The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year college preparatory academic program that has achieved worldwide recognition as a rigorous, well-rounded curriculum. While initially offered exclusively in international schools, educational systems around the world, from the United States to China, are beginning to offer the IBDP as a way to raise the quality of curricular offerings to students.
Raising the quality of the curriculum to match high international standards was one of the primary reasons for offering the IBDP here at Xavier School. While our students perform well when benchmarked against some standards (university admissions tests, worldwide SAT results), the administration recognized the need to elevate the quality of education even further.
The IBDP achieves this by requiring students to take six college-level courses of their choice, each for a duration of two years. This allows students to get a breadth of courses (in math, sciences, social sciences, languages, and arts), while also achieving a level of depth that cannot be accomplished in just one year. Students are further challenged to write a college-level research paper, take a critical thinking class called “Theory of Knowledge,” and engage regularly in activities that promote athletic ability, creative thinking, and service.
The secondary objective is the professional development afforded to administrators and teachers. In order to teach IB courses, teachers must attend workshops that are officially sanctioned by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). These workshops afford teachers the opportunity not only to learn about the details of the curriculum, but also to discuss teaching practices with quality educators from around the world. As an added bonus, many of these workshops are only available outside of the country, providing our teachers with even more international exposure.
After a lengthy authorization process in 2008 and 2009, Xavier was officially recognized as an International Baccalaureate World School, thus given the approval to offer the Diploma Programme. The first brave group of students, from the class of 2012, began their journey in June of 2010. After two years of hard work, the students graduated with an average test score that slightly surpasses the worldwide average–quite an achievement for the pioneering group.
In 2011, Xavier admitted another 73 students into the program for the second wave of students. The program expanded to 83 students in 2012 and even further to 90 incoming students for the 2013 – 2014 school year. During that time, we have doubled our course offerings as well, from six subjects in 2010 to twelve subjects for the coming school year.
The following was presented last Tuesday, 6 August 2013, to both the sophomores and their parents. For further inquiries, please contact the XS IB Office directly or through our contact form. Thank you.