Everything You Need to Know About IB Programs and Schools – Part I


PART I:  Understanding the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Program

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programs of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized by the IB organization to offer any of the programs.

The IB has a hard-earned reputation for high standards of teaching, pedagogical leadership and student achievement. They work with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

What is the IB program?

The original aim of the IB program was to create an international university acceptance program for students who travelled extensively, such as diplomats’ children. The main focus was on grades 11 and 12 in preparation for university, but now IB schools offer three programs.

1. Primary Years Program for ages 3 to 12.



The Primary Years Program prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.


2. Middle Years Program for ages 11 to 16.


pyp-guide-primyears-400pxwThe Middle Years Program is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. It’s is a five-year program, which can be implemented in a partnership between schools or in several abbreviated (two, three or four-year) formats.

3. Diploma Program (university preparation) for ages 16 to 19.


listening1-midyears-400pxwThe Diploma Program aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

The basis of all IB programs focuses on inquiry-based learning, as well as interdisciplinary and research-based methods of teaching and learning.


Where are IB programs offered?

Just behind the United States, Canada has the second highest number of IB schools with a total of 348 schools and that number is growing. Worldwide, there are currently 4,162 schools offering IB programs with a growth rate of 46% in the last five years alone.

Why choose IB programs?

Some universities give preference to students who have finished the IB university prep Diploma Program because it covers the provincial curriculum as well as additional topics, making it a very intense program that requires constant dedication on the part of the student. Studies conducted in 2014 concluded that students who complete an IB program achieve greater academic success in their future studies, especially because they have learned skills that are needed to be independent learners in university.

Other universities grant course credits to students who have completed the IB Diploma Program and who have attained a high percentage grade level. As the IB program also offers many outside of class activities, students also learn how to manage their time before heading to university.

Since 2008, Its Academic Educational Staffing has placed School Principals and Teachers in IB schools across the US, Canada and internationally. For recruiting support, contact It’s Academic today at www.itsacademic.ca.

Coming up in next months’ Jobs and News newsletter:  Part II in our series on IB Programs and Schools, entitled “Securing Employment at an IB School”.

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