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IB Diploma Overview

IB Diploma Overview


Richmond Secondary School is one of 2900 schools around the world certified to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IBDP is a challenging, two-year program of learning that begins in September of Grade 11. Universities around the world recognize IB schools for graduating students who are open-minded, knowledgeable and very capable thinkers, communicators and researchers.  Students must complete two-year courses in six different areas as well as the IB core that includes:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature.
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition.
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies.
  • Group 4: Experimental Sciences.
  • Group 5: Mathematics.
  • Group 6: The Arts (students can choose to take another IB course from Groups 2-3-4 instead of an IB Arts course).
  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)
  • Extended Essay (EE)

Who is the IB Diploma for?  

At Richmond Secondary School, we believe that the IB Diploma is a program for all students who are curious, resilient learners; students who are genuinely interested in engaging and working with teachers and other students about ideas and concepts. Students motivated solely by marks may not enjoy the program. Students who like to learn and accept that deep learning and growth requires critical, creative and reflective thought, research, hard work and collaboration, may thrive in the two-year IB learning journey. It is our experience (from direct student feedback every year) is that the IB Diploma requires two years of thoughtful, hard work, but that students who do well in IB are extremely well prepared for university. Students completing the IB Diploma can also earn first year credits in many universities around the world.  

Please note carefully that all IB Courses are two-year learning commitments.

IB Diploma Candidates:

IB Diploma Candidates are students pursuing and meeting all requirements of the full IB Diploma. Students must enroll in six IB Courses, three or four of which must be at the Higher Level. This means that two or three IB Courses must be at the Standard Level. IB Diploma Candidates must enroll in one course in each of Groups 1 thru 5. For their sixth course, students may freely choose from Groups 2 through 6. For timetabling reasons, IB Diploma Candidates at Richmond Secondary School may only take one Higher Level Group 4 Course.

IB Diploma Candidates are also required to enroll in and fulfill the three additional IB Core elements: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity-Activity-Service (CAS), and the 4000-word Extended Essay (EE).

Student learning in IB courses is evaluated using a 7-point scale. A maximum IB Diploma score would be 45. An IB Diploma will be awarded to students who successfully undertake the Internal Assessments in each subject area, and sit comprehensive final exams in May of their Grade 12 year and achieve a minimum score of 24, including at least 12 in their 3 HL classes. The three IB Core Courses (TOK, CAS, and EE) are central to the growth of students in the IB Diploma Programme and are defining elements of a genuinely successful IB Diploma.

IB Course Candidates: 

IB Course Candidates are Richmond Secondary School students who choose to take IB Courses without pursuing the full diploma. While IB Course Candidates receive a certificate from IB upon successful completion of their coursework, they will not receive an IB Diploma.  Please note - first preference for seats in all IB courses will be reserved for students completing the IB Diploma.  Course candidate students may be enrolled if classes have space, but they can be displaced if classes fill up - and placed on a wait list.  Course Candidate students can usually transition to parallel courses in the Provincial program.

Please be aware that, in the event that there is insufficient initial enrollment in some IB Courses offered in the Grade 11 Course Selection process, some IB Courses and/or Levels may not run in each IB Cohort.  On such occasions, in order to remain eligible for an IB Diploma, students will be required to select an alternate Course and/or Level.

For More Information on the RHS I.B. Diploma Programme:

Contact the I.B. Coordinator Mr. Miller at: and read our website: