extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, activity, service—are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Program.
Theory of knowledge (TOK) course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
The creativity, activity, service (CAS) programme encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering students’ awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.
At the end of the two-year program, students are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject.
In nearly all subjects at least some of the assessment is carried out internally by teachers, who mark individual pieces of work produced as part of a course of study. Examples include oral exercises in language subjects, projects, student portfolios, class presentations, practical laboratory work, mathematical investigations and artistic performances.
Some assessment tasks are conducted and overseen by teachers without the restrictions of examination conditions, but are then marked externally by examiners. Examples include world literature assignments for language A, written assignments for language B, essays for theory of knowledge and extended essays.
The grading system is criterion based (results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student’s position in the overall rank order); validity, reliability and fairness are the watchwords of the Diploma Program’s assessment strategy.