The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
“The International Baccalaureate Organisation aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma is an academically challenging programme with a holistic approach to education. It promotes the ‘education of the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth through all domains of knowledge’. (IBO Learner Profile.) The IB Diploma allows entry into the best universities in the world and our alumni are placed in reputable tertiary institutions worldwide. The IBO motto: “Education for a better world’ endorses intercultural understanding, international-mindedness and inculcates respect for others in the global community. The IBO is committed to learner-centred programmes that offer access and inclusion to all learners. In the IBDP, we nurture inquiring attitudes and students are encouraged to be self-regulated, life-long learners.
Choosing subjects in the Diploma Programme
Students choose courses from six subject groups. A full Diploma student typically has three higher level (HL) and three standard level (SL) courses. HL and SL courses differ in scope, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at higher level.
The Diploma Programme Subjects currently offered at Westwood:
Studies in Language and Literature (Group 1)
— Language A: Literature—English HL/SL
Language acquisition (Group 2)
— Language B: French HL/SL
— Language ab initio—French/ Spanish SL
Individuals and Societies (Group 3)
— Business Management HL/SL
— Environmental systems and societies (also group 4) SL
— Geography HL/SL
— History HL/SL
Sciences (Group 4)
— Biology HL/SL
— Chemistry HL/SL
— Environmental systems and societies (also group 3) SL
— Physics HL/SL
Mathematics (Group 5)
— Mathematical studies SL
— Mathematics HL/SL
The Arts (Group 6)
— Visual Arts HL/SL
The Diploma Programme core:
In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the DP features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and provide cohesion and concurrency of learning across all the subject groups. These three components are mandated for full Diploma students. Course candidates may choose any, all or none of these components.
-The Extended Essay is a 4000 word essay that requires students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a focused topic relating to one of the DP subjects.
–Theory of Knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. This course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construct.
–Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) emphasizes helping students to develop their own identities, in accordance with the ethical principles embodied in the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the DP. The three strands of CAS are creativity (exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance), activity (physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle) and service (collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need).
Assessment in the Diploma
The IB uses both external and internal assessment in the DP.
Students take written examinations at the end of the programme which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete internal assessment tasks in the school which are moderated by external moderators.
The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay. 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, Activity, and Service requirement. The highest total that a DP student can be awarded is 45 points.
Assessment is criterion-related, based on the aims and objectives of each subject’s curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigour and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.
For more information on the IB Diploma:
For more information on the IB Diploma at Westwood, please contact:
Ms Lily Seleke