IB Diploma Programme
What is the DP?
There are many benefits to choosing the DP. The programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically. The DP curriculum is made up of six subject groups that students study with cross-curricular connections between the subjects. The second part of the DP is the DP "Core", which is comprised the theory of knowledge (TOK) course, creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay. Through the DP Core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.
What the DP offers students
Through the DP, schools are able to develop students who:
- have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
- flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- study at least two languages
- excel in traditional academic subjects
- explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
Why offer the DP?
International research shows that there are many benefits to choosing the DP over other 16-19 year old curricula. For example:
- DP students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them, according to one study
- Analysis of DP students in Canada, the UK and the USA found that the DP’s extended essay improves students’ approach to learning in higher education.
The curriculum for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) is prescribed. Students must meet the IB DP requirements to receive the IB Diploma at the end of their two years of study. The IB curriculum is divided into six groups or categories, of which the students must study one subject in each group. The IB courses offered at SFHS are:
The Academic Coursework
IB Categories IB Courses Offered at SFHS in each group Group 1 Student’s Best Language English Literature HL* OR English Language & Literature SL Group 2 Modern Language Spanish B (HL or SL), French B (HL or SL), German B (HL or SL), and Latin B (HL or SL) Group 3 Individuals and Societies History HL* or SL, Psychology SL, Business Management SL, Environmental Systems & Societies SL Group 4 Experimental Sciences Biology HL*, Physics HL*, Chemistry SL, Computer Science SL, Design Technology SL, and Environmental Systems & Societies SL Group 5 Mathematics Mathematics HL or SL, Mathematical Studies SL Group 6 Arts & Electives Visual Arts HL or SL, Music (Band) SL, Psychology SL, Design Technology SL, Chemistry SL, Business SL, Computer Science SL, Environmental Systems & Society SL
For students’ junior and senior years, they will choose one course from each of the six groups. Students must take one of each group from the above, at least three of which MUST be a two-year higher level (HL) study (Marked by *). Students may choose to study as many as four of the groups at the higer level, schedule permitting. The rest will be standard level (SL) course offerings. Students can make their selection of courses based on their academic strengths and interests. The standard level courses and higher level courses are both rigorous, college level courses in nature, scope and coverage. The higher level courses expand upon the curriculum offered at the standard level and often requires one or more additional internal and/or external assessments.
Elements of the IB Diploma Programme
To help students prepare for the expectations of college and become aware of the positive influence they can have on their own community, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme also requires three core elements.
A culminating research paper designed to teach students how to independently research topics, much like those they will be exposed to at the college/university level
Theory of Knowledge (Course)
An interdisciplinary course that enables students to reflect critically on the question of “How do we know what we know?” They learn about how looking at the way we know things varies from one subject area to the next, and how decision making requires logical connections of differing areas of knowledge.
CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service)
Through creative activities, sports, volunteerism, etc., students build confidence in themselves while improving their communities (IBO expects students to make community contributions for an average of 2 hours each week over a students’ junior and senior years)
Benefits for Students
*Offers students a rigorous, pre-university course of study
*Develops students’ critical and analytical thinking skills (learn how to learn)
*Challenges students to consider and appreciate internationalism both within and beyond their local communities and cultures
*Offers students opportunities to become an active participant in their community through awareness of volunteer and service projects
*Encourages fluency in a second language
*Offers an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, world class curriculum
*Provides an opportunity to conduct and write an independent research paper to prepare students with the skills to write college-level papers
Where to go for more information on the IB Program?
first try the IBO website at ibo.org.
Some general information is available with the following links includes an informational brochure, the powerpoint slideshow used at the Information Nights:
IB Program Guide
IB Brochure - some general information about the IB Program in Forsyth County.
IB F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions about IB at South High
The Powerpoint from our IB Parent Night held in January of 2020 can be found here. This powerpoint is updated yearly. The meeting was aimed at rising-9th grade parents, but anyone interested is encouraged to view the presentation to find out more about our IB Programs at South High. If you still have questions, please contact the IB Coordinator, Kevin Denney. The meeting for the 2021-22 SY will be held somewhere around the same date in early December of 2020 or early January of 2021. Look for an announcement in your email and on the school e-contacts.