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Understanding the International Baccalaureate Programme

International Baccalaureate programme

While considering potential international schools for your child, there's a good  chance you’ve come across the “International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme.” 

But if you’ve never actually studied the program, you may be stuck with more questions than answers at this point in your research. Some of those questions could be:

  • What does the IBDP programme entail?
  • What makes it a great program?
  • How will the IBDP benefit my child?
  • Is the IB just for high school students, or can my young children enroll now?

At Nagoya International School (NIS), we proudly offer the IB program not just for grades 11 and 12 but also for the primary  - and secondary years. The IB curriculums for younger students are known as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students in preschool through Gr. 5, and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students in grades 6-10. 

These programmes provide our students with a solid academic foundation that will help inspire inquisitive thinking and help them evolve into global citizens, ready to follow their passions wherever they lead.

日本語ブログ- インターナショナルスクールで学ぶ国際バカロレア(IB)プログラムとは?

What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme?


The IB program nurtures students to be passionate about their learning and committed to supporting their communities, regardless of their chosen profession or path. 

Ultimately it is our goal that students at NIS learn to question their world and to have an opportunity to connect to others – and empower them to envision the impact they can have on their futures and the communities they will serve. 

We feel the International Baccalaureate programs best support students to nurture the attributes and skills to embark on this life-long journey. This program is designed to help students thrive in today's ever-changing world with optimism, self-motivation, resiliency, and an open mind. 

Rather than focus on one age group, the three IB programs are designed for  all students at NIS from preschool to high school  and are organized into three distinct programs: 

1. Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged three to 12

The PYP curriculum draws a balance between acquiring essential knowledge and skills, developing conceptual understanding, a positive outlook and attitude, and taking responsible action. Ultimately, the goal of the PYP is to develop the whole child – not just the academic foundation. 


2. Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16

Built around helping students in grades 6-10 to become creative, critical, and reflective thinkers and global leaders, the MYP emphasizes intellectual challenges and bridging the gap between textbook lessons and real-world experiences and situations.


3. Diploma Programme (DP) for Grades 11 and 12

Balancing academic rigour with the skills and dispositions to prepare students for success in university and their chosen career path, the IBDP is a demanding and all-encompassing program. In addition to the courses students take across six subjects, the program consists of three additional core requirements: a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, an Extended Essay (EE) and Community, Action and Service (CAS).

One of the best ways to discover whether a program is right for you or your family is to learn from another's experience. Click here to read about Lina and how participating in the IBDP helped her achieve her goals during her time at NIS. 


What are the benefits of choosing the IBDP?


Given that some of the career paths students may take in the future may not even exist yet, the IB program helps  prepare them for whatever the future may hold.

Because this is such a widely recognized program – a standard for many international schools worldwide – and because the IBDP has earned respect as a rigorous and comprehensive program, students who obtain an IB Diploma continue on to some of the world's top colleges and universities. 

According to the IBO, students who have gone through the IB Programme have higher levels of critical thinking and global-mindedness. They are more willing to communicate complex concepts, accept new challenges, be more collaborative and are more motivated and engaged, allowing them to take an active role in their learning. 

Assuming one of your primary concerns as a parent is to open as many doors of pathway options for your child as possible, in addition to becoming confident and capable learners, you can be assured that IB students also obtain  high college admission, retention and graduation rates. 

IBDP graduates not only enroll in universities in more significant numbers but also stay enrolled longer after the first year. According to the IBO, of the IBDP students who enrolled in college immediately after high school, 90.4% returned to the same institution the following year compared to 80% of all US students.

An article published by Okayama University investigated the relationship between 21st-century skills and IBDP students. The report stated,  “through continuous follow up of enrolled IB students over a period of almost 9 years, Okayama University has discovered some special characteristics in IBDP students, which has been embedded in them through their IB education and made them a holistic, global citizen.”

The university goes on to state that IBDP students show critical thinking skills, utilize a unique learning process, are abundant in communications skills and are capable of influencing international mindedness in their university. This is also why they aim to attract  more IBDP students to boost globalization within their university.


The IB Programs at NIS


So what does this internationally recognized program look like at NIS? More and more families want their children to have an international outlook with more global post-secondary choices and access to an education that focuses on the growth of the whole child in an English-language curriculum.

For expatriate and local families, the NIS community has become an essential piece of the fabric in the Nagoya and Chubu region. Since 2008, over 85% of NIS students have opted to pursue the full IB Diploma Programme, with 90% earning the full diploma. 

Unlike some schools in other countries, NIS encourages all students to consider trying the IBDP when they enter Grade 11 and participation is not restricted to only the ‘top achieving students’ or require testing to opt into the program. 

As an inclusive school, we hope that all students will have the opportunity to take on the challenge of the IBDP program while we provide as much support as possible to help students successfully navigate through the program. 

For more information about the IB at NIS, including IBDP results over the past 5 years, click here

Download the Guide Today!

The IB Programme opens up a world of opportunities for your child – and this is just one aspect of an international education. Discover how the other elements of this schooling can greatly benefit your child. 

Click Here

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