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International Baccalaureate

What is the International Baccalaureate?

 The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a chartered foundation under the Swiss civil code with headquarters in Geneva. Founded in the 1960s, the IBO grew out of international school efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for geographically-mobile students. Beyond practical considerations, international educators were also motivated by an idealistic vision as outlined in the IBO Mission Statement:

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Concentrating on the last two years of secondary school, the IBO sought to build a comprehensive curriculum - leading to a baccalaureate (diploma) - that could be administered in any country and be recognized by universities in every country.

Who can participate in the IB?

At Thom Collegiate, this internationally-recognized program is open to all Regina students. Grade 8 students are invited to apply to the Thom Collegiate Pre-IB program at for their Grade 9 year. Grade 9 students can apply to the Thom Collegiate Pre-IB program for their Grade 10 year. The IB curriculum is a rigorous academic program for which students require strong work and study habits in order to be successful. Students participating in the Thom Collegiate Pre-IB program will receive counselling regarding their progress throughout the year. Grade 8 and Grade 9 teachers may identify strong candidates and encourage these students to consider the IB program. Teachers are also encouraged to identify possible candidates to the guidance counsellors or to the IB Coordinator.

Courses offered in the Thom Collegiate Pre-IB program:

 Students interested in the IB program must take all of the Grade 9 and/or Grade 10 Thom Collegiate Pre-IB courses which include: English, French, History, Math, and Science. These courses are recognized by Saskatchewan Learning and are noted on official transcripts. These courses are required for completion of either the certificate courses or of the full diploma program.

The IB Hexagon:

Students may opt to either take a full diploma program or they may choose individual courses (certificates) at the level offered. Additional courses may be offered depending on student interest and enrolment.

 Diploma students must select at least one subject from each of the six subject groups. This requirement ensures that the math/science-oriented student is challenged to learn a foreign language and that the humanities-oriented student becomes familiar with calculus and laboratory procedures. Courses are divided into Higher Level (240 hours) and Standard Level (150 hours). Students must take three Higher Level classes and three Standard Level classes over the two-year period (Grades 11 and 12).

 Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a required interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection by examining the ways of knowing and acquiring knowledge. A key element in the IBO's educational philosophy seeks to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

The Creativity, Action, Service component (CAS) is a fundamental part of the diploma curriculum. Participation in theatre productions, sports, and community service activities encourages young people to share their energies and special talents while developing awareness, concern, and the ability to work cooperatively with others.

Diploma candidates are required to undertake original research and write an extended essay (EE) of some 4000 words. This project offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected at university.

Courses offered in the IB program (Grade 11 and 12) at Thom Collegiate includes

Group 1 Language A - English HL (Higher Level)
Group 2 Language B - French SL (Standard Level)
Group 3 Individuals and Societies - History HL
Group 4 Experimental Sciences - Biology HL
- Chemistry SL
- Physics SL
Group 5 Mathematics - Math SL
Group 6 Arts and Electives - Visual Arts HL
- Visual Arts SL

What students can expect:

An IB classroom is a dynamic experience where both students and teachers have made a conscious decision to take on a greater challenge. As a result, the pace is quicker and the depth is greater. Students desire and assume much greater responsibility for their learning. The IB program is not designed for all students. For those who thrive on academic and social challenge, it is a fantastic place to be!

Students interested in the IB program must take all of the Thom Collegiate Pre-IB courses in Grade 9 and/or Grade 10. The course load is not significantly heavier in Thom Collegiate Pre-IB courses than in non-IB classes, except for Mathematics and English. Thom Collegiate Pre-IB students are required to complete three Mathematics credits in their Grade 10 year. The English program requires students to be responsible for a substantial amount of reading at home. The most significant difference students will notice in IB courses is the approach taken by the teachers. Much more responsibility is placed upon the student to complete work and assignments.

The International Baccalaureate has a web site with additional information. It is located at Subject guides and other IB documents are also available at Thom Collegiate for those who are interested in learning more about specific courses.

IB Coordinator
Don Ready at 523-3600