IB Defined: What Is International Baccalaureate Educational Programme
The Australian International School (AIS) in Singapore provides students aged 18 months and upwards with a range of choices that offer the best of Australian and international curriculums.
One of the school’s major offerings is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for Years 11 and 12, an opportunity that offers a diverse and inclusive range of teaching aimed at educating students with an interdisciplinary approach.
If you’re thinking about the best way to educate your children in Singapore, then it’s worth considering the IBDP as an option.
The IBDP is challenging and rewarding
As a programme that leading universities from all over the world recognize, the IBDP challenges students to study a wide range of subjects chosen from six curriculum groups, and to maintain those studies throughout the curriculum of the program.
As a parent, you will be involved in discussing the best alternatives with your child and their teachers in the first year. Six subjects from the six curriculum groupings are chosen. Pupils must complete the study of these initial programs before moving on to the second year. There are three subjects at Standard Level (SL) with a further three at Higher Level (HL).
Towards the end of Year 11, students select three of the subjects they have been studying to take through into their second year for higher-level study, provided they have successfully completed their first year work. Your input will be valuable for your child when considering these choices, and you will all work in consultation with the school to make the most informed decision.
The IBDP also requires students to complete three core components that add significantly to their academic studies in terms of developing their personality as a whole.
These are built around Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS), together with Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay (EE).
CAS has three strands to it. Students are encouraged to keep physically active due to the many health benefits this presents, including building stronger muscles and bones, increasing energy levels, and contributing to good mental health. They are also tasked with following a creative interest, including art, music, drama, creative writing or craftwork. This can depend on what is most interesting to your child or can focus on cultivating skills they may have already acquired. The service element encourages them to take part in activities both in the school and outside, working with people for charitable causes and community support projects.
It is important that students are encouraged to develop their capacity for independent thought, something you will likely have been supporting since they were young. TOK is a course aimed at inspiring inquiry and intellectual thinking. It’s an interdisciplinary curriculum and covers all subject areas to give deeper understanding of connections between subjects and how to develop new synergies in children’s reasoning.
The thought of essay composition may fill many students with dread, but the EE is different. The EE involves strong supervisor support to enable students to embark on an in-depth investigation of a topic that really interests them. Students are required to write a research paper of around 4,000 words, delving deep into a subject they have chosen and developing lines of investigation to put forward in a final paper. It is a discipline that is essential if students from AIS plan to go onto higher education, as it teaches the value of research and how to transform ideas into a compelling and meaningful piece of work.
All core components must be completed successfully before a student is able to receive their International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Subjects for study
There are six groups of subjects available to students. It is necessary to choose one topic from each.
There is a range of options that offer a solid grounding in key subject areas, though several are only available at Standard Level. These include Environmental Systems and Societies under the Interdisciplinary group heading, and Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences under Mathematics.
There are plenty of options for language and literature development, with opportunities to acquire or improve languages that include English, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, French, and Spanish. In a globalized world, the acquisition of foreign languages is an essential tool for students to be confident exploring different countries and being able to communicate effectively.
Whatever you and your child decide, there are excellent educational opportunities offered by the Australian International School to equip them with the skills they need for moving towards university, a career and a prosperous future.