The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically rigorous two-year course, aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a matriculation qualification, widely recognised by the world’s leading universities.
There are two pathways in the Diploma Programme, the 'full' Diploma Programme and Diploma Programme Courses.
Full Diploma Programme
The programme comprises six subject areas, three of which are studied at ‘Higher Level’ (HL) and three at ‘Standard Level’ (SL). This ensures both breadth and depth across the curriculum. There is also a core consisting of three separate parts. The programme is illustrated by a circle with the three parts of the core at its centre.
Figure 3: The IB DP Curriculum Model
The distinctive core components of the DP are:
Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
ToK is an interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases, and to develop the ability to analyse evidence expressed in rational arguments. ToK encourages students to become aware of themselves as thinkers and to be critical of the assumptions on which knowledge is based.
Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay is an independent research essay of no more than 4,000 words. This offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest and acquire the skills in research and writing expected at the university level.
Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
CAS is a medium for personal and social development. Participation in CAS encourages students to appreciate life outside of academic pursuits by being involved in artistic and sporting endeavours as well as engaging in principled action within the community. CAS enables students to demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile in real and practical ways, to grow as unique individuals, and to recognise their roles in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment. The DP builds on the skills, concepts and attitudes embedded in the Middle Years Programme. The MYP’s interdisciplinary and conceptual approach to teaching and learning, framed by global contexts, provides an excellent grounding for the DP’s Theory of Knowledge course. The skills developed in the MYP Personal Project serve our students well in the Extended Essay, the major independent research project in the DP. Also, a student’s fulfilment of the MYP’s Community Engagement commitment should provide the fundamental skills and attitudes required for successful participation in CAS.
Diploma Programme Courses
The programme comprises up to six subject areas from the ‘IB DP Curriculum Model’ (see figure 3), these can be at either ‘Higher Level’ (HL) or ‘Standard Level’ (SL). There is no formal requirement to complete the core components. It is aimed at students wanting more flexibility in their diploma programme of study.
Learning Programme - DP
Learning teams (10 min block/day)
The Learning Team teacher will be the centre of the student support system for those students and be supported by a Dean responsible for that year level. Learning Teams will meet each morning for 10 minutes and twice a fortnight for one period. Learning Team time will be devoted to Higher Education Counselling, CAS planning and reflection, Extended Essay preparation, team building, and the development of life skills such as responsible decision-making.
Curriculum coverage The timetable is made up of 80-minute blocks, plus 40 minutes Discovery Time blocks. HL subjects are allocated five blocks and a Discovery Time block per fortnight, and SL subjects four blocks. This means that all students will have some non-contact study blocks. ToK is allocated three blocks per fortnight, and the Learning Team is allocated two, plus two Discovery Time blocks.