Diversity key to IB Diploma Programme

Tuesday 16th May 2017

Whatever your passion,  the IB offers something for everyone.

IB Lapel Badge
IB Lapel Badge

With our final year IB students currently finishing off many of their internal assessments and other requirements, it has struck me once again just how diverse this programme is.

The 30+ boys who have opted into the Diploma programme take a total of over 20 different subjects ranging from the arts, the sciences, languages, maths, humanities, and literature. There are also over 20 different staff members who teach in this programme – in this respect it can be considered the largest department in the school. A stated goal of the Diploma is that graduates will experience a broad education across the disciplines mentioned above. Whether your passion is learning Russian, astrophysics, or honing your business acumen, there is something here for everyone.

The recent Theory of Knowledge presentations that the Yr 13 students delivered ranged from “Fake News”, “Should Europe open it’s borders to Syrian Refugees?”, to “Can we ‘own’ Knowledge?”  The insights that the boys bring to this assessment are both refreshing and sophisticated and are the culmination of a course that grapples with how different learning areas create and share knowledge.

Students are also re-working their drafts of their Extended Essays (EE) ready for submission later this term. EE’s are a 4000 word research paper on any topic the boys wish to pursue. This is a great opportunity for boys to develop the necessary skills and self-management to develop a piece of tertiary level research. Topics currently on the go include “What are the conceptual, cultural, and thematic reasons that the original Star Wars movies were received better than the latter ones?”, In what ways does Orwell’s Animal Farm portray a Napoleonic leadership style?”, or …(fill in your own topic you’d love to investigate).

In the sciences students have submitted individual investigations – I have particularly enjoying reading and marking such experiments as “What is the optimal parachute design and why?”, “How does the pressure of a football impact on its bounce height?”, and “How does string amplitude affect the perceived frequency on a cello?”

As part of the CAS requirements (Creativity, Action, Service), students have involved themselves in a huge range of activities both at school and within the local community.  Many boys are involved in the water quality monitoring projects at Tomahawk Lagoon, others provide individual tutoring to younger students, beach clean-ups, coaching sports teams, or working with World Vision.  New skills are being learned through completion of outside courses, learning a musical instrument, or taking the defensive driving course.  This aspect of the Diploma allows boys to gain recognition for the things they are already involved in, as well as nudging them out of their comfort zones.

With over 20% of our Year 12 students opting to complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB Diploma), there is a groundswell of support for the challenges and opportunities that this pathway offers our students.  If this opportunity sounds like you please talk to Mr Knopp (IB Coordinator) and attend the information evening later this term.