International Baccalaureate Program
The purpose of the IB program is to challenge academically motivated students within the international standards of excellence established by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) guidelines.
The IB program is based on two principles: •The need for a broad general education formally establishing the basic knowledge necessary for whatever career may be chosen or whatever academic pathway may be followed in further studies. •The need for a choice among the subjects to be studied so that the students’ options may correspond as far as possible to their interests and capacities. The intent is that students should learn how to learn, analyze and reach considered conclusions about humanity, their languages, ways in society, and the scientific forces of the environment.
THE IB DIPLOMA PROGRAM:
The diploma program is a two-year sequence followed in the eleventh and twelfth grades, and has the following requirements:
- Six courses chosen from a different area of study. Of these courses, three must be High Level, which are taken over both the eleventh and twelfth grade years.
- Approximately 150 hours of participation in creativity, activity and service (CAS).
- An extended essay of 4000 words, which demands independent work under appropriate guidance and gives the candidate a first experience of personal research.
- A course in Theory of Knowledge which explains the relationship between different disciplines and ensures that students engage in critical reflection on the knowledge and experience acquired both within and beyond the classroom.
THE IB CURRICULUM:
The IB curriculum consists of six subject groups. At Woodmont High School the following courses are currently offered (note – HL = Higher level, SL = Standard level):
Group 1. Language 1 (Native Language):
- English A1 – HL
Group 2. Language 2 (Second Language):
- Spanish B – SL
- French B - SL
Group 3. Individuals and Societies:
- History of the Americas – HL
- Psychology HL
- Psychology SL
Group 4. Experimental Sciences:
- Biology – SL
- Chemistry - SL
Group 5. Mathematics:
- Math Studies– SL
- Mathematics HL
- Mathematics – SL
Group 6. Elective: One of the following options:
- Music HL
- Music SL
- Theater HL
- Theater SL
- Visual Arts HL
- Visual Arts SL
THE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM:
All IB classes are open to non-Diploma students. In fact, this is encouraged since the successful passing of Higher Level examinations is considered by most U.S. universities to be at least the equivalent to the passing of Advanced Placement (AP) examinations.
IB candidates (both Diploma and Certificate) are examined both internally by the subject teacher and externally by the IB Organization.
According to the requirements of the subject, this may take the form of guided course work, project work, fieldwork, oral commentaries, practical and/or laboratory experience. Work is assessed by the teacher.
Written examinations. These are set and marked by the IB Examinations Office, currently based in Great Britain. They are taken at Woodmont at the end of the 2-year course of study, usually in the month of May. The exams may include essay and short answer questions, document and database questions, multiple-choice objective tests. Oral examination: (Visual Arts only).
At both the Higher and Standard level, each examined subject is graded on a 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum) point scale, with 4 generally considered as passing level. The award of the Diploma requires a minimum of 24 points, and the satisfactory completion of the Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay and the CAS activity requirement.
RECOGNITION OF THE DIPLOMA:
In the United States some of the best universities offer second year standing to holders of the IB Diploma and many offer university credit for individual courses. (For information about specific colleges please refer to the college’s course of study handbook.) In addition, the Diploma is internationally recognized. This is not to say that possession of the Diploma will secure automatic admission to any North American university, however universities do look for evidence of demanding courses on students’ transcripts. It is in the best interest of each student wishing to be competitive at selective universities to take challenging high school courses, and IB fulfills this interest. Students wishing to enroll in the Diploma Program or needing further information about IB courses should consult with the IB Coordinator.