Introduction to the IB

What is the IB Diploma?

The IB Diploma is a well-established 2 year course of study towards a qualification recognised internationally by universities and employers.

Students study 6 subjects chosen from 6 Areas:

Art, Music, Theatre Humanities Modern Languages
English Mathematics Science

Three or four of these subjects are studied at Higher level, the remainder at Standard level.

In addition, students have the opportunity to personalise their course of study - the Inner Core is student-driven and comprises:

  • The Extended Essay - a 4,000 word in-depth study chosen by the student
  • CAS - Creativity, Action, Service - a mini-Duke of Edinburgh designed to educate the person - students are encouraged to follow sporting and creative activities as well as an element of community service
  • Theory of Knowledge: critical thinking skills
  • All are intended to help develop GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP in the 21st Century

Why would I choose the IB?

It is an integrated programme of study and develops breadth as well as depth.

Is the IB only for high ability students?

No. The IB will be of interest to students who want to maintain a broad range of subjects. A balance of GCSE qualifications is more important than outright ability.

Will the IB give me an advantage when applying for university?

It might do. University admission tutors are very keen on the IB. As an entrance qualification to university it is highly regarded. College average score is 32 points (International average is 29) which is equivalent to ABB at A level.

I don't feel I have achieved my potential in maths or languages - should I forget the IB?

Emphatically not - it is possible to study a language (Italian or Spanish as a beginner) and Maths Studies demands a moderate standard of mathematical ability.

What is the point of the Inner Core?

The Extended Essay will prepare you for University Study. CAS is a mini-Duke of Edinburgh award designed to educate the whole person and the Theory of Knowledge aims to develop critical thinking skills and to examine the types of knowledge developed in the different subject areas.

How can I find out more?

For further details of available International Baccalaureate courses please see the links below in the IB Circle or contact the IB Department directly using the form on this page.

Note to all potential IB applicants

If during the course of your IB interview, it is felt that an A Level application would be more appropriate, then the application will, at the student's request, be transferred back to Admissions for processing as an A Level application and a further interview will be arranged.

The IB Learner Profile

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

IB learners strive to be:

Inquirers They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Thinkers They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Communicators They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and to act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Courageous They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced They understand the importance of intellectual, physical, spiritual and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

The IB Diploma Core

Subject Requirements

In order to fulfill the requirements of the IB each student has to follow 6 academic subjects. Every student has to choose one subject from groups 1-5 and their sixth subject can either be drawn from group 6 or if preferred a second language or second science can be chosen.