International Baccalaureate (IB)

Every day we realize the importance of connecting, interacting, understanding and knowing how to live together. Being a man or woman of our time is supposed to be part of an integrated world, which divides – among peoples – cultural, social and even economic similarities and differences; it puts us in a very demanding international framework.

From this idea, the need for adaptation arises, (re) learning. This knowledge becomes more than merely memorizing content (since so much information is available with a simple click of the mouse of the computer), it becomes the development of skills that help us in the aforementioned inclusion and growth: knowing what to do in certain situations (cultural, linguistic, historical language, etc.), such as being balanced, communicative, social, and so on.

Thus, thinking about the world we have today, some school curricula were developed from the need to develop the student holistically and thoroughly, as an International Baccalaureate (IB), with which we work in the Swiss Brazilian School of Curitiba (besides the national curriculum of the MEC).

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The Origins of the International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation.

A group of talented, forward thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB Diploma Programme.

To give younger students access to an IB education, in 1994 the IB added the Middle Years Programme (MYP), a curriculum for students aged 11-16, and in 1997 it adopted the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3-11. These programmes were not then fully formed, but the IB has developed them so that they are now well rounded and complete. As with the Diploma Programme, the MYP and PYP seek to provide students with an international perspective and critical thinking skills.


The International Baccalaureate’s Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.


The Origins of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

The IB Diploma Programme was created in English and French by teachers at the International School of Geneva with increasing assistance from several other international schools. The programme that led to the diploma consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world.

The Diploma Programme sought to provide students with a truly international education – an education that encouraged an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages and points of view. Schools that first offered the Diploma Programme were predominantly private international schools, but they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has changed over the years and today around 50% of all Diploma Programme schools belong to governments (with no tuition fees).


 What is the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Diploma Programme is a challenging two-year 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 collection of facts. 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.


What are the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme?


In the IB Diploma Programme students:

  • take 6 academic subjects, 3 and not more than 4 at Higher Level (HL) and 2 or 3 at Standard Level (SL).
  • write a 4000-word essay – Extended Essay – in any recognized IB subject, provided that the school has a qualified teacher to offer guidance.
  • take a course in the Theory of Knowledge.
  • do extra-curricular activities which may be creative, aesthetic or physical. Social service is also a requirement. This component is known as CAS (creativity, action, service).


What is the IB Diploma grading system?

The grading system in use for Diploma examinations is as follows:


1 =  very poor                                    5 =  good

2 =  poor                                           6 =  very good

3 =  mediocre                                     7 =  excellent

4 =  satisfactory


Subject to certain conditions, the IB Diploma is awarded to candidates whose total point score reaches or exceeds 24 points. Three bonus points may be awarded depending on the grades for the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) combined (see the Diploma points matrix in the Extended Essay and TOK section of this Handbook). The highest score in the Diploma, including bonus, is 45 points.


Which subjects are offered at Colégio Suíço-Brasileiro de Curitiba?


Group 1 Language A Portuguese A Language and Literature HL or SL
Group 2 Language B English B HL
Group 3 Individuals and societies Geography HL or SL, History SL
Group 4 Experimental sciences Biology HL or SL, Physics HL or SL, Chemistry HL or SL
Group 5 Mathematics Maths HL or SL
Group 6 Electives German B HL or SL, French B HL or SL


  • A minimum of 5 students is required for a subject to be offered.
  • Students planning to apply to universities in Germany or Switzerland are required to take one HL subject from either Group 4 or Group 5.


When do students sit the exams?

The Diploma is a two-year programme and students sit the exams in May of the 4th year.


What is so special about the IB Diploma Programme?

  • The IB Diploma is recognized around the world and ensures an increased adaptability and mobility for students.
  • The curriculum and pedagogy of the IB Diploma focus on international perspectives of learning and teaching, while insisting that students fully explore their home culture and language.
  • IB World Schools must undergo an exhaustive authorization process in order to offer the IB Diploma programme, which includes a study of the school’s resources and commitment to the IB mission and philosophy.
  • IB Diploma teachers participate in a wide variety of professional development opportunities to update their knowledge constantly and share their expertise with colleagues around the world.
  • Many students graduating from the IB Diploma Programme find that it enhances their opportunities at tertiary institutions. The IB works closely with universities around the world to gain recognition for the IB Diploma.
  • The core components of the IB Diploma encourage students to participate in creative and service-oriented activities, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of reflection on a personal and academic level.
  • The IB produces publications for schools to inform and support them as they offer IB courses. It is now beginning to produce material for use directly with students and to work closely with selected publishers and providers to offer material for students. These materials only will carry an IB logo.


What is the profile of an IB Diploma student?

The aim of all IB programmes 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.


IB learners strive to be:


Inquirers – They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Knowledgeable – They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Thinkers – They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Communicators – They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Principled – They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Open-minded – They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Caring – They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Risk-takers – They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Balanced – They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


Reflective – They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

If you want to read more about this attribute, click here.


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