What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma?

The IB Diploma Programme is a comprehensive pre-university two-year curriculum course of study designed for students in the 16 to 19 age range. It is a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging students to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view.


The IB Diploma Programme is widely recognised by the world’s leading universities. The program is unique in that it is based on no particular national education system but is a deliberate balance between breadth and the specialisation which is required by many universities.

The Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to develop:

  • Critical thinking and analysis skills
  • An international mindedness necessary to live and work in a global community
  • An understanding of global issues and a concern for others in our community and the broader world
  • A strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • A balanced education for the ‘whole’ student
  • An extensive knowledge and skill base in preparation for university and adult life

Follow this link for more information about the IB Diploma:


Teaching and Learning in the IB Program:

Challenges which stimulate student motivation and learning.

  • High level learning – critical thinking and open-ended questions
  • Balanced development of the whole person – academic, creative and cultural
  • Global understanding
  • Effective use of information technology to enhance learning
  • Attributes required for success in the Diploma Programme:

– Active responsibility for own learning
– Organisation and time management
– Research skills
– Cooperative learning and open-mindedness

The IB Diploma Curriculum

The curriculum is modelled by a Diploma Curriculum Framework with six academic areas surrounding the three core requirements.
Over the course of the two-year program, students:

  • Study six subjects chosen from the six subject groups
  • Complete an Extended Essay
  • Follow a Theory of Knowledge course (TOK)
  • Participate in Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

Normally students’ study loads comprise:

  • Three of the six subjects are studied at Higher Level (courses representing a minimum of 240 teaching hours over the two-year period)
  • The remaining three subjects are studied at Standard Level (courses representing a minimum of 150 teaching hours over the two-year period)

The International Baccalaureate has set very clear guidelines and regulations that students must achieve in order to receive the Diploma qualification. 


The Diploma Curriculum Framework

At Mansfield Steiner School we align strongly with the Diploma’s emphasis upon international-mindedness. This stands firmly in line with our vision for our graduates to have an understanding of global issues and a concern for others in our community and the broader world. The IB believes that students must also develop an understanding of their own cultural and national identity. We believe the IB Diploma Programme will assist students in developing the skills they need to live and work in an international context which is essential for life in the 21st Century. It provides a balanced education for the ‘whole’ student and provides excellent preparation for both university and adult life.

Universities respond positively to IB Diploma graduates because the curriculum develops a balanced variety of skills. IB Diploma graduates, with the range of subjects they have studied, have a greater choice of undergraduate programs. Many colleges and universities have developed their own recognition policies. The individual policies vary greatly, but they all have one thing in common; through their policies, these institutions make it apparent that they understand and appreciate the Diploma Programme graduate and the rigour of the Diploma Programme itself. http://www.ibo.org/en/university-admission/

The Core of the Diploma Curriculum Framework

All Diploma Programme students participate in the three course requirements that make up the core of the Diploma Curriculum Framework. Reflection on all these activities is a principle that lies at the heart of the thinking behind the Diploma Programme.

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course encourages students to think about the nature of knowledge, to reflect on the process of learning in all the subjects they study as part of their Diploma Programme, and to make connections across the academic areas.

The Extended Essay (EE), a substantial written work of up to 4,000 words, enables students to investigate a topic of special interest that they have chosen themselves. It also encourages students to develop the skills of independent research that will be expected at university.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) involves students in experiential learning through a range of artistic, sporting, physical and service activities.

The IB Mission and the IB Learner Profile

The International Baccalaureate is more than its educational programmes. At its heart, it is motivated by a mission to create a better world through education.

The IB values its hard-earned reputation for quality, for high standards and for pedagogical leadership. The IB achieves goals by working with partners and by actively involving stakeholders, particularly teachers.

The IB promotes intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century. All of this is captured in the IB mission statement.