The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year curriculum, leading to examinations for students aged between sixteen and nineteen. Based on the pattern of no single country, it is a deliberate compromise between the specialisation required in some national systems and the breadth preferred in others. The general objectives of the IB DP are to provide students with a balanced education; to facilitate geographical and cultural mobility; and to promote international understanding. The students who satisfy its demands demonstrate a strong commitment to learning, both in terms of mastering the subject content and in the development of the skills and discipline necessary for success in a competitive world.
The IB DP is based on two straightforward but important ideas. The first is that students need to have a broad general education, which will equip them for further education or immediate pursuit of a career, and secondly individual students should have the opportunity to follow a programme, which conforms to their interests and capabilities whilst giving them a properly balanced education. The IB DP has an additional advantage‑ it is portable. Students moving from ISH to other International Schools in other parts of the world offering the IB DP have the opportunity to continue their studies with a minimum amount of interruption.
Only schools officially accepted for membership by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) are authorised to offer the curriculum and to present candidates for examination. There are currently about 2000 member schools in more than 110 countries throughout the world and about 45,000 students register for examinations each year.
The International Baccalaureate Organisation is based in Geneva, Switzerland with administrative offices in New York, Buenos Aires, The Hague and Singapore. The Examinations Office, located in Cardiff in the United Kingdom, administers two examination sessions per year. The May session, for schools in the Northern Hemisphere, serves the large majority of candidates. Schools in the Southern Hemisphere subscribe to the smaller November session.