The International Baccalaureate Programme is an academically rigorous, accelerated program that is attractive to a student who is highly motivated and highly capable.

Through the diploma programme schools are able to develop students who:
  • Have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
  • Flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
  • Study at least two languages
  • Excel in traditional academic subjects
  • Explore the nature of knowledge through the program’s unique theory of knowledge course

Why choose the diploma programme?

International research shows that there are many benefits to choosing the IB diploma. For example:
  • Diploma students are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them.
  • Analysis of diploma students in Canada, the UK and the USA found the diploma students’ extended essay improves students’ approach to learning in high education.

Structure of the Programme

To achieve its aims the International Baccalaureate Programme requires students to undertake six areas of study in their final two years of secondary education. The six areas are:
  1. Language A – an in-depth study of the student’s principal language with a companion study of world literature.
  2. Language B – a study in a second language; its structure, use and literature. The second language offered at Old Scona is French.
  3. Individuals and Society – several areas of the humanities and social sciences are possible (e.g. history, political science, economics), however Social Studies and International Politics are offered at Old Scona
  4. Experimental Sciences – a study of one of the principal areas of the scientific disciplines – Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Computer Science.
  5. Mathematics – designed to develop the student’s knowledge and facility with basic mathematical studies.
  6. An Option – a variety of courses may qualify. At Old Scona Academic the second science course can be this sixth area of study or it can be a course in the Arts.
For more detailed information on the IB programme, refer to their website at

The International Baccalaureate Programme at Old Scona Academic

Because of the demanding nature of the International Baccalaureate Programme, there is special preparation provided to students in the grade 10 year. This is to enable students to complete both the requirements for an Alberta High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma in their three years at Old Scona.

The grade 10 year gives the student an insight into the International Baccalaureate approach, difficulty of the courses, and the student’s own ability. In the spring of their grade 10 year, students with advice from parents and teachers, decide to begin:
  • a full International Baccalaureate programme
  • a partial International Baccalaureate programme
Once a student begins a partial IB programme, they cannot switch to a full program. If they are in a regular course in grade 11 (e.g. English Language Arts 20-1) they cannot choose the grade 12 International Baccalaureate level course (e.g. English Language Arts 30-1 and Works in Translation 35).

All IB diploma candidates are required to select one subject from each of the areas. At least three but not more than four of the six subjects are taken at Higher Level while the others may be at Standard Level.

Old Scona offers instruction in four Higher Level programs: English, Social Studies, Biology and Physics. All other IB instruction is at the Standard Level. Students who select Higher Level instruction still have the choice of writing either the Standard Level or Higher Level final examination.

Each examined subject is graded on a scale of one (minimum) to seven (maximum). The award of the Diploma requires a minimum of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of three additional requirements:
  • The Extended Essay (EE) of some 4000 words which provides the first experience of the independent research paper
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) which explores the relationships among the various disciplines and ensures that students engage in critical reflection and analysis of the knowledge acquired within and beyond the classroom
  • Compulsory participation in Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)

A student can earn an IB Certificate with the successful completion of at least one IB course.

International Baccalaureate at the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta values the academic challenges that International Baccalaureate (IB) students undertake. IB students are recognized at the U of A in a number of ways, from transfer credit and advanced standing in courses, to special scholarships. Students enrolled in the IB courses have access to IB Advisors in the Office of the Registrar and Students Awards, Liaison and Recruitment Division. For detailed information go to and click on Prospective Students and then AP & IB.

Students who have questions about the International Baccalaureate Programme should see Ms. Ng.