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IB Diploma - approaches to learning

IB Diploma - approaches to learning

The most distinguishing feature of the International Baccalaureate Diploma course is that it is one, holistic Sixth Form programme combining academic study with fully-rounded personal development. The learning programme provides each pupil with a balanced education, designed to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding.

IB Diploma - approaches to learning

A combination of academic study and co-curricular enrichment

The IB Diploma is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education which nonetheless offers an enormously enriching experience for every pupil. The curriculum is made up of the Diploma Core and six subject groups.

Made up of three mandatory components, the Core is designed to broaden pupils’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

Core study

The three core elements are:

  1. Theory of Knowledge (ToK), in which pupils reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
  2. The Extended Essay, an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
  3. Creativity, action, service (CAS), in which pupils complete a project related to those three concepts.

Academic choices

Around the Core, each pupil then chooses six different academic subjects, specialising in three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL).

HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at Higher Level.

Every pupil must take at least three (but not more than four) subjects at Higher Level, and the remaining subjects at Standard Level. In this way, for example, pupils can progress their learning of their chosen subjects in the Arts to a great depth while at the same time not losing touch with other areas of learning, such as science.

Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.

The six different academic areas are:

  1. Studies in Language and Literature
  2. Language acquisition
  3. Individuals and Societies
  4. Sciences
  5. Mathematics
  6. The Arts

Students may opt to study an additional Sciences, Individuals and Societies, or Languages course, instead of a course in The Arts.

There are different courses within each subject group; details concerning the courses and subjects taught at Haileybury can be found here:

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