The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university program for highly motivated students in grades 11-12. Created in 1968, the rationale for such a sweeping and comprehensive program was twofold: first, to provide a common curriculum and university entry credential for students who often moved from country to country, and secondly, and perhaps more importantly, was the more idealistic motive that prevailed -- one that insisted students could share an academic experience that emphasizes critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of viewpoints.
The IB Diploma Program Curriculum
The IB Diploma Program & IB Diploma Courses (IBDC) are a comprehensive two-year program of study with the strengths of a liberal arts program, but with requirements that set the IB apart from other advanced placement programs. The curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups. Made up of the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The three core elements of the DP are:
The six subject groups and subjects offered at Graded are:
- Studies in language and literature
- Literature A HL, SL (offered in English)
- Language & Literature A HL, SL (offered in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish) or other native language through independent study (must be approved by IB Coordinator).
- Other languages not offered by the school may be pursued through independent study. Students wishing to study a language A, at the discretion of the school, may hire an independent tutor who will get the appropriate course outlines and criteria from the IB Coordinator. Where a tutor cannot be found or when a tutor is unable to carry out the IA, the school may authorize the student to do a Language Self Study SL.
- Language acquisition
- Language B HL, SL (offered in Portuguese, Spanish, French)
- ab initio SL (offered in Spanish and French)
- Individuals and societies
- Brazilian Social Studies SL
- Economics HL, SL
- History HL, SL
- Psychology HL, SL
- Biology HL, SL
- Chemistry HL, SL
- Physics HL, SL
- Math HL
- Math SL
- Math Studies SL
- The Arts.
- Film Studies HL
- Theatre Arts HL, SL
- Visual Arts HL, SL
Requirements for Diploma Candidates
In order to gain the full IB Diploma students are required to study six (6) subjects from the IB Curriculum:
A student will only be permitted to take 4 HL courses if needed for a specific university program, if grade 10 results support such placement, and must be approved by the IB Coordinator and/or Principal.
- three subjects must be studied at Higher Level (HL)
- three subjects must be studied at Standard Level (SL)
- Extended Essay
- Theory of Knowledge
- Creativity, Activity, & Service
- Completion of all external IBDP examinations (including internal assessments) in all registered IB courses.
To meet the IB Diploma elective requirement students may take a second subject from groups 1-4. Candidates for the IB Diploma are permitted to study a Language A or B independently to fulfill the world language requirement if that language is not available at school. If an instructor is contracted outside of school by the family, the student needs to complete the signup process and obtain the syllabus from the IB Coordinator.
Students declare their desire to be candidates for the full IB Diploma or IB courses early in the second semester of 10th Grade. Based on teacher recommendations, student and family plans, appropriate IB program balance, and current student performance, a counselor and the IB Coordinator help the student and parents decide which combination of course and diploma options seem like the most appropriate match for each student.
Credit toward the IB Diploma is based on internal coursework and external exams from IBO. IB courses are designed for two years and the IB Diploma course of study must be completed during the student’s final two years. Internal assessment tasks are marked by the teachers at Graded and then moderated by the IBO at IBCA (International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment Centre) Final examinations at the end of the two year course are set and marked externally by IBCA. They are taken in April/May of the last year of the course.
The IB Diploma is awarded to students whose total points for six subjects range from a minimum of 24 (with special diploma-pass restrictions for grades below the minimum passing mark of three) to 45 with successful completion of all other program requirements - CAS, ToK, and the Extended Essay. Up to three bonus points can be earned in the ToK and Extended Essay components. Graded students desiring challenging courses are encouraged to take individual IB courses even if they choose not pursue the full IB Diploma. All Graded students take a minimum of three IB courses and exams. These students will receive an official IB course transcript. Students may choose to complete the Extended Essay, ToK, and CAS as separate components apart from doing a full IB Diploma. These components do not count as part of the graduation requirement of three IB courses and exams. The DP is demanding in terms of time commitment and it is important that students develop effective time-management skills from the start. This can be facilitated by ensuring students understand the expectations of time commitment over the two years of the DP. Time management needs to be supported by teachers who understand that their subject is one of six plus the three elements of the core and collaborate on setting assignments in a manageable way. Bilingual IB DiplomaStudents who take two Group I Literature/Language courses and successfully complete all other program requirements will receive a bilingual diploma. IB ExamsStudents enrolled in IB courses are expected to take the IB exams in order to receive Graded course credit. Written exams are normally given in one or two sessions of two to four hours per subject in May of their exam year.The mark scheme for exams ranges from 7 (excellent) to 1 (poor) with a 4 considered passing. Students are responsible for verifying that they have registered for the correct exams; parents are responsible for any extra IB fees incurred due to student delays or errors in exam registration.IB FeesAll fees for the IB exams and registration will be paid for by parents. The fees range from US $620 to U$1250, payable to the school in November prior to the May IB examination session. For further details, please consult the IB Coordinator.Families are responsible for any extra IB fees incurred due to student delays in registration or changes to course levels after November 1 of Grade 12. The optional legalization of results and “enquiry upon results” will also incur an additional fee. A Note Regarding IB French A or B, Portuguese B and Spanish BFor students taking IB French A or B, Portuguese B and Spanish B courses, it may not always be possible to schedule these singleton courses for every student, given the number of potential conflicts. Thus, some students may need to hire their own tutor for such a language course, as is the practice for some other independently studied IB languages at Graded. [Sample transcript of a student earning the US High School and IB Diplomas.]