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The IB at Bryanston 


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What is the IB Diploma?

The IB Diploma Programe (IBDP) is a two-year assessed programme for pupils aged 16 to 19. It provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, employment or an apprenticeship, and is recognised by many universities worldwide.  

The IBDP centres on the DP core, which is made up of three components that are studied alongside individual subjects.

The three core elements are:

These core elements are designed to broaden pupils’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills. Pupils then choose a range of subjects from the following subject groups:

  • studies in language and literature
  • language acquisition
  • individuals and societies
  • sciences
  • mathematics
  • the arts.

Pupils will take some subjects at Higher Level (HL) and some at Standard Level (SL). HL and SL courses differ in scope, but are measured according to the same grade descriptors with pupils expected to demonstrate a greater body of knowledge, understanding and skills at Higher Level. Each pupil takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at Higher Level and the remaining at Standard Level.

Why study the IB Diploma? 

The IB Philosophy

‘Education for a better world’

The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Its programmes encourage pupils to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people with their differences can also be right.

The learning style in an IB classroom encourages pupils to become responsible, active members of their community. They learn to empathise with others; value diverse perspectives and cultures; understand how events around the world are interconnected; and solve problems that transcend borders: they learn to explore both sides of a story.

Who is it aimed at?

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is suited to pupils who find the A level subject choice too limiting. It allows pupils to combine breadth with depth in their sixth-form studies and provides an opportunity to explore all aspects of their abilities, both inside and outside the classroom.

The IB Diploma enables pupils to see the world from different viewpoints and equips them to cope better with demanding workloads, time management and expectations than their peers, standing them in good stead for university and future careers. Through the IBDP, we are able to develop pupils who:

  • have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • study at least two languages
  • excel in traditional academic subjects 
  • explore the nature of knowledge 
  • are able to engage with people in an increasingly globalised, rapidly changing world.

We introduced the IB Career-Related Programme (IBCP) in September 2019. The IBCP offers the same as the IBDP in terms of studying a breadth of subjects, but also offers additional vocational qualifications.

The IB Career-Related Programme 

The Career-related Programme suits pupils who have both a desire to continue their academic study while also developing skills for employment and future career development. The programme’s three-part framework comprises the study of between two and four Diploma Programme courses (at least one of which must be at Higher Level) alongside the distinctive Career-related Programme core and a career-related study course.

Academic Studies

Pupils will choose at least two courses from the six subject groups (see IB Diploma Programme section) and no more than four. Pupils do not have to cover a certain number of groups, but their choice would be linked to and support their professional qualification. For example:

  • Business – Cambridge Technical Diploma (professional qualification) with Psychology HL and Geography SL
  • Sport with sport coaching - Cambridge Technical Diploma (professional qualification) with Biology HL and Psychology HL.

Subjects can be chosen at either Higher Level or Standard Level (although at least one Higher Level must be included). Higher Level will accumulate more UCAS tariff points, leading to wider higher education choices.

The Diploma Programme courses provide the theoretical underpinning and academic rigour of the programme.

Vocational Studies

These are nationally recognised qualifications that have a practical approach to learning and which carry UCAS points. Pupils will choose a qualification depending on their interest and focus. This career-related study prepares pupils for higher education, an internship or apprenticeship, or a position in a career of interest.

The Career-related Programme Core

Personal and Professional Skills – a timetabled class in which pupils are given the opportunity to develop attitudes, skills and strategies to be applied to personal and professional situations. The emphasis is to allow pupils to develop those valuable skills needed for society, higher education and the workplace.

Service Learning – pupils are involved in or set up a community service project, giving them the opportunity to participate or develop initiatives of their own that are linked to their field of interest. 

Language Development – pupils study a new foreign language and culture. They have to demonstrate an outcome (e.g. planning and organising a school trip or a cultural activity).

These three components are not assessed, but pupils have to demonstrate engagement and a number of defined learning outcomes have to be met.

Reflective Project – pupils undertake an independent research project based on a subject related to their vocational studies and about which they are passionate. This project is internally assessed and moderated by the IB, and as such, comes with additional UCAS points,

The Career-related Programme Core helps to develop skills and competencies required for lifelong learning. It is designed to connect each pupil’s chosen Diploma Programme courses to their career-related study.

If you would like to find out more about what this programme involves, then please read our FAQ document

Why choose the IB at Bryanston?

The philosophy and core values of the IB programme fit very closely with the Guiding Principles of Bryanston, which is why we believe that we’re well placed to deliver it.

IB Learner Profile

Bryanston Guiding Principles

Building a better world through intercultural understanding and respect
  • valuing and empathising with communities
  • caring for humanity and environment
  • valuing diversity 
  • contribute to wider world
Think critically and challenge assumptions
  • think differently
  • nurturing innovation
  • think independently
Take responsibility for own learning
  • self reliant
  • resourceful
  • self disciplined
  • taking responsibility
Try different approaches
  • applying creative thinking to real problems
  • embracing change
  • take risks

Our tailored approach is designed to optimise the learning of each individual. We help pupils to build academic confidence that is based on strong organisational skills, bravery to think creatively and taking risks – in essence, developing the skills and attributes that will allow them to flourish.

The school’s flexible approach to learning combines a timetable of taught lessons with independent study and one-to-one sessions with subject teachers. It allows pupils to develop their particular interests at a pace that suits their intellectual approach. Teachers are readily available to provide guidance and support, ensuring strength across all subject areas.

Pupils are encouraged to select their own title for the Extended Essay and carry out research, making use of the advice of a subject specialist from across the teaching staff. The Theory of Knowledge is taught through discussion seminars led by a range of different subject teachers, and pupils themselves, to address issues such as ‘how do we know what we know?’. At Bryanston, pupils are encouraged to question and not accepts things at face value; through this, they develop the ability to think independently.

Boarding affords the extra time and space to explore an exceptional range of activities on campus, allowing pupils to build their own CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) programme through drama, film, art, charity work, outreach, sport and extra-curricular activities.

Pupils’ personal tutors help them to plan, organise and manage their IB programme and support them through the university application process.

How do I find out more? 

We would recommend that you attend one of our Sixth Form Information Afternoons to find out more about the IB programme. You'll have the opportunity to meet key members of staff, go on a tour of the school and ask any questions you may have. 

IB Subjects

Find out which subjects you could study at Bryanston

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Extended Essay

Find out more about the Extended Essay

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Theory of Knowledge

Learn about Theory of Knowledge (ToK)

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Learn about Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) 

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Further Resources

Useful links, articles and presentations

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After Bryanston

Discover how Bryanston prepares its pupils for Higher Education and beyond

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The latest set of IB results at Bryanston

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