IB Diploma Program Curriculum
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP)), first examined in 1968, is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to examinations; it is designed for highly motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19. The programme has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities. The IB has shown, over the course of 30 years, that students are well prepared for university work.
The Diploma Programme’s grading system is criterion referenced: each student’s performance is measured against well-defined levels of achievement consistent from one examination session to the next. Grades reflect attainment of knowledge and skills relative to set standards that are applied equally to all schools.
The programme is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum that generally also allows students to fulfil the requirements of their national or state education systems. The Diploma Programme incorporates the best elements of national systems without being based on any one. Internationally mobile students are able to transfer from one IB school to another, while students who remain closer to home benefit from a highly respected international curriculum.
The programme was born of efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. International educators were motivated by practical considerations but also by an idealistic vision: students should share an academic experience that emphasizes critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view. Today there are equal numbers of students from international schools and state or national systems.
The idealism has remained unchanged, however. The IB’s goal is to provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgment, make wise choices, and respect others in the global community. The Diploma Programme equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education and employment.
Students must complete at least one course from each of the following groups:
• Group 1: English A: Literature or Language and Literature
• Group 2: A modern language studied as a non-native language
• Group 3: Individuals and Societies: History, Geography or Economics
• Group 4: Science: Biology, Chemistry or Physics
• Group 5: Mathematics
• Group 6: Fine Arts: Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, 2nd subject from Groups 1,2,3 or 4
In addition: Theory of Knowledge, CAS, plus an Extended Essay of approximately 4,000 words
• Each of the first six groups score a maximum of seven points
• TOK plus Extended Essay can give up to 3 bonus points
• A student requires a minimum of 24 points to gain the IB Diploma and various other conditions apply
• Students who achieve the IB diploma will automatically receive the IICS High School Diploma.
Although the IB Diploma is a two-year program, IICS will accept students into Grade 12 from both IB and non-IB schools depending on course availability and prior credits. Also, students may pursue an IB certificate option which may satisfy the requirements of the IICS High School Diploma.
Please Note: IICS also gives students the opportunity to study Diploma subjects that the school does not offer, by taking them online through an IB recognized ed-tech company. Diploma students also have the option to study self-taught literature in standard level monitored by our self-taught language coordinator.
The programme has the strengths of a broad curriculum, but with three important additional features:
1. Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
2. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
3. Extended Essay
Theory of Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection, to develop analytical skill built on 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 analyze evidence. TOK is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives.
The course is unique to the International Baccalaureate Organization, which recommends at least 100 hours of teaching time spanning the two years of the Diploma Programme.
Creativity, Action, Service
The IB’s goal is to educate the whole person, to help students become responsible, compassionate citizens. The CAS requirement encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others: students may, for example, participate in theatre of musical productions, sports and community service activities. Students should, through these activities, develop greater awareness of themselves and concern for others, and the ability to work co-operatively with other people.
- Creativity is interpreted broadly. It includes a wide range of arts activities but can also be defined as the creativity students show in designing and implementing service projects or learning a new skill
- Action can include not only participation in individual and team sports but also taking part in expeditions and in local or international projects.
- Service encompasses a host of community and social service activities, such as helping children with special needs, visiting hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and working with refugees or homeless people.
Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest in a 4,000-word research paper. The extended essay requirement acquaints diploma candidates with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities. The IB recommends that a student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay, which may be written in one of 60 subjects. The essay permits students to deepen their understanding of programmes of study, for example by selecting a topic in one of their courses, or adding breadth to their academic experience by electing to write in a discipline not included in their programme choices.
At IICS we value and foster an environment where students maintain a balance between their intellectual and physical growth and development. Along with DP classes, students in 11th and 12th grade can practice engage physical activity when no other classes are scheduled. A PE teacher is always with the students to facilitate those classes and for students to make the most of these moments. Students do not received grades, as PE is optional in grades 11 and 12.
Self-Directed Learning time in the Diploma Program helps students learn how to manage their time and affords them a flexible schedule to use allocate more time on to courses that challenge them, work collaboratively, or conduct more intensive individual research.
IB Diploma Course Subjects
English A (Language & Literature or Literature)
Turkish A (Literature)
Spanish Ab Initio
Environmental Systems Societies
Math Standard Level
Math Higher Level
Theory of Knowledge
*Pamoja, i.e. Mandarin Ab Initio, Business Management, Psychology.
*Language A Literature –Standard Level self-study available as an option in languages we don’t offer.
IICS gives students the opportunity to study Diploma subjects that the school does not offer, by taking them online through an IB recognized ed-tech company. Diploma students also have the option to study self-taught literature in standard level monitored by our self-taught language coordinator.