The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme stands as a beacon of excellence in modern education, developing students into forward-thinking, globally aware individuals. Its unique curriculum is not just about academic rigor; it’s a journey of holistic development that encourages students to think critically, creatively, and ethically. In this vibrant learning environment, students are not just taught facts but are mentored to question, explore, and innovate.
By embracing diverse perspectives and cultures, the IB Diploma cultivates open-mindedness, making its students true citizens of the world. As they embark on this intellectually stimulating journey, IB students develop a rare blend of in-depth subject knowledge and a broad understanding of the world, which makes them stand out in the competitive arena of top university admissions. The programme’s emphasis on research and inquiry ensures that IB graduates are not just well-prepared for university but are primed to excel, innovate, and lead in a rapidly evolving global landscape.
Leighton Park has run the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for sixteen years and is further investing in the programme in 2024 by appointing an Assistant Head: Director of International Baccalaureate. This very senior role will specifically focus on ensuring an outstanding experience for our International Baccalaureate students.
Our average International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme score (Summer 2023) was 31.7 points, compared to a global average score of 30.2. Many of our students achieving scores of 38 or above each year out of a total possible score of 45, making them eligible for the most sought after degrees and universities in the world – see our student case studies. Students can pick up points from across all their six subjects but also from the Theory of Knowledge course, an extended essay and even from your co-curricular activities.
International Baccalaureate Scholarships Leighton Park offers five scholarships each year to top candidates on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, with a financial value of up to 30% of the Day Fee. These scholarships represent the School’s commitment to this outstanding international qualification, which aligns so well with the School’s values. Applications for these scholarships will open from mid-October via our Scholarships page.
Ian Austin Bursary Awards Our Ian Austin Bursary Awards are available for IB Diploma Programme students with particular academic ability and/or musical talent. These awards are means-tested and usually cover between 80-100% of the day fee for the two years of the Sixth Form.
Students on the IB Diploma study six subjects; three standard level and three higher level. Students choose one subject from each block below. This is the same at all International Baccalaureate schools:
English A (SL) (HL), German A (SL) (HL), School-supported self-study (SL)
English B (SL) (HL), French B (SL), Spanish Ab Initio (SL), Spanish B
History (SL) (HL), Psychology (SL) (HL)
Biology (SL) (HL), Physics (SL)
Mathematics (SL) (HL)
Chemistry (SL) (HL), Economics (SL) (HL), Visual Arts (SL) (HL), Music (SL) (HL)
Learn more about the IB Diploma Programme on the International Baccalaureate website.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma can work for a broad range of students but the statements below are a helpful guide to the personal characteristics and preferences that best suit the IB Diploma:
Students on the IB Diploma Programme study six subjects compared to three or four for A Level students. But these six options are studied in less depth, with three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. A Level students at Leighton Park are also strongly recommended to undertake the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to support their university applications. Students will need to study hard on either programme to do well.
As one of the country’s leading schools for STEAM we can say with confidence that the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is excellent preparation for studying Medicine at university, both in the UK and internationally.
IB Diploma students do have to study a different language as part of their programme but as with all our courses, you will be fully supported by language specialists and there are options for you to choose the language that suits you best. It is possible to study Spanish as an ab initio language, meaning that no prior knowledge of Spanish is required and you can study it from scratch.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme students have more classroom teaching, while A Level students have more independent study periods. It is vital that students use these periods effectively if they are to achieve good results – they are not free time! If you prefer to have more teacher support then the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme might be a better option.
This used to be the case but UK universities now fully recognise the value of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. In a sector survey, University Admissions Tutors confirmed that the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme provides excellent preparation for university and the world of work, with 97% saying it is the best preparation for university study. From our recent experience International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme students enjoy a slight edge over A Level students. An example would be leading university courses that require three A*s at A Level or 37 points out of 45 on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme – a much more achievable score. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is more widely recognised internationally for students hoping to go to a university in another country.
Studying three or four A Levels in depth does limit your options more than studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme but there are examples of where having this level of focus is valuable, for example if you want to study Maths at a leading university. The EPQ and cocurricular programme also enable you to add more breadth to your studies.
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