International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

 

What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme?

 
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a secondary education course offered to students in year 11. It is undertaken over two years. It is another way for students to move into post school options including further education and training. The IBDP provides an academically rigorous learning experience aimed at developing students as active contributors within their society and beyond. Students study specific subjects, while reflecting on their identity as a learner and what it means to be a global citizen.
 
The IBDP allows students to study a broad range of subjects. Each subject area provides insight and understanding, supporting the student to become balanced and informed across broad disciplines, while making connections between their learning in the classroom and the world around them. In transitioning to tertiary study, the IBDP opens up doorways to opportunities both locally and internationally. As a globally recognised certification, student credentials can be used to gain entry into thousands of universities worldwide. The IBDP is also recognised within Australia, and student results are converted to an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR).
 
The IBDP seeks to develop the whole person; challenging students to maintain physical activity, make connections with the wider world, and create sustainable balance between learning and lifestyle. Students emerge as confident, well-equipped, internationally-minded citizens with a passion to drive real change within their world.
 
 

IBDP Core

 
As a crucial part of the IBDP, all students engage with the IB Core. This is three components designed to support student development and consolidate learning.
 
The three elements of the IB Core are:
               1. Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
               2. Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)
               3. Extended Essay (EE)
 
Each of these components must be completed to qualify for the IBDP.
 
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
 
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course runs for two lessons a week, for a total of 100 hours of study across two years. The course explores the origins of knowledge, posing critical questions around where knowledge comes from, how we know what we know, and what types of knowledge are most relevant and reliable to our lives. The program has two major assessment components, which are produced across the two years. These include a TOK exhibition, which demonstrates student thinking and reasoning to the community, and a TOK essay, which explores the nature of knowledge across different disciplines.
 
Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)
 
The CAS component of the IBDP is about developing students as positive contributors to society. As part of the programme, students engage in regular experiences to challenge and develop their creativity, physical and mental wellbeing, and service to the community. Students keep records and reflections of their engagement with activities. They present a folio at the end of eighteen months detailing their personal growth, and impact on the local and global environment.
 
Extended Essay (EE)
 
All IBDP students engage in a research project based on one of their six selected subjects. Students propose a complex topic, and conduct academic research to determine a solution that benefits their chosen field. Students begin work on the Extended Essay mid-way through their first year of the IBDP, and present their final essay in the second year of study.
 
 

Programme Structure

 
Each student selects six subjects from the available choices in each group. Within these subjects, students choose to do three at the Standard Level (SL), and three at the Higher Level (HL).
 
SL subjects amount to 150 hours worth of study over two years.
 
HL subjects amount to 240 hours worth of study over two years, and expect students to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills.
 
SL and HL classes are timetabled together. SL students receive study sessions when higher level content is covered by the teacher.
 
Example Student Selection Options
 
Student A has selected the following subjects to study in the IBDP:
 
Group 1: Language and Literature (HL)
 
Group 2: Spanish B (SL)
 
Group 3: Psychology (HL)
 
Group 4: Physics (SL)
 
Group 5: Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL)
 
Group 6: Music (HL)
 
Student B has selected a different combination of subjects to study in the IBDP:
 
Group 1: Language and Literature (SL)
 
Group 2: Spanish B (SL)
 
Group 3: Environmental Systems and Societies (SL)
 
Group 4: Physics (HL)
 
Group 5: Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (HL)
 
Group 6: (alternative) Chemistry (HL)
 
Student B has chosen to study an additional group 4 subject, rather than choosing an arts subject, which is permitted by the IBDP.
 
In these examples, both students have chosen subjects that meet the requirements of the IBDP.
 
 

Assessment in the IBDP

 
Students are assessed in the IBDP using predetermined criteria. Students are graded using a 1-7 achievement scale. A 7 indicates the highest level of achievement in a subject. IBDP reports are different for this reason, offering an indication of student progress through a 1-7 grade.
 
The IBDP has two assessment components, internal assessments and external assessments.
 
Internal assessments are designed and assessed by the school, and combined amount to 30% of the student's final grade. The external assessment component represents 70% of the student's final grade.
 
Each subject within the IBDP is award a 1-7 result, amounting to a maximum of 42 points awarded at the conclusion of the programme. The IB Core subjects offer a further 3 points to the grade, allowing a programme maximum of 45 points. Students must score at least 1 point in the core in order to achieve the IBDP.
 
In some cases, the IBDP results, a score out of 45, can be used to apply to tertiary universities. the IBDP grade can also be converted into an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). For example, a score of 45 in the IBDP would convert to an ATAR of 99.99. The conversion of the IBDP score is consistent across Australia and is determined by Admission Authorities.
 
Final results for the IBDP are determined at the end of the two-year programme, and the school use formative assessment, including formative semester examinations, to ensure that students are accurately demonstrating the skills required to succeed in each subject area. First year reports are based on formative assessment for this reason.
 
The minimum score students can achieve in the IBDP is 24 points. Students must achieve a 3 or more in five of their subjects.
 
 

IBDP Values

 
The IBDP aims to develop students into caring, knowledgeable citizens capable of contributing positively to their local community and the world around them. The programme fosters the intellectual, social and emotional understanding of each student through the inclusion of the IB Learner Profile. These qualities are imbedded into the philosophy of the programme:
 
Inquirers- We are curious about our world and have the skills to inquire through research. We learn independently and with enthusiasm, recognising the joy of learning and growing as a person.
 
Knowledgeable- We understand big picture concepts and can explore ideas across different
subjects. We engage with issues and ideas on a local and global level in order to better understand our world.
 
Thinkers- We think critically and creatively to solve problems and take action. We show initiative, taking responsibility in our decisions and actions.
 
Communicators- We communicate with clarity and confidence. We recognise that our language is powerful, and our opinions are valued and we extend recognition to the thoughts and ideas of others.
 
Principled- We act with integrity and honesty, and do our best to promote fairness in our
community. We recognise the dignity of each person, and take responsibility for our decisions.
 
Open-Minded- We appreciate the culture, history and traditions or our country and others around the world. We consider points of view and seek to grow from our experiences.
 
Caring- We show empathy, and compassion for others and are committed to serving our community. We make a positive difference in the world we live in.
 
Risk-Takers- We do not retreat from uncertainty, but approach new challenges with courage and optimism. We work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and we are resilient in the face of change.
 
Balanced- We recognise the importance of a balanced lifestyle, and are conscious to maintain healthy intellectual, physical and emotional activities to ensure we are healthy and happy.
 
Reflective- We consider the world around us in relation to our own ideas and experiences. We understand our strengths and weaknesses and value continuous learning and personal development.
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
Should everyone do the IBDP?
 
The IBDP is tailored towards an academic pathway. The IBDP is suited to students looking to pursue pathways involving university. However, the programme is about developing holistic learners that positively contribute to their world. There is no reason why any student cannot complete the programme.
 
What is the benefit of the IBDP?
 
The IBDP is designed as a transition programme for any student looking to pursue university studies. Due to the academic rigour of the course, students will be exposed to content and complexity more akin to the first or second year of university, with similar implications for learning and organisation. Evidence suggests that students who undertake the IBDP are well prepared and suited to thrive in future tertiary settings, with students commenting that they feel more organised, confident and independent as a result. The IBDP also offers a broad range of study, with students continuing their focus on language, mathematics, science and literature, the course is well-tailored to students who know that they want to pursue a university pathway, and want to keep their options open for possible courses of study.
 
How much will the IBDP cost me?
 
Because the programme is internationally assessed, there are fees for each exam. The examination costs are in addition to the school’s materials and service charges. This cost is associated with the final external examination of the programme, therefore families are only required to pay if the student undertakes the examination at the end of the diploma. Students who take the diploma for one year and then transfer to the SACE are not required to pay additional IB fees on top of the materials and services charges. All IB fees are determined by the IBO, and pricing information is available on the website.
 
Can I withdraw from the IBDP?
 
Students are able to withdraw from the IBDP at any point. Depending on what they have achieved, they can have their work recognised as part of the SACE.
 
Can I do part of the IBDP?
 
Students are able to enrol in a single IBDP subject and can use it towards SACE Stage 2 SACE. The SACE Board allow one subject within the Stage 2 certificate to be studied outside the SACE curriculum, and the result of that subject is converted to contribute to the calculation of the ATAR. Please note, an IBDP subject is not able to be recognised as part of the SACE if the student is already receiving credit for an external qualification such as a VET course.
 
What if I fail the IBDP?
 
The IBDP holds Examinations twice a year. On the regular IB schedule, students would undertake their end of programme examinations in November of their second year. If students are unsuccessful in their examinations, they are permitted to sit the examinations again in accordance with IBDP guidelines.
 
What will my timetable look like in the IBDP?
 
The school run a seven-line timetable, which will remain in place for IBDP students. Each IB subject will amount to one line of the timetable, with the seventh line dedicated to the IB Core. The IB Core line will include two lessons a week for the Theory of Knowledge, and additional time to organise and reflect on CAS experiences, and later in the year, to work on the Extended Essay.
 
Who teaches the IBDP?
 
As part of the authorisation to teach process, the school have a selection of highly qualified teachers who have undertaken specific training in delivering the IBDP curriculum. The programme is taught at the school and teachers are available as part of the after-school learning program to support students. 
 
How do I enrol in the IBDP?
 
Students can choose to enrol in the IBDP through the school subject and course selection process. IB subjects are clearly indicated on the subject selection forms, as along with some key questions around your intentions. The school subject and course selection process provides opportunities for students to ask questions about subjects and seek clarification about their choices.