The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma Programme, for students aged 16 to 19, is a balanced but academically challenging Level 3 programme of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and in life beyond. It is a two year program, first established in the 1960s, and has grown to be the 2nd largest qualification taken by students in the UK. It is an international qualification, which is recognized and welcomed by universities worldwide because of its reputation for rigorous external assessment. The IB diploma is different from other courses of study due to its philosophy of education, which emphasizes the development of the whole student – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. The IB diploma’s learner profile has ten inspirational qualities that all IB learners strive to develop throughout their course. These are to be Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, and Reflective.
This is a course that suits all students who are organised and enthusiastic about learning, and wish to follow a broader curriculum than the A level route. Students study 6 courses, one from each group, and must also satisfy the core requirements. 3 courses are taken at Higher Level and 3 at Standard Level. All courses are described in detail on the following pages.
This is through written examinations in May of the 2nd year of study. These are externally marked, with the grading system based on validity, reliability, and the reaching of a certain standard.
Coursework assessment varies from subject to subject, but on average this is embedded into the course. It can take many forms, from oral exercises for Group 2, to laboratory work for Group 4. Some coursework is internally marked and externally moderated, while other work is externally worked.
The IB is graded out of a possible 45 points, and to gain the Diploma students must score at least 24 points, and complete the core. Students who do not gain the Diploma will gain individual subject accreditations.
Universities commonly make offers to IB students for a certain number of points overall and a certain number of points for the most relevant HL subject. The IB provides both the breadth and depth required by universities, and is a good pre-university qualification. The Russell Group, who represent the UK’s 20 leading universities, can be quoted as follows:
‘The International Baccalaureate is well-established as a qualification... ...Because the IB is not as well known in the UK, this often leads to concerns about its acceptability for university admission. In practice, the vast majority of university Admissions staff have a lot of experience of assessing IB applicants and are more than happy to accept it for university entry purposes. If you are studying for the IB, your choice of higher level subjects will be key to determining the university courses open to you. ... It is less usual for universities to require particular subjects at standard level within the IB although you should always check entry requirements carefully before applying to be certain of this.’ Russell Group ‘Informed Choices’ 2011
For more information
All courses are described in detail on the following pages, but more information from the International Baccalaureate Organisation about its courses can be found by following this link: http://www.ibo.org/recognition/resources/curriculum/. IBSCA, the International Baccalaureate Schools and Colleges Association of the UK, produce a document annually which is designed to compare the IB diploma program and A level courses. This can be found by following the link http://www.ibsca.org.uk/index.php/universities-and-ib.
Students will be expected:
- ·To achieve a minimum of 5 grade Cs at GCSE level or equivalent from a range of subjects, to include English and Maths
- To have a minimum of a grade C at GCSE in any subject they wish to continue. There are some subjects that students may find very difficult unless they have achieved at least a grade B at GCSE and/or taken the higher tier.
- To receive a favourable reference from their previous school or college and obtain the approval of the Headteacher of the Guernsey Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre.
- To have an individual interview to discuss their choice of subjects and future plans
- Where subjects are selected which have not been studied at GCSE, Departments are likely to take into account the grade achieved in Mathematics, Science or English when making their decision.
- Decisions regarding offers will be made using a range of information: predicted GCSE grades, the school reference, the Sixth Form Interview and any information gathered by the relevant Head of Department during the Information Day.
- Appeals may be made to the Headteacher.
Guernsey Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre is a candidate school* for the Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education—that we believe is important for our students.
* Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.
For further information about the IB and its programmes visit http://www.ibo.org.