International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

Houssam Eddine Hariri High School is proud to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) for grades 11 and 12. The DP is an academically challenging and balanced program that prepares students for success at university and in life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students.
As an IB World School, HHHS shares a common philosophy – a commitment to a high quality, challenging international education, that we believe is important for our students.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is globally recognized and focuses on academic excellence and extensive extra-curricular enrichment. It is a challenging programme that meets the needs of highly motivated students and is worldwide recognized as a renowned education by leading universities around the world.

 1  IB Mission

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. (IBO, 2015)

 2  The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)

Ever since it started in the 1970, the International Baccalaureate is proving to be the best choice of international schools, especially if they want to meet the needs of globally mobile students. The IBDP combines both specialization and breadth, all in a flexible framework that allows students to choose their subjects and their levels based on their interests and capacities.

Figure 1. Diploma programe model. This picture shows all DP subjects and Core of the DP by IBO (2015)

The IB website description of the Diploma Programme highlights that the “DP is preparing students for success in higher education and life in a global society.”The IB Diploma is an academically demanding and balanced programme of education that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. The above model provides a great visual depiction of the DP’s various components and which make it such an exceptional holistic programme and these include:

At the Center –IB Learner Profile– the attributes the IB hopes to see grow and develop in the life of the Diploma student. Approaches to teaching and learning (ATL) are included in the inner circle demonstrating the DP’s commitment to particular pedagogical approaches to teaching and to developing particular skills for learning. The outer circle entitled “International-Mindedness” gives the required emphasis to how all DP teaching and learning should take place within a spirit of tolerance and healthy openness as students grow as global citizens within the framework of international-mindedness. The diagram’s widest circle shows DP students study six subjects –one from each subject group. While overall balance is maintained, flexibility in selecting an extra subject from one subject group allows the students to pursue areas of personal interest and to meet special requirements for university entrance.

The IB Diploma is a holistic programme in which all “full diploma” students complete the following three CORE requirements that are depicted in the lighter shaded circle to highlight how these curricular aspects provide a contrast to the rigors of the six academic disciplines.

• Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS)

• Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

• Extended Essay (EE)

 3  Why IBDP?

 Recent studies on IB Diploma Programme graduates in university confirm that they perform well and have significantly higher GPAs and higher graduation rates than students who did not complete the IB Diploma Programme. Research also shows that IB students do better than their peers who did not participate in the IB Diploma Programme.

In a survey of 150 university faculty and admissions staff from the UK, the IB Diploma Programme was rated higher than other qualifications based on the breadth of the curriculum; development of critical thinking, time-management and communication skills; and motivation of the students.

• 97% were satisfied the Diploma Programme prepares students for university.

• 96% favoured a broad curriculum of the type IB offers.

• 57% felt the Diploma Programme offers an advantage to students as preparation for higher education.

Similarly, a survey of 160 university faculty and admissions staff from Australia and New Zealand showed that 77% of respondents indicated that the IB Diploma Programme prepares students well for university. (International Baccalaureate Organization 2010)

Figure 2. IB Learner Profile. This picture shows attributes of IB learner (CISS, 2013)

 4  The IB Learner Profile

 The IB learner profile (IBO, 2015) represents ten attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.

• Inquirers. They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning.

• Knowledgeable. They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.

• Thinkers. They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

• Communicators. They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.

• Principled. They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions.

• Open-minded. They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.

• Caring. They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.

• Risk-takers. They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

• Balanced. They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

• Reflective. They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.

 5  IBDP Students

An IB diploma candidate or course candidate who has to carry a foreign passport or spend at least three years outside Lebanon is registered by an IB World school for each intended examination session and must take the requisite courses and assessments at that school. The school must complete the registration requirements on behalf of the candidate and pay the related fees by the relevant deadlines. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that candidates are registered correctly for an examination session.

6  Subject Offerings at HHHS

At the moment, HHHS offers the following subjects at various levels to meet the students’ needs and tailor the prerequisites needed for the majors that our students pursue at their universities.

Group 1 Studies in Language and Literature
English A: Language and Literature HL and SL
Group 2 Language Acquisition
Arabic B HL and SL
French B HL and SL
French Ab initio SL
Group 3 Individuals and Societies
Environmental Systems and Societies SL only
Economics HL and SL
Global Politics HL and SL
Group 4 Sciences:
Biology HL and SL
Physics HL and SL
Chemistry HL and SL
Group  5 Mathematics:
Mathematics HL
Mathematics SL

All Diploma Programme students participate in the three elements that make up the core of the model.

  1. Theory of knowledge (TOK) (IBO, 2015) is a course that is fundamentally about critical thinking and inquiry into the process of knowing rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. The task of TOK is to emphasize connections between areas of shared knowledge and link them to personal knowledge in such a way that an individual becomes more aware of his or her own perspectives and how they might differ from others.
  2. Creativity, activity, service (IBO, 2015) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. The emphasis in CAS is on helping students to develop their own identities, in accordance with the ethical principles embodied in the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. The three strands of CAS are:
  • Creativity—arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking
  • Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle
  • Service—an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. Possibly, more than any other component in the Diploma Programme, CAS contributes to the IB’s mission to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
  1. The extended essay (IBO,2010), including the world studies extended essay, offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, in the form of a 4,000-word piece of independent research. The area of research undertaken is chosen from one of the students’ six Diploma Programme subjects, or in the case of the interdisciplinary world studies essay, two subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject or subjects chosen. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. An authentic learning experience, it provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of choice, under the guidance of a supervisor.

7  Grading System

In the DP, students receive grades ranging from 7 to 1, with 7 being highest. A student’s final Diploma result score is made up of the combined scores for each subject. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance including successful completion of the three essential elements of the DP core. Assessment in the IB is composed of two levels:

Internal assessment:

It is formed of a group of subject-related class assignments. Students are briefed on the finer details of each assignment and are expected to meet a well allocated submission date.

• For large assignments, teachers will assign more than one submission date to be able to follow up with students during each stage of their work.

• A submission date might be extended, usually for a day or two, if a valid reason is presented.

• If a second submission date is not met, the student’s parents will be notified in writing and he/she might risk failing his/her course.

• The IB coordinator is notified for all the changes.

• Internal assessments are graded by teachers then moderated by the IB.

External assessment:

The examination for each session takes place over a period of approximately three weeks in May.



CISS. (2013). IB learner profile [Online image].

Retrieved from: http://www.cisb.com.cn/page/academic_program/detail_academic2.php?id=201

International Baccalaureate Organization. (2015). Mission. Retrieved from: http://www.ibo.org/about-the-ib/mission/

International Baccalaureate Organization .(2015). Logos and programme models [Online image]. Retrieved from:


International Baccalaureate Organization. (2010). IB diploma programme: A strong predictor of success in university [Adobe Digital Edition Versions]. Retrieved from:

International Baccalaureate Organization. (2015). The IB learner profile [Adobe Digital Edition Versions]. Retrieved December 3, 2015 from: http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/learnerprofile-en.pdf

International Baccalaureate Organization. (2015). Theory of knowledge guide First assessment. [Adobe Digital Edition Versions] .Retrieved from:


International Baccalaureate Organization. (2015). Creativity, activity, service. Retrieved from:

International Baccalaureate Organization. (2010). Core requirements: Extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service subject brief [Adobe Digital Edition Versions]. Retrieved from: http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/core_2011.pdf

Shah, S., Dean, M. & Chen, Y.C. (2010). High school student engagement among IB and non IB students in the United States: A comparison study. Research Brief. Geneva: IBO