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International Baccalaureate Diploma

Just watching my children with all their friends of different nationalities it is clear to see what a small world our children now live in and how important it is to encourage this international mindedness throughout their education.

When relocating to different countries around the world parents encounter many different curriculum’s.  One curriculum growing in popularity amongst the international schools in Dubai is International Baccalaureate (IB) and particularly the diploma program as this gives a very international education and is easily transferable for the nomadic expat.

The IB system was founded in 1968 and currently is operated in 141 countries around the world. The curriculum covers children from age 3 to 19 years of age and is split into 3 different programs

  • Primary Years Program age 3-12
  • Middle Years Program age 11-16
  • Diploma Program age 16-19

It is possible to study the Diploma Program without studying the Primary Years Program or Middle Years Program and so this is becoming a very popular alternative to the English A’Level curriculum in many of the schools in Dubai as it is a very international education in what is a very international community.

The diploma is a 2 years program leading to a qualification welcomed by leading universities throughout the world.  Students are encouraged to be internationally minded at the same time understanding their own culture.  All students study a second language on the program..

Basically the Diploma is split into 6 courses offering subjects within each course at higher or standard level.  A student should choose a subject from each of the first 5 groups so they have experience in language, a foreign language, social studies, experimental sciences and mathematics.  The sixth course can be an arts subject or a second subject from one of the first 5 groups.  Students should embark on 3 subjects at higher level and 3 at standard level.  In addition to these courses students do an extended essay of 4000 words which encourages independent research through an in-depth study to a question from one of their chosen subjects.  They complete a course on Theory of Knowledge  which studies the different ways of “knowing” IE perception, emotion, language and the different kinds of knowledge IE scientific, artistic, mathematical or historical.  Finally, students of the diploma programs partake in CAS (Creativity, Action & Service) project.  This is when a student learns from doing real tasks outside the classroom.

Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.  Results are on a point system with 24 points being  a pass mark and 45 points being the maximum a student can attain.  Students must also show a satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement.

Click here to learn more about the International Baccalaureate

Schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme  in Dubai include:



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