The Diploma Program

Both the PYP and MYP are designed to prepare WCA students for the rigorous Diploma Program (DP). The DP is offered to students in grades 11 and 12 and is respected by leading universities across the globe. Nearing the end of their 10th-grade year, students and their families will decide whether to pursue the IB Diploma through the Diploma Program. Students who elect not to participate will still be eligible to take the core and course elements listed below but will not receive the IB Diploma. The IB Diploma is only awarded to students who have elected to pursue the DP and satisfactorily complete its requirements. 

The DP is composed of the following:

IB Core Courses The Extended Essay Theory of Knowledge   Community, Activity and Service

IB Core Courses

 

Students take subjects either at the Higher Level (HL) or at Standard Level (SL). Generally, subjects studied at a higher level will reflect the student’s area of interest and specialization and will be covered in greater depth and breadth than subjects studied at standard level. The subject groups are organized as follows: GROUP 1- Studies in Language and Literature; GROUP 2- Language Acquisition; GROUP 3- Individuals and Societies; GROUP 4- Sciences; GROUP 5- Mathematics; GROUP 6- The Arts. 

Students in the IB Diploma Program take six subjects, normally with three at the higher level and three at standard level. Students must make one choice from each of Groups 1, 3, 4, 5 together with a language from Group 2, and either a subject from Group 6 or a second choice from Groups 1 to 4 – these options are shown with a numerical index. 

WCA course offerings are subject to change, and the courses on offer for each year are provided in a separate document (DP Course Offerings).

The Extended Essay

 

The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Program subjects - typically one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their own choice under the guidance of a supervisor (a Learning Facilitator in the school). This process leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. Completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview or viva voce with the supervisor.

Theory of Knowledge  

 

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, a flagship element in the Diploma Program, encourages critical thinking about knowledge to help young people make sense of their encounters. Its core content poses questions such as: What counts as knowledge? How does it grow? What are its limits? Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge? What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?

At the center of the course is the student as knower. Students entering the Diploma Program typically have 16 years of life experience and more than ten years of formal education behind them. They have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge, beliefs, and opinions from academic disciplines and their lives outside the classroom. In TOK, they have the opportunity to step back from this relentless acquisition of new knowledge in order to consider knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen to and learn from what others think. In this process, students’ thinking and understanding of knowledge as a human construct are shaped, enriched, and deepened.

Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Program subjects, in CAS experience, or in Extended Essay research.

Community, Activity and Service

 

Creativity, action, service is at the heart of the Diploma Program. It is given great value at WCA, where we provide an extensive program of global citizenship and community service opportunities. CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program.

The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with specific activities, are characterized as follows:

Creativity: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.

Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.

Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity, and autonomy of all those involved are respected. All proposed CAS activities need to meet these four criteria: • real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes • tasks must provide personal challenge and be achievable in scope • thoughtful consideration, planning, reviewing progress, reporting • reflection on outcomes and personal learning.

It is also essential that CAS activities do not replicate other parts of the student’s Diploma Program work.

Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB diploma. CAS is not formally assessed, but students need to document their activities and provide evidence that they have achieved eight key learning outcomes.

The Diploma Program

Both the PYP and MYP are designed to prepare WCA students for the rigorous Diploma Program (DP). The DP is offered to students in grades 11 and 12 and is respected by leading universities across the globe. Nearing the end of their 10th-grade year, students and their families will decide whether to pursue the IB Diploma through the Diploma Program. Students who elect not to participate will still be eligible to take the core and course elements listed below but will not receive the IB Diploma. The IB Diploma is only awarded to students who have elected to pursue the DP and satisfactorily complete its requirements. 

The DP is composed of the following:

IB Core Courses The Extended Essay Theory of Knowledge   Community, Activity and Service

IB Core Courses

 

Students take subjects either at the Higher Level (HL) or at Standard Level (SL). Generally, subjects studied at a higher level will reflect the student’s area of interest and specialization and will be covered in greater depth and breadth than subjects studied at standard level. The subject groups are organized as follows: GROUP 1- Studies in Language and Literature; GROUP 2- Language Acquisition; GROUP 3- Individuals and Societies; GROUP 4- Sciences; GROUP 5- Mathematics; GROUP 6- The Arts. 

Students in the IB Diploma Program take six subjects, normally with three at the higher level and three at standard level. Students must make one choice from each of Groups 1, 3, 4, 5 together with a language from Group 2, and either a subject from Group 6 or a second choice from Groups 1 to 4 – these options are shown with a numerical index. 

WCA course offerings are subject to change, and the courses on offer for each year are provided in a separate document (DP Course Offerings).

The Extended Essay

 

The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Program subjects - typically one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their own choice under the guidance of a supervisor (a Learning Facilitator in the school). This process leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. Completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview or viva voce with the supervisor.

Theory of Knowledge  

 

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, a flagship element in the Diploma Program, encourages critical thinking about knowledge to help young people make sense of their encounters. Its core content poses questions such as: What counts as knowledge? How does it grow? What are its limits? Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge? What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?

At the center of the course is the student as knower. Students entering the Diploma Program typically have 16 years of life experience and more than ten years of formal education behind them. They have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge, beliefs, and opinions from academic disciplines and their lives outside the classroom. In TOK, they have the opportunity to step back from this relentless acquisition of new knowledge in order to consider knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen to and learn from what others think. In this process, students’ thinking and understanding of knowledge as a human construct are shaped, enriched, and deepened.

Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Program subjects, in CAS experience, or in Extended Essay research.

Community, Activity and Service

 

Creativity, action, service is at the heart of the Diploma Program. It is given great value at WCA, where we provide an extensive program of global citizenship and community service opportunities. CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program.

The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with specific activities, are characterized as follows:

Creativity: arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking.

Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.

Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity, and autonomy of all those involved are respected. All proposed CAS activities need to meet these four criteria: • real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes • tasks must provide personal challenge and be achievable in scope • thoughtful consideration, planning, reviewing progress, reporting • reflection on outcomes and personal learning.

It is also essential that CAS activities do not replicate other parts of the student’s Diploma Program work.

Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB diploma. CAS is not formally assessed, but students need to document their activities and provide evidence that they have achieved eight key learning outcomes.

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