Diploma Years (Ages 16 - 19)
Positioned for success at university and beyond
Grades 11 and 12 are key to positioning students for university success and defining possible career and life paths. Our students benefit from extensive advisory guidance throughout their Secondary years and from engaging in the ambitious, forward-thinking Diploma Years Programme at BIS.
The Diploma Years offer a number of academic options to fit the diverse needs and paths of our students. We know that school will be challenging, so we have the personnel resources available to guide and support students during these important, intense years.
Through our dedicated staff and ample resources, Diploma students have the scaffolding to ensure that they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves and their futures.
The proof of this solid education and the achievement of student goals can be found on our Graduation Statistics page.
To see how we guide students in developing their future plans, visit our Universities and Careers page. This page talks you through the steps necessary for study in Germany, the United Kingdom, United States or other destinations popular with our graduates.
With appropriate recommendations from Grade 10 faculty, students may choose to follow one of three paths to graduation:
IB Diploma Programme
The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a qualification valued by leading universities around the world and the path of choice for the great majority of our students. The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is a rigorous two-year course of study, meeting the needs of highly motivated and academically oriented secondary students. Universities recognize that a student who has completed the requirements of the IB Diploma is well prepared for the demands of higher education and gladly accept this Diploma as a high quality pre-university qualification.
We offer a broad selection of subjects and a diverse Co-Curricular Programme, providing additional opportunities for leadership, creativity and engagement.
Our Diploma Years Programme (DP) is based on six subject groups from which students make their subject selections. The subject groups are:
- Studies in Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals and Societies (I&S)
- The Arts (or a second subject from the other subject groups)
In addition, Diploma Programme students write an Extended Essay, a 4000 word research paper to prepare them for university-level writing. They also complete a Theory of Knowledge course, a unique critical thinking class that explores the nature of knowledge in different subject areas. Students in Grades 11 - 12 also engage in community service.
Students receive an IB Diploma only after completing both years of the programme and passing demanding examinations evaluated by independent, external examiners.
IB Course Certificates
Students who choose not to pursue the full Diploma Programme may take individual IB subject courses. These students have greater flexibility regarding the combination of subjects and the levels that they choose. They participate in the same classes as students completing the IB Diploma Programme, but are not required to study Theory of Knowledge, or to complete the Extended Essay. IB subject courses contribute towards “Tariff Points” for placement in some UK colleges and universities and may be given equivalency to ‘Advanced Placement (AP)’ courses in USA.
BIS High School Diploma
All students work toward achieving the High School Diploma when meeting specific graduation requirements during Grades 9 – 12. The BIS High School Diploma is the equivalent to high school diplomas awarded in North America and recognized for application to North American universities.
Independent of which academic path a student takes, our graduates leave BIS with skills and attitudes to be successful in their tertiary education and beyond. In our annual survey, we ask for feedback from our graduates about their transition to life after BIS, and particularly their transition to university living and work. Their answers consistently confirm their comprehensive preparation.
If you are interested to learn more about the Diploma Years at BIS, please contact our Diploma Programme Coordinator, Peter Owen.