The Friends' School

IB Curriculum

“The IB Diploma teaches you to work smarter not harder.”

The IB curriculum is depicted as a hexagon representing the six academic areas from which students choose their Diploma, and the hexagon’s centre containing the three compulsory elements of the IB that foster critical thinking through inter-disciplinary studies, the skills of individual research and co-curricular involvement outside of the classroom. These three elements will be completed at various stages of the course.

Students must study a combination of subjects from the subject groups listed below. A combination can be chosen that allows you to focus on a particular area of subjects, such as humanities, language science or the arts while still engaging in the other subject areas.

There are some example combinations that might assist you in determining the most appropriate selection of subjects. In broad terms you select 6 subjects that must include a Literature-based subject, second language, maths and a science that can be the trans-disciplinary subject Environmental Systems and Societies which is a combined humanities and science subject. It is possible to select two, one or no arts subjects depending on your interest.

Consequently, there are some exciting subject combinations to suit specific student interests and career paths. For example, a student can take two Group 3 subjects such as Philosophy and History or a student can take Environmental Systems and Societies instead of a Group 4 science (Biology, Physics, and Chemistry). A student with an interest in the arts can do Environmental Systems and Societies as both a Group 3 and Group 4 subject allowing them to select two arts subjects. A student can choose to start a new second language such as French even if they have been studying another language in High School thus taking advantage of their established skill of acquiring a second language with a new language.

Choose 6 subjects, 1 from each Group with significant exceptions:

1. Literature course in English, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean

2. 2nd Language: Intermediary English, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese, or Beginner’s French/Japanese

3. Philosophy, History, Psychology, Ecomonics, Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS), Environmental Systems & Societies

4. Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

Environmental Systems & Societies can be a Science or a Humanities (You don’t have to choose a traditional Science subject)

5. Mathematics, Mathematical Studies, Computer Science

6. Visual Arts, Music, Theatre

An example of a variation:

The Double Arts Diploma: If you choose Environmental Systems & Societies you can study 2 Group 6 subjects instead of a Science and a Humanities.

Subjects are (in most cases) offered at either Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). Students must study three subjects at HL (though in exceptional circumstances it is possible to study four subjects at HL). While The Friends’ School intends to offer the specific subjects listed in each group above, the school reserves the right to withdraw a subject if it is under subscribed, if staffing becomes unavailable or for timetabling reasons.

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