About the International Baccalaureate Program
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university course of studies, leading to examinations that meet the needs of highly motivated secondary school students between the ages of 16 and 19 years. Designed as a comprehensive two-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems, the diploma model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of many.
The Program offers special features in addition to the traditional strengths of a liberal arts curriculum:
Theory of Knowledge
TOK is a required interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection upon the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. TOK challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases, and to develop a personal mode of thought based on analysis of evidence expressed in rational argument. The key element in the IBO's educational philosophy, Theory of Knowledge seeks to develop a coherent approach to learning which transcends and unifies the academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
Creativity, Action, Service
CAS is a fundamental part of the diploma curriculum. The CAS requirement takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to the academic self-absorption some may feel within a demanding school programme. Participation in theatre productions, sports and community service activities encourages young people to share their energies and special talents while developing awareness, concern, and the ability to work cooperatively with others. The goal of educating the whole person and fostering a more compassionate citizenry comes alive in an immediate way when students reach beyond themselves and their books.
Diploma candidates are required to undertake original research and write an extended essay of some 4000 words. This project offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected at university. There are currently 57 subjects, including 36 in the languages area, in which the essay may be written.