The IBDP Programme

July 2019

Dear Parents and Students,

This IBDP Information Sheets have been collated to help families make the best possible subject choices for Years 5 and 6. Choices made now will affect subsequent university choices, as well as ultimately future jobs and careers pathways.

Students will need to consider each option carefully in discussion with their teachers and parents before making a final selection. Once chosen, students are expected to commit themselves to the courses and to see them through to examination in 2021. Option changes are only permitted up to three weeks after the courses begin, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

In making their choices, students must consider their strengths and weaknesses, their interests and possible future plans. Choosing a particular subject because someone else in the family or circle of friends thinks it is a good idea is unwise. Students should spend time reading the course requirements and outlines in the information sheets carefully, discussing them with their teachers and also their parents.

Please note the following points:

  • Students must choose six subjects – one subject from each of the six different Groups 1 to 6.
  • In addition, all students take Theory of Knowledge (in English or Chinese), the 4000-word Extended Essay and complete the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) requirements.
  • Three subjects are studied at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. Students must have gained an A or B grade in IGCSE, ‘O’ Levels, or the school’s Preliminary Examination in that subject in order to take it at Higher Level.
  • Students looking to study medicine or engineering must study two sciences – usually at Higher Level. Please note that a course combination which includes Higher Level Mathematics and two higher Level Science subjects is a very difficult combination academically involving a high level of stress (!)
  • Students may not opt for both Economics and Business Management.
  • The final decision concerning the option choices is subject to approval by the relevant Heads of Faculty and the Vice Principal, Senior Division, based on past academic performance and the potential of the individual student.

Finally, students are reminded to spend time talking to teachers, researching possible career pathways for recommended subject choices, attending the IBDP Information Session, and making considered choices in conjunction with their parents before submitting their application by the due date.

The IBDP is a very highly-rated pre-university qualification which is recognised around the world – the “gold standard” in international education. However, it is also a very rigorous and stressful programme, and not for everyone. No wonder IB graduates describe themselves as “IB Survivors”! We recommend that you reflect strongly and choose carefully!

With best wishes for a successful IBDP journey.

Rob Burrough Principal