The International Baccalaureate

A different approach to Academic Excellence

The International Baccalaureate (IB) was founded as a progressive non-profit educational foundation in 1968. Its aim is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through the understanding and respect of different nationalities and cultures.

Today, the IB works with almost 5,000 schools in over 150 countries and offers three academic programmes and one career-related programme to over 1.2 million students worldwide. The academic programmes are the Primary Years Programme for children aged 3 to 11; the Middle Years Programme for students aged between 11 and 16; and the Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 18.

What makes the International Baccalaureate unique?

IB Learner Profile

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who recognize their common humanity and help to create a better and more peaceful world.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools which help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.

How is the International Baccalaureate different to other curricula?

An inquiry-based programme

Unlike many other curricula, the IB is not a system that heavily relies on standardised textbooks. Instead, it is an inquiry-based programme that encourages students to learn independently, be innovating and creative, and think critically at all times.

From an early age, the IB equips students with the all-important life skills to help them succeed in the real world of life and work. These are often neglected by curricula that focuses entirely on the passing of standardised exams.

Study more subjects

The IB Diploma Programme specifies that students study six courses, to help them be more well-rounded upon graduating. In comparison, students in the UK typically study three A-levels in order to apply to university.

In addition, IB students are able to engage in their favourite subjects so they can foster their passions and get the most out of their education.

Core Components

There are 3 core components that must be completed by IB students for them to graduate from the Diploma Programme. These are Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity and Service and the extended essay.

Studying these core elements helps IB students to be reflective, internationally minded, well-rounded and at ease with critical thinking. These skills and traits are highly prized by top universities around the world, as well as in the world of work.

“Pupils successfully reflect the IB learner profile of a principled approach as they show respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere and take responsibility for actions and their consequences.”

– Southbank Hampstead, ISI report 2022

Why choose the International Baccalaureate for your child?
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Thrive in today's world

The IB is a curriculum for those who want to give their children the best possible start in life, both academically and personally.

It is a curriculum that encourages its students to do more than blindly accept what is put in front of them and nurtures within its students, their natural capacity to question, to inquire, to be inquisitive and to think independently, critically and creatively.

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Ideal for an international world

The IB is the perfect solution to an education that is recognised across the world. Having been originally established as a direct response to what is often a severe lack of flexibility in varying systems around the world, the IB is now recognised in more than 100 countries.

Southbank International School