What is an International Baccalaureate (IB) School?

February 08, 2022
Last updated February 18, 2022
What is an International Baccalaureate (IB) School?

Certification and credentials are commonly mentioned as issues where the private sector falls short in education. It is often assumed that certification should originate from the state level, because a private organization generating qualifications will inherit disparities and will be unable to maintain quality. On the other hand, one may argue that private certifying organizations can have worldwide status and legitimacy since they are not bound to any government and do not intend to compromise what they offer. The International Baccalaureate is one of the most prominent examples of a certificate that is nearly universally desirable. The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), a non-profit educational institution, established in 1967 and located in Switzerland, awards this certification.

The IBO sprang from a genuine market need. The topic was continuously addressed in private international schools throughout the world about what suitable school-leaving examination they could offer to students who are geographically mobile and want to acquire a certificate that has a reputation in all of the main educational systems. National examinations were generally inadequate, of dubious quality, and certainly not of worldwide stature. True, some foreign qualifications, such as British A-levels, had some worldwide credibility, but this was primarily restricted to the Anglo-Saxon sphere. The challenge was whether a single curriculum and university admission qualification could be devised to suit as many language and cultural populations as feasible.

An IB School is any institution that provides one or more of the four IB programmes.

IB Programmes

IB programmes aim to offer students with an education that crosses disciplinary, cultural, national, and geographical boundaries. The Diploma Programme (DP), was introduced in 1968. It aimed to provide a demanding yet balanced education that would promote geographical mobility by delivering an internationally recognized university-entrance certification while also encouraging intercultural understanding and respect. With the introduction of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in 1994 and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in 1997, IB established a continuity of international education for children aged 3 to 19. The addition of the Career-related Programme (CP) in 2012 expanded the spectrum by giving students aged 16 to 19 with a choice of foreign education pathways. Institutions can offer these four IB programs separately or in combination.

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) is developed for children aged 3 to 12 years old and aims to develop young students as caring, active participants in a lifetime learning journey.

The PYP provides an inquiry-based and transdisciplinary paradigm for conceptual understanding. It is founded on solid educational research, thought leadership, and IB World School experience. By giving an engaging, relevant, challenging, and vital education, the PYP gives students, teachers, and whole school communities with a transforming experience and exceptional outcomes.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is for students aged 11 to 16. It assists youngsters aged 11 to 16 in making practical connections between their academics and the real world, so preparing them for future academic and life success.

The MYP is a five-year curriculum that may be completed through a school-to-school relationship or in a number of shorter (two, three, or four-year) formats. Students who complete the MYP are well prepared to enter the IB Diploma Programme (DP) or the Career-related Programme (CP).

Diploma Programme (DP)

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum comprises six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS), and the extended essay. Students reflect on the nature of knowledge, do independent research, and complete a project that typically includes community service as part of the Diploma Programme (DP) core.

The IB Diploma has been recognized by universities all over the globe, including the most prominent institutions such as Oxford, Yale, and the Sorbonne, thanks to these thorough quality control processes. There are also explicit agreements in place between the IBO and education ministries throughout the world.

Career-related Programme (CP)

The Career-related Programme flexible educational framework allows schools to meet the needs, backgrounds and contexts of students. CP students engage with a rigorous study programme that genuinely interests them while gaining transferable and lifelong skills. The CP builds on earlier knowledge gained in the Middle Years Programme and integrates components of the Diploma Programme, which provides the theoretical foundation and academics.

How Does the IBO Collaborate with Schools?

The IB organization initially asks schools to engage in an authorisation procedure to assess if they match the IB World School requirements. Following authorization, the school will get evaluation and curriculum plans. A follow-up is carried out to verify that the IB programs are offered effectively to pupils. Finally, the IB organization assesses students' progress at the conclusion of each course, resulting in similar methods and standards throughout all IB schools.