International Baccalaureate program (IB)
We are pleased to offer the International Baccalaureate Program with the support of the Department of Education and the Halifax Regional School Board.
The IB Diploma Program provides a rigorous academic experience for students in their grade 11 and 12 years that prepares them for success in university and beyond. This comprehensive and challenging program teaches students critical thinking, writing and research skills and requires that the students develop a community mindedness and value for others. Please note that students who complete the IB Diploma are exempt from the Nova Scotia graduation requirements. However, if for some reason a student must leave the IB Program he/she must then complete the Nova Scotia graduation requirements. If you are self motivated, organized, interested Am I the type of student who can do this?
If you enjoy being challenged and have a commitment to, succeed, the IB Diploma Program could be for you. Hard work, diligence and time management are “essential” skills when working on the IB Diploma.
The course work requires that you are a competent reader as well as an effective communicator. You will be asked to problem solve and to think critically and to become
What courses do I take?
To receive an IB Diploma you must complete 1 course from each of the following subject areas:
- Languages (English Literature)
- Second Language (French or Spanish)
- Individuals and Society (Economics or History)
- Experimental Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
- The Arts (Music or Theatre or Visual Art)
Three of the six must be taken at the Higher Level and three are taken at the Standard Level. Higher Level courses require 240 hours of study and will be completed over 3 semesters (grade 11 and 12) while the Standard Level courses are 150 hours in length and will be completed over two semesters (depending on the course, the time may be spread over grades 11 and 12). You should note that a regular Academic course at Citadel High School will require 110 hours of study.
Do I write exams in these courses?
Yes. You will write one or two exams at the end of grade 11 in two of the Standard Level courses and then you will write exams in the remaining four or five courses at the end of grade 12. The exams are all marked externally by examiners from all over the world. This is what makes the IB Diploma so unique and so valuable – students from around the world are measured against the same criteria which provide a clear bench mark of success. These exams determine approximately 70% of the final mark in each course.
Does the Diploma require anything else?
Yes. There are three central elements to the IB Diploma Program. They are The Creativity, Action and Service Program (CAS) Students are expected to complete a variety of activities over their two years in IB that aim to fulfill 8 specific learning outcomes. These activities help students develop self-confidence, initiative, responsibility, concern for others and the ability to work cooperatively with other people. The activities chosen by the student aim to develop creativity, action and service skills while at the same time providing an important balance to the academic requirements of the IB Diploma Programme. Students should aim to complete approximately 150 hours in the CAS program.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) This course requires 100 hours of study and will be taken over two years – 50 hours at the end of grade 11 and the remaining hours at the beginning of grade 12. It is a course designed to teach students to think critically about what they are learning and to appreciate other cultural perspectives. Students complete an essay that is externally moderated as part of their evaluation in this course.
The Extended Essay Students will write this formal research paper on a topic of their choosing from within the areas of study offered by the IBO. The 4000 word paper, like the examinations, will be externally moderated. Together with the TOK essay, the Extended Essay may account for an additional 3 bonus points toward the completion of the IB Diploma. (see next section) involved in the community. Please see The Learner Profile to learn more at: http://www.ibo.org/programmes/profile/
What about assessment and evaluation?
Each of the IB courses is evaluated on a scale from 1 – 7, (7 being the highest obtainable mark). To receive the IB Diploma you must achieve a total score of 24 points over the six courses you take – in other words an average of 4 in each of the courses. In addition, you must complete requirements of the CAS program, TOK course and Extended Essay. The maximum number of points available to a student is 45 which include a possible 3 bonus points from the Extended Essay and TOK course. A hard-working, organized and self-motivated average student is expected to achieve 24 points. While most of the mark you achieve is derived from externally marked exams, the teachers also mark you on lab work, oral commentaries and day to day course work. These internal assessments are designed to meet criteria established by the IBO, to prepare you to write the exams.
Is there an opportunity to take only one or two of the IB courses?
In an effort to generate interest in the IB Arts courses we are making certificates available to students who wish to complete an IB credit in Higher Level Music, Theatre or Visual Art. More information will be available at course selection time. No certificates will be available in other disciplines.
What are the benefits of the IB Diploma?
The IB Program is a comprehensive international curriculum with an emphasis on critical thinking, intercultural understanding, citizenry and extracurricular activities. Students are exposed to a broad range of subjects, but study several subjects in great depth. The ultimate benefit of this program is that IB graduates are literate, articulate, adaptable, confident young adults with expertise in at least two languages and a global understanding of issues. In addition to just wanting to participate in this excellent program, many students take the IB Diploma to improve their chances of university admission. Graduates of the IB Diploma Program consistently perform well at university. Because of this, the IB Diploma is recognized by a growing number of universities in Canada, the United States, and further abroad. At some universities, graduates with an IB Diploma may receive preferred entrance status, scholarships and possibly advanced credit or transfer credits for IB courses in which sufficiently high results were achieved. Many Canadian universities have entrance scholarships created specifically to attract IB Diploma graduates.
Please visit the following websites for more information:
A note to Parents and Families
We are very much looking forward to your involvement in the IB Program at Citadel High School since this educational experience will benefit our entire community.
If you have questions about the IB Diploma at Citadel High School, please contact Ian Morrison, IB Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
What courses do I take in grade 10?
Students in Pre-IB 10 take a combination of regular courses and Pre-IB courses which are designed with the purpose of developing skills that are needed for the successful completion of the IB Diploma. While these courses parallel the regular academic courses, the grade 10 curriculum is covered more quickly and a greater emphasis is placed on independent work, research, writing, and oral communication. French Immersion students will note that some of the grade 10 Pre-IB courses are offered in French.
Students in Pre-IB should consider whether they will be following a Humanities route or a Science/Math route in the IB program, and choose their grade 10 courses accordingly.
Humanities type students are those who will need at most IB Math Studies (equivalent to academic Math 11/12) for post-secondary study.
Math/Science type students are those who will need IB Math Standard Level / Higher Level (above the academic math level) for post-secondary study. See table illustrating math routes through high school on page 24 for typical post-secondary requirements.
- Math 10 Pre-IB (first semester)
- Math 10 Pre-IB (second semester)
- French 10 Pre-IB / Français 10F Pre-IB
- History 10 / Pre-IB / Histoire 10F Pre-IB
- English 10 Academic
- Science 10 / Sciences 10F
- Arts Education Course / Art Dramatique 10F
- Phys Ed Course / Mode de Vie Actif 11F
IB Course Offerings for Grades 11 and 12
|One Course From:||Course Offerings|
|Languages||IB English (HL/SL)|
IB French (SL)
IB Spanish ab initio (SL)
IB French (HL for French Immersion )
|Individuals and Society||
IB History SL (French)
IB History (HL/SL)
IB Economics (SL)
IB Biology (HL/SL)
IB Biology (SL for French Immersion )
IB Chemistry (HL/SL)
IB Physics (HL/SL)
|Mathematics||IB Mathematics (HL, SL and Studies)|
IB Theatre (HL)
IB Music (HL/SL)
IB Visual Art (HL)
A second course from one of the subject groups, such as science, may be substituted for the arts course. The Mathematics Studies course is quite accessible and intended for the humanities student. The Mathematics Standard Level course is an introduction to calculus type course.
Please refer to the course description section for more detailed information on the International Baccalaureate Program.
Core French 10 Pre-IB
The course will include the N.S. Department of Education outcomes as well as the instructional and learning strategies required to prepare students for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. The common skills to be infused in each unit are: communication, acquiring information, experiencing creative work and understanding cultural differences. This program is designed for students who successfully have completed Grade Nine Core French and have the intention of continuing with French Standard Level B.
Français 10F Pre-IB
French language skills are developed in the context of international Francophone culture. Grammatical accuracy and vocabulary enhancement are among the objectives of the course. Authentic language exposure includes film, music, audio texts and written texts.
This is a French Immersion course.
History 10 / Histoire 10F Pre-IB
This course explores the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Americas. History 10 Pre-IB will extend students’ understanding of emerging world civilizations through a multi-faceted approach with particular emphasis on the development of research and critical thinking skills. Independent learning, reflection, and literacy will be fundamental to the course. The teaching of research skills (historiography) is integrated within the course content, and culminates in a final independent research essay. A particular emphasis will be placed on analyzing primary and secondary sources by evaluating their origin, purpose, values and limitations. Throughout History 10 Pre-IB, students will begin to develop an understanding of international mindedness and cultural appreciation. While not specifically outlined in the curriculum outcomes, study skills, organization and time management will be addressed throughout History 10 Pre-IB.
Mathematics 10 Pre-IB
This course provides students with the academic mathematics which is a pre-requisite for Standard Level or Higher Level mathematics in the IB program. It is an extension of the Mathematics10 curriculum with special attention paid to the goals of the IB program such as internationalism, critical thinking and independent thought. There will also be a focus on foundational topics for the IB program and an introduction to the IB internal assessment project. A Nova Scotia Provincial exam is written as part of this course
Prerequisite: Good to excellent performance in relation to the curriculum outcomes prescribed for Grade 9 Mathematics and intentions to enroll in the IB program.
Major themes within the course include structure and function, universality versus diversity, equilibrium and evolution. These very important biological concepts will be emphasized throughout the topics of cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, human physiology and applied plant and animal science. The aims of this Biology course are to encourage investigation, creative thinking, active learning, analysis and synthesis of scientific knowledge, discussion of moral, social, ethical, economic and ecological ramifications of science. These aims are in addition to students learning and applying scientific concepts and techniques. Biology will be offered at the Standard and Higher Level. The SL and HL exams are written in May of the grade 12 year. A significant component of all IB science courses is the lab work. In fact, 24% of the final grade comes from labs with the remaining 76% coming from the final examination. In addition to lab activities, the students will participate in an independent interdisciplinary experimental research project that requires students to work with their peers in the Group 4 project (this will require 10 –15 hours)
Chemistry will be offered at the Higher and Standard Level. Students taking this course will begin their study of chemistry in grade 11 with topics such as Stoichiometry, atomic theory, energetics, and organic chemistry. The course continues in grade 12 with topics such as -acids and bases, redox reactions and environmental chemistry. Students will write their final exam in May of grade 12. Students will be assessed in class through assignments, quizzes, tests and projects. The final overall assessment however, is based on 24% of their lab work and 76% of the final exam. In addition to lab activities, the students will participate in an independent interdisciplinary experimental research project that requires students to work with their peers in the Group 4 project (this will require 10—15 hours).
The students will be expected to apply their acquired knowledge, methodology and techniques in theoretical and practical settings to solve problems. Students will be given opportunities to analyze, evaluate and synthesize scientific information which they have generated through their own efforts or which have been presented to them in class. The relationships among science, technology and societies will be explored as to their impact both locally and globally.
Economics is offered at the Standard level. Economics is a dynamic social science, forming part of the study of individuals and societies. The study of economics is essentially about the concept of scarcity and the problem of resource allocation. The study of macroeconomics (national income, unemployment, supply and demand policy) microeconomics (markets and market failure) and international economics and development economics are the main topics within the course. Although economics involves the formulation of theory, economic theories can be applied to real-world examples. Since economics incorporates elements of history, geography, psychology, sociology, political studies and many other related fields of study it is a course that is readily connected to most other subjects. The external assessment for the course is made up of two final papers written in May and the internal assessment component is made up of a portfolio that requires completion of three commentaries that connect real-world examples to economic theories studied in the course.
English HL and SL are literature courses that encourage an appreciation of literature and the knowledge of the student’s own culture and that of other societies. Students and teachers engage in complex discussions and analysis of major texts from world literature.
The aims of this challenging course are to enable the student to express ideas with clarity, coherence, precision, and fluency in both written and oral communication; to engage in a rigorous approach to literary analysis; to encourage a personal appreciation of literature and to develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary study and criticism; to introduce literary classics and a range of modern writing in different literary genres, styles and contexts; and to promote an international perspective through the comparative study of works from the student’s own and other cultures.
Students’ writing and speaking skills are assessed using a variety of methods which give a broad picture of the students’ linguistic proficiency and ability to think critically. Students begin this course in grade 11 and write the IB exam in May of their grade 12 year after 240 hours of study. (please note that the Standard Level course requires 150 hours of study)
French is offered at the Higher and Standard Level. If students wish to complete the requirements of the French Immersion Certificate they must complete the French HL course. (the HL course will contribute 2 1/2 credits towards the French Immersion Certificate) The SL course will be completed in grade 11 while the HL course will span grade 11 and 12. Please note that SL students will write their final exam in May of their grade 11 year. In addition, students will complete oral exams in both the SL and HL courses.
These communicative courses place equal emphasis on high level speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills for 4 specific purposes. First: for the purpose of communicating in written and oral form in a wide range of authentic situations using appropriate register, syntax and style. Second: for the purpose of acquiring information from current authentic sources and to use the information for numerous activities such as formal written reports, impromptu oral discussions, formal oral reports, and general personal interest. Third: for the purpose of experiencing creative works in literature, film and music to aid in reading and aural comprehension, and to provide rich cultural exposure. Fourth: for the purpose of understanding cultural influences, by bringing the diversity of the Francophone world into the classroom.
Please note that IB History SL in French will be offered to French Immersion students as a means to complete their requirements for the French Immersion certificate. Students will write this official IB exam in May of their grade 11 year. Non immersion students may choose either HL or SL History. These courses are scheduled in the same class with the final IB exam being written in May of grade 12. The history course allows candidates to study history from an international perspective with the aim of explaining trends in developments, continuity and change through time and through individual events. The course is concerned with individuals and societies in the widest context: political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural. Students will be challenged to be critical of historical sources and to examine a variety of sources to determine accuracy and reliability of historical knowledge. An aim of the course is to foster international awareness and understanding and to construct historical knowledge from the point of view of different cultures.
Some of the topics of study include the U.S.S.R. under Stalin, the Cold War Years, the interwar years, Single Party States, Europe (20th Century) and causes, practices and effects of war. A major portion of the course called the historical investigation is an opportunity for students to apply their research and writing skills as an “historian“ as they investigate a specific aspect of one of the History topics. The role of the historian will be an overall theme of the Diploma Programme as candidates will explore the impact the interpretation of events relies on a person’s perspective of what has occurred at a particular point in time.
Math is offered at three levels—Math HL, Math SL and Math Studies. Students should consider carefully which course best suits their needs. The Higher Level Math course is very demanding and is considered for students who truly love math and who are considering studying Mathematics or Engineering Science in University .The Standard Level course is for students intending to study science, engineering and health professions in University. The Mathematics Studies course should be chosen by students who do not intend to complete Mathematics related studies in university. Having said this, please note that Math Studies does qualify students for some Business, Economics, and Science programs. All of the Math courses will span two years.
Mathematics SL and HL are designed to provide a comprehensive background for students who anticipate tertiary study of subjects involving substantial mathematical content. Participants will be advanced students who are capable of a rigorous course at an accelerated pace, and who have successfully completed pre IB Math 10.
The two-year IB program will introduce and expand key concepts with emphasis on multi-stage problem solving applications. The aim is to develop a broad background of mathematical thought, using a multi-representational approach and stressing technical ability. Where appropriate, instruction will include divergent contributions to mathematics within historical and social context, cultivating an awareness of mathematics as an evolving and universal language. Core topics include Algebra, Functions,
Trigonometry, Matrices, Vectors, Statistics, Probability, and Calculus. The Math HL course covers significant Calculus and Pre-Calculus.
Mathematics Studies is intended for students who are planning to work and/or study in an area outside of mathematics and science after high school. As mentioned above, however, students should be aware that some Business and Science programs are available at various Universities with a Math Studies credit. They will be hard working and self-motivated and will have successfully completed grade 10 Pre IB Math.
The purpose of the course is to give students experience in several topics of mathematics with very practical applications. Mathematics Studies students will be able to explore how mathematics is relevant in other subjects that they may be studying concurrently. By working through contextual problems they will learn to think logically, extract relevant information, make conclusions and communicate solutions clearly. Students will be expected to solve problems that lend themselves to a variety of approaches, and multi-stepped solutions. They will develop problem solving approaches of their own. The logical thinking and communication skills developed in this course will support learning in other courses throughout the curriculum. Students will explore international currencies and learn about mathematicians from different countries and their discoveries. Opportunities to explore the international historical development of mathematics will be presented.
The Music IB HL course is designed for those students in the IB program wishing to learn more about music history, composition, and to further their skills on a music instrument. Students enrolled in the IB HL music course will survey a variety of musical genres and eras, including an indepth analysis of a particular work prescribed by the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization). Another aspect of this course, called the Musical Investigation, allows the students to compare and contrast two genres of music of their own choice. IB HL students will also present at least one solo recital (approximately 20 minutes in length) and will have the opportunity to explore compositional techniques and music theory, culminating in a submission of at least three of their own compositions for assessment. Course Requisites: Proficiency on a solo instrument and a general love of music. Completion of Preliminary/Basic Music Rudiments (Royal Conservatory of Music) or completion of one of the Grade 10 music courses offered at Citadel High is also strongly recommended.
IB Music will be completed over grades 11 and 12.
The Music IB SL course is designed for those students in the IB program wishing to learn more about music history, and to further their skills on a music instrument within an ensemble setting. As 50% of the mark for this course is based on a music ensemble recording, this course is open to students entering grade 12 who have been members of the Concert Choir, Concert Band, or String Ensemble for at least two years. The IB Music SL course is scheduled over two semesters in the grade 12 year.
The higher and standard level IB Physics course has been designed with several things in mind. Generally speaking, the course aims to provide a stimulating environment where students can question the world around them. To investigate these questions, students will be instructed in the scientific method to formulate hypotheses, and to design and perform experiments to test hypotheses. The process of developing insights into the nature of our world will be stressed. In addition, students will gain an appreciation of the collaborative nature of science. In particular, they will understand how scientists from different disciplines and nations often work side by side. The internationalism of this human endeavor will, therefore, be evident.
The course also aims to develop an ability to synthesize and evaluate scientific information. Students will be able to reach conclusions based on the information presented to them (particularly in a lab context), and they will be able to generalize or summarize the essence of presented information. During the evaluation process, students will learn to appreciate the possibilities and limitations of science. Science is a human activity, and scientists do not always agree; the history of revolutions in scientific thinking will be presented frequently to solidify this idea. Also, the impact of our actions both locally and globally will be stressed. Students will be required to take into account the views of other cultures and nations so that they can become better citizens of this diverse planet. This international mindset will be incorporated throughout the curriculum with discussion of newspaper clippings of current events and more formal debates.
Topics in IB Physics include –force, motion, waves, optics, gravitation, magnetism, statics, electricity, thermodynamics and relativity.
Student progress in physics will be assessed on an ongoing basis through assignments, quizzes, tests, labs and projects. The overall final assessment of student learning will consist of 24% of practical lab work and 76% of the final formal examination. The final examination will be written in May of the grade 12 year. In addition to lab activities, the students will participate in an independent interdisciplinary experimental research project that requires students to work with their peers in the Group 4 Project (this requires 10—15 hours)
Please note: Physics SL will be offered with sufficient student interest.
Spanish is offered at the ab initio or Fundamental level and qualifies as a SL course. This course is a Group 2 subject and is designed for the student who has no previous experience in speaking Spanish. It is an excellent option for students who are new to Canada or for those who have no background in French. Both the aims and assessment of language ab initio focus on communication through the use of the target language. Linguistic communication takes place through oral and written language and involves a range of linguistic skills. Throughout the course, listening, speaking, reading and writing are referred to as the four primary language skills. The course aims to develop each of these four skills to a similar level of communicative competence. The course focuses on everyday situations and aspects of the culture related to them. This ensures that appropriate emphasis is placed on communication. For this reason, the course has been organized into a number of topics such as food and drink, or education, which provide both the teacher and the students with a context in which several communicative functions (or purposes) and the different grammatical structures and vocabulary can be practised. (IBO, 2004)
The course spans grade 11 and 12 and students are expected to meet with the teacher for regular tutorial sessions.
IB Theatre is a Higher Level course designed to encourage students to examine theatre in its diversity of forms around the world. This will be achieved through a critical study of the theory, history and culture of theatre, and will find expression through work-shops, devised work or scripted performance. Students will come to understand that the act of imagining, creating, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre in its past and present contexts embodies the individual and social need to investigate and find explanations for the world around us. The course emphasizes the importance of working individually and as a member of an ensemble. Students are encouraged to develop the organizational and technical skills needed to express themselves creatively in theatre. This course will challenge students to become aware of their own perspectives and biases and to learn to respect and appreciate cultural diversity. At the core of the theatre course lies a concern with clarity of understanding, critical thinking, reflective analysis, effective involvement and imaginative synthesis – all of which should be achieved through practical engagement in theatre.
Students will be assessed by the teacher on their performance skills, theatre production and portfolio. These will comprise 50% of their mark. In addition they will be assessed on a written (Research Commission) and oral analysis of a major play that has been studied during the course for the remaining 50%.
IB Visual Art
Visual Art will be offered at the Higher Level and this course will be completed over grade 11 and 12. It is an excellent preparatory course for students planning on studying Art in university. Emphasis is placed on independent research, persistence, creativity and originality. The approaches include experiments with process and materials, developing technical ability by producing work and exploring the principles and elements of design, critiquing art and evaluating responses to one’s own images, investigating the interaction of art culture and history, and analyzing art concepts and philosophies. Assessment in the course focuses on Studio Work and on Investigation Workbooks. The student will prepare a selection of his or her work in the form of an exhibition and will prepare a video interview as part of his or her final examination.