IB Diploma Course Guide
IB DIPLOMA COURSE GUIDE
For entry in September 2022
For five decades the International Baccalaureate has offered a demanding curriculum and rigorous assessment to motivated students, aged 16 to 19, in the two years preceding university entrance. Many thousands of young adults from all continents have earned the IB diploma and have gained admission to the world’s leading institutions of higher education.
Excellent academic preparation in six individual subjects is a very important dimension of the programme, but it is not what makes it unique. The IB is motivated by an idealistic vision: it hopes that a shared academic experience emphasizing the skill of critical thinking and exposure to a variety of points of view will encourage in young people multicultural understanding and acceptance of others. And yet the programme begins by requiring students to relate to their own national identity – their own language, literature, history and cultural heritage – before insisting that they identify with the corresponding traditions of others and respond intelligently to them. The end result, we hope, is a more compassionate population and a welcome manifestation of national diversity within an international framework of tolerant respect.
All Campion students in years 12 and 13 follow IB courses. The great majority follow the full course, as outlined in the following pages, with the aim of gaining the IB Diploma at the end of two years. In certain circumstances, students may elect (or be advised) to follow a less demanding course which will result, at the end of two years, in the award of a number of certificates in individual subjects. Although of lesser value than the full Diploma, these certificates are likewise valid entry qualifications for a place in some higher education..
Graduation for most students will take place at the end of Year 13. Students who wish to leave school at the end of Year 12 will be permitted to graduate, provided all the requirements have been fulfilled.
THE YEAR 12 & 13 ACADEMIC AND PASTORAL TEAM
The following teaching staff form the IB Diploma programme team and have a special relationship with the IB classes.
Mrs Varey is the IB Coordinator and she has the overall responsibility for the running of the IB Diploma programme. In addition to setting up the IB programme, coordinating all student coursework and working closely with all of Campion’s IB teachers, Mrs Varey is the person nominated by the school to be the regular contact with the IB organisation. All communications with the organisation (such as queries arising after the publication of results) must be channeled through Mrs Varey.
Ms Kyritsis has two roles: she is the school’s nominated Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) Coordinator and Year Tutor for Year 12 and deals with all non-academic issues such as absence and the general welfare of the students as well as matters related to academic progress.
Mr Yates has two roles: he is the school’s nominated Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) Coordinator and Year Tutor for Year 13 and deals with all non-academic issues such as absence and the general welfare of the students as well as matters related to academic progress.
Mrs Siani is our Universities Advisor. From the first year of the IB programme, she will be closely involved with the students, collectively and individually, as they consider their options for higher education.
The IB Diploma Programme
The IB Diploma is a two-year programme whose components are best displayed in the following diagram.
Award of the IB Diploma involves the study of six subjects, three subjects at Higher Level, and three at Standard Level. The three core requirements (Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS) described on the following page must also be completed.
The Extended Essay is a research paper, up to 4000 words in length, which is intended to introduce students to the skills of independent, investigative work required at university level. The topic is chosen by the student, though it may originate in material covered in any one of his or her IB courses, which is then pursued independently in greater depth and detail. Every student has the assistance of a supervisor, who can give advice both on the process of research and on production of the final essay.
Theory of Knowledge
This is a course in critical thinking, which encourages students to think about the ways knowledge is obtained in the different subjects they study, and to make connections between them. Assessment is through an exhibition that explores how TOK manifests in the world around us and through an essay, written in the second year, from a list of six titles provided by the IB; this enables students to focus on an area of the course which they have found of particular interest.
Creativity, Action, Service
This is a fundamental part of the IB Diploma Programme and is based on the fact that education does not begin and end in the classroom or examination hall. The CAS programme is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop awareness and concern for others, to build bridges with the real world and to promote leadership.
The programme entails involvement for the equivalent of at least three to four hours a week, over the two years, in a balanced range of different activities. Creativity covers a wide range of arts and other imaginative activities. Action includes participation in expeditions, and individual and team sports. Service is community or social service, or service within the school community, and may also include environmental and international projects. Evaluation by the school and self-evaluation by the student is an ongoing process throughout the two-year period.
Grading and Assessment
All subjects require the completion, over the entire two-year period, of course work which is internally assessed by the teacher responsible and moderated by IB examiners; and all subjects, apart from Visual Arts, Music and Theatre in Group 6, also involve an external written examination. Each subject, whether at Higher or Standard Level, is awarded a grade from 1 to 7, and 3 bonus points are available for Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay. The minimum passing grade for award of the full Diploma is 24 points out of a possible total of 45.
THE IB CURRICULUM
There follows a list of the courses offered in each group, and a description of them. All subjects are offered at both Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL), unless otherwise stated.
One course is chosen from each of the groups.
|Group 1||English Literature A|
English Language and Literature A
|Group 2||Modern Greek A: Language and Literature A|
Language ab initio (Spanish) (SL)
|Group 3||Individuals and Societies|
Classical Greek and Roman Studies (SL)*
|Group 4||Experimental Sciences|
Environmental Systems and Societies (SL)
Mathematics Higher (HL) (A or A* at IGCSE required)
Mathematics Standard (SL)
|Group 6||Arts and Electives|
Greek A Language and Literature A
Classical Greek and Roman Studies (SL)*
GROUPS 1 AND 2
LANGUAGE A: LITERATURE (English)
Language A Literature is studied in the language in which the student is most competent, and the course develops the skills covered in IGCSE English Literature. It aims to encourage a personal appreciation of literature through close reading of works of different periods, genres, styles and cultures. A total of nine works (at Standard Level) or thirteen (at Higher Level), including several works in translation, are studied altogether, in varying degrees of depth and detail. They are assessed both orally and in written form, by a combination of coursework and examination. The final examination also requires students at Higher Level to respond to two passages and students at Standard level to one passage of unseen writing, either in prose or verse. Apart from English, there is also the possibility of students sitting the Language A Literature exam in a different language, independently with outside tuition.
LANGUAGE A: LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE (English and Modern Greek)
This syllabus is designed for speakers with a high degree of competence in the language concerned, and is an extension of the work done in First Language English and English Literature in years 10 and 11. Students wishing to follow the Language and Literature course in Modern Greek will have been in the Greek First Language class throughout the Senior School.
It aims to develop in students the skills of textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, can be seen as autonomous yet simultaneously related to culturally determined reading practices. This course is centrally concerned with the ways in which meaning is generated by the meeting between texts and the contexts within which they exist. The ability to undertake detailed critical analysis of texts is crucial in all parts of the course. “Text” in this subject covers the widest range of oral, written, and visual material present in society, and the skill of understanding and interpreting visual images is an important aspect of this course.
The course is divided in three different areas of study: Readers, writers and texts – Time and space – intertextuality. The final examination consists of two written papers in which students must respond to unseen texts and write a comparative essay on the literary texts studied. There is an individual oral examination towards the end of the course. Higher Level students must also produce a written assignment based on material studied.
Students wishing to follow the Language and Literature course in Modern Greek will have been in the Greek Native Language class throughout the Senior School and will have passed the GAT level Γ1 exam.
A total of 4 literary texts will be studied at Standard Level and 6 at Higher Level as well as a variety of non-literary texts
LANGUAGE B HL and SL (French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Latin)
Language B is a foreign language acquisition course designed for students with previous experience of the target language. In this course students further develop their ability to communicate in the target language through the study of language, themes and texts. In doing so, they also develop conceptual understanding of how language works, as appropriate to the level of the course. At both levels of language (HL and SL) students learn to communicate
in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. However, the study of two literary works originally written in the target language is required for the Higher Level. The distinction between Language B SL and HL can also be seen in the level of competency the student is expected to develop in the receptive, productive and interactive skills. The assessment in this course is designed to support curricular goals and encourage appropriate student learning. Both internal and external assessment will be used to assess the students. The final external assessment includes writing, listening comprehension and reading comprehension. The final internal assessment, moderated by the IB, is an individual oral exercise.
LANGUAGE ab initio (Spanish)
Language ab initio is a language acquisition course designed for students with no prior experience of the target language, or for those students with very limited previous exposure. It should be noted that language ab initio is offered at SL only. It is important to note that any student who is already able to understand and respond to spoken and written language on a range of common topics is not to be placed in language ab initio, as this would not provide an appropriate academic challenge, nor is it fair for those students who are genuine beginners of the language. At the language ab initio level, a student develops receptive, productive and interactive communicative skills. Students learn to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. The assessment in this course is designed to support curricular goals and encourage appropriate student learning. Both internal and external assessment will be used to assess the students. The final external assessment includes writing, listening comprehension and reading comprehension. The final internal assessment, moderated by the IB, is an individual oral exercise.
GROUP 3: INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES
The aim of studying history is to acquire an understanding of individuals and societies in the past and, hence, possibly a better understanding of current events. Through the study of history, students should develop strong critical-thinking skills, the ability to research from a wide range of sources, to synthesize key arguments and to assess the evidence on which such arguments are based. History also teaches students the ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Throughout the course students are also encouraged to reflect on the nature of history as a discipline, and discuss the reasons why historians have different perspectives of the same event.
All students study a selection of 20th century world history topics through several case studies drawn from different regions, and learn to make use of, and evaluate, a range of primary and secondary sources. Both Higher and Standard Level students sit Paper 1, which is a source-analysis paper and Paper 2, which covers twentieth century world history. Higher Level students are also required to sit Paper 3 which focuses on 19th century European history.
There is one piece of coursework called the Historical Investigation, worth 20% of the exam mark for HL students and 25% of the exam mark for SL students and is a detailed examination of a topic of the students’ choosing.
Above all, history is a dynamic subject that helps teach cultural literacy and an understanding of the changing social, political and economic contexts, which inform our knowledge of the global society we live in.
Geography at IB is a valuable Group 3 subject for students wishing to study geography, law or environmental sciences, though there are many other relevant applications, such as water supply or hazard management. The new syllabus has addressed some important concerns in the modern world. Global climate change has been made one of the three core topics for both Standard and Higher-Level students. The way in which information is disseminated through infographics is also included in the core paper. The Globalization Paper for Higher-Level students has now become more political, having a section on global risks such as identity theft and tax avoidance. Optional topics are now likely to include the use of maps, so our mapping skills learned in Geography IGCSE become very valuable.
The formal written examination has three papers:
Paper 1: seven option topics, of which standard level students answer two, higher level students answer three.
Paper 2: core theme topics of population change, climate change and global resources, set as short structured questions, infographic analysis and one essay.
Paper 3: higher level extension, set as one essay from three main topic areas: power places & networks, human diversity, global risks. Coursework, based on fieldwork, is still important, being worth 25% of the final mark at Standard Level and 20% of the final mark at Higher Level.
The business management course is designed to meet the current and future needs of students who want to develop their knowledge of business content, concepts and tools to assist with business decision making. Future employees, business leaders, entrepreneurs or social entrepreneurs need to be confident, creative and compassionate as change agents for business in an increasingly interconnected global marketplace. The business management course is designed to encourage the development of these attributes. Through the exploration of four interdisciplinary concepts: creativity, change, ethics and sustainability, this course empowers students to explore these concepts from a business perspective. Business management focuses on business functions, management processes and decision-making in contemporary contexts of strategic uncertainty. Students examine how business decisions are influenced by factors that are internal and external to an organization and how these decisions impact upon a range of internal and external stakeholders. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making and the operational business functions of human resource management, finance and accounts, marketing, and operations management. There are 2 exam papers; Paper 1 is based on a pre-released statement that specifies the context and background for the unseen case study and is 1 hour 30 minutes. Paper 2 is based on unseen stimulus material with a quantitative focus – the exam paper is also 1 hour 30 minutes. For the IA in Business, students produce a research project about a real business issue or problem facing a particular organization using a conceptual lens.
Among the challenges common to all societies is the search for acceptable levels of economic well-being. This quest remains with us, not only because of the vast gulf separating
the poorest and richest inhabitants of our planet, but also because of the limits to resources, time and human effort. Individuals, firms and governments must constantly make choices: ‘What should we produce, how shall we produce most efficiently and who should benefit?’
Macroeconomics and Global economics. The course will be taught through 9 key concepts: scarcity, choice, efficiency, equity, economic well-being, sustainability, change, interdependence and intervention. The syllabus is to be explored through real world examples, with a credit given to students illustrating their work through real world scenarios.
Students are required to keep a portfolio of commentaries in which they collect short extracts from published news media and then comment on them in the light of their understanding of Economics at that stage of the course. Students will submit three commentaries of not more than 800 words each. The coursework accounts for 20% of the final mark at Higher and 30% at Standard Level.
All students are required to show competence in interpreting data and in writing essays. In addition, Higher Level students will sit a third exam paper which will test their ability to calculate, draw graphs, work out tax incidence, profit levels and National Income account balances and to handle many other tasks using mathematical skills.
Successful students are most likely to be those with a curiosity about the world, who are interested in current events and are prepared to read from a wide variety of sources. Basic numeracy is essential, as is the ability to express oneself clearly and concisely.
Given these new demands, students studying Economics at Higher Level are now required to have at least a grade ‘C’ pass at IGCSE Mathematics or equivalent.
Psychology is the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes. Psychology has its roots in both the natural and social sciences, leading to a variety of research methods and applications, and providing a distinctive approach to understanding modern society.
IB Psychology examines the interaction of biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences on human behaviour, thereby adopting an integrated approach. Understanding how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied enables students to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and appreciate the diversity of human behaviour.
The course of study includes three compulsory approaches (biological, cognitive and sociocultural) and one (SL) or two (HL) options from a choice of four: abnormal, developmental, health psychology and psychology of human relationships. In addition, all students will conduct a simple experimental study. HL students only will be introduced to more quantitative and qualitative research methodology.
CLASSICAL GREEK AND ROMAN STUDIES
This is a school-based syllabus which is therefore available at Standard Level only. It is designed to foster an understanding of ancient Greek and Roman values and culture through a variety of different contexts. By examining evidence from literature, history and archaeology, the student may develop a knowledge not only of the classical world, but of how and by what methods one comes to assess a culture – whether another or one’s own.
The syllabus consists of two literary topics, Epic and Tragedy, and topics in politics, society and art, Augustan Rome and Athenian vase painting. Students explore the issues raised through methods adopted from the disciplines of literary criticism, social history and archaeology, but they are encouraged, above all, to engage personally with the subject in an informed and interesting way. The final assessment consists of two written papers, and an Individual Assignment in which students may pursue a topic of particular interest to them.
GROUP 4: EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES
All the sciences involve two domains: scientific knowledge and scientific activity. Scientific knowledge involves the theoretical study of scientific principles and their application, while scientific activity involves the experimental aspect, both the practical work undertaken by students and a study of some of the classic experiments that have paved the way for advances in particular sciences. Whatever science course they decide to follow, students will develop an awareness of the limitations of the subject, its social impact, and the responsibility of practicing scientists.
Assessment is by a combination of external examinations conducted at the end of year 13 and internal assessment throughout the course. Students are expected to keep records of the practical activities they carry out and their completed practical file forms part of the final assessment. In addition, students taking Biology, Chemistry or Physics will be involved in a ten-hour Group 4 (Science) project, which aims to emphasize interdisciplinary co-operation and the processes involved in scientific investigations rather than the products of such investigations.
Physics, Chemistry and Biology are all offered at both Higher and Standard Level, and the work in these subjects follows on naturally from IGCSE.
In each subject, a student will complete the internal assessment (including the Group 4 project), one option chosen by the teacher, and a set of core topics as follows:
Chemistry: All students will study: stoichiometric relationships; atomic structure; periodicity; chemical bonding and structure; energetics/thermochemistry; chemical kinetics; equilibrium; acids and bases; redox processes; organic chemistry; and measurement, data processing and analysis. Higher Level students will study additional facets of each of these topics.
Physics: All students will study: measurement and uncertainties; mechanics; thermal physics; waves; electricity and magnetism; circular motion and gravitation; atomic nuclear and particle physics; and energy production. Higher Level students will additionally study: wave phenomena; fields; electromagnetic induction; and quantum and nuclear physics and option D: Astrophysics.
Biology: All students will study: cell biology; molecular biology; genetics; ecology; evolution and biodiversity; and human physiology. Higher Level students will additionally study: nucleic acids; metabolism, cell respiration and photosynthesis; plant biology; genetics and evolution; and animal physiology.
Environmental Systems and Societies is a Standard Level course, and may be of particular interest to those whose main interests lie outside the sciences. It enables students to develop a sound scientific understanding of the interrelationships between natural ecosystems and societies, and thus to adopt an informed personal response to some of the pressing environmental issues faced by today’s world, such as pollution, human population increase and the consequent pressure on resources, and global warming.
Core modules are: foundations of environmental systems and societies; ecosystems and ecology; biodiversity and conservation; water and aquatic food production systems; soil and terrestrial food production systems; atmospheric systems; climate change and energy production; human systems and resource use.
Like the other science courses, there is an internal assessment of practical work, but unlike the other science courses, there are no optional modules.
GROUP 5: MATHEMATICS
Initially, there are two options available within Group 5. Each of these fulfills a different need and has different entry conditions. Mathematical Standard (SL) is open to all students, although a C grade pass in IGCSE Mathematics is preferred, and Mathematics Higher (HL) requires at least an A grade in Extended Level IGCSE.
MATHEMATICS: Analysis and Approaches (HL)
This course caters for students who will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses like physics, engineering and technology (and, at some universities, single honours economics). Others may take the subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting challenges and engaging in problems.
The course focuses on developing important mathematical concepts in a coherent way and with an appropriate attention to rigour and proof. Students are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge to solving problems in a variety of meaningful contexts.
One of the examination papers (30%) for this course has to be completed without any calculator assistance. The other two examination papers (30%) and (20%) for this course involve the use of a graphical display calculator.
As a part (20%) of the assessment, students are expected to produce a report on a mathematical exploration into an area of mathematics or mathematical modelling of their own choice.
This course is a demanding one. Students wishing to study mathematics in a less rigorous way should, therefore, follow one of the SL courses.
After a half term of work on the common core, Mathematical Standard (SL) divides into two separate groups. One group will follow a course leading to the Analysis and Approaches SL examination. The other group will follow a course leading to the Applications and Interpretation SL examination. More information about these two courses will be explained during Year 12 but the use of a graphical display calculator will be needed for all or part of the course. The final grade in both courses will include 20% from an internal assessment. Students undertake an exploration of a mathematical nature in the context of another subject in the curriculum, a hobby or interest using skills learned before and during the course.
GROUP 6: ARTS
Both Higher and Standard level students follow a core syllabus which includes the principles of art and design, practice in the use of media, the acquisition of techniques and the ability to relate art and design to their historical and social contexts. The use of local and cultural resources is an important and integral part of the Visual Arts course. Art history and criticism are integrated into the practical course and not dealt with in isolation. From this base, students define topics and themes of their own choice, which are developed through both their visual arts journals and their studio work. The Visual Arts syllabus framework is divided into three parts: a comparative study, a process portfolio and an exhibition.
Both SL and HL students are required to complete all three components during the two-year course. However, there is a clear distinction between the course at SL and at HL, with additional assessment requirements at HL. HL students are encouraged to produce a larger body of resolved works and to demonstrate a deeper consideration of how their resolved works communicate with a potential viewer. At the end of the Visuals Arts course, coursework will be scanned and photographed, uploaded and submitted in a digital, on- screen format for external assessment.
The Theatre course is designed to encourage students to examine theatre in its diversity of forms around the world. This is achieved through the study of a wide variety of performance styles, theatre traditions, theatre theorists and play texts. Students learn the importance of working both individually and as a member of an ensemble as they explore and engage with theatre from a variety of contexts. Through active engagement in all aspects of performance and production, students are encouraged to develop organizational and technical skills needed to express themselves creatively. With the aim to become reflective and critical practitioners, communicators, collaborators and creative thinkers in theatre they will develop the confidence to explore, experiment, and work on projects that challenge the established notions and conventions. The two-year course will give them an understanding of the dynamic, holistic and evolving nature of theatre and the interdependencies of all aspects of this art form.
At IB level the study of music encourages inquiry into creative practices and performance processes. It develops listening, creative and analytical skills, as well as encouraging cultural understanding and international-mindedness. In this course, students are asked to take on the role of performer, creator, and researcher: this means their work will be a balanced mixture of playing, composing and writing. They are assessed both internally and externally through the submission of a set of coursework portfolios.
All students take 3 components: Exploring Music in Context, Experimenting With Music, and Presenting Music. Each component requires the student to submit a portfolio which reflects a mixture of performing, creating and research exercises undertaken during the course. Students are encouraged to study a diverse range of musical styles which relate to 4 prescribed Areas of Inquiry: within this they have the freedom to choose which topics to base their coursework projects on.
Higher Level students also submit a continuous multimedia presentation documenting a collaborative project that draws on the competencies, skills and processes of the music course and is inspired by real-life practices of music-making.
IB Subject ‘briefs’ (2-page summaries of course and assessment structures) can be accessed via the IB’s public platform at:- https://ibo.org/university- admission/support-students-transition-to-higher-education/course-selection- guidance/#dp-subject-briefs