International Baccalaureate Diplomas in Singapore: What You Need to Know

For parents in Singapore, education is often a top priority. If your child is about to embark on…

For parents in Singapore, education is often a top priority. If your child is about to embark on their secondary school adventure, it may be time to start considering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Singapore. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is respected worldwide and is considered a valuable option for students who are interested in pursuing a career in the global economy.

What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a pre-university course for Grade 11-12 students that provides them with a path toward university. It is a well-regarded programme that is recognised around the world for its ability to encourage students to think critically, be open to discussion and to test their own conclusions before coming to a solution.

One of the most important things to note about the IBDP is that it can only be offered at schools that have been approved by the International Baccalaureate. Not every school in Singapore is an IB school, and not all International Baccalaureate Diplomas in Singapore are created equal. In addition to selecting an IB school in Singapore, you will also want to choose a school that will be a good fit for your child. The IB school that you choose should support your student in a variety of ways, all while providing them with personalised instruction that helps them work toward their long-term goals.

What are the IBDP Requirements?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme has a set of requirements that all graduates must fulfil, regardless of which IB school in Singapore they attend. These are the requirements that you and your student need to be aware of:

  • The subject group courses. Students who are enrolled in the IBDP must complete six courses from six different subject group areas. There are both Standard Level and High Level courses available, and students take a combination of the two throughout the programme. The subject groups that are part of the IBDP are Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Mathematics, The Sciences and The Arts.
  • The core requirements. The IBDP also has a set of core requirements that every student must complete during the course of the two-year programme. The three core requirements of the IBDP are as follows: 

The Theory of Knowledge course. Often referred to as TOK, this course is unique in the sense that it is more about self-discovery and reflection than it is about memorising facts, data and figures. As students explore their own ideological assumptions, they learn to have a greater appreciation for people from other cultures and backgrounds. Your student will complete this course by writing a 1,600-word essay and participating in a TOK Exhibition.

The Creativity, Activity and Service programme. Also known as CAS, it promotes physical activity, maximising a student’s creative skills and participating in service activities.Through CAS, your student will be able to participate in extracurricular activities and volunteering in service projects.

The Extended Essay. This portion of the IBDP is the hallmark of the programme, as it allows students to spend time doing independent research on a subject they are passionate about all while learning about the writing process. All students in the IBDP must complete a 4,000-word essay prior to graduation.

How to Choose a School that Offers International Baccalaureate Diplomas in Singapore

There are many things to consider when selecting one of the schools that offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. As you are talking over the IBDP with your child and looking into the IB schools in Singapore, here are a few things that you should do:

Look at the Cohort Size

The cohort sizes between IBDP schools in Singapore may vary significantly. Some schools have large cohorts that consist of more than 200 students. At other schools, such as OWIS, there are smaller cohorts of no more than 50 students. In these smaller cohorts, students receive more personalised attention.

Explore the Subject Options that are Available for Students

The International Baccalaureate offers a variety of choices as part of its diploma programme, but it is up to each individual school to decide which courses they want to offer their students as part of their IBDP. Parents who are looking into International Baccalaureate Diplomas in Singapore should evaluate the options provided at the school they are considering and make sure that those options match the student’s career goals. Even though OWIS has a small cohort size of about 48 students, our school offers more than 19 subject choices for students.

Consider the Teaching Staff at the School

The IB Diploma Programme at any given school in Singapore is only as strong as its teaching staff. You will want to select an international school in Singapore that has recruited the top teaching talent and education professionals from around the world. The teachers who are teaching the IBDP courses should offer each lesson with a global perspective and should formulate each lesson so that students have plenty of opportunities to engage in discussion and employ the critical thinking skills that they are still developing. When you select a school with dedicated teachers who are passionate about helping children become lifelong learners, the benefits will extend beyond those that are offered through the IBDP.

Verify That There is University and Career Counseling

Students in an IB diploma programme benefit significantly when their school has university and career counselling staff available. These staff members work with students on an individual basis to ensure that they select courses and subject areas within the IBDP that fit their personal academic and career goals. They also help students with their university planning and application process so students have their goals in place and work towards them.

Think About the Diversity of the Student Body

One of the reasons that many parents and students in Singapore opt for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is that it offers a global perspective in all of its courses. However, the best way for students to fully develop a global perspective is to be part of a multicultural student body. You should consider choosing a school that features a student body that is comprised of students from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. When you make diversity a priority, your child will meet and interact with many people who are different from themselves, which will only benefit them as they move forward in life.

Learn More About the Fee Structure

Many parents are relieved to find out that there are secondary schools in Singapore with moderate fee structures that also offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. When you do your research into the fee structures at the various schools in Singapore that offer the IBDP, you will find that it is possible to provide a premier educational curriculum for an affordable price without compromising on the quality of the educational experience.

One World International School is one of the few schools in Singapore that offers a moderate fee structure and allows secondary students to enrol in the IBDP. At OWIS, the IBDP is available to students in Grades 11 and 12. If your child enrols in this programme, they will have the ability to customise the curriculum to suit their own interests and goals, while still enjoying a well-rounded education in their final years of school before heading to university.

For more information about the IB Diploma Programme in Singapore and the options that your child will have at OWIS, contact us today to set up a virtual tour.

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