IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Program

The IB Diploma Program is a balanced and rigorous program that prepares students aged between 16-19 years for the university and life beyond it. Research has shown that the students who undergo the IB DP have a high success rate at the university as compared to their peers. Universities understand the value of the programme and recognize its benefits to students. It aims to develop all the necessary skills that are essential in the 21st century with the help of its learner profile, its curriculum, a variety of assessments and its core requirements.

The Core requirement of the IBDP, which every students must undergo to successfully complete the program are as follows:

1) The Extended Essay (EE) aims to develop students’ research and academic writing skills. Every student will be writing many papers at the university level, and the IB prepares the students even before the university through EE. Each student must choose a topic of their choice, research and write 4000 words during the two years of the IBDP.

2) Theory of Knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.

3) Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) is a mandatory core component of the IB Diploma Programme. It aims to provide a ‘counterbalance’ to the academic rigor of the educational programme. The students through various activities such as sports, painting, music, community work etc. learn that there is life beyond academic, they must be physically and mentally fit, and take shared guardianship of the planet and contribute regularly to the community to create a better and more peaceful world.

The IB Learner’s Profile

The IB LP are the outcomes of the IB education. These are the qualities and skills that the students develop during each IB program, it prepares the IB students to make exception contribution in life

1) Inquirers: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

2) Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.  We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

3) Critical Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

4) Communicators: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

5) Principled: We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

6) Open Minded: We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

7) Caring: We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

8) Risk Takers: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

9) Balanced: We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

10) Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weakness in order to support our learning and personal development.

The students have to study a total of 6 subjects at the IBDP from different subject groups. Three subjects are studied at a higher level (HL) and at least three subjects at a standard level (SL). Students normally choose one subject from each group; however, they are allowed to choose a second subject from other groups (at Horizon a second subject either from Individuals and Societies or Sciences) instead of a Group 6 subject.

What we offer at Horizon International School:

Group 1 English A Language and Literature SL
English A Literature SL
Chinese A Language and Literature HL/SL
Group 2 Chinese Mandarin ab initio SL
Japanese ab initio SL
Chinese B Mandarin HL
English B
Group 3 Economics HL/SL
Business and Management HL/SL
Group 4 Physics HL/SL
Chemistry HL/SL
Biology HL/SL
Computer Science HL/SL
Group 5 Mathematics HL/SL
Mathematical Studies SL
Group 6 Music



Group 1 Languages (Eng LAL, Eng Lit, Chinese LAL)

These courses are designed for students who have experience of using the language of the course in an academic context. The language background of such students, however, is likely to vary considerably—from monolingual students to students with more complex language profiles. The study of texts, both literary and non-literary, provides a focus for developing an understanding of how language works to create meanings in a culture, as well as in particular texts.


Group 2 Language Acquisition (Japanese, Chinese, Eng B)

Group 2 consists of two modern language courses—language ab initio and language B—that are offered in a number of languages. Language ab initio and language B are language acquisition courses designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken.


Group 3 Individuals and Societies (Business Management, Economics)

Business management is the study of decision-making within an organization. Emphasis is placed on strategic decision-making. Students learn to analyze, discuss and evaluate activities at local, national and international levels.

Economics: The study of economics is essentially about dealing with scarcity, resource allocation and the methods and processes by which choices are made in the satisfaction of human wants.


Group 4 Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics)

At the school level both theory and all students should undertake experiments. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. These courses allow students to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and to increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of science.  It also allows students to develop interpersonal skills, and digital technology skills, which are essential in 21st century scientific endeavor and are important life-enhancing, transferable skills in their own right.

Chemistry: It is often called the central science, as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems.

Computer science requires an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computational thinking as well as knowledge of how computers and other digital devices operate. During the course the student will develop computational solutions. This will involve the ability to identify a problem or unanswered question, design, prototype and test a proposed solution, liaise with clients to evaluate the success of the proposed solution and make recommendations for future developments.

Biology is the study of life. Students attempt to understand the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions. At the other end of the scale students investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function.

Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies.


Group 5 Mathematics –

Different courses are available to meet the diverse needs of the students.

Mathematical studies SL

This course is available only at standard level. It has an emphasis on applications of mathematics, and the largest section is on statistical techniques.

Mathematics SL

This course caters for students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and who are equipped with the skills needed to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly. The majority of these students will expect to need a sound mathematical background as they prepare for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, statistics and business administration.

Mathematics HL

This course caters for students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of

analytical and technical skills. The majority of these students will be expecting to include mathematics as

a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering and technology.


Group 6 Music

The Diploma Programme music course provides an appropriate foundation for further study in music at university level or in music career pathways. It also provides an enriching and valuable course of study for students who may pursue other careers. This course also provides all students with the opportunity to engage in the world of music as lifelong participants.


Assessments in the IBDP

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) uses both internally and externally assessed components to assess student performance. The IB uses criteria based rubrics to assess the performance of the students, which means the performance of the students is measured against pre-determined criteria and not against other students. The students are scored on a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being the lowest and 7 being the highest.

Internal Assessments: The students complete these assessments in school under guidance from a Teacher. Some examples are:

  • oral work in languages
  • fieldwork in geography
  • laboratory work in the sciences
  • investigations in mathematics
  • artistic performances.

External Assessments Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses. This is because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability.

They include:

  • essays
  • structured problems
  • short-response questions
  • data-response questions
  • text-response questions
  • case-study questions
  • multiple-choice questions – though these are rarely used.