The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. The programme is taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities with St Margaret’s graduates attending Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, Monash and Sydney amongst others.
International Baccalaureate Benefits
- A package of education that balances subject breadth and depth, and considers the nature of knowledge across disciplines through the unique Theory of Knowledge course.
- Encourages international like-mindedness in IB students, starting with a foundation in their own language and culture.
- Develops a positive attitude to learning that prepares students for university education.
- Has a reputation for its rigorous external assessment with published global standards, making this a qualification welcomed by universities worldwide.
- Emphasises the development of the whole student – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
About the International Baccalaureate Programme
IB learners strive to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced and reflective. The students are required to select one subject from each of the six subject groups, with some variation possible, within these choices:
- Language Acquisition
- Studies in Language and Literature
- Individuals and Societies
- The Arts
At least three subjects, but not more than four, must be studied at Higher Level (HL), with the others at Standard Level (SL). While both are two year courses, HL has more content and requires deeper thinking.
In addition there are three important additional compulsory components:
- Extended Essay – an opportunity for students to pursue an area of interest through a piece of original research. Presented in correct and formal academic style, this 4,000-word essay is an ideal preparation for tertiary study.
- Theory of Knowledge – has an emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills, encouraging students to be aware of subjective biases and to develop the ability to analyse evidence. This is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives.
- Creativity, Activity and Service – requires the students to gain new experiences in creative pursuits, sport and community service activities. This provides balance to the academic focus of the IB programme by explicitly recognising activities outside the classroom and fostering the development of compassionate and active citizens.
International Baccalaureate Assessment
A fundamental part of IB assessment and examination is that standards are the same worldwide. St Margaret’s students are in the top 5% of candidates globally. External exams are held in November of the second IB year and these are marked by internationally appointed examiners. Exams are complemented by internal assessment, such as seminars, portfolios, practical work, oral work and research assignments. This detailed system of internal and external assessment ensure that students have every opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired.