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Three Options: MXIS Diploma, IB Diploma, or IB Certificates

Students actually have three Diploma options. They may choose to work towards the MXIS Diploma, MXIS Diploma with one or more IB certificates (an IB Certificate is awarded per subject for successful completion of any IB course), or MXIS Diploma with IB Diploma. In the 10th grade, students take Pre-IB courses to prepare themselves for the rigor and concepts of IB courses, which are taken in 11th and 12th grades.

Although the choice between the IB Diploma and Certificates is actually made in the second semester of Grade 11, students should become familiar with the IB Program before registering for 10th grade classes. Proper planning of courses from 9th grade on is beneficial for all IB Program students, but it is especially so for those students who are considering the IB Diploma path.

The options are illustrated below:

MXIS Diploma

The MXIS Diploma has been designed in order to provide a more flexible program of study than is available in the full IB Diploma or IB Certificate. This program is ideal for those students who do not have the broad academic competence necessary for the full IB Diploma/Certificate, and will be more successful in focusing their efforts on specific subject areas in which they can achieve a good standard. Students will not take the external examinations given by IBO.

Students in Grades 11 and 12 study and pass courses in:

•    English
•    Foreign Language
•    Humanities (Individuals and Societies)
•    Experimental Science
•    Mathematics
•    Visual Arts
•    Electives (including ToK)
•    120 hours CAS (Creativity, Action and Service)

MXIS Diploma with IB Certificates

Rather than meeting all the requirements for the full diploma, students may elect to study a number of IB subjects at Higher or Standard Level to gain individual Certificates. They will do the full coursework and examinations in these subjects, but will not do an Extended Essay. Many Certificate students excel because the workload and subject areas are tailored to their capabilities. Good Certificate scores will gain you entry into most universities. Competitive European universities will usually require the full IB Diploma for entrance, but many higher education courses will also be available in Europe to candidates holding good IB Certificates.

•    English
•    Foreign  Language
•    Humanities (Individuals and Societies)
•    Experimental Science
•    Mathematics
•    Visual Arts
•    Electives (including ToK)
•    120 hours CAS (Creativity, Action and Service)
The IB Diploma Programme

The IB diploma is, academically, a very demanding and rigorous program. Students study six subjects - three at higher level and three at Standard level. Five of the subjects must be chosen from each of groups 1-5, and the sixth is another subject from the first four groups. In addition, students must participate in a program of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS); they must follow a course called Theory of Knowledge, as well as produce a 4000-word Extended Essay based on independent primary research in one of the subject areas.

The IB diploma package must include the following:

•    Group 1 - Language A1 (for native speakers and language of the school)
•    Group 2 –Language  B (a foreign language), and Language Ab Initio (for beginners, 2 years),
•    Group 3 - Individuals and Societies
•    Group 4 - Experimental Sciences
•    Group 5 - Mathematics
•    Group 6 – Visual Arts / Electives (another Group  3 or 4)

Full IB Diploma students must also complete:

•    a 4000 word independently researched Extended Essay,
•    take 100 hours of the Theory of knowledge,
•    complete 150 hours of CAS (Creativity, Action and Service)

Courses in Grades 11 and 12

All students will select one course from each of the following Groups of courses:

Group 1 - Languages A1 HL / SL

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) defines Language A1 as the mother tongue of the students or the language of the school. Since the medium of instruction at MXIS is English, English is the Language A1 would be the choice for most of our students. Language A1 courses are literature based. They cover different world literature titles studied in translation of the target language. Students are exposed to different genre, style, type of literary study, methodology, theme, period, and culture. (IBO’s Subject Grouping) Aside from English A1, we also offer Chinese A1 and Korean A1 where an external tutor is available.

Group 2 – Languages B SL / HL, and Ab Initio SL

IB Diploma candidates are not permitted to study the same language in both Group 1 and Group 2. The requirement quite clearly states that the Group 1 and Group 2 languages must be different.

Language B is an acquired language. MXIS offers English B and Mandarin B.
It is a foreign language program focusing on language acquisition and development for students with previous experience learning the language.

Language Ab Initio is designed for beginners of the target language. We offer Mandarin ab initio.
It is a foreign language program for beginners who have no, or very little, previous experience of the language. (Mandarin currently offered)

Group 3 - Individuals and Societies

Three subjects are offered: Economics HL and SL, Geography HL and SL,  and History HL and SL. One objective of the IB curriculum is to foster international understanding, which requires an appreciation of the ways of life of other people. A characteristic of Group 3 subjects is that their content is disputable and thus their study requires learning to tolerate some uncertainty.
These courses emphasize both understanding of the student’s own culture and environment, and a familiarity with and appreciation of different cultures and environments. Students study critically and systematically human experience and behavior, the varieties of physical and social environments in which we live, and the history and development of social and cultural institutions of the modern world.

Group 4 – Experimental Sciences

Biology HL / SL

Physics HL / SL

Chemistry SL

All of the Experimental Science courses have the same general objectives, which are that all students should be able to:

•    Demonstrate an understanding of
a. scientific facts and concepts
b. scientific methods and techniques
c. scientific terminology
d. methods of presenting scientific information

•    Apply and use
a. scientific facts and concepts
b. scientific methods and techniques
c. scientific terminology to communicate effectively
d. appropriate methods to present scientific information

•    Identify, construct and evaluate
a. hypotheses, research questions and predictions
b. scientific methods/techniques and procedures
c. scientific explanations

•    Demonstrate the personal skills of cooperation, perseverance and responsibility appropriate for effective scientific investigation and problem solving.

•    Demonstrate the manipulative skills necessary to carry out scientific investigation with precision and safety.

Group 5 - Mathematics

Mathematics Standard Level
Mathematics Higher Level
Math Studies SL

This course is designed to provide a background in mathematical thought, techniques and methods for those students needing substantial mathematical skills in other subject areas such as, chemistry, biology, economics, business, geography and related courses. Since it covers a variety of mathematical topics, the course is quite demanding.

Group 6 - Electives
Students will study the following:

Group 3:  Geography HL / SL or History HL/SL or Economics HL/SL
Group 4:  Physics HL / SL or Biology HL/SL or Chemistry SL
Group 6: Visual Arts and Music

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)

Candidates for the IB diploma must complete at least 150 hours of creativity, action and service (CAS) activities during the 11th and 12th grades. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to become active in the local community and to share their talents with others. Activities for which students are paid or which earn course credit may not be counted toward the CAS requirement. Activities involving religious organizations should have a secular focus. The CAS coordinator announces the possible activities and keeps a record of CAS hours for each student. The student is responsible for documenting and reporting each activity to the CAS Coordinator. The CAS Coordinator verifies completion of the requirement based on this documentation.

Description of CAS activities:

Creativity (50 hours): Creating, designing or planning activities, performing, etc.

Action (50 hours): Sports, implementing or assisting in outdoor projects, etc.

Service (50 hours): Assisting others as a volunteer

CAS forms are available from the CAS Coordinator and the IB Coordinator’s Office. At least 75 hours of CAS MUST be documented before a student may register as an IB Diploma candidate. Each Diploma Candidate must submit a CAS Student Final Summary form after all hours is completed.

Theory of Knowledge (ToK)

The heart of the IB curriculum is the Theory of Knowledge course. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a forum for reflective, critical thinking on topics that bridge the academic disciplines. Students discuss ideas and write essays expressing their understanding of broad concepts. The course is taught in two parts in both junior and senior years. Student achievement in the course is measured based on one essay and a presentation.

The aims of the Theory of Knowledge course are to lead students to:

•    engage in reflection on and questioning of the bases of knowledge and experience

•    be aware of subjective and ideological biases

•    develop a personal mode of thought based on critical examination of evidence and argument

•    formulate rational arguments

Students may earn bonus points toward the diploma according to the matrix prescribed by the IBO through performance in ToK and the Extended Essay. No student who fails to complete one or both of these requirements can receive an IB diploma.

Extended Essay (EE)

All candidates for the IB diploma must submit an extended essay on a topic closely related to one of the subjects in the IB curriculum. Each student must be supervised by a teacher who provides guidance in the subject area as well as with the research process. Extended Essays are mailed during the middle of the senior year to an IB examiner in the appropriate subject. The purpose of the essay is to allow the student to demonstrate the ability to engage in independent research and to organize and communicate ideas clearly and effectively. Candidates are encouraged to investigate thoroughly a narrow topic rather than to deal with a broad, general topic. The resulting essay must follow both general guidelines and the guidelines for the IB subject addressed. It must be limited to 4000 words and be accompanied by an abstract and a bibliography. Students begin work on the Extended Essay during the 11th grade and complete it during the first semester of the 12th grade.