Close

About the IB

What is an IB education?

The IB continuum of international education for students aged 3 to 19 years old is unique because of its academic and personal rigour. We challenge students to excel in their studies and in their personal development. We aim to inspire a love of learning throughout life that is marked by enthusiasm and empathy. The IB aspires to help schools develop well-rounded students, who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind, are confident in their own identities, make ethical decisions, join with others in celebrating our common humanity and are prepared to apply what they learn in real-world, complex and unpredictable situations.

Approaches to teaching and learning

IB programmes are taught by teachers who explicitly help students learn how to develop the attitudes and skills they need for both academic and personal success.

Approaches to teaching

There are six key pedagogical principles that underpin all IB programmes. Teaching in IB programmes is:

  • based on inquiry
  • focused on conceptual understanding
  • developed in local and global contexts
  • focused on effective teamwork and collaboration differentiated to meet the needs of all learners
  • informed by assessment (formative and summative).

Approaches to learning

This area covers essential skills that include skills of behaviour and emotional management, skills that allow the student to monitor their own effectiveness in their learning and skills that allow them to process information effectively (often called “study skills” in a school environment). Although these skills may be in use when developing a certain natural ability or talent, they are different from both ability and talent themselves because proficiency in any skill can be increased through the deliberate use of techniques and strategies, feedback and challenge. Skills are therefore highly teachable.

Teaching and learning in the Diploma Programme therefore incorporates the development of:

  • thinking skills
  • communication skills
  • social skills
  • self-management skills
  • research skills.

Although these are presented as distinct categories, there is some overlap and close connections between them. These categories should be seen as interrelated as well as linking closely with the attributes highlighted in the IB learner profile. IB students work to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. These attributes represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.

What is the IB Diploma Programme (DP)?

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and in life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

The curriculum

DP students must choose one course from each of five subject groups delivering a breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), individuals and societies, the sciences and mathematics. Furthermore, students must also choose either an arts course from the arts group or a second course from one of the other subject groups. DP courses can be taken at higher level or standard level. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while the remaining courses are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours). Students can study and take examinations in English, French or Spanish.

Two courses are classified as interdisciplinary meaning that they satisfy the requirements of more than one subject group:

  • literature and performance (group 1 and group 6)
  • environmental systems and societies (group 3 and group 4)

In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the DP features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.