International Baccalaureate Diploma

The International Baccalaureate Organization’s Diploma Program was founded in 1968. It is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to external examinations. It is designed for motivated high school students aged 16 to 19. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities. The Diploma Program’s grading system is criterion-referenced, which means that each student’s performance is measured against well-defined levels of achievement. These are consistent from one examination session to the next and are applied equally to all schools. Visit the website www.ibo.org for more detailed information about the program.

The program has the strengths of a traditional and broad curriculum, but with three important additional features, shown at the center of the hexagonal curriculum model.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK):

TOK is an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom. The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyze evidence that is expressed in rational argument. TOK is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other cultural perspectives.

Creativity, action, service (CAS):

It is our goal to educate the whole person and foster responsible, tolerant citizens. The CAS program encourages students to share their energy and special talents with others. Students may, for example, participate in theatre or musical productions, sports and community service activities. Students should, through these activities, develop greater awareness of themselves, concern for others, and the ability to work cooperatively with other people. The CAS requirement is a reflection of the school´s mission, beliefs and profile of the graduate which promote community and service in the whole school.

Extended Essay:

Each student has the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest in one of the IB disciplines that the student studies in grade 11. The essay requirement acquaints diploma candidates with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected by universities. Students devote a total of about 40 hours of research and writing time to the essay.. The essay may be written in English, Spanish or French.

The Six Academic Subjects:

These are studied concurrently. Students are required to study both the humanities and the sciences. Diploma candidates must select one subject from each of the six groups. At least three and not more than four are taken at higher level (HL), the others at standard level (SL); HL courses represent a recommended minimum of 240 teaching hours, SL courses cover 150 hours. Students are thus able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly, a deliberate compromise between the early specialization of some national systems and the breadth found in others.

The Six Academic Subjects

1

Studies in Language and Literature

ASV students study English A Language and Literature as one of their Group 1 subjects. The focus on the language and literature course is on examining and understanding the different meanings of language and the context in which they operate.
ASV students who are native or fluent Spanish speakers also take Spanish A Literature, a comparative world literature course in which they develop strong written and oral skills, respect for the literary heritage of the Spanish language, and an international perspective. The focus of this course is on developing the tools of literary criticism to able to form independent and original analysis of the written text.

2

Language Acquisition

Students who are not native or fluent Spanish students, normally study Spanish as their Group 2 language as well. Different options accommodate genuine second language learners with previous experience learning the language, and beginners.
3

Individuals and Societies

Subjects in this group at ASV are: Economics and 20th Century World History. Availability of course offerings is subject to course enrollment.
4

Experimental Sciences

ASV offers all four science IB courses at both standard and higher level: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems and Societies. Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through an interdisciplinary group project. Students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.
5

Mathematics and Computer Science

All candidates for a diploma are required to complete a mathematics course. We offer three different levels: Mathematics HL, Mathematics SL and Mathematical Studies SL to accommodate the different abilities and levels of student interest. These courses aim to deepen a student’s understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.

6

The Arts

Students at ASV may study Visual Arts which focuses on production by the student and exploration of a range of creative work in a global context.
Instead of a group 6 subject, a candidate may select an additional subject from groups 2 to 4 and often students take a third language, both Economics and History or two science subjects.