International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB programme encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. - International Baccalaureate mission statement.

 St Peter’s, Cambridge is proud to be the only school in the Central North Island to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which was developed to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world, through intercultural understanding and respect.  

The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a highly respected international qualification that promotes the development of the whole person. The IB mission statement provides a long-term holistic vision of student-centred education. Arthur Broadhurst, our founder, was ahead of his time as he developed his Mind, Body and Spirit ethos- IB and St Peter’s were destined to be twinned.


The IB programme details


The IB Diploma is an academically rigorous two-year pre-university qualification that ensures that students are very well prepared for university. Diploma students build a well-rounded academic foundation through the study of six subjects across key curriculum groups: Literature, Language acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics and the Arts.  


At least three subjects are taken at Higher Level (HL), generally 240 hours of instruction. The remaining three subjects are taken at Standard Level (SL) over 150 hours. 



The IB core components

In addition to taking six subjects, there are three core components to the IB Diploma, which are really what make the Diploma distinctive from other qualifications.  

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK): This is a class that is designed to equip students to observe, question, assess knowledge and critically evaluate the world around them. The focus is on extending a student's thinking, requiring them to question ‘how do I know what I know?’, and ‘just because I know something, does that make it true?’
  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS): is an 18-month co-curricular programme of the student's experiences outside of the classroom. This is where students' learning and personal growth, through their varied interests and extracurricular activities, can be recognised.
  • Extended Essay (EE): Supported by a supervisor, students complete a piece of research in a subject area of interest, and write a 4000-word paper. Many students say that this piece of self-directed research was invaluable preparation for tertiary study.    

A variety of studies suggest that the Diploma programme core plays an important role in improving student confidence in critical thinking, engaging with research, university-level writing, time management, and the ability to gather, organise and evaluate information. Personal growth, an ethic of service, maturity, open-mindedness, reflection and a better understanding of one’s place in the world were also cited as important benefits.

Assessments and gaining the qualification

The two-year IB Diploma programme has a strong focus on learning so there are only a limited number of assessments in each subject, with a mix of internal and external components. To gain the Diploma, there are a number of conditions, chiefly that candidates must gain a minimum overall score of 24 points out of 45.  

University recognition

In New Zealand, the IB Diploma has become increasingly valued as universities have come to recognise the preparedness of IB students for university study. Universities list the IB score required in the course information. For example, a score of 33 points out of 45 is direct entry into Auckland’s pre-med and Engineering courses. Globally, IB is widely recognised as a reputable pre-university curriculum by the top universities.

What St Peter’s IB graduates have to say

Past St Peter’s Head Boy Jamal Roberton had this to say about the IB Diploma - “The IB Diploma appealed to me because the course requirements are structured to develop a student into a well-rounded, global-minded learner. I saw an opportunity to embrace a new and challenging learning style with like-minded peers and individualised teaching and guidance.” 

Year 13 Umika Sadani shares - “I’ve found that IB has challenged my old ways of exploring topics, and it has helped me produce high-quality work. It's a brilliant course to do with my peers and to relate to among friends. I am certain this course has further strengthened my confidence for future endeavours.”

For more information, view the 2022 International Baccalaureate Information Evening video here.

Watch this video from our IB coordinator about the benefits of IB.




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