The Diploma Years Programme

IST is officially authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the Diploma Years Programme (IBDP) as of September 2022. This comprehensive and rigorous two-year academic programme is designed for students aged 16 to 19 (Grades 11 and 12) and provides excellent preparation for higher education.

IBDP Objectives:
Balanced Education: Ensures students receive a well-rounded education.
Critical and Creative Thinking: Develops students’ analytical and innovative thinking skills.
Geographic and Cultural Mobility: Facilitates ease of movement across cultures and countries.
International-Mindedness: Promotes a global perspective and understanding.

Holistic Learning Experience: The IBDP nurtures students physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically through a holistic learning approach.

Academic Focus: The IBDP curriculum encompasses six subject groups and a core component: Language and Literature, Language, Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts.

Core Components:
Theory of Knowledge (TOK): Encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself.
Extended Essay (EE): Involves independent, self-directed research culminating in a 4,000-word paper.
Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): Promotes personal growth through artistic, physical, and community service activities.
Global Recognition: The IBDP is an internationally recognized curriculum valued by universities and employers worldwide.

For more detailed information about the Diploma Years Programme (DP), please refer to the IST Diploma Years Programme Parent Handbook.


SUBJECT COURSES in the Class DP 1 (Grade 11)

Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4Group 5
Subject GroupLanguage ALanguage
Individuals and SocietiesSciencesMaths
Courses OfferedLanguage and Literature (HL/SL)Language B French (SL)
Language B German (SL)
Language B Spanish (SL)
Language AB Initio Spanish
Business (SL)
Business (HL)
Economics (SL)
Economics (HL)
Global Politics (HL/SL)
Biology (HL/SL)
Chemistry (HL/SL)
Physics (HL/SL)
Environmental Systems & Societies (HL/SL)
Approaches and Analysis (HL/SL)
Applications and Interpretations (SL)

SUBJECT COURSES in the Class DP 2 (Grade 12)

Group 1Group 2Group 3Group 4Group 5
Subject GroupLanguage ALanguage
Individuals and SocietiesSciencesMaths
Courses OfferedLanguage and Literature (HL/SL)Language B French (SL)
Language AB Initio Spanish
Business (SL)
Business (HL)
Psychology (HL/SL)
Biology (HL/SL)
Physics (HL/SL)
Approaches and Analysis (HL/SL)
Applications and Interpretations (HL/SL)

Extended Essay (EE)

The Extended Essay (EE) is a 4,000-word research paper written during the 11th and 12th grades as part of the Diploma Programme (DP). This research paper allows students to delve into a topic of personal interest within one of their chosen subjects, fostering independent research and critical thinking skills.

Extended Essay Process:
1. Topic Selection (11th Grade): Students select a topic they are passionate about from one of their DP subjects.
2. In-depth Research: Students conduct thorough research to gather relevant information and insights.
3. Research Question Formulation: Students develop a specific research question to guide their investigation.
4. Writing and Submission (12th Grade): Students write and refine their Extended Essay, culminating in the submission of their final paper.

Assessment Criteria:
1. Focus and Method: Clarity and appropriateness of the research question and methodology.
2. Knowledge and Understanding: Depth of understanding of the chosen topic.
3. Critical Thinking Skills: Analysis, evaluation, and synthesis of information.
4. Presentation: Structure, formatting, and overall presentation of the essay.
5. Engagement: Reflection on the research process and personal learning journey.

For more detailed information about the Extended Essay, please refer to the DP Extended Essay Handbook.

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CAS (Community, Action, and Service):

Service as Action is an integral part of the DP core, and will be introduced next academic year with our first cohort of 11th graders. As service and action have always been shared values of the IST community, we continue the work with and develop these values in our students. The emphasis in CAS is on learning by doing real tasks that have real consequences, and reflecting on these experiences. The purpose is for students to be involved in activities that will make a significant difference to their lives and also to the lives of others, as well as challenge themselves to extend existing skills or learn new ones. The CAS Handbook can be downloaded here: IST CAS Handbook

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TOK (Theory of Knowledge)

The TOK course intends to foster international-mindedness and encourage students to become responsible and actively involved global citizens, to develop students’ self-awareness and sense of identity, and provide an opportunity for reflection on their development of the attributes of the IB learner profile, and to enrich and add value to students’ overall learning experiences while supporting, and being supported by their academic studies in the rest of the programme. The design of the course hopes to allow students to reflect on what shapes their perspective as a knower, where their values come from, and how they make sense of, and navigate, the world around them. Teachers must ensure that within their exploration of the core theme, they engage with the four compulsory elements required in every part of the TOK (Theory of Knowledge) curriculum: scope, perspectives, methods and tools, and ethics.
Lastly the course focuses on student knowledge through questions; how knowledge is produced, acquired, shared and used; what it is and what it is not; who has it and who does not; and who decides the answers to these questions. Knowledge questions draw on central TOK concepts such as evidence, certainty, values, and interpretation.

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Approaches to Teaching and Learning

As students develop, they learn how to be learners; this process is supported by weaving 21st century skills into the heart of the curriculum, ensuring that these skills are a part of the entire learning process. A unifying thread throughout all IB programmes and DP subject groups, approaches to teaching and learning skills provide the foundation for independent learning. Approaches to teaching and learning are deliberate strategies, skills and attitudes that permeate the teaching and learning environment and allow students to take ownership of their learning. These approaches and tools, intrinsically linked with the IB learner profile attributes, enhance student learning and assist student preparation for DP assessment and beyond.
The 5 categories included in approaches to learning in the DP programme are thinking, communication, self-management, research and social skills.
The 6 categories included in approaches to teaching in the DP programme are based on inquiry, focused on conceptual understanding, developed in local and global contexts, focused on effective and collaborative teamwork, differentiated to meet the needs of all learners, and informed by formative and summative assessment.

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Assessment in the DP consists of two components, external and internal assessment.
Internal Assessment is composed of all the formative and summative assessments students are given in their individual classrooms with their teachers. These may include homeworks, labs, presentations, tests, among others. Students will receive semester grades produced from our managebac system, in January and June of grade 11, as well as January and May in grade 12. All teachers with their respective subjects will use the grade descriptors according to the IBDP to assess their students’ work. The grade descriptors for each subject can be found in the attached guide.
Grade Description
The external assessment is taken at the end of 12th grade as students finish the two-year Diploma programme. The exam papers are taken in all six subject groups. In the DP, students receive grades ranging from 1 to 7, with 7 being highest. The exam papers are assessed individually, and externally by an IB moderator with a certain amount of points, and afterwards the points are calculated and a final result will be awarded in the 1 to 7 scale. Students receive a separate grade for each DP course attempted. A student’s final diploma result score is made up of the combined scores for each of their chosen 6 subjects. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points out of the maximum 42 points coming from the six subjects, including successful completion of the three essential elements of the DP core, Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and CAS, each worth one point, for a maximum total of 45 points. The grade descriptors used on the exam papers for each subject are the same the teachers use throughout the programme. They can be found again attached below.

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Why Choose The DP Programme

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year academic programme, which offers excellent preparation for higher education. It is an international curriculum recognized globally by universities and employers around the world. The general objectives of the IBDP are to provide students with a balanced education, to develop critical and creative thinkers, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility, and to promote international-mindedness. The IBDP promotes a holistic learning experience, which enables students to flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically.