The Friends' School

Why Consider the Diploma?

“The IB Diploma is not just a qualification that gets you into university but one that also prepares you to flourish there and beyond.”
Recent Friends’ Diploma graduate

The IB Diploma offers a balanced and comprehensive curriculum that systematically develops a student’s academic and critical thinking skills, an understanding of the interconnected nature of our globalized society and responsible citizenship while establishing a foundation for life long learning and therefore both personal and professional success.

The philosophy of the IB Diploma provides a student with number of exceptional advantages. It provides an excellent foundation for developing key skills for personal and professional success and avoids the temptation to specialise on the assumption that you only need to study subjects that are a pre-requisite for university entrance or involved directly in your career choice. In fact, the success of the Diploma is reflected in the needs of young professionals as they proceed through their career. Often success is skills-based, not content-based, and a specific discipline and their academic subjects do not necessarily develop all the skills that are vital achieving your full potential in that particular career choice. Consequently, the Diploma Programme prepares students for university and life by encouraging them 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.

One of the often noted advantages identified by Diploma Graduates from Friends and those around the world is the headstart it gives students when they commence their tertiary studies.

Why pursue a multi-disciplinary course of study?

The IB Diploma philosophy of providing a student with an multi-disciplinary programme have been vindicated by recent research studies. Employers across the world have made it clear their concern about specialisation given the constantly changing nature of the professions undertaken in many of the popular career paths, not to mention those exciting ones that have not yet emerged: the key to a successful senior secondary education is preparing a student for the challenges of academic study and life-long learning.

There is now a considerable body of research that argues that a ‘Baccalaureate style’ education provides substantial benefit in the future. Simply put, taking advantage of opportunities within a career often requires an ability to transfer skills across disciplines and the use of inter-disciplinary skills in new contexts. For example, many lawyers will become involved in cases where a scientific understanding is important and this is not reflected in a law degree. A doctor will need an understanding of both cultural and historical context to correctly interpret a patient’s symptoms or research the causes of a new disease. Similarly almost all scientists will have to analyse texts and assess evidence and arguments while understanding the historical context of claim, give presentations and be sensitive to the political and ethical context of their work.

However, this approach does not mean that a student has to neglect subjects or styles of learning that they enjoy. The ‘Double Diplomas’ allow a student to choose subjects in which they have a significant interest, even passion for and remain engaged in other subjects and the development of the skills.

For more information on the IB Diploma and possible course structures, please go to ‘What is the IB Diploma?’

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