IB DP (Diploma Programme) | Halcyon International School London

IB DP (Diploma Programme)

IB DP Introduction

The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is a rigorous, academically challenging and balanced programme of education designed to prepare students aged 16 to 19 for success at university and life beyond. The DP aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable, inquiring, caring and compassionate, and to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness and the attitudes necessary to respect and evaluate a range of viewpoints.

“The quality of teaching in the sixth form is outstanding. Teachers are adept in using extended questioning to probe the understanding of all students” – Ofsted, 2017

You can read our Director’s thoughts on how the IB DP prepares students for university and life here.

IB DP Student Profile: Lola, Grade 12

“I would say that the IB DP (Diploma Programme) is absolutely preparing students for university. Firstly, the mandatory six subjects – spanning a range of academic fields and disciplines, ensuring students engage with both the humanities, sciences, languages and arts – allows students to explore their academic interests. The range can help students solidify the subject which they want to study at university, and discover their personality as a learner.” Full profile

Diploma Programme
Grade 11-12

HL = Higher Level
SL = Standard Level

Students choose ONE subject from each group, 1 – 6.

Group 1: Language and Literature

English A Language & Literature HL/SL
English A Literature HL/SL
Spanish A Language & Literature HL/SL
Spanish A Literature HL/SL
Mother Tongue Language A HL/SL

Group 2: Language Acquistion

Spanish B SL/HL
Spanish ab initio SL
Mandarian ab initio SL
Mandarin B HL/SL*

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

Geography HL/SL
History HL/SL
Economics HL/SL
Environmental Systems & Societies/ESS HL/SL
Business Management HL/SL (online)**
Psychology HL/SL (online)
Information Technology SL (online)

Group 4: Sciences

Biology HL/SL
Chemistry HL/SL
Physics HL/SL
Environmental Systems and Societies/ESS HL/SL

Group 5: Mathematics

Analysis and Approaches HL/SL
Applications and Interpretations HL/SL

Group 6: Arts

Theatre HL/SL
Music HL/SL
Visual Arts HL/SL
OR: a second subject from Groups 1-4

The Core: mandatory components

Theory of Knowledge
Extended Essay
Creativity, Activity, Service

*Our provision of this course is flexible, dependent on students’ demands.

**We offer our students a more extensive range of courses based on individual request through Pamoja’s online services, which carry an additional fee.

Diploma Programme Timetables

Halcyon’s DP curriculum requires that students take a first language, a second language – Spanish, Mandarin or one of many Mother Tongue options – a social science, an experimental science programme, and mathematics. Students can also opt to take one or two arts programmes or alternatively take a second science, and this ensures continued cultivation of a rich variety of academic skills. You can download this example timetable as a PDF below.

Programme Model

DP students participate in an unmatched programme of breadth and depth that provides a more rewarding and holistic alternative to national curricula.The DP allows students the flexibility to create their own course of study, to best suit their aspirations. At Halcyon, all our class offerings are based on student demand, providing unique opportunities for everyone.

At the end of the DP, students achieve up to 45 points for their examinations and coursework – shared between their six subjects, their Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. Read more about the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge below.

The IB DP Core

The Core: Extended Essay

A 4000-word academic research paper allowing each student to explore their preferred intellectual discipline. It promotes high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity that will be an advantage in higher education while engaging students in personal research.

The Core: Service as Action

An opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, to make connections between areas of knowledge in their Diploma subjects and to become aware of their own perspectives and those of the various groups whose knowledge they share.

The Core: Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning. They explore and extend creative ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance; set physical goals contributing to a healthy lifestyle; and engage collaboratively in service with the community in response to an authentic need. Read about our student-organised volunteer trip to Cambodia here.

Explore IB subjects

Explore enrichment and facilities at Halcyon for the Arts, STEM, Sports, and more!