International Baccalaureate in Madrid

Continued Excellence in Extraordinary Times

What is the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous and balanced educational programme for students between the ages of 16 and 19, which is generally taught in a two-year course that ends with examinations. It is an excellent preparation for university and adult life, and receives wide recognition among the world’s leading universities.
The program was created in the late 60s. Since then, it has been engaged in:

  • Providing a balanced educational offer that combines breadthand depth and explores the nature of knowledge in the different disciplines through its Theory of Knowledge course, exclusive to the IB
  • Fostering in students an international mindset, based on their own language and culture
  • Giving students a positive attitude towards learning, which prepares them for university education
  • Earning an excellent reputation for its rigorous external assessment methodsbased on global implementation standards, which ensure it is recognised by universities around the world
  • Focusing on the comprehensive development of the student:
  • Physical, intellectual, emotional and ethical.
  • It is well suited to our School’s Educational Project.

The curriculum

Students of the IB Diploma Programme study six Higher or Standard Level subjects. They must choose a subject from each group from 1 to 5. This ensures a wide experience in languages, social sciences, experimental sciences and mathematics.
The sixth subject may be one of the Group 6 (Arts) or of any of the other groups.
Students must attend three or four Higher Level subjects (with 240 recommended teaching hours) and the remaining of the Standard Level (with 150 recommended teaching hours). The subjects can be attended and assessed in English, French or Spanish.
Throughout the programme, students will understand and become familiar with the IB learning community profile. The ten attributes that compose it inspire and motivate the work of teachers, students and schools, providing them with a statement of the IB’s goals and values, and a definition of what is meant by “international mindset”. Members of the IB learning community strive to be inquiring, thinkers, communicators, bold, informed and educated, honest, open-minded, supportive, balanced and reflective, in line with the School’s goals since its foundation.

The programme also has three components that make up its common core. These are intended to broaden the educational experience of students and encourage them to put their knowledge and understanding into practice.
• The Extended Essay requires students to carry out an independent research through an in-depth study of a topic related to one of the subjects they study.
The Theory of Knowledge course invites students to reflect on the nature of knowledge through a critical analysis of different forms of knowledge (perception, emotion, language and reason) and types of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical and historical).
• With Creativity, Action and Service (CAS), students are actively involved in projects outside of the classroom and learn from this experience. They can carry out activities that combine these three components or activities specific to each of them.

The assessment

At the end of the programme, students take written exams, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students are also subject to internal assessments at the school, which are assessed by the teachers and later reviewed by external moderators, or sent directly to external examiners.
The subjects are graded ranging from 1 (lowest grade) to 7 (highest grade).
Additionally, the results of Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay are combined, adding up to three additional points to the diploma’s total score. The diploma is awarded to students who earn at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme, and satisfactory completion of the requirements in Creativity, Activity and Service. The highest total score that a student can be awarded is 45.
The assessment is based on criteria, which means that student performance is measured against the established assessment criteria related to the general and each subject’s specific goals, and not against the performance of other students who take the same exams.
Statistically, the range of scores obtained by students has remained stable and universities value the rigour and consistency of the Diploma Programme assessment practices.
Students may choose to take only a few subjects, rather than the entire programme. In these cases, the students receive a certificate for the subjects they pass. In the School, students may only attend one independent CAS subject, obtaining a certificate that may be attached to their academic experience.