Founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB), offers four programs of study offered by thousands of schools around the world. At St Mary’s, we offer the IB Diploma program for grades 11 and 12.
The program is offered via two paths: course or a full diploma program. Those involved in courses will complete one or more IB classes, usually over two years, and for each IB course completed they will be awarded a certificate. Those taking the full IB Diploma program are known as Diploma Candidates, and if students complete the program successfully, they will be awarded the IB Diploma. Most 11th and 12th Grade students choose to do the full IB Diploma Program.
Why SMIS adopted the IB
We believe that the IB Program offers the best education that can be provided at the high school level. It is rigorous, broad in reach, and sets out to promote not only academic proficiency, but other qualities which we hope to see in every teenager such as creativity, being principled, caring and open-mindedness. By completing the program, students experience a wide range of experiences conducive to positive individual development. The IB Diploma is the most universally recognized high school diploma around the world. Almost every country recognizes the Diploma for college admission purposes, so whether a student wishes to study in the USA, Canada, Europe, Japan or elsewhere, he will find that his IB Diploma will make him well-qualified for college admission purposes. Even those students taking selected IB courses will be well placed to enter college from St Mary’s.
The IB Program in Brief
Before a student reaches the 11th Grade, he will be asked to decide whether he wants to take the full IB Diploma or not. A path is decided with consultation from teachers, college counselors, and the IB coordinator. If a student decides to take courses, then he will still take a mixture of IB and non-IB courses over the next two years. If he does decide to do the full diploma, he will take six IB subjects over two years. Additionally, Diploma candidates take a philosophy-based course called Theory of Knowledge, they must write a 4000 word research paper called the Extended Essay in a subject of their choice, and must be involved in Creativity, Action, and Service programs throughout the two year DP program.
At the completion of each IB course, students take exams which come from the IB Organization. All IB students around the world take the same exams, and they are marked by people from outside of this school.
St. Mary’s students perform consistently above the world averages. While approximately 70-75% of Diploma candidates earn the Diploma worldwide, at St. Mary’s the average is over 90%.
To find out more about the IB