International Baccalaureate

IBO 225

ISB is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School

The IB is a non-profit educational foundation motivated by its mission, focused on the student.

The IB programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, the IB currently works with 3,882 schools offering the IB programme to over 1 million students in 148 countries.

The IB PYP and IB MYP are programme frameworks that enable schools to internally develop their curriculum based on the local context. The IB Diploma is more prescribed in order to prepare for IB's externally validated examinations leading to university entrance. Key to learning in IB Programmes is to provide students with opportunities to:

  • Learn and understand about the world around them
  • Develop a disposition to take responsible action
  • Appreciate other cultures, languages, beliefs and values
  • Connect their learning experiences
  • Understand disciplinary knowledge through the lens of organising ideas or concepts
  • Reflect and on their progress and understand what they need to do to meet learning expectations

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IB Programmes

IB Programmes

ISBasel is authorized to offer the following three programmes

IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education, with final examinations, that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. Introduced by the IB in 1968, it was adopted by ISB in 1995. 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.

IB Diploma Programme curriculum framework

IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from several which are repeated in groups 1 to 5.

Three subjects are taken at Higher Level (240 teaching hours), while the other subjects are taken at Standard Level (150 teaching hours).

In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the IB Diploma Programme features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The IB Diploma Programme core

  • The Extended Essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying.
  • Theory of Knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
  • Creativity, Activity/Action, Service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the IB Diploma Programme. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Action seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.
IB Middle Years Programme

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is an ambitious programme combining academic rigour and challenge while preparing students for the demands of an ever-changing world. It was introduced by the IB in 1994 and adopted by ISB in 2001.

"The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement - essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders."
- IBO website

IB Primary Years Programme

The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is designed for students aged 3 to 12. The PYP was introduced by the IB in 1997 and adopted by ISB in 2003. It focuses on the total growth of the developing child, touching hearts as well as minds and encompassing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic development.

It is a transdisciplinary programme of international education designed to foster the development of the whole child as an inquirer, inside and outside the classroom

The programme provides a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children and prepares them towards becoming active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.

IB Standards & Practices

IB Standards and Practices

The IB expects schools to

  • have a mission that is aligned with the philosophy of the IB
  • engage in regular evaluation of their programmes every 5 years: ISB is in its 4th evaluation cycle which will be synchronised with other accrediting agencies
  • be updated with new curriculum developments and send staff to professional development in line with stated guidelines
  • provide staff opportunities to collaboratively develop the curriculum adhering to key requirements established for each programme

IB Learner Profile

IB Learner Profile

A set of learning outcomes for the 21st century

The Learner Profile provides a long-term vision of education comprising a set of ideals that inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose.


  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective 

IB Assessment & Moderation

MYP Personal Project Moderation

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years and Diploma Programmes offers schools the opportunity to participate in external review in the form of moderation and assessment to help ensure consistency in the implementation of the programme and also to provide schools a vehicle to benchmark performance worldwide.

Upon completion of Grade 10, each student’s Personal Project is externally moderated in the form of an ePortfolio using the newly implemented on-screen assessment programmes mandated by the IB Organization. This meets the requirements with a Course Result grade of 1-7 being assigned.

The MYP ePortfolio External Moderation and the student’s Course Result is fully recognized by Ofqual in England as of the end of 2015. Recognition in other countries, districts and institutions may be dependent on Ofqual recognition or supported by it. Local recognition questions should be directed to the appropriate regional office. ISB will also facilitate and assist a student who is seeking a transfer to a school that requires additional qualifications.


Some assessment tasks are conducted and overseen by teachers without the restrictions of examination conditions, but are then marked externally by examiners. Examples include works in translation and written tasks for language A1, essays for theory of knowledge and extended essays. Written assessments are screened with plagiarism detection tools.

Each Diploma subject has an Internal Assessment component. internal Assessment is marked in school and then a sample is sent to the IB for moderation. Due to the greater degree of objectivity and reliability provided by the standard examination environment, externally marked examinations form the greatest share of the assessment for each subject.