IB Diploma Programme
At ICS Milan we believe that the breadth of the IB Programme adds a value independent of any specific course. It is hard to quantify the value of scientists being required to study literature, or of artists being required to study mathematics, but we see it in our school and we believe that it provides a rich, broad and holistic educational experience to those in our Sixth Form.
Both the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the IB Diploma Courses Programme (IB Courses) are comprehensive two year pre-university courses of study that aim to prepare students for the rigours of university but also to be caring, compassionate, global citizens with an appreciation of lifelong learning.
IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME
Students must do a range of subjects, one taken from each of the six groups: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and societies, Mathematics, Science, The Arts.
IB DIPLOMA COURSES PROGRAMME (IB Courses)
The IB Diploma Programme has a reputation for being an academically rigorous programme; nonetheless the IB strives to be flexible and inclusive in its educational philosophy. As a result, there is provision in the IBDP for students who have varied strengths and weaknesses or who do not require the full complement of IBDP options. At ICS Milan, the alternative IB Diploma Courses will be offered for a select number of students who qualify according to the specific criteria set for this pathway.
The IB Diploma Courses at ICS Milan comprises of:
- A minimum of four subjects (up to six) can be selected from the Diploma Group subject list, with at least one chosen at Higher Level. Where students can demonstrate strong performance/results at the end of the MYP programme then additional HL subjects may be permitted.
- English (Literature/Language & Literature Course at HL/SL), Mathematics Studies (or SL upon consultation) is highly recommended for all Diploma Courses students.
- Compulsory Theory of Knowledge (TOK) lessons along with the IBDP students though there is no obligation to complete the TOK assessments. Diploma Courses students will be expected, however, to participate in TOK lessons.
- Compulsory Creative, Action and Service (CAS) participation. This is excellent for boosting one’s curriculum vitae and for adding depth to personal statements.
- Optional: Students may choose to complete an Extended Essay.
THREE MAIN ELEMENTS
All students who are taking the IB Diploma must undertake the Core. Students who opt for IB Courses can choose whether they wish to do the Core, or elements of the Core.
The Diploma Core consists of:
- Extended Essay (EE)
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
- Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
EXTENDED ESSAY (EE)
This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to:
- pursue independent research on a focused topic
- develop research and communication skills
- develop the skills of creative and critical thinking
- engage in a systematic process of research appropriate to the subject
- experience the excitement of intellectual discovery.
CREATIVITY, ACTION, SERVICE (CAS)
This course aims to develop students who are:
- reflective thinkers – they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth
- willing to accept new challenges and new roles
- aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment
- active participants in sustained, collaborative projects
- balanced – they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative, and emotional experiences
THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE (TOK)
This course aims to:
- develop a fascination with the richness of knowledge as a human endeavour, and an understanding of the empowerment that follows from reflecting upon it
- develop an awareness of how knowledge is constructed, critically examined, evaluated and renewed, by communities and individuals
- encourage students to reflect on their experiences as learners, in everyday life and in the Diploma Programme, and to make connections between academic disciplines and between thoughts, feelings and actions
- encourage an interest in the diversity of ways of thinking and ways of living of individuals and communities, and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions, including participants’ own
- encourage consideration of the responsibilities originating from the relationship between knowledge, the community and the individual as citizen of the world
All IB Diploma Programmes require students to complete mandatory and varied internal assessment (coursework) alongside formal examinations at the end of their second year. Both the internal assessments and final exams are assessed by the IB who awards the final grades.
A student's examination performance in individual subjects is scored on a scale of 1–7 points with a further 3 points available based on a matrix of performance in the Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay components. Students who display satisfactory levels of performance across all subject areas and achieve a minimum of 24 points (out of a possible 45) are awarded the IB diploma. All others receive a certificate of results (Diploma Courses) for the subjects examined.
HOW DOES ASSESSMENT WORK?
The maximum total marks available for an IBDP student are 45. Each of the six subjects are given a final mark out of 7 meaning that a total of 42 is available for subject’s areas, whilst a total of 3 marks is given for the EE and TOK assessments combined. Each subject area has between 20-35% coursework that is internally marked and externally moderated. The remainders of the marks, constituting the final examinations, are externally marked.
Generally, a student needs to achieve a minimum of 24 marks to receive their Diploma and must successfully complete all three elements of the core.