Diploma Programme


Beijing BISS International School is a fully authorised IB World School to offer the Diploma Programme (DP), alongside the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP), in compliance with the Diploma Programme General Regulations (in Japanese), which parents and students need to read to understand, as well as various other IB publications. As such students at BISS have the option to graduate with:

  1. The BISS High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB DP candidates).
  2. The BISS High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Course Results (IB DP Course candidates).
  3. The BISS High School Diploma.

More specifically...


IB Diploma Programme 


The IB Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year pre-university curriculum, primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities. 

Students learn more than a body of knowledge. The Diploma Programme prepares students for university and encourages them to: 

  • ask challenging questions
  • learn how to learn
  • develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • develop the ability to communicate with and understand people from other countries and cultures. 

The curriculum contains six subject groups together with the DP core: creativity, activity, service (CAS); the extended essay (EE); and theory of knowledge (ToK). This is illustrated by the Diploma Programme model below: 


Candidates for the diploma study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level, and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level. All three parts of the core—extended essay (EE), theory of knowledge (ToK) and creativity, activity, service (CAS)—are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme. 

  • The extended essay (EE) has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. 
  • The interdisciplinary theory of knowledge (ToK) course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other perspectives. 
  • Participation in the CAS programme encourages candidates to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work. The programme fosters students’ awareness and appreciation of life beyond the academic arena.

Assessment, both formative and summative, is continuous and rigorous (see the respective Grade Descriptors that apply). Students and parents officially meet with the respective teachers, face-to-face, at least twice a year, during the Parent-Teacher-Student conferencers and report cards are sent home online at the end of every semester in February and June.


IB Diploma Programme Course(s) 


Candidates who study and are assessed for subjects, but choose not to take the entire IB Diploma, are referred to as Diploma Programme Course(s) candidates (“DP Course(s) candidates”). The subjects chosen are referred to as DP course(s) and may include the core requirements of theory of knowledge (ToK), the extended essay (EE) and/ or completion of a CAS programme. DP Course(s) candidates receive Diploma Programme Course(s) Results (DP Course(s) Results). The grades for theory of knowledge (ToK) and the extended essay (EE) will be recorded on the DP Course(s) Results and the completion of CAS, if appropriate. 

More specifically, Diploma Programme Course(s) candidates may choose to be registered for:

  • one, two or all three of the core elements only

  • one, two or all three of the core elements and one or more subjects

  • one or more subjects with no core elements.

With regards to DP core requirements, a DP Course(s) candidate may register for more than one extended essay (EE) in the same session. An IB Diploma candidate may register for a second extended essay as a DP Course(s) candidate, if this is required for exceptional reasons. No candidate, regardless of their registration category, is permitted to register for theory of knowledge (ToK) or the CAS programme more than once in the same session. 

Any subject or core requirement taken by a DP Course(s) candidate cannot subsequently contribute to the award of an IB Diploma. 

The regulations and procedures that apply to IB Diploma candidates in respect of theory of knowledge (ToK), the extended essay (EE) and CAS, also apply to DP Course(s) candidates.

Assessment, both formative and summative, is continuous and rigorous (see the respective Grade Descriptors that apply). Students and parents officially meet with the respective teachers, face-to-face, at least twice a year, during the Parent-Teacher-Student conferencers and report cards are sent home online at the end of every semester in February and June.


BISS High School Diploma


The BISS High School Diploma is a two-year programme, primarily aimed at students aged 16 to 19. It leads to a qualification that is fully recognized by the world’s leading universities. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has granted BISS authorisation to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) along with the Diploma Programme (DP).  

The curriculum contains six subject groups together with the respective IB Diploma programme core: creativity, activity, service (CAS); the research paper (RP); and theory of knowledge (ToK). 

Candidates for the BISS High School Diploma study six subjects selected from the respective IB Diploma programme subject groups. All subjects follow the IB Diploma programme curriculum at standard level (SL - exceptions may be considered on an individual needs basis without setting any precedent). All three parts of the core—research paper (RP), theory of knowledge (ToK) and creativity, activity, service (CAS)—are compulsory and are central to the mission and values of the Beijing BISS International School as an IB World School:

  • The research paper (RP) has a prescribed limit of 3,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. 
  • The interdisciplinary theory of knowledge (ToK) course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other perspectives. 
  • Participation in the CAS programme encourages candidates to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work. The programme fosters students’ awareness and appreciation of life beyond the academic arena.

Assessment, both formative and summative, is continuous and rigorous (see the respective Grade Descriptors that apply). Students and parents officially meet with the respective teachers, face-to-face, at least twice a year, during the Parent-Teacher-Student conferencers and report cards are sent home online at the end of every semester in February and June.

All BISS High School Diploma students attend their chosen courses alongside their IB Diploma programme counterparts. In this way quality and accountability are assured.


Study in Grades 11 & 12 at BISS . . . An Advantage!


During the October 2013 evaluation visit, conducted by the International Baccalaureate Organisation, our IB Diploma programme, and as such our School, was commended

  • “for the culture it has developed that values and promotes understanding and respect for all stakeholders;
  • for the importance it places on mother tongue languages, host country language, ESOL and language learning in general;
  • for it provides an extensive selection of languages in Groups 1 and 2 courses, which reflects the needs of students as well as host country language and ESOL support and its commitment to language learning and
  • for it developed the context to implement an inclusive programme with policies and practices that effectively support students with special needs.”

However, we not only ensure academic excellence, but also cater for the needs of our students from a holistic perspective. Consequently, at BISS we

  • provide ideal class sizes, with approximately 10 to 15 students. This allows for more individual attention and guarantees that the learning needs of all our students are met;
  • offer a friendly and safe environment in which to study.  We are a small school and all our students are personally known and individually valued as members of the community;
  • strive to respond to our students’ academic needs. Although, we are small school, our wide range of subject choices is testament to this. We are innovative and not afraid to take risks. If there is sufficient demand for a subject, we will do our best to accommodate it (see table below);
  • have a proven record of success at the IB Diploma for over 10 years. Our average IB grade has always been way above the world average and our students have gained entrance to some of the most prestigious universities in the world such as Columbia University NY, Boston University MA, Johns Hopkins University MD, University of London, University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, Warwick University, Peking University, Hong Kong University, National University of Singapore, Waseda University, Seoul National University, Monash University, etc.;
  • are proud of our dedicated and highly experienced and qualified teachers, who have all been trained to teach the IB Diploma programme and quite a few of them are trained IB examiners, in their area of expertise;
  • understand the need to improve constantly and as such we continuously monitor and evaluate what we offer, in accordance to changes made by our accrediting bodies and current research in education and
  • constantly seek your input because we, as well as you, are here for the same reason to “educate and empower our students to attain personal excellence and positively impact the world.” This is not only our mission, but also your vision for the future. From all of us then to all of you, thank you for entrusting us with your student’s future; a task we cherish and honour for 20 years now!


Subject Group/ Course choices:

  • Any SUBJECT/ COURSE changes are allowed ONLY till September 30th of Grade 11 (conditions apply).
  • Any subject/ course LEVEL changes are allowed ONLY till January 31st of Grade 11 (conditions apply).
  • Any PROGRAMME changes are allowed ONLY till May 31st of Grade 11 (conditions apply).

(All change requests are considered on an individual needs basis without setting any precedent.)


GroupSubjects

1

Language & Literature*

English A Language & Literature SL - BISS/ HL

Chinese A (simplified Mandarin) Language & Literature SL - BISS/ HL

Korean A Language & Literature SL - BISS/ HL

Japanese A Language & Literature SL - BISS/ HL

2

Language Acquisition*

English B SL - BISS/ HL

Chinese (simplified Mandarin) B SL - BISS/ HL

Chinese (simplified Mandarin) Ab Initio SL - BISS

3

Individuals & Societies**

History SL - BISS/ HL

Business & Management SL - BISS/ HL 

Economics SL/ HL (online - conditions apply/ extra fee charged paid directly to PAMOJA)

Psychology SL/ HL (online - conditions apply/ extra fee charged paid directly to PAMOJA)

Philosophy SL (online - conditions apply/ extra fee charged paid directly to PAMOJA)

ITGS SL/ HL (online - conditions apply/ extra fee charged paid directly to PAMOJA)

4

Sciences**

Physics SL - BISS/ HL

Chemistry SL - BISS/ HL

Biology SL - BISS/ HL

Design Technology SL - BISS/ HL

5

Mathematics**

Mathematics HL

Mathematics SL - BISS

Mathematical Studies SL - BISS

6

The Arts**

Visual Arts SL - BISS/ HL

Music SL - BISS/ HL

[* more language choices could be considered as options (face-to-face/ self-taught/ online) to be offered on an individual needs basis without setting any precedent, upon fulfilment of specific requirements;

** scheduling and other restrictions may apply, as far as the availability of certain course options is concerned; as such all course choices are only finalised two months before the beginning of the programme]


For more information, please look into our Prospective Students for Grades 11 & 12 Handbook, Class of 2019, the Guide to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, as well as the key findings from research on the impact of IB programmes in the Asia-Pacific region on the IB site with information for parents. In case you have any more questions and/ or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Secondary School Principal and Diploma Programme Coordinator, Mr. Antony Geralis (ageralis@biss.com.cn), to make an appointment and discuss matters further.


Class of 2017

. . . once again 100% SUCCESS . . . 

CONGRATULATIONS !!!


Compiled and adapted from:

Publications

  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Subject Guides. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, Print.
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. IB Learner Profile in Review. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, April 2013. Print.
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. General Regulations: Diploma Programme. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, April 2014. Print. 
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Diploma Programme: From Principles into Practice. Geneva: International Baccalaureate Organisation, April 2015. Print.
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Rules for IB World Schools: Diploma Programme. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, April 2014. Print.
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Programme Standards and Practices. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, January 2014. Print. 
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Implications of the Changes to the Diploma Programme Matrix for the Extended Essay. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, 2014. Print. 
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Grade Descriptors - For Use from September 2014/ January 2015. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, January 2015. Print. 
  • International Baccalaureate Organisation. Handbook of Procedures 2016 - 2017. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation, August 2016. Print. 

Online Resources