International Baccalaureate

"The International Baccalaureate Organization, founded in 1968, is a recognized leader in the field of international education.  It is a non-profit, mission-driven foundation that works with 3,458 schools to develop and offer four challenging programs in 143 countries to approximately 1, 062, 000 students aged 3 to 19 years...we promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century." (IBO, 2012)

www.ibo.org

 WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE PROGRAM?

The IB Program is a dynamic and rigorous two year pre-university course of study leading to examinations.  It serves to meet the needs of highly motivated academic and internationally minded students.  Offered in grades 11 and 12, IB serves to satisfy local and international requirements.  Students who have an aptitude and an interest in the IB program enroll in Pre IB in Grade 10, and are introduced to skills and abilities which will help prepare them for future studies.  We ask students to reserve decisions regarding partial or full participation in the IB Program until grade 11.  At that time, a student may opt to enroll as a partial candidate, taking courses best suited to individual strengths and inclinations.

WHAT TYPE OF STUDENT WOULD BE BEST SUITED FOR THE IB PROGRAM?

The most successful students tend to be those who value the inherent benefits of a higher learning experience. Students who seek challenge in their academic endeavors, who self reflect on learning practices and and who are willing grow from set backs are well suited for IB.  IB students are generally highly motivated and positive minded.  These students tend to learn quickly and retain what is learned.  They are open to alternate perspectives and are sensitive to others.

The IB learner profile provides a long term vision of education.  It is a "set of ideals that motivate and inspire schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose."

  • Inquirers - They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
  • Knowledgeable - They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
  • Thinkers - They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
  • Communicators - They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
  • Principled - They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
  • Open-minded - They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
  • Caring - They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment.
  • Risk-takers - They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
  • Balanced - They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
  • Reflective - They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

WHAT ARE THE COURSE REQUIREMENTS FOR AN IB DIPLOMA?

Full diploma candidates are required to complete three central core components (CAS, EE, TOK) and six subject courses over two years:  three courses at higher level and three at standard level.   There are combinations geared toward specific interests; however, all six groups must be reached.

WHICH HIGHER LEVEL AND STANDARD LEVEL IB COURSES ARE OFFERED AT SACHS?

Higher Level (HL) Standard Level (SL)
English (Group 1) Chemistry (Group 4 or 6)
History (Group 3) Mathematics (Group 5)
Biology (Group 4 or 6) French (Group 2)
Visual Arts (Group 6) Spanish (Group 2)
Theatre Arts (Group 6 Visual Arts (Group 6)
  Theatre Arts (Group 6)

 

WHAT MIGHT TWO EXAMPLE STUDENT SCHEDULES LOOK LIKE?

Option A: English A1 (HL) Group 1
  French B (SL) Group 2
  Social (HL) Group 3
  Biology (HL) Group 4
  Math (SL) Group 5
  Chemistry (SL) Group 6
(There are 3 (SL) courses and 3 (HL) courses covering all 6 groups.)

 

Option B: English (HL) Group 1
  Spanish (SL) Group 2
  Social (HL) Group 3
  Chemistry (SL) Group 4
  Math (SL) Group 5
  Art or Drama (HL) Group 6
There are many possible combinations but students must have 3 (SL) and 3 (HL) and ensure that all 6 groups are included.

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF THE IB PROGRAM?

The IB Program offers a challenging, engaging and rewarding education .  It stresses responsibility, determination, and independence, inspiring students to reach the highest levels of achievement.  Given the nature and size of grade 12 classes, opportunities may arise for more deliberate individual instruction.  The IB program well prepares students for post secondary academic study.  Graduates have stated that completing IB gives them a competitive edge, noting strengthened development in the following areas:

  • analytical skills
  • critical and creative thinking skills
  • essay writing skills
  • math skills
  • organizational skills
  • research skils
  • science lab skills
  • work habits/discipline skills

WILL PARTICIPATION IN THE IB PROGRAM AFFECT MY CHANCES OF ACHIEVING SCHOLARSHIPS?

Students will not be penalized for taking IB courses.  Student grades are based on Alberta Education standards.  It is a fact that agencies awarding scholarships look for qualities in candidates that the IB Program fosters and encourages.

DOES THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA RECOGNIZE IB STUDENTS?

The University of Alberta offers special services and recognition to support IB achievement, particularly in the areas of scholarships, transfer credit, student conferences, and advising.  

Email:   IBStudent@ualberta.ca

Learn more about how the U of A recognizes IB grades and achievements! Watch the video »

SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE IB DIPLOMA INVOLVES COMPLETION OF THREE CENTRAL ELEMENTS:  CAS, EXTENDED ESSAY, AND THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE.  EXPLAIN THESE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS.

The central elements are often called the heart of IB.  In order to earn the IB Dipoma, candidates must complete these core elements.  They are:

  • CAS (creativity, action, service) prompts students to foster personal and interpersonal development through service to others and to experiential kinds of learning.
  • The Extended Essay offers opportunities for students to choose a topic of study and, under the guidance of a teacher advisor, complete a 4,000 word paper based upon an intensive study of it.  It is through this element that students will not only specialize in an area of interest, they will further extend thinking, research, and writing skills.
  • Theory of Knowledge – IB - Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. This introductory philosophy course challenges students to question the basis of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyze evidence that is expressed in rational argument. It is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives.
  • Creativity – This component consists of activities that include creative thinking by the student or exploring the creative aspects of our culture or another culture (dance, theatre, music, debate, photography and art).
  • Action – This component includes those activities that a student used to enhance physical training and wellness outside of school (school teams, community teams, expeditions).
  • Service – Service projects that help foster sense of respect for and commitment to others is an integral part of the service component of CAS and a large part of St. Albert Catholic High School’s culture (Habitat for Humanity, Build a School in Africa, volunteerism).