Here at Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong, we offer students a wide selection of course subjects. This allows them to find a suitable programme that lets them progress to the next stage of their education or career. Every student studying the IBDP will study one subject from each of six groups, as well as completing the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) programme, Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and Extended Essay.
Fundamental to the IB philosophy and ideology is the IB Learner Profile. The IB Learner Profile describes what attributes the IBO believes individuals and groups should model and showcase in order to be responsible and valued members of local and global societies. These attributes form the foundations that underpin the IB Diploma Programme and we hope they will inspire our students to think about what they are going to achieve success over the next two years and life beyond formal Secondary school education.
- 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.
- Knowledgable: 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.
- Thinkers: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 recognise our interdependence with other people and with the world we live in.
- Reflective: We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.
Approaches to Learning (or ATL)
Approaches to Learning are deliberate strategies, skills and attitudes that permeate the IB teaching and learning environment. They supports the IB belief that a large influence on a student’s education is not only what you learn but also how you learn. The ATLs focus on teaching students how to learn and this has always been a part of IB teaching, but now the IB is providing more explicit support for teaching these skills.
The focus on ATL will improve the quality of teaching and learning across the programmes and may result in more engaged teachers and students.
The IB Approaches to Learning skills are as follows:
1. Thinking skills 2. Communications skills 3. Social skills 4. Self-management skills 5. Research skills
To ensure the Approaches to Learning are embedded into the learning culture they are supported by the Approaches to Teaching (ATT) that include pedagogical strategies that are:
1. based on inquiry
2. focused on conceptual understanding
3. developed in local and global contexts
4. focused on effective teamwork and collaboration
5. differentiated to meet the needs of all learners
6. informed by formative and summative assessment.
Full IB Diploma
Those students who are aspiring to apply to a university undergraduate degree programme will be registered for the Full IB Diploma whereby they:
- Select one subject from each group (unless a subject in group 6 is not taken, in which case a second subject from groups 1-5 should be chosen)
- Either follow four of the six subjects at Higher Level (HL) and 2 at Standard Level (SL), or follow three of the six subjects at Higher Level (HL) and 3 at Standard Level (SL)
- Follow a course of study in Theory of Knowledge (100 hours of tuition, 2 lessons per week)
- Submit an Extended Essay in one of the IB subjects (up to 4,000 words)
- Take part actively and effectively in Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)
- These students will need to obtain a minimum of 24 points (out of a possible 45) with no failing conditions.
IB Diploma Course
Those students who do not wish to study the Full IB Diploma, or for whom the Full Diploma is deemed inaccessible, can opt to be registered as an IB Diploma Course student. This means that they will not be entered for the full complement of six optional subjects plus the Core elements of TOK, EE and CAS, but rather any combination of optional subjects and Core elements of their choice. There is no set combination of subjects that must be chosen; rather the student decides what elements of the Full IB Diploma they wish to be examined in that best suits their academic needs and career aspirations.
Points and Grades
The IB awards a grade for each of the IB Diploma subjects taken with the maximum score for each subject being 7 points and a minimum being 1 point. This is the same whether the subject is taken at Standard Level or Higher Level. This gives a total subject score out of 42 if a student is taking the six subjects on the Full IB Diploma Programme. The grading is based on both the coursework carried out and the results of examinations at the end of the two-year linear programme. The maximum score for the IB Diploma is 45 points combining six subject grades (maximum of 6 x 7 points for a score of 42) with up to 3 points available for the successful completion of both the Extended Essay and the Theory of Knowledge components. The assessment of the final grades for the work completed throughout the two-year programme is determined by external examiners and moderators appointed by the IB.
Universities in over 90 countries recognise the IB Diploma and it enables students to gain entrance to the most competitive universities around the world where admissions staff recognise the academic rigour of the IB. In the United Kingdom, it is a highly regarded alternative to A levels while in the United States, recognition of the IB Diploma is growing rapidly and many institutions will award first year credit for success on IB courses.
Universities look favourably upon IB Diploma students as the curriculum model develops a balanced variety of skills. These include ‘cognitive skills’ such as analysing and synthesising data and being able to partake in critical thinking with intellectual thought and insight. Students also develop ‘affective skills’ such as persistence and perseverance, developing resilience and working independently or as part of a team. IB Diploma students will be intellectually courageous within the range of subjects that they study and will be equipped for a greater choice of undergraduate degree programmes. The skill-set that Diploma Programme students develop, especially through experiencing the IB ‘Core’ are highly valued by universities. Employers are also increasingly looking for these affective skills such as flexibility and adaptability, which is something all Diploma Programme graduates are able to offer.
For further details on University recognition of Diploma Programme subjects in different countries please follow the link below: