What is the History of IB?

The International Baccalaureate is best described as "Challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of school... creating a better world." (taken from What Can I Be? Telling the IB Story, page 39). Founded in 1968, we currently work with 3,305 schools in 141 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 969,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.

These programmes aptly reflect 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. (Vade Mecum, 2007, page A1)

The IBO grew out of efforts to establish a common curriculum worldwide so that students who found themselves frequently moving could be assured that geographical differences did not impact on the standard of education they received and hence their ability to access post secondary institutions. With that end in mind the Diploma Programme (DP) taken during the last two years of secondary school immerses students in a comprehensive curriculum - leading to a baccalaureate - that could be administered in any IB World School and recognized by universities in every country.

What is the History of IB?

Along with the intellectual rigor and high academic standards expected of the IBO there is also a strong emphasis placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship. Inherent in the programme is the development of good citizenship skills. IB students are expected to become informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life.

St. Mary's High School received its IB charter in 1986, we are happy to be celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary.

What is the Philosophy of IB?

IB provides students of varied linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead of them. The education of the "whole person" takes on a special significance in the twenty-first century when knowledge continues to expand dramatically; when advanced technologies and global economics tie together vastly different cultures; when the world is bound too closely for provincial ideologies to guide political thought; when to exist in a world community requires appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity and when cooperation alone will solve global problems. It is essential that academic training provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to succeed in the competitive, modern world.

Who is a typical IB Student?

We invite all students who attempt to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk takers, balanced and reflective to apply for the International Baccalaureate Programme. At St. Mary's students may take the Certificate Programme (partial IB) or Diploma Programme (full IB) in English or the French Bilingual Diploma. Potential candidates register for the IB Programme at the same time that Grade Nine students apply to the school, and at this time they select the Grade Ten Honor courses that will facilitate preparation for their Grade Eleven and Twelve IB coursework.

What are the IB Course Options?

Group One: First Language English A1 HL
Group Two: Second Language French ab initio SL, Spanish ab initio SL or Italian ab initio SL
French B SL* or
French Language Arts (FLA) A2 SL
*available if numbers warrant
Group Three: Individuals & Societies History HL
Group Four: Experimental Sciences Biology HL or Physics HL
Chemistry SL
Group Five: Mathematics Mathematics SL
Group Six: Arts and Electives Music SL or Theatre HL or Visual Arts SL/HL
A Second Science could be Selected from Group Four to replace a Group Six subject

IB Diploma Requirements

During Grade 11 and 12, students will take six (6) IB exams: three at a Higher Level and three at a Standard Level. One exam will be taken from each of the six subject areas listed. Exams are graded from 1 point to 7 points (maximum). Students must score a total of 24 points with a score of 12 or higher in HL courses. Students must score a total of 24 points to acquire the IB Diploma. In addition, diploma candidates must meet three other requirements:

  1. Complete an inter-disciplinary course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
  2. Prepare an Extended Essay reflecting independent research and
  3. Acquire approximately 150 CAS hours (extracurricular activities that are categorized as Creativity, Action, or Service).

IB Certificate

Students select IB classes based on availability, interest, and achievement. Certificate students do not receive the IB Diploma, but they do earn a Certificate for each IB exam successfully completed.

Is there a benefit to participating in the IB program rather than an AP program?

The full benefit of the IB Programme comes with the Diploma Programme. Elite universities recognize it as the most competitive and rigorous one available in North American high schools producing well-rounded students who value academics and community service. It is also true that talented students taking a full complement of AP classes, engaging in community service, and scoring well on college entrance exams will be very strong university candidates. Typically, AP students tend to select only those courses in which they have a demonstrable strength. IB students, however, are required to complete six advanced classes and for many of the students, some of these courses will cause them to reach beyond their natural abilities, a fact that is not lost on university admission officers.

What happens if a student finds that the IB Programme is not a good match for him/her?

The IB Programme itself does not begin until Grade Eleven. The Grade Ten Honor programme allows parents, students, teachers, and counselors time to determine if the program is right for the student. If a student finds that the challenge of being a diploma candidate is too much and comes out of the more difficult course work then the student may qualify for the Certificate Program as a partial IB student. If a student drops the IB Programme altogether, he/she will need a parent, student, counselor conference to help clarify issues and options so that there is a smooth transition back to the regular program or to their feeder school if it is not St. Mary's.

How much homework should my student expect?

Can my child participate in school clubs and other activities? During Grades Ten and Eleven, the homework load should total 2 or 3 hours per night. In Grade Twelve the homework load can be greater at times. It is recommended that students begin their Extended Essay during the summer before Grade Twelve. There is no doubt that the academic commitment to the programme is a top priority for success; however, IB students are typically very involved in sports, drama, music, student council, and other activities in the community. The secret to success is in the balancing and in the selection of worthwhile activities that match individual interests.

What are the advantages of IB?

  1. IB students' credentials are recognized by universities world-wide.
  2. IB students are sought after by universities, not only for their academic achievements, but also for their potential contributions to the university and to society.
  3. The diploma may count toward as much as the first year of university credit, saving the student time and or money when completing their post-secondary studies.
  4. IB certificates may also count toward specific university course credit.
  5. Students who graduate from the IB programme demonstrate a strong commitment to learning both in terms of the mastery of subject content and in the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in the competitive, modern world.

IB Overview

What is the History of IB?

The International Baccalaureate is best described as "Challenging educational programmes for a worldwide community of school... creating a better world." (taken from What Can I Be? Telling the IB Story, page 39). Founded in 1968, we currently work with 3,305 schools in 141 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 969,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.

These programmes aptly reflect 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. (Vade Mecum, 2007, page A1)

The IBO grew out of efforts to establish a common curriculum worldwide so that students who found themselves frequently moving could be assured that geographical differences did not impact on the standard of education they received and hence their ability to access post secondary institutions. With that end in mind the Diploma Programme (DP) taken during the last two years of secondary school immerses students in a comprehensive curriculum - leading to a baccalaureate - that could be administered in any IB World School and recognized by universities in every country.

What is the History of IB?

Along with the intellectual rigor and high academic standards expected of the IBO there is also a strong emphasis placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship. Inherent in the programme is the development of good citizenship skills. IB students are expected to become informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life.

St. Mary's High School received its IB charter in 1986, we are happy to be celebrating our twenty-fifth anniversary.

What is the Philosophy of IB?

IB provides students of varied linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds with the intellectual, social and critical perspectives necessary for the adult world that lies ahead of them. The education of the "whole person" takes on a special significance in the twenty-first century when knowledge continues to expand dramatically; when advanced technologies and global economics tie together vastly different cultures; when the world is bound too closely for provincial ideologies to guide political thought; when to exist in a world community requires appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity and when cooperation alone will solve global problems. It is essential that academic training provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to succeed in the competitive, modern world.

Who is a typical IB Student?

We invite all students who attempt to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk takers, balanced and reflective to apply for the International Baccalaureate Programme. At St. Mary's students may take the Certificate Programme (partial IB) or Diploma Programme (full IB) in English or the French Bilingual Diploma. Potential candidates register for the IB Programme at the same time that Grade Nine students apply to the school, and at this time they select the Grade Ten Honor courses that will facilitate preparation for their Grade Eleven and Twelve IB coursework.

What are the IB Course Options?

Group One: First Language English A1 HL
Group Two: Second Language French ab initio SL, Spanish ab initio SL or Italian ab initio SL
French B SL* or
French Language Arts (FLA) A2 SL
*available if numbers warrant
Group Three: Individuals & Societies History HL
Group Four: Experimental Sciences Biology HL or Physics HL
Chemistry SL
Group Five: Mathematics Mathematics SL
Group Six: Arts and Electives Music SL or Theatre HL or Visual Arts SL/HL
A Second Science could be Selected from Group Four to replace a Group Six subject

IB Diploma Requirements

During Grade 11 and 12, students will take six (6) IB exams: three at a Higher Level and three at a Standard Level. One exam will be taken from each of the six subject areas listed. Exams are graded from 1 point to 7 points (maximum). Students must score a total of 24 points with a score of 12 or higher in HL courses. Students must score a total of 24 points to acquire the IB Diploma. In addition, diploma candidates must meet three other requirements:

  1. Complete an inter-disciplinary course called Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
  2. Prepare an Extended Essay reflecting independent research and
  3. Acquire approximately 150 CAS hours (extracurricular activities that are categorized as Creativity, Action, or Service).

IB Certificate

Students select IB classes based on availability, interest, and achievement. Certificate students do not receive the IB Diploma, but they do earn a Certificate for each IB exam successfully completed.

Is there a benefit to participating in the IB program rather than an AP program?

The full benefit of the IB Programme comes with the Diploma Programme. Elite universities recognize it as the most competitive and rigorous one available in North American high schools producing well-rounded students who value academics and community service. It is also true that talented students taking a full complement of AP classes, engaging in community service, and scoring well on college entrance exams will be very strong university candidates. Typically, AP students tend to select only those courses in which they have a demonstrable strength. IB students, however, are required to complete six advanced classes and for many of the students, some of these courses will cause them to reach beyond their natural abilities, a fact that is not lost on university admission officers.

What happens if a student finds that the IB Programme is not a good match for him/her?

The IB Programme itself does not begin until Grade Eleven. The Grade Ten Honor programme allows parents, students, teachers, and counselors time to determine if the program is right for the student. If a student finds that the challenge of being a diploma candidate is too much and comes out of the more difficult course work then the student may qualify for the Certificate Program as a partial IB student. If a student drops the IB Programme altogether, he/she will need a parent, student, counselor conference to help clarify issues and options so that there is a smooth transition back to the regular program or to their feeder school if it is not St. Mary's.

How much homework should my student expect?

Can my child participate in school clubs and other activities? During Grades Ten and Eleven, the homework load should total 2 or 3 hours per night. In Grade Twelve the homework load can be greater at times. It is recommended that students begin their Extended Essay during the summer before Grade Twelve. There is no doubt that the academic commitment to the programme is a top priority for success; however, IB students are typically very involved in sports, drama, music, student council, and other activities in the community. The secret to success is in the balancing and in the selection of worthwhile activities that match individual interests.

What are the advantages of IB?

  1. IB students' credentials are recognized by universities world-wide.
  2. IB students are sought after by universities, not only for their academic achievements, but also for their potential contributions to the university and to society.
  3. The diploma may count toward as much as the first year of university credit, saving the student time and or money when completing their post-secondary studies.
  4. IB certificates may also count toward specific university course credit.
  5. Students who graduate from the IB programme demonstrate a strong commitment to learning both in terms of the mastery of subject content and in the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in the competitive, modern world.