“You can complement your education with a passport to higher education abroad.”
The International Baccalaureate Diploma programme is a strict plan of education made up of six core subject groups linked together by three common central subjects: Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, and Community, Action & Service (CAS). This diploma is assessed internally and externally with written as well as oral work. Strong results on the Diploma opens doors to study at prestigious universities around the world.
IB at SSB has developed since the start in 1985 After more than 30 years with the IB at SSB, it’s a pleasure to see how well it has served our school and its students and how well it fits in to our school’s academic programme. Through the years many students have graduated from SSB with excellent IB Diploma results and it has been rewarding to follow their success at universities and later in their professional careers. IB has and will have an important place in SSB’s academic programme serving youth who are keen to discover Europe both as students and for many certainly also later as professionals.
In IB you take six subjects in all
The IB Curriculum is made up of six subjects and these subjects are chosen from six different subject groups. The groups are decided on by the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) and are the same in all schools all over the world. There is a choice of subjects in each group, the subjects of which could vary at different schools. You have to choose at least three of these subjects at higher level (HL) and the other three at standard level (SL), or four subjects could be taken from higher level (HL) and two from standard level (SL). The difference between HL and SL is in depth, comprehension and the number of exam papers.
Final Exams and Internal Assessments
70-80 % of your final grade is dependent on the written exams in May year 2. You do your tests in the six subjects you have chosen, in all subjects more than one test. (If you take Art in group 6 you present a Studio work which will be assessed by an external examiner.) These tests are assessed by an external examiner according to strict criteria, independent of where you are or what school you are studying at. If you wish, you can do anticipated final exams in 1-2 subjects after year 1 instead of year 2. In that case it has to be Standard Level subjects and you have to decide on this no later than November.
The final 20-30% of the grades is subject to internal assessment by a teacher at your own school. These tasks are carried out in two different ways:
1/ oral production or presentation by the student, recorded and assessed by the teacher at your school. A selection (randomized) of these presentations are then sent on to an IB moderator who has the possibility to revise the grades according to clear criteria, depending on whether the school is considered to have set too high or too low grades in general. This is to certify that the student receives fair grades. The oral presentation is only carried out with subjects in group 1 or 2 (Mother Tongue and Foreign Languages).
2/ In the other groups (3-6) a written piece of work is done in each subject which is assessed by the teacher of the subject. The task could be different according to the subject concerned, e.g. essay in history or some sort of maths project. Also here, a randomized selection is sent to an IB moderator, who has the possibility to adjust upwards or downwards according to clear criteria.
Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS
In addition to the six basic subjects you will have another three major diploma requirements:
- The Extended Essay
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
- Creativity, Action and Service Program (CAS)
The Extended Essay is an in-depth research paper of not more than 4,000 words. Together with the subject teacher you choose a subject you find interesting during the spring term of year 1. You work with a supervisor at your school in the subject you have chosen. The criteria for the structure of the essay are strict and defined in detail by the IBO. The language for the Extended Essay is English, unless you have chosen a subject from group 1 or 2. The essay will finally be sent to external examiners for assessment and grading.
TOK is an interdisciplinary essay which develops the student’s critical reflection and shows how the six subjects go together. The essay is written in English in 1,200-1,600 words. You start working on it during the spring term of year 1 by studying Philosophy and you write it during year 2. You do an oral presentation which will be assessed by a teacher from your school - the same teacher for all. The essay is finally sent to external examiners for assessment and grading.
CAS is compulsory, but no grade is given here. The point is to develop as a student without gaining anything concerning grades. CAS stimulates social commitment, creativity and physical activity. CAS could be e.g. sports as action, music and choir as an example of creativity and to be helping children with special needs as an example of service. You need at least 150 hours of CAS during two years. At least 40 hours of each, the rest of which could be distributed as you please. The teacher is responsible for the CAS and helps and coaches the students to fulfil the CAS criteria.
How do the IB grades work?
IB grades go from 1 to 7, the highest of which is 7. You can get 42 points in the six core subjects. An additional 3 points could be given for TOK and EE together. To get your IB Diploma you will need a minimum of 24 points.
SSB will guide you through your studies
To prepare our students for the final exams in the best possible way and to learn about where they are on the scale of grades, SSB has developed different ways of evaluating and grading the students during their two IB years. These grades are only internal grades that won’t count in their Diplomas. However, the most important thing is that the students work continuously and plan their own studies.
- At school you often get a test after a unit. These tests are often parts of old exams, which are graded internally in order to help the students to find out where they are in the learning process.
- Every Spring, both in year 1 and 2, we also give so called Mock exams, which are old exams in full, given to students to make them understand what exams are like and the construction of them.
- Every term you get a grade for each subject, based on the IB scale of 1-7.
- During all assessment talks, autumn and spring, you are informed about your study situation and whether you risk not passing in a subject.
If you are dissatisfied with your grade when you get your Diploma, or if you have perhaps failed, then you have a chance to do a “retake”, which means that at two occasions, one if any subject is taken as anticipated, you have the possibility to do the tests again in one subject or more.
Pre-IB - preparatory year
SSBIB offer a preparatory for students that have not yet done year 10 in an international school or year 5 in the MYP programmme. During your Pre-IB year you prepare for the IB by going through your possibilities and by making your subject choices for the IB later to come. The Pre-IB is different from one school to another. During this year you make your decision of whether or not to take IB. If not, you may choose to continue studying in a national programme.
It is all up to you and your ambitions!
To take on IB studies is a conscious choice to improve your chances of studying at a foreign university, to increase your knowledge of other cultures and nationalities, and to enter more deeply into the subjects chosen. If you decide to take IB you have also come one step closer to successful university studies. It takes a lot to be an IB student, both concerning time and commitment, but with good planning of your studies there will be time not only for studies, but also for a social life.
SSB has been an IB school since 1985. The teaching and examination language is English, giving students who study another language than English as mother tongue a Bilingual Diploma.
The programme runs over three years where the first year is an introductory year (Pre-IB). At the end of the two Diploma years there are final exams.
Life in the 21st century, in an interconnected, globalized world, requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness, something that International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme students come to know and understand.
This programme is taught in more than 4000 schools all over the world.