International Baccalaureate



The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year curriculum, primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world's leading universities.
Students learn more than a collection of facts. The Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to:

  • Ask challenging questions
  • Learn how to learn
  • Develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • Develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.

What is in the Curriculum?
The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts.
This is illustrated by a hexagon with the three parts of the core at its centre as shown below.

diploma chartTHE HEXAGON

The curriculum is displayed in the shape of a hexagon with six academic areas surrounding the core. Subjects are studied concurrently and students are exposed to the two great traditions of learning: the humanities and the sciences.

Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours—2 yrs.), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours—1 yr.).

All three parts of the core—extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service—are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.

What are the Three Core Requirements?

The three core requirements are:

  1. Extended Essay
  2. Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
  3. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS

All Diploma Programme students must engage in these three activities.

I. Extended essay (EE)
The extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing spills expected at university.

II. Theory of knowledge (TOK)
The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

III. Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
Participation in the school's CAS Programme encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering students' awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena. Many South Kitsap High School students quite easily meet the minimum requirements of 150 hours and indeed go way beyond it.

How are Students Assessed?
At the end of the two-year Programme, students are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject.

Internal assessment

In nearly all subjects at least some of the assessment is carried out internally by teachers, who mark individual pieces of work produced as part of a course of study. Examples include oral exercises in language subjects, projects, student portfolios, class presentations, practical laboratory work, mathematical investigations and artistic performances.

External assessment
Some assessment tasks are conducted and overseen by teachers without the restrictions of examination conditions, but are then marked externally by examiners. Examples include world literature assignments for language A1, written tasps for language A2, essays for theory of knowledge and extended essays.
The grading system is criterion based (results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student's position in the overall rank order); validity, reliability and fairness are the watchwords of the Diploma Programme's assessment strategy.

Do Universities Recognize the IB Diploma?
The IB diploma is widely recognized by the world's leading universities. The IB works closely with universities in all regions of the world to gain recognition for the IB diploma.

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