IB Diploma Programme
Life in the 21st century, in an interconnected, globalised world, requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness. Students who study the International Baccalaureate Programme are provided with the opportunity to develop and practise these essential skills in preparation for their successful entry to a constantly changing world.
What is the IB Diploma Programme?
The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities.
IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level or standard level. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the 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 1 to 5.
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.
The extended essay is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they are studying.
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 and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
Creativity, action, service requires that students actively learn from the experience of doing real tasks beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or do activities related to each one of them separately.
Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.
Park Lane Quality assurance and professional development
Any school wishing to offer the Diploma Programme and attain IB World School status must first go through the authorisation process. The requirements for authorisation are the same for all schools, even though the process is administered slightly differently in each IB region. The process is designed to ensure schools are well prepared to implement the programme successfully.
This is a challenging programme that demands the best from both motivated students and teachers. Schools can access an extensive package of IB professional development for teachers and administrators and commit to ongoing professional development. Schools are required to participate in an ongoing process of review and development, using standards and practices that apply to all IB World Schools.
University Admissions & the IB Diploma
The IB Diploma is fully recognised by prestigious universities across the globe and is preferred by many of the top-ranked universities due to (1) the rigorous nature of the IB approach, (2) the breadth of study involved and (3) the compulsory 'core' element: CAS/ToK/extended essay.
In the Czech Republic, the IBD is officially sanctioned by the Education Ministry and the leading universities accept the diploma as an equivalent to the Czech Maturita provided that home students have studied Czech Language & Literature as a Higher Level A1 IBD course.
At present, university applicants with IB Diplomas need to apply for national equivalency status (as they do in many other countries). However, according to Education Ministry officials, the university application process for IBD applicants is set to become more straightforward in the future, i.e. IBD students will not longer be required to have their qualifications validated by Czech governmental authorities.