Diploma Pathways

ISL offers two qualifications for study in Years 12 and 13: the IB Diploma Programme and the ISL High School Diploma.

The IB Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a rigorous two-year course of study that was introduced at ISL in September 2000. It gives students access to college and university study throughout the world, and universities rightly perceive that a student who has completed the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme is well prepared for the demands of higher education. The IB Diploma Programme offers both breadth, in terms of the range of courses offered, and depth, in that students must take each course for two years. It is a deliberate compromise between the specialisation required by some national systems and the breadth preferred in others.

More information can be found here.

The ISL High School Diploma

ISL offers a fully recognised US High School Diploma in addition to the IB Diploma, as ISL is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
The IB Diploma and the ISL High School Diploma are two separate qualifications. The IB Diploma is a more demanding programme, and students who successfully complete it are also awarded the ISL High School Diploma. However, several students each year choose to focus their efforts on achieving the ISL High School Diploma only, rather than both qualifications simultaneously. This involves taking individual courses that lead to the same final IB examinations, and results in a portfolio of official IB course results that are recognized by universities in combination with the ISL High School Diploma.

More information can be found here.

The IB Diploma Curriculum

Students take six subjects for the full IB Diploma; three at higher level (HL) and three at standard level (SL). Each student must take one course from each of six groups, although they may substitute the arts for an additional subject from one of the other groups. In addition to this, every student is required to complete the three core elements of theory of knowledge (TOK), extended essay (EE) and creativity, activity, service (CAS).

Generally, subjects studied at higher level will reflect the student’s area of interest and specialisation, and will be covered in greater depth and breadth than subjects studied at standard level.  Higher level courses involve about 50% more work and are also more demanding.

The Options Process

Make sure to follow the steps below to select your courses:

  1. Watch the videos below for all of the subjects that you are interested in to get a better understanding of what is involved.
  2. If you have any questions about a particular subject, make sure to contact the Head of Department (list on the Parent Portal) or Michael Humphrey, IB Diploma Coordinator.
  3. Print off and complete the ‘Diploma courses offered at ISL 2024–2026’ document to ensure that your subject choices conform to IB regulations. Remember, you must take three subjects at HL and three at SL.
  4. To submit your choices, print off and complete the ‘Diploma Options Form 2024–2026’ document before giving it to Mr Humphrey by the date indicated on the form itself. If you will be new to ISL next year, you can submit your choices via email.
    It is essential to choose one subject from each of the six option blocks, A to F, to ensure that your choices can fit into the timetable. The option blocks are designed to allow the maximum different subject combinations, given some necessary scheduling constraints, but unfortunately it is not possible to offer every potential combination.

Click here to view a recording of the Information Evening.

Group 2 – Language acquisition

Group 6 – Arts

For any questions please feel free to contact us