International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a holistic 16+ programme tailored to the demands of the 21st century, whether at university, in the workplace or elsewhere.

The two-year programme is designed to give students time to develop as learners, to acquire the skills to think and work independently, yet IBDP students also learn how to be team players, and they develop excellent communication and presentation skills.

The IB Diploma Programme suits all kinds of students: those who don’t quite know what to do after leaving School; those who want to specialise, but are reluctant to give up other subjects they also enjoy; the most able with ambitions to go to the very best universities; and less academic students who will benefit from the breadth of study.

Students choose six subjects – English, Mathematics, a science, a humanity, a language and one other – with three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. Most subjects offer different levels to suit the academic ability of each student. No one is expected to be equally good at every subject.

Students can, for example:

  • Continue with a previously studied language or pick up a completely new one
  • Study a course in Mathematics that suits their ability and interest
  • Choose a science subject other than Physics, Chemistry or Biology. There's also Design Technology, Environmental Systems & Societies or Sports, Health & Exercise Science.
  • Study two sciences, or two languages or 2 humanities subjects.
  • Opt for an Arts subject: Visual Arts, Theatre or Music if they wish 

In the Theory of Knowledge course, students are challenged to examine the different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language and reason) and knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical), to become aware of the role of subjectivity and bias, and to give their personal responses based on analysis of evidence and rational argument.

Students engage in independent research on a topic of interest relating to one of the subjects they are studying. With the help of a supervisor, students learn the independent research and writing skills expected at university, leading to the Extended Essay.

Finally, the CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) provides a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies. This element is about life beyond the classroom and aims to foster self-awareness, compassion and the ability to co-operate as part of a wider team. Students work on projects for both their own interest and the benefit of others.

Upper School Subject grid