The International Baccalaureate Mission Statement
“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Its programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”
IB Leaner Profile
Informed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) mission to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners, the IB programmes foster a distinctive set of attributes.
Inquirers. They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable. They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines. IB students are extraordinarily well prepared for the academic requirements of university coursework.
Thinkers. They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators. They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled. They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded. They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring. They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers. They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced. They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective. They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
How does the IB Diploma work?
In the IB Diploma Programme, students study six subjects; 3 at higher level (HL) and 3 at standard level (SL). Students must choose one subject from each of Groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of learning in Language and Literature, Languages, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics. Students can study an Art in Group 6, or take another Science instead.
In addition, all students participate in all three components of the Core: The Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and Creativity, Activity and Service. These are central to the philosophy of the Diploma and the Learner Profile.
The IB Core Components
At the heart of the IB Diploma are three compulsory core requirements which all students must complete: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay (EE) and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS).
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
Theory of Knowledge is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
The course is organised in four broad categories with linking questions: Knowledge issues, Knowers and knowing, Ways of knowing and Areas of knowledge.
The course is taught as a class in three timetabled periods a fortnight and also within each of the 6 subjects.
Theory of Knowledge Assessment
There is no examination in TOK. However, students must complete a TOK essay from a list of prescribed titles. The TOK essay is externally assessed. Students must also complete a TOK oral presentation which is internally assessed but externally moderated. It is combined with the results from the Extended Essay to contribute up to 3 points for the IB Diploma.
The Extended Essay
The Extended Essay is an in-depth study on a topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma subjects, usually one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB Diploma. This part of the programme focuses on analysis, evaluation and reasoning. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervising teacher from Takapuna Grammar School.
This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of 4,000 words, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner. Students also must use correct reference.
Extended Essay Assessment
The Extended Essay is assessed externally against common criteria interpreted in ways appropriate to each subject. In combination with the grade for Theory of Knowledge, it contributes up to three points to the total score for the IB Diploma. Students complete reflections and key stages during the process and conclude with a short interview between the student and the supervising teacher.
CREATIVITY, ACTIVITY, SERVICE (CAS)
The aim of CAS is to foster responsible, compassionate citizens by encouraging their participation in three strands:
Creativity: Arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking
Activity: Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
Service: An unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.
CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. For this personal development to occur, it should involve:
- Real, purposeful activities with significant outcomes
- Personal challenge—tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope
- Thoughtful consideration such as planning, reviewing progress and reporting
- Reflection on outcomes and personal learning
Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma.
CAS is not formally assessed but students will need to document their activities and provide evidence that they have achieved eight key learning outcomes. The documentation will be largely done online but will also involve meetings and discussions with the Co-ordinator.
How to gain the IB Diploma
All subjects (with the exception of CAS) are assessed using both internal and external assessors. The externally assessed examinations are held in November of the second year of the Diploma course. Each exam usually consists of two or three papers, generally written on the same or successive weekdays. The different papers may have different forms of questions, or they may focus on different areas of the subject syllabus. The grading of all external assessments is done by independent examiners appointed by the IB.
The nature of the internal assessment varies by subject. There may for example be oral presentations, practical work or written works. Internal assessment accounts for 20 to 50 percent of the mark awarded for each subject and is marked by a teacher in the school. A sample of at least five per subject at each level will also be graded by a moderator appointed by the IB for external moderation.
Points from 1-7 are awarded in each of the six subjects studied. Up to 3 additional points are awarded depending on the grades achieved in the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. Therefore, the maximum possible point total in the IB Diploma is 45.
To gain the Diploma, students must:
- Gain a minimum of 24 points of a possible 42 points in their six subjects (Requirement for University of Auckland: 26 points)
- Gain a minimum of 12 points from their Higher Level subjects and a minimum of 9 points from their Standard Level subjects
- Complete all of the requirements for the EE, CAS and TOK
Failing conditions that will prevent a student from being awarded a diploma, regardless of points received, are:
- Non-completion of CAS
- Plagiarism or malpractice
- Grades A (highest) to E (lowest) have been awarded for both Theory of Knowledge and an Extended Essay, with a grade of at least D in one of them.
- There is no grade 1 in any subject.
- There is no grade 2 at higher level.
- There is no more than one grade 2 at standard level.
- At least 12 points have been gained on higher level subjects
- At least 9 points have been gained on standard level subjects
- More than three scores of 3 or below
Takapuna Grammar School expects that all students enrolled in the school will submit work that is authentic. Authentic work is based on the students’ individual and original ideas with the ideas and work of others fully acknowledged through referencing. Other people’s creations are their intellectual property and cannot be copied without permission – this includes art and music, discoveries and inventions, trademarks and slogans and even some words and phrases.