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The International Baccalaureate (IB)


Years 12 and 13 at the IST follow the International baccalaureate Diploma Programme, a unique educational course which is highly regarded by universities around the world and prepares young people for the challenges of life, work and personal development in the 21st Century.

IB - world school

Just what is the International Baccalaureate?

Well, for one thing, although the I.B. is new to the International School, the IBO (The International Baccalaureate Organisation) is not itself new. It has been around for over thirty years and is currently offered in, at last count, 99 countries across the world. There are students studying at universities in 92 different countries thanks to following the I.B. -and those universities include Oxford, the Sorbonne and Harvard.

Design & Technology
Physical Education
International Baccalaureate

What do students study?

Interpreting Data, Writing, Advanced UnderstandingThe I.B is an internationally respected pre-University course. The programme is designed to be challenging and coherent. Although students have some degree of choice, they all study the following:

  • A Literature course in their first language
  • A Second Language (allowing some students to gain a Bilingual Diploma)
  • A Science
  • A Social Science Subject
  • Mathematics
  • Art, Music or a third Language

The programme is designed to avoid early specialisation so that students are all able to interpret data, to deal confidently with numbers, to operate in different languages, to write coherent essays, to make individual and group presentations, to apply IT: in short, to operate confidently within a whole range of disciplines at an advanced level of understanding.


Students, then, study six subjects in all, three at Higher level (roughly equivalent to UK A Levels) and three at Standard Level. Standard level study has a little less depth and content and fewer contact hours so it is best to do 'Highers' in one's strongest subjects.


There are three other important components of the IB programme which exemplify its educational philosophy of academic challenge coupled with reflection and participation. These are the CAS requirement, The Theory of Knowledge component and the Long Essay.

  • CAS is the acronym coined to cover the three aspects of external involvement expected of each IB student - Creativity, Action & Service. Each student is required to participate within school and the wider community for at least three hours per week through a range of arts and service projects helping them to serve others and reflect on the world outside the classroom and their responsibilities to others
  • TOK is the Theory of Knowledge course where students are encouraged to reflect on the systems of knowledge which underlie the subjects they are studying, comparing historical fact with scientific proof, artistic insight etc.
  • Students also complete an extended essay of about 4,000 words on a topic of special interest under the personal guidance of one of their teachers


Cormack Kirby
by email on
or by 'phone on 0562 742 674 / Fax 05 62 742 675