Introduction to the IB Curriculum

by David Shandley

At our last open day, the Director of Education, Darlene Fisher, gave a short talk on the International Baccalaureate (IB) for parents and students who were keen to find out how it relates to GCSEs and A Levels. This video shows a short excerpt from Darlene’s talk, where she explores aspects of the IB curriculum that develop children in ways that helps them flourish.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) is more than 30 years old. It started in Geneva, in the international school there.

Educators were looking for a curriculum that would be portable, for children of diplomats that would work and live around the world and who wanted to take their children with them.

They developed a curriculum that was only for the last two (2) years of school and it was called the Diploma Programme. It was to be a curriculum that would enhance students’ international understanding and global awareness and be portable. So it was not tied to a national curriculum, it was something that could be taught anywhere.

The IB Learner Profile.

You can see through the jigsaw there, there is a number of qualities that are developed and expected to be developed in our students:

  • knowledgeable
  • caring
  • reflective
  • communicators
  • balanced thinkers
  • open-minded inquirers
  • principled
  • risk takers

The fact that the IB has designed a student profile, the IB Learner Profile, indicates that they are thinking not just about academics and getting the mind going – which is knowledgeable and thinkers and inquirers – but they are looking at the whole person. They are expecting students to be caring of each other, to reflect on what they’ve done and how they could do better in their academic study.

So it’s not just a focus on a curriculum that’s highly academically recognised by universities, it is also this developing of a person.



Credits and References

All open access articles in Newland College Work are published under Creative Commons licenses and may be reproduced for non-profit purposes. We would ask as a courtesy, that any reproduction of this article is accompanied by an attribution to Newland College and to the student authors. Thank you.