Bishop Macdonell
Wellington Catholic District School Board
Wisdom, Honour, Courage
Course of Study

The IB Diploma Programme is designed to educate the "whole person" in a variety of subject areas from a global perspective in the development of students who are well rounded. 

In addition to six subject areas, students also benefit from fulfilling requirements from the Core of the Diplomma Programme. Read below for further details on the subject areas and the IB Diploma Core.

The graphic to the right illustrates how the components of the IB Diploma Programme work together.
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From the ibo.org website:

The curriculum

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. Student may choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5.

At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while the other subjects are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours). Students can study and take examinations, in English, French or Spanish.

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



The 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.  The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
  • 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, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the 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.