The International Baccalaureate

A flexible learning programme for students aged from three to 19, the International Baccalaureate, or IB, is studied by over one million students worldwide.

Below is an extract from this article published in Relocate's Guide to Education & Schools in the UK. Click below if you are interested in receiving a full printed copy of the guide.

When choosing a programme of study for their children in a new location, relocating families must consider which curriculum and final exam system will best suit their child.The International Baccalaureate (IB) caters for pupils from the ages of three to 19 and is taught in thousands of international schools in popular relocation destinations across the globe, including many independent and international schools and a small number of state schools in the UK.The IB is probably best known for its two-year Diploma Programme (DP), which is studied internationally by students between the ages of 16 and 19. Since its inception in 1968, however, awarding body the IB Organisation (IBO) has increased its offering to span the early years via the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), and the recently developed Career-related Programme (CP).Focusing on each student as a whole person, IB programmes address not only children’s intellectual development but also their social, emotional and physical progress.The IB mission statement demonstrates the IBO’s commitment to the development of an all-round, internationally educated ‘global citizen’. “The International Baccalaureate,” it says, “aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”[…]
Box Hill School

Primary Years Programme

The PYP is for pupils aged from three to 12. The curriculum focuses on encouraging children to be interested and motivated in their own learning by helping them to investigate subjects that they are curious about. It inspires them to make connections between different pieces of information and, in so doing, increase their understanding of how the world works.[…]

Middle Years Programme

The MYP is for students aged 11–16. It lasts for approximately five years, and classes are divided into eight subject groups:
  • Language acquisition
  • Language and literature
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical and health education
  • Design
[…]

Diploma Programme

In 1968, the IBO sought to create a programme that would be recognised by universities around the world. Today, the DP provides learning over a very broad base of disciplines, preparing students for further learning and a future career.It has proved itself to be the success story in secondary education over the past 30 years, and is now recognised as an entrance qualification to universities in more than 140 countries.[…]Among the 81 UK universities surveyed, the DP was rated top in developing 13 out of 14 factors considered useful in preparing students to thrive at university.Karin Purcell, development director at Marymount International School London, supports the view that the IB gives students the edge when it comes to applying for a university place. “Our experience shows that our students who graduate with an IB Diploma are increasingly at an advantage when applying for university, especially here in the UK,” she says. “We have a lot of hard evidence that the trend is in favour of students with an IB.”
Marymount International School London

Further UK Guide articles:


Diploma scores

The IB Diploma is awarded to students who receive a minimum of 24 points, and who successfully complete the core components, including the Extended Essay and the Theory of Knowledge. Students receive their diploma results in July and January.The maximum score a student can achieve is 45 points. Scores are calculated on the awarded grades of 1 to 7 for each of the six subject areas, to combine for a total of 42 points, plus an extra three points for the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge components.Unlike GCSEs and A Levels – which have seen grade inflation and been criticised for lowering standards – the IB has maintained consistently high standards across the globe for more than 40 years. According to the IBO, DP pass rates have remained consistent at around 80 per cent, with the average score consistently sitting at around 30 points.

Career-related Programme

The newest addition to the IB is the Career-related Programme for students aged 16–19. The CP gives students the option to pursue employment, apprenticeships or further education alongside academic study.Taught in more than 100 schools in 14 countries across the world, the CP helps students along the path to their chosen career, while arming them with transferable and lifelong skills, such as the ability to work as part of a team, time management skills and intercultural understanding.Students develop rigour through a combination of academic and career-related courses, resulting in a more rounded understanding of the working world through components that develop skills such as communication, problem-solving and responsibility.[…]Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit

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