The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an assessed programme for students aged 16 to 19. It is respected by leading universities across the globe.
Through the DP, schools are able to develop students who:
- have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
- flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- study at least two languages
- excel in traditional academic subjects
- explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
The IB makes the claim that:
"DP students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them, according to one study".
No evidence is presented in this regard - at least on the IB web site or that we could find, however there is no doubt with more subjects studied over a shorter period of time than its peer, the A' Level, IB students do need to plan their time very, very effectively.
The DP is preceded by the IB’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP).
"The three programmes are philosophically aligned, each centred on developing attributes of the IB learner profile. The programmes are consistent in their pedagogical approach."
Despite this many schools follow the IB at Diploma level do not follow the IB MYP - but instead opt for GCSE.
There are a number of reasons for this. IB requires strong teachers - it is almost entirely dependant on what your school and teachers put into it compared to the GCSE which is considerably more perscriptive in terms of syllabus and methodologies of delivery. Most importantly however there is no paper-based assesment - the MYP does not end in a recognized qualification, while GCSE does.
In fact for some universities internationally, including the US, GCSE is sufficient for entrance, while the IB MYP would not be.
At least partially because of this many international schools opt for the GCSE up to 16 and then the IB DP from post 16 education.