The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is a leading organisation in the field of international education and its diploma programme is different to other pre-university programmes. It is a two-year integrated programme for students aged 16-18.
Established in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) was the first programme offered by the IB. There are nearly 3000 schools offering the DP, in 143 different countries worldwide. Its rate of growth in the past five years has been 45%. In Spain there are currently 97 IB DP schools.
There are many benefits to choosing the IB Diploma Programme. It aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge; students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
It emphasises international and global perspectives and favours the development of skills and attributes that prepare students for university and for life in a rapidly changing world in the following ways:
- Inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people: through the IB Diploma Programme and during the students’ journey through our school, with both academic and personal opportunities, we want our students to develop a commitment to themselves and the world around them. We want students to be able to pursue their dreams, whether locally or internationally, and to develop skills to be able to achieve their goals, owing to their thorough knowledge and good decision-making skills.
- Meaningful learning and general knowledge: The IB Diploma Programme includes multiple disciplines, including science-based and humanities-based subjects, languages, compared with other programs, which often focus more on individual subjects. We promote critical thinking, research and intercultural communication.
- An educational programme with international recognition: The IB Diploma Programme has maintained a high quality educational programme since 1968 with a curriculum that represents the best standards from different countries and which is currently recognised by the world´s best universities, instead of a more specific national-based curriculum.
- High-quality assessment: Evaluation of the IB Diploma Programme includes both external and internal evaluation and has gained recognition and respect from the world´s leading universities. It is often preferred by many universities owing to the broad nature of its curriculum and the quality of knowledge and skills which students acquire.
- Holistic approach: In addition to rigorous evaluation and the range and flexibility of curriculum subjects, there are three other required components which make up the ‘core’ of the IB Diploma Programme: The Extended Essay; Theory of Knowledge (TOK); and creativity, action and service (CAS).
Organisation of the IB Diploma Curriculum
The IB Diploma curriculum is made up of six subject groups, in addition to the ‘core’. Students need to choose six subjects, either at Higher or Standard Level. They are required to choose one subject from each of the five different subject groups. This way, we guarantee a wide experience in languages, social and experimental sciences, and mathematics. The sixth subject can be from group 6 (Arts) or from any of the other groups. At Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada, where we value language skills, our students usually continue with a third language, French or German, which accompanies Spanish and English.
In addition, as mentioned above, there are the ‘core’ materials which aim to broaden students’ educational experiences and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills. Students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service. Below is a more detailed outline of what the ‘core’ looks like:
- The extended essay requires the student to investigate a topic related to one of the subjects, with advice and guidance from a supervisor, who is usually a teacher at the school.
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK) asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know (reason, perception, emotion and language) and types of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
- Creativity, action and service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies where they learn from experiences outside the classroom. CIT offers an extensive volunteer program that is part of their ‘personal portfolio’. For example, our 1st of Baccalaureate students travel to India to work with an orphanage which is run by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation. At the end of the school year they organise an event where they raise funds for the orphanage.
Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada offers the IB Diploma Programme in Spanish, compatible with the Spanish national baccalaureate. English language and other languages are taught in their own language. There is the option to study certain subjects in English, in order to obtain a bilingual diploma. CIT adapts to its students’ needs, adapting subjects and levels (standard level, high level) that the students need to access different universities.
At the end of the programme, students take written exams that are corrected by external examiners. They also carry out assessments at school, which are evaluated by teachers and later reviewed by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
IB DP students apply to more than 3,300 higher education institutions each year, in close to 90 countries. The most popular of these institutions are ranked among the top universities in the world.
Colegio Internacional Torrequebrada offers a wide range of national and international universities to its students. Our Career Guidance programme encourages our students to design their own career plan, setting attainable goals that enable them to achieve their professional aspirations, helping students and families to determine the best option in accordance with their wishes, requirements and skills. The school’s team of professionals is responsible for advising and guiding students through these procedures, with visits to university fairs and training programs as well as personalised tutoring for each student.
Here are some examples of where our students have been admitted and are studying:
- Spain (Instituto de Empresa, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Poitécnica, Universidad de Málaga, ESIC);
- UK (Bristol University, Oxford University, Surrey University, Aberdeen University, University College London);
- rest of Europe (Leiden University Holland, Sorbonne University, University of Aalborg, Denmark);
- worldwide (Utah University, California Arts University, University of Vancouver, University of Melbourne).