IB Diploma (G11-12)

Grades 11 and 12 prepare students for life, university and a career.

Students entering Grade 11 are given the option of enrolling in either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or the High School Diploma. Both programs focus on engaging and challenging students academically along with developing attributes associated with personal well-being and a genuine care and concern for others in the local, national and global community.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) is a rigorous pre-university course of studies, leading to examinations that meet the needs of highly motivated Secondary School students between the ages of 16 and 19 years. Designed as a comprehensive two-year curriculum that allows its graduates to fulfil requirements of various national education systems.

Students learn more than a collection of facts. The DP encourages students to:

  • ask challenging questions
  • learn how to learn
  • develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures.

Subjects studied

The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts. Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours).

Subject Area

Subjects Offered

Studies in Language and Literature

Chinese Literature Studies, Chinese Language and Literature, English Literature Studies, English Language and Literature, German Language and Literature, Japanese Literature Studies, Korean Literature Studies, and school supported Self-taught Literature

Language Acquisition

Chinese B, English B, Mandarin ab initio, Spanish B and Spanish ab initio

Individuals and Societies

Business Management, Economics, History, Psychology

Sciences

Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology, Environmental Systems and Societies, Physics and Sports and Exercise Health Science.

Mathematics

Mathematics, Mathematical Studies

The Arts

Music, Visual Arts

*Please note these subject offerings vary on a year-to-year basis and are dependent on student numbers and available teaching resources.

All three parts of the core—extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, activity, service—are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme. The three core requirements are:

  1. Extended Essay - The extended essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.
  2. Theory of Knowledge (TOK) - The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
  3. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) - Participation in the school’s CAS programme encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering students’ awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.

English Support

As the DP is a rigorous pre-university course students are expected to meet specific English language competencies to enter Grade 11 and 12. Learn more

School Hours

The instructional school day runs from 8.20 am to 3.30 pm every day. Classes are divided into 65 minute instructional blocks. A break occurs mid-morning from 10.30 am to 10.50 am. Lunch for Secondary School students is divided into two times; one from 11.55 am to 1.00 pm, and the other from 1.00 pm to 2.05 pm.

Homework

The school’s philosophy is that homework should have a purpose. It may be to:

  • reinforce work that is already carried out in the class,
  • prepare students for forthcoming class work,
  • act as a bridge between work that has been done and work that is about to be tackled,
  • practice or revise skills already developed,
  • develop creativity in students where there has been no previous opportunity,
  • occasionally finish off uncompleted class work.

Careful consideration has been given so that DP students are not overwhelmed with unmanageable amounts of homework and unreasonable assessment deadlines. An assessment calendar exists for both Grade 11 and 12. A Student Assistance Team also meets on a regular basis and discusses any support the students require collectively or individually in meeting their academic requirements.

Students are also encouraged to keep a clear record of homework to be completed through the use of a Homework Diary or, should they choose, the use of an electronic calendar / ‘To Do’ list. Homeroom teachers monitor the use of the diary so as to encourage appropriate meaningful usage. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the teachers via the students’ homework diaries or through email.

Assessment & Reporting

Students are assessed continuously in their time in the DP. This assessment is carried out in a wide variety of ways – including formal tests, end of unit exams, ongoing project work, essays, oral presentations, development workbooks, etc. At the end of the two-year programme, students are assessed both internally and externally.

Evidence of student learning is collected and feedback is given to students regularly and to parents through PowerSchool, end of semester reports and Parent Teacher Conferences.

Contact

Elicia Mendonca, DP Coordinator,
eliciamendonca@ssis-suzhou.net