The International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are known for developing an inquiry based learning, a very different approach from the traditional rote learning philosophy that has been followed in traditional schools for a long time. Singapore offers many options when it comes to IB schooling starting from the IB PYP (Primary years Programme) to IB Diploma (Grade 11-12). The IB diploma is a comprehensive 2 year course and choosing the diploma subjects is often a time for confusion and anxiety for students after grade 10. The course chosen at this stage guides the next phase of education i.e. the university level and career prospects for the future. Therefore, students may need guidance in order to make a well-informed choice.
International schools have a legacy of a more personalized approach to child education. With ideal teacher-student ratio and a focus on individual child development, it is no surprise that international schools are proactive in providing the much needed help and support to students for choosing the IB diploma courses. The Canadian International School (CIS) is one such school. It is one of the most progressive and reputed schools offering IB at all 3 levels i.e. Primary, Secondary and Diploma level. Diploma courses need to have a selection of one subject from each of the 6 main ones i.e. Language and literature, Language Acquisition, Sciences, Mathematics, Arts/ Optional subjects and Individuals and Societies. Of these, 3 must be taken at HL (Higher level) allowing specialization and remaining at SL (Standard Level).
For students due to get into diploma, the school organizes an expo every year. It can be considered a pre-admission counseling session. It is a gathering of students currently in grade 10, teachers, course coordinators and current diploma students. Students looking for options in IB Diploma (IBDP) get to know about what all is on offer. They can interact with the teachers one-on-one or in group talks. It is a great way to learn about everything that is out there about course expectations, content and future prospects. Apart from this, an interaction with students of grade 11-12 is highly encouraged. Present diploma students share their experiences about their choice of courses and what to expect. CIS continues the counseling beyond the expo through discussions with DP Co-ordinator and academic counselor at the school. Needless to say, a student is provided all the help that he/she may need in order to make a selection.
An IBDP is a demanding and comprehensive two-year course that needs focus and motivation. Therefore, it is crucial that students choose a course that is closest to their liking and abilities. A support from the school in terms of teachers and current diploma students goes a long way in making right choices for grade 10 students.
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