International Baccalaureate

St Peter’s, Cambridge is proud to be the only school in the Waikato to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.

The IB Diploma is offered around the world and is held in the highest regard. It gives access to universities across the globe. IB differs from NCEA in that it is a two-year course spanning Years 12 and 13. The IB pathway appeals to students for a variety of reasons. Some choose IB for the connectedness between subjects and it’s focus on developing global-mindedness. Others value the international study options IB opens up.

IB offers a complete educational experience. Students study six subjects from across the range of curriculum areas. Three other core components are also part of the qualification: a Theory of Knowledge course, an independent research essay, and an extracurricular programme involving creativity, physical activity and community service. This ensures that IB students are not only academically proficient but become well-rounded people.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Curriculum Model

The IB Diploma develops students with breadth and depth of learning. Three courses are taken at ‘standard level,’ and three courses at ‘higher level.’ Students must choose one subject from each of the following five groups: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Social Studies, Sciences, and Mathematics. Students can choose their sixth subject from The Arts or another subject in one of the other five groups. The advice of the International Baccalaureate organisation is that the IB Diploma pathway is best suited to students of average or above average ability.

The Theory of Knowledge course builds students who think well. It enables students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know. It is an excellent foundation for students to develop critical thinking skills and helps them to analyse and evaluate information insightfully. These skills equip students for further study and also for life in the 21st century. Find out more about the Theory of Knowledge course here.

The Extended Essay enables students to develop in-depth research skills. It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, supervised by a specialist teacher, culminating in a 4,000-word paper. It provides practical preparation for undergraduate research and an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them. Read more about the Extended Essay here.

IB encourages students to take up personal challenges. The Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component of the IB programme provides valuable experiences for students. In each area students are free to choose whatever interests them and to define appropriate goals. Creativity means involvement in things like visual arts, drama, music, and public speaking. Activity involves physical exertion, for example, personal fitness goals, individual or team sports, or hiking. Service encourages voluntary work. Examples are as varied as volunteering at the SPCA, helping run children’s holiday programmes, or participating in gully restoration projects. CAS helps students to develop an ethic of service, to grow in self-confidence and maturity, and to become more open-minded and reflective. Find out more about the CAS component of the programme here.

What St Peter’s IB graduates have to say:

"The IB teaches its students to look at their international world and their local community simultaneously. It's in the space between the two where the IB has the greatest impact, changing the way students see themselves and their potential, as well as the world collectively. IB is about more than learning: It's about education, community, and discovery, and is the best decision I ever made at high school."

Mackenzie Henderson-Wraight
IB Diploma graduate, 2015

"An engaging, stimulating and rewarding programme that not only tests your academic ability but time management, communication and development skills. Working in a great environment, surrounded by like-minded individuals, gives you the best opportunity to achieve highly. I fully recommend the IB Diploma."

Rishi Kumar
IB Diploma graduate, 2015


“I left university (after completing a four year degree in three thanks to the IB) and worked in Christchurch as an engineer designing products, some of which have won international design awards. I moved to the United Kingdom earlier this year to experience something new and now work for Formula One managing and designing systems.”

Lance Henderson,
IB Diploma graduate, 2010

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