The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepare students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and in life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. At ISB, the IB Diploma programme builds on the Middle Years Programme which helps equip students with the skills they need to fulfil the requirements of post-school education. A variety of courses per subject group are offered to enable students to choose the right combination depending on their future studies.
ISB is at the heart of the city center in Bologna and hence the city is used as an extension of the classroom. With the central public library, the oldest university in Europe, and many museums and cultural sites within walking distance, the city provides ample opportunities for learning outside the classroom. The classroom environment at ISB reflects the inquiry-based, holistic nature of the IB Diploma Programme. The collective community contributes to the bigger life of the school, and the small number of students in each course allows for meaningful communication and collaboration. This is evident in the way students and teachers interact on a day to day basis.
The Approaches to Teaching and Learning in the Diploma Programme at ISB are aligned with the requirements of the International Baccalaureate. These are deliberate strategies, skills, and attitudes that drive teaching and learning. They provide opportunities to both students and staff to develop the IB Learner Profile attributes and an appreciation of other cultures. The delivery of the programme is based on inquiry, focused on conceptual understanding, and developed in local and global contexts. It fosters collaboration between disciplines, it is informed by assessment, and considers the needs of all learners. Teachers, as well as students, are considered life-long learners who use self-reflection tools to evaluate their performance and accelerate their personal and professional growth.
THE IB DIPLOMA
IB students graduating with the IB Diploma are able to study at universities all around the world, often with advanced credit. Students report that their involvement with the IB has given them the tools needed to succeed at college. In particular, students comment on their sense of preparedness, self-confidence, research skills, and ability to manage their time. Even more importantly, they have developed a sense of the world around them and their responsibility to it. Diploma Programme students study six subjects (three at Standard Level and three at Higher Level) over two years and complete three additional requirements: the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay, and CAS—Creativity, Activity, and Service tasks outside of the classroom. In addition to these requirements, students must earn a minimum of 24 points out of a possible 45 points on the final assessments, externally marked and moderated by the IB, in order to receive an IB Diploma.