International Baccalaureate

IB Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a qualification pathway that enables students to gain University Entrance (UE). IB students attend over 5,000 IB World Schools in 153 countries. In 2013, Takapuna Grammar School became the first public school in New Zealand accredited to offer the Diploma Programme.

The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) founded in 1968 is registered as a foundation with the Swiss Federal Government and holds consultative status with UNESCO. Thousands of individual teacher-examiners worldwide participate in the assessment of student work.

Broad and deep knowledge

IB students study a broad range of subjects. They choose one subject each from Literature, Foreign Languages, Social Sciences, Maths, Science and Art, and also have the option to choose an additional science instead of an arts subject. Students identify their three strongest subjects to extend their learning at Higher Level, the other three subjects are taken at Standard Level.

Well-rounded, balanced education

The IB is a holistic programme which emphasises the education of the whole person and rewards learning outside the classroom. Students are actively involved through their CAS course (Creativity, Activity and Service) in experiences which get them physically active and outside, creative, and in-touch with the needs of their school and community. Through CAS students become active team members, sportspeople and are involved in projects which give them leadership opportunities and experiences. 

Student-led personalised learning

IB students explore areas of their own personal interest in all their subjects. They choose and design their inquiries and investigations with the support of their teachers. The Extended Essay and CAS experiences are other parts of the IB Diploma where students are in control of their own learning.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is at the heart of all aspects of the IB Diploma. In Theory of Knowledge (TOK), students are encouraged to be thinkers, to understand different viewpoints, and to explore the nature of how we know what we know. This course helps to develop students’ logic and reasoning skills, and gives them huge confidence when it comes to discussing relevant issues, from AI, to medical ethics, to political conflicts.

Global Awareness

IB students are well-equipped to succeed in a global world as all subjects teach a curriculum which is interculturally minded and broad. They become adept at collaborating with people and considering different viewpoints. Students also learn a foreign language - this is a huge advantage career-wise and a lifelong skill.

Reflective Skills

IB students are required to thoughtfully reflect on their own learning process in order to understand how they learn. Students develop a mindset which is focused on self-awareness and improvement, they look forward to challenges and are always on the lookout for opportunities to learn and improve. Learning how to reflect effectively teaches students about themselves and gives them tools to cope with whatever situations they may face in the future. 

University Preparation

IB students complete an Extended Essay (EE) as part of the programme. They have to choose an area of interest, formulate a research question, carry out rigorous academic research and write an essay under the supervision of a subject specialist teacher. The EE is great practice to prepare students to succeed at university and it further develops students’ independent learning skills, academic research skills and motivation. 

    Message from the Principal

    "Takapuna Grammar School purposefully offers a choice of qualifications to stimulate diversity and enhance the individuality of our students. The school has a proud record of academic success at all year levels. The foundation learning fostered in Years 9 -11 provides excellent preparation for students to then choose which of the dual qualification pathways that best suits their aspirations and personality.

    Takapuna Grammar School offers two highly acclaimed qualification pathways; the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) and the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). The IB Diploma is a two-year programme done in Years 12 and 13. It focusses on developing specific skills and qualities for success in a global world.

    The IB Diploma offers personal selections within a structured programme. The programme covers a wide range of set subjects including studying the sciences, arts, mathematics, language, literature and about societies. Students also learn about thinking and creativity, undertake research and contribute through activities. The Diploma is designed to develop a student’s ability to learn in a variety of disciplines, make connections between these and contribute to the community. This sets students up well to function effectively in a fast changing world. They develop a broad range of skills and emerge as resilient, open-minded and internationally focussed people who can easily access a raft of career pathways.

    The IB programme suits students who are engaged in learning, who are curious about the wider world and global issues and who want to find out more about different cultural perspectives. Takapuna Grammar School has a growing number of alumni who studied the IB and are now thriving in life beyond school and contributing positively to make the world a better place."

    Mary Nixon

    What do Parents think about IB?

    Rosa wanted to keep her options as wide as possible as she didn't have a firm idea of what she wanted to do when she left school. The curriculum appealed for that reason, with the focus not solely on the exams at the end of the year.

    Rosa developed a genuine curiosity and a thirst for knowledge! She started to question things in a way she hadn't done before, and to read voraciously. There was a great sense of support and camaraderie among her peer group. IB instilled good study habits, a willingness to work with peers, an openness to take on board feedback and a greater awareness - and empathy - for the world around her.

    - Kate Dobbin, mother of Rosa Oliver

    Emily learned how to think deeply, critically and analytically. Her interest and awareness of national and global issues grew significantly. She readily engaged in conversations about topics such as democracy, global warming, and human rights. Her awareness of the world grew and she appeared to feel that she had agency, influence and an obligation to participate. She blossomed into a strong and confident young woman and for that I am grateful.

    IB has most definitely has helped Emily’s preparation for tertiary education. She is studying a business degree at Victoria University. I am delighted that she is eager to talk to me in depth about what she’s studying and the latest essay topic that she’s working on. This is a very different Emily from the Emily in Year 11.

    As well as enjoying the content, she is finding the level of the work extremely manageable and her marks are very good. If she had not taken IB, I’m not sure she would have been as well prepared for university.”

    - Michele Blick, mother of Emily Dulcich 

    What do our International Students think about IB?

    International Baccalaureate Scholars 40+

    The success of some of New Zealand's finest young scholars is celebrated annually at the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Top Scholars' Awards Ceremony. Students who score 40 points or more are invited to the awards at Government House.

    Listed below are Takapuna Grammar School's top IB scholars.

    Top IB Scholars from Takapuna Grammar School

    45 Stephanie Wang
         Tori Johnson
    44 Muyu Liu
         Jiaxuan Chang
         Yuhi Narita
         Neve Mann Benn
    43 David Sorrenson
         Veronica (Suhwoo) Yoon
    42 Harold Elworthy
         Milla Vasiljevic
         Kenny Watts
         Phillis Lan
         Michaella Kim
    41 Jack Jonathan (JJ) Maran
         Danielle Desvaux de Marigny
         Mera Conger
         Tracy Zhang
         Tom (Yuxuan) Zhang
         Ziling Lu
         Yuhan Hou
         Omar Mourad
         Anais Kuoch
         Angel Jacobson
         Hailey Chen
         Lucy Smith
    40 Ben Wilks

    2022 Head of IB Jack Chapman, Tori Johnson, Lucy Smith and Principal Mary Nixon

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