International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme was introduced to The Riverina Anglican College in 2020 to promote academic excellence, to further enhance the teaching and learning culture and to broaden the academic choice available to our Year 11 and 12 students.

The International Baccalaureate is an internationally accredited education program which aims to ‘develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’. (IB Mission Statement 2014).

Overview of the IB Diploma Programme

The IB Diploma Programme offers students a broad range of learning skills and subject areas, providing a truly international curriculum that is taught in more than 4,700 IB World Schools worldwide. It is designed to be a pre-university course, with research and self-directed learning a key focus. University tracking suggests that IB Diploma students are very well prepared for university and tend to flourish beyond school.

In the IB Diploma Programme, the curriculum is designed to develop students across each key learning area. Students are required to study English as a first language, a second language, a humanities subject, a science subject and mathematics. A creative arts subject can be studied, or students may choose an additional subject in the humanities or sciences. The IB Diploma Programme also requires students to complete the core components:

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) to develop critical thinking underpinning all subject areas.

To undertake experiences in Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), to develop holistically and serve the broader community.

The completion of an Extended Essay (EE), a research task of 4000 words in an area of interest.


How does the IB Diploma curriculum work?

The IB Diploma Programme runs across two full years with no division between work undertaken in Years 11 and 12. All content covered in both Years 11 and 12 is examinable.

To be eligible for the award of the Diploma, all candidates must complete six subjects, an Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Activity and Service. Students choose one subject from Groups 1 to 5. The sixth subject comes from either Group 3, 4 or 6.

Group 1: (Studies in Language and Literature): Literature and Language (SL and HL)

Group 2: (Language Acquisition): Spanish ab initio SL, French B SL, French ab initio SL

Group 3: (Individuals and Societies): Business Management (SL and HL), Environmental Systems and Societies (SL, Groups 3 and 4), Global Politics (SL and HL), History (SL and HL)

Group 4: (Sciences): Biology (SL and HL), Chemistry (SL and HL), Design Technology (SL and HL), Environmental Systems and Societies (SL, Groups 3 and 4), Physics (SL and HL), Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SL and HL)

Group 5: (Mathematics): Analysis and Approaches (SL and HL), Applications and Interpretations (SL and HL)

Group 6: (The Arts): Music (SL and HL) and Visual Arts (SL and HL).

What is the difference between a Higher Level (HL) subject and a Standard Level (SL) subject?

Firstly, HL and SL subjects have different requirements for teaching hours (240 hours over two years for HL and 150 hours over two years for SL). HL subjects cover more content, but also conceptually require deeper thinking and understanding. The depth of the IB Diploma comes through the study of the HL subjects, and the breadth comes through the SL subjects. Higher order thinking and critical analysis would normally be required in these subjects.

How are subject grades and the overall IB Diploma score calculated?

For each subject, students receive a grade from 1 – 7, with grade 7 the highest awarded. Grades are based on internal and external IB assessment. Assessment completed in Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay contribute up to three additional points, combining to produce a total score out of 45.  

Students can use their IB Diploma score out of 45 or the ATAR equivalent rank to gain access to university courses. Click here to view the 2020 ATAR conversion for IB Graduates. 

Who is suited to the IB Diploma study programme?

Students considering undertaking the IB Diploma should have some of the following characteristics, or be working towards developing the following characteristics:

  • average or above average ability
  • good work ethic/time management skills
  • ability to work across different subject areas
  • ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • higher order thinking skills
  • an interest in developing global perspectives
  • a desire to keep career options open
  • a desire to impact positively on their world
  • see themselves as ‘lifelong learners’.

In summary, students who are comfortable with the structure of the IB Diploma Programme, who are prepared to work conscientiously and who are motivated should consider undertaking the IB Diploma.All who do undertake the IB Diploma Programme at The Riverina Anglican College are carefully guided and mentored throughout the process by dedicated teachers, skilled in IB Diploma methodology and learning requirements.

Curriculum requirements of the IB Diploma:

At least three and not more than four subjects must be at the Higher Level and the remaining subjects can be at Standard Level.

Students may choose to study another subject from Group 3 or 4, instead of studying a Group 6 subject. When choosing Environmental Systems & Societies (ESS) which covers both Groups 3 and 4, students may choose another subject from Group 3, 4 or 6.

A final Diploma score is awarded out of a maximum of 45 points. IB Scores can be converted to an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entrance to Australian university courses. The IB score can be used directly for many international university applications.

It is possible for students to fail and not receive a Diploma. The most common reasons for failure are an inability to obtain the base level of 24 points out of the 45 points possible, or failure to gain 12 points across three Higher Level courses.

The candidate must gain 9 points or more on SL subjects (candidates who register for two SL subjects must gain at least 5 points at SL).

Assessment in the IB Diploma Programme

Students are required to complete both internal and external assessments. Internal assessments refer to the mandatory summative assessments set out in the subject guides. These are marked by our teachers and moderated by IB examiners. External assessments are marked by IB examiners outside the school. Our students sit their final exams in November (over 2500 examiners worldwide are used) and can be worth up to 80 per cent, depending on the subject. Both internal and external assessments use an established grading criteria. Tasks are criterion-referenced, so students’ work is graded against achievement levels, rather than comparisons or ranks within a cohort. Students build their capacity during the course to develop the specific knowledge and skills required in IB assessment.

There are multiple methods of assessment for each course, including: oral examinations in languages, projects, student portfolios, class presentations, practical lab work, mathematical investigations, artistic performances. For further information on the assessment process in the IB Diploma Programme, a guide to the IB assessment process can be found here.

Download IB Brochures and Handbook




2021-2022 Senior Pathways IBDP Handbook


For more information regarding the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme contact:  

Mr Anthony Bosco 

Director of International Baccalaureate

P  (02) 6933 1811