The IB Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme is presented as six academic areas enclosing a central core. It encourages the concurrent study of a broad range of academic areas. Students will take six courses and three DP Core Requirements.

In each of the academic areas, students have some flexibility in making their choices, which means they can choose subjects that particularly interest them and may wish to study further at university.

Students are required to choose one course from each of the six academic groups, although they can substitute a second choice from groups 1 to 5 instead of an arts subject in group 6.

Normally, three subjects are taken at the Higher Level (HL), and three are taken at the Standard Level (SL). HL subjects are studied in greater depth and breadth than SL subjects. At both levels, many skills are developed, especially those of critical thinking and analysis.

All Diploma Programme students also participate in the three Core Requirements: Theory of Knowledge (ToK), Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay. These Core Requirements embody the principles that lie at the heart of the thinking behind the Diploma Programme.

When choosing courses, students should review university entrance requirements as each institution is different. Personal interest and academic ability are also crucial factors. At Stratford Hall, we allow students to make course requests, but we reserve the right to place students in the most appropriate courses to give them the best academic experience. This decision will be based on Grade 10 academic results, students' habits of mind (or Approaches to Learning), and students' post-secondary goals.

Choosing the right courses is a big decision and students should speak with their Diploma Programme Coordinator and their teachers for advice and support.

The International Baccalaureate Organization provides significant guidance for teachers, espousing modern pedagogy for responsive and engaging education: this is termed Approaches to Teaching. Approaches to Learning concerns how a student learns how to learn, how to be organized, how to give and receive feedback, how to advocate for their individual needs, how to reflect on their own learning, and how to collaborate.

These are the attributes of mature and engaged world leaders.