The Basics of DP at North

International Baccalaureate has been in existence at North Meck since 1994. In May of 2012, we graduated our 16th class of IB students. Graduates of the Diploma Program have gone on to meet great success in college admission and graduate school, and they have entered a wide range of interesting, productive careers.

The Diploma Program spans the 11th and 12th grade years, preparing students for college by encouraging them to
  • ask challenging questions
  • learn how to learn
  • develop a strong sense of their own identity and culture
  • develop the ability to communicate and understand those from other countries and cultures

Over the course of the two-year programme, students
  • study six subjects chosen from the six subject groups
  • complete an extended essay
  • follow a theory of knowledge course (TOK)
  • participate in creativity, action, service (CAS).

DP Hexagon.jpg

Normally, three of the six subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours).

IB courses at North Meck for 2014 - 2015. Click for a detailed description of each.

Group 1: English (HL)
Group 2: Spanish, French (SL and HL)
Group 3: History of the Americas (HL). Psychology (HL)
Group 4: Chemistry (SL and HL), Physics (SL and HL), Biology (HL and SL), Envir. Systems & Societies (SL)
Group 5: Math Studies (SL), Mathematics (SL)
Group 6: Visual Arts (HL)

The DP Core Components

The extended essay is a research project of approximately 4,000 words which offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student's six DP subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at the college level. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity - resulting in approximately 40 hours of work. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor.

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is one of the most unique high school classes offered. Students explore the nature of knowledge across disciplines and encourages students to explore questions like
  • What counts a knowledge?
  • Who owns knowledge?
  • What is the value of knowledge?
  • What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?

CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development as well as their social and civic development, through experiential learning, lending an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the IB Diploma Programme. It should be both challenging and enjoyable - a personal journey of self-discovery that recognizes each student's individual starting point.
  • Creativity - arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
  • Action - physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme
  • Service - an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

To read more about the IB Diploma Program, click here:

For a detailed handbook from IB, see the