What is the IB Program and How can it help my child?

The transition from elementary to high school is a big step in every student’s life. For the first time, they are faced with a big decision: which high school will they attend and will they get accepted? Several schools in Montreal offer the IB (International Baccalaureate) program providing students with a well-rounded education. Before enrolling, however, it’s important to understand what this program is all about.
The IB program is taught all over the world. According to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally-minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

Over 4000 schools around the world have chosen to teach the IB program in their own unique way. The IBO states that all IB programs are defined by four characteristics: they center on learners, develop effective approaches to teaching and learning, work within global contexts, and explore significant content. The IB takes on an interactive approach to learning by encouraging students to ask questions and be curious, to take action by learning through practical and real-world experiences and to critically reflect the education process in order to deepen their understanding. Students receive a balanced education that not only focuses on their intellectuality but also the physical and emotional aspects of their life. It teaches them to show compassion towards others and to give back to the community as the program includes a year of community service along with their curriculum. They also learn how to evaluate their own work and that of their peers through the various self-assessments that are included in their curriculum.

The Middle Years Program for students aged 11-16 consists of eight subject groups. The students are required to study their mother tongue (Language and literature), a second language (language and acquisition), individuals and societies (History and Geography), sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education and design. In the final year of the program, students also engage in a personal project, which allows them to demonstrate the understandings and skills they have developed throughout the program. IB coordinator Marcello Sicoli at LCCHS high school believes that in addition to preparing students for college and university, it also allows them to explore their interests and potentially introducing them to their future career.

If you’re still trying to determine whether it’s the right program for your child, you can find more information on the IB program and its benefits on their website at www.ibo.org

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