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General Regulations Information

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a demanding college preparatory course of studies, leading to examinations, designed for highly motivated juniors and seniors. Its comprehensive two year curriculum allows graduates to meet requirements of American colleges and universities and to meet the requirements of various national educational systems, including all major European systems.

The Diploma Program has a common worldwide curriculum, and enables internationally mobile students to transfer from one IB school to another. All of the exams and some major papers are externally graded and some in-school work is externally moderated, so that parents, students, and universities have an external check on the quality of learning in the program at any IB school.

Diploma candidates take examinations in courses in six academic disciplines: their native (or adopted) language and its literature, a second language, social studies, science, mathematics, and a sixth subject chosen from the arts or an alternative subject from one of the previous disciplines.

The program requires three special additions to its broad liberal arts curriculum. These diploma requirements are

  • Theory of Knowledge,
  • the Extended Essay, and
  • Creativity, Action, and Service


What does the DP curriculum contain?

Riverwood students participating in the IB Diploma Programme have two levels of participation available to them:

1. Diploma Programme candidate (all six DP subject groups and the core - TOK, EE, CAS)

2. Diploma Programme course students (students who study Diploma Programme courses)

Many students take a freshman schedule that is on track to pursue the diploma programme. Some students adjust their schedule as necessary in order to manage the rigor of the courses and obtain a schedule that is consistent with their ability and commitment.

A candidate for the IB Diploma studies six courses and pursues the core. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics.

The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 2 to 4.

At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (recommended 240 teaching hours), the others at standard level (150 teaching hours). Students can study these subjects, and be examined, in English, French or Spanish.

A student who successfully gains the IB Diploma receives the "IB Diploma" together with a further accompanying document which lists their subjects and grades awarded.

Diploma Programme course students will receive "Diploma Programme (DP) Course Results".

Students will develop an understanding of the IB learner profile. The ten attributes of the learner profile inspire and motivate the work of teachers, students and schools, providing a statement of the aims and values of the IB and a definition of what is meant by “international mindedness”. IB learners strive to be inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers, knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, caring, balanced and reflective.

Quality Assurance and Professional Development

Any school wishing to offer the Diploma Programme and attain IB World School status must first go through the authorization process. The requirements for authorization are the same for all schools, even though the process is administered slightly differently in each IB region. The process is designed to ensure schools are well prepared to implement the programme successfully.

This is a challenging programme that demands the best from both motivated students and teachers. Schools can access an extensive package of IB professional development for teachers and administrators and commit to ongoing professional development. Schools are required to participate in an ongoing process of review and development, using standards and practices that apply to all IB World Schools.

IB teachers are challenged to constantly reflect upon and improve their practice. All teachers in IB World Schools have access to the online curriculum centre, which provides programme documentation, examples of student work, and also acts as the hub of an international online community. Teachers can talk to other teachers in IB World Schools around the world, give and receive advice, and post their own example resources for other teachers to share.

What is CAS?

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) is a required component of the International Baccalaureate program for all Diploma students. The current requirement for Diploma students is a minimum of 150 hours of CAS activities divided equally among three categories: creativity, action, and service. This is equivalent to 3 or 4 hours per week.

IB DP Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) - TOK is an interdisciplinary course designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives. Taken during the Junior and Senior year, TOK stimulates critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course is unique to the IBO, which recommends at least 100 hours of teaching time spanning the program's two years.

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