International Baccalaureate

What is International Baccalaureate Program?

As a high school student’s parent, you may look out for facilities, extracurricular activities, or even the curriculum that a school provides. But one of the main factors that many don’t take into consideration is whether the curriculum provides an advantage for your child’s future prospects.

And, this concern is noticed by many schools now. Thus, they have adopted programs like the  International Baccalaureate that are specially curated to prepare your child to be a successful working individual.

If this has you curious as to What exactly an International Baccalaureate Program is? Just keep on reading this article and you will know if this is the program you were looking to enrol your child into.

What is the International Baccalaureate Program?

If you’ve never heard of the International Baccalaureate Programme, It is a programme designed in the 1960s in Switzerland. Designed to cultivate students into self-reliant, highly achieving, globally recognized pupils that positively impact society.

 Their programme is available to students through an IB World School ( Schools that carry the IB Programme) from ages 3 to 16. The Programme believes in coaching students right from a young age and consistently guiding them through high school to choosing the right career for themselves. This consistency is only achieved due to the four frameworks the Programme has been divided into, which are:

●        Primary Years Programme (PYP): As the name suggests, this level is for students in their primary years i.e. 3 to 12 years. And, it offers inquiry-based teaching, wherein students are encouraged to be curious and ask questions about their surroundings. It allows them to fall in love with learning new topics, which allows them to intake information with their own understanding. In turn, this allows them to become independent learners and reliable team workers. Thus, creating a smoother transition to future grades.

●        Middle Years Programme (MYP): After the transition, it is time for students to fine-tune and channel the skills they have learnt into a productive and more practical approach. This framework not only teaches them the in’s and out’s to a great academic life but also uses the skills in their everyday lives. The International Baccalaureate Program understands that the school is just one part of their lives and, real-life is when the skills they are learning actually benefit them.

●        Diploma Programme (DP): The Diploma Programme aids students of age 16 to 19. It not only aims to develop the students in their academic endeavours but also looks after their physical, mental and ethical evolution. Their offer of 6 subject groups and the DP core comprise the theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS,) and the extended essay. Students learn the importance of knowledge, independent learning and community service through a curriculum like the IB

●        Career-Related Program (CP):  Finally, this level is for students aging 16 to 19 who are interested in career related education. Students of the Career-Related Program have to go through two years of the Diploma Program as it serves as a theoretical base for the CP. Once that is completed, the career-related study further supports the programme’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning; and the CP core helps them to develop skills and competencies required for lifelong learning.

Should you be an International Baccalaureate student?

Now that you know the basis of what International Baccalaureate stands for, as well as what the 4 frameworks possess. Only one question remains, if your child should be an IB student or not? And as a parent/guardian of a high school student it is only right to make an informed decision.

To help you out, below mentioned are few advantages of the high school IB Program.

➢   Pros of International Baccalaureate Program:

1.   Global Recognition: The IB is recognised by most leading universities around the world, which significantly widens the pool of prospective colleges in comparison to a country specific course. More IB students get into good colleges in the US and in the U.K. than students from other programs. Being in an IB program also helps form a global network, with events and groups of IB alumni around the world.

2.   A well-rounded and organized curriculum: The IB curriculum offers unparalleled breadth. Students must take science, math, a foreign language, literature, social science and a sixth subject of their choosing. This helps them to learn topics that they are particularly interested in. And as you level up, you can specify into more subjects of your choice. This helps to bring about liberal  learners who think outside the box.

However, at the same time, the grading scale for the IB is systematically based on specific criteria. All students are given the criteria rubrics that are used to assess their coursework beforehand. This encourages them to plan and execute their school projects, essays and presentations systematically, a skill that helps greatly in university and beyond.

3. Emphasis on Critical Thinking and Independent Projects: A large proportion of the IB curriculum is based on projects and papers. Each subject has internal assessments, which are essentially projects where students choose a topic of their own and conduct experiments or research it thoroughly.

In addition to coursework, students are expected to complete an Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge project. Theory of Knowledge varies from school to school, but essentially covers the basic foundations of philosophy, and teaches students to approach knowledge from a critical standpoint.

Essentially, IB students are taught to question preexisting knowledge and value the process as much as the outcome. This is especially important in today’s world, where innovation requires an appreciation of processes and creativity.

4.   Focus on Community Responsibility: The program understands the importance of community work. And, they have included projects like Community Action Service (CAS).

All students must complete 150 hours of community and service. This encourages the students to think beyond their school and their college applications. Students must also write reflections on what they have learned and achieved from their projects.

Cultivating a practice for community and service early on helps IB students become more socially responsible and gain some valuable experience in executing actionable projects.

Final Thoughts

Overall, since, International Baccalaureate Programme possesses a holistic teaching approach it becomes a quality program a high school student needs for the basis of their higher education or careers.

So,  what are you waiting for? Enrol your child into an IB World School in Singapore today! 

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