Garibaldi is one of only 14 International Baccalaureate World Schools in BC. IB offers students the opportunity to complete their high school education in an internationally-recognized, and internationally-focused, program that will open many doors to the world of post-secondary education. Even more importantly, IB will expose students to the wider, international world of lifelong learning by focusing on both depth and breadth of learning in all subject areas.
The IB Diploma is also recognized worldwide as the very best preparation for university and college bound students. Students who take the full Diploma Program unanimously report that their first year at university is much less difficult and stressful because of their experiences in IB.
In short, IB is a great opportunity for students to complete secondary school in a collegial, friendly, fun, and challenging community of learners. The people you meet, and the things you learn in IB will be important to you for the rest of your life.
What is IB?
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB) is an alternative academic program for students in grades 11 and 12. It is open to any interested students, but you should be aware that the most successful IB students usually have attained B’s and A’s in their academic courses in grades 9 and 10.
If the program interests you, you should try to take your academic courses in grades 9 and 10 as “Honours” in order to prepare for the courses offered in IB 11 and 12. Although this is not an absolute requirement for IB, it is strongly recommended.
There are two ways grade 11 and 12 students can access the exciting options available in IB:
Students can elect to take one or more individual courses as “Certificate” courses;
Students can elect to take all their courses in IB for their grade 11 and 12 years, thus earning them a “Diploma”.
IB courses are designated as either Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL); for example, Garibaldi will be offering English as an HL course, and Math as an SL course. HL courses cover the same material as SL courses, but in significantly more depth.
IB Courses currently offered at Garibaldi:
- Art SL & HL
- Biology HL & SL
- Computer Science SL
- English SL & HL
- Economics SL & HL
- French SL
- History HL
- Mathematics SL
- Music SL
- Physics SL
- Philosophy HL
- (All IB courses are taken over 2 years. For example you take IB Economics in Grade 11 and Grade 12.)
Both Certificate courses and the full Diploma afford students the opportunity to receive advanced first year credit at most universities in Canada and internationally for all HL courses. This means, for example, that a student who achieves a certificate in English with a suitable grade (usually at least a mark of 5 out of a possible 7 points), will be able to register in a second year English course at SFU, UVic, UBC, or any other university he/she may choose to attend. This applies to all HL courses, which is why the full Diploma is really the preferred alternative for students seriously planning to attend University or college.
Full Diploma students will also take part in three unique experiences:
An interdisciplinary course on the Theory of Knowledge (TOK). This course is designed to connect the knowledge students learn in their IB courses, and to ask students and teachers alike to challenge their beliefs and ideas of what constitutes knowledge.
There is a service and action component called CAS (Creativity, Action, Service). A Diploma student is responsible for participating over the two years of IB in creative, physical, and service activities in the local community. The CAS requirement allows students to gain real-life experience beyond the classroom.
Extended Essay. An independent research assignment of approximately 4,000 words in one of students’ six subject areas. This is one of the ways IB Diploma students can specialize in an area of knowledge and prepare for the level of study required at the university level.
Students taking the Diploma must take 6 IB courses usually 3 SL and 3 HL courses. You must take English, French, Mathematics, a Science and History (as a 6th courses students can take Art, a 2nd Science, Economics or Philosophy). Students planning an education in the Sciences should also take Chemistry as a regular class either during the year or as a Summer School course. If a student wishes they can take Socials 11 and then they can subsitute Economics or Philosophy for History.
Overall, the IB program affords students an opportunity to learn a broad range of things, but also to specialize in a few areas of interest. It also allows students to participate as members of a learning community, made up of both students and teachers, that will give students access to an intense, collegial, one-on-one learning experience not available elsewhere.
Please note that the IB program is open to all students but that those taking the Honours courses will have an advantage.
In deciding to take IB, you are deciding to challenge yourself, but you are also deciding to give yourself the best educational opportunity public schools in Canada currently offer.
For more information on the IB program you can contact the school and ask for the IB Coordinator Mr. S. Moore or check the IB website at http://www.ibo.org/
Video #1: Connect to the IB and Connect to the World
Video #2: IB Student Interviews
Video #3: GSS Teacher Interviews