The IB Programme at Midlothian High School

Chesterfield County Public Schools offer high school students the opportunity to participate in select special interest programs through their high schools. Midlothian High School is proud to serve as a Specialty Center for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. Midlothian High School sets the standard for academic excellence and the IB Programme offered here gives college-bound students an opportunity to shine. In addition to our IB students enjoying all that Midlothian High School has to offer, the IB Programme provides a holistic view on student learning by teaching students how to learn, providing them with student led experiments & inquiry driven activities, interdisciplinary thinking & discussion, offering one-on-one schedule counseling, opportunities to connect outside the classroom, and unique field trip opportunities all within one passionate and caring IB community.

The IB Programme at Midlothian High School is a programme for grades 9-12. It encapsulates the IB Diploma Programme, which is for grades 11-12 and adds a pre-IB Diploma Programme for grades 9-10.

The IB Programme is designed for academically talented and highly motivated students. The Programme is a rigorous pre-university course of study, one that is widely recognized by the world’s leading universities. Our Pre-IB coursework path helps prepare students going into the IB Diploma Programme for advanced college level coursework that they will be taking during their 11th & 12th grade years.

All IB students are participating in a dual diploma program. In addition to the IB Diploma, students are automatically enrolled in courses that correlate with the Virginia Advanced Studies Diploma over the course of their four year high school experience. This means that upon successful completion of the program, our students can earn both the IB Diploma and a VA Advanced Studies Diploma.

There are two main components of the IB Diploma Programme Curriculum: the course requirements and the core. Please note: While the IB Diploma Programme is generally specific to Grades 11 & 12, parts of the core (CAS, see below) and the IB Elective Path (see below) are a part of the IB Programme for all grades.

The IB Course Requirements

The IB Diploma Programme course requirements are made up of six academic subjects that center around the programme core and are divided into Groups.

  • Group 1: Language and Literature (English Literature)

  • Group 2: Language Acquisition (World Language)

  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies (History & Social Sciences)

  • Group 4: Experimental Sciences

  • Group 5: Mathematics

  • Group 6: Fine Arts or Other IB Electives

To earn an IB diploma, students must take courses from six subjects, one each from groups 1-5, and either one from group 6 or a substitute from one of the other groups. The IB Diploma Programme courses are offered at two levels of intensity: a Higher Level/HL (250 hour course) and a Standard Level/SL (150 hour course). All HL courses at Midlothian High School are two year courses. You must take at least three IB courses at a Higher Level. Each class culminates in an exam. IB exams are graded on a scale of 1-7. Students must earn a minimum of 24 points (between all of your IB exams) out of a possible 45 points on the final exams/assessments in order to receive an IB diploma. Note: Three points of the 45 total points can be earned through completion of all of the IB Core components. The IB Programme uses internal and external assessments to evaluate student performance of both academic and basic skills. Internal assessments are graded by our teachers and then moderated by IBO examiners. External assessments are sent internationally to IB examiners to be graded.

The Core

The Core consists of three parts: a capstone course called the Theory of Knowledge, a 4,000 word research essay known as the Extended Essay, and participation in Creativity, Action, and Service to the community—all of which are compulsory and are central to the philosophy of the Diploma Programme.

Theory of Knowledge/TOK: This is a seminar-type interdisciplinary psychology-based capstone course. It is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines and encouraging an appreciation of other perspectives. The course delves into the nature, limitations, meaning, and validity of human knowledge. TOK requires 100 hours of instruction, the completion of a reflective essay paper (from a prescribed title, externally assessed) and an exhibition centered on TOK themes (internally assessed).

Extended Essay/EE: This is a research essay that focuses on a singular topic. The essay has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. Research for the project is conducted independently, and students are given mandatory deadlines for completing essay work. It offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest (which needs to be approved by IB), and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at the university level.

Creativity, Action, Service/CAS: CAS is a three part program that encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work. The program fosters students’ awareness and appreciation of life beyond the academic arena. All IB students must complete and document over 150 hours of non-academic activity spent in creative, active and service endeavors, as well as undertake a long-term CAS project.

The MHS IB Elective Path

In our IB program at Midlothian High School, each student will also choose an IB elective path (mandatory) in one of the following: IB Art, IB Music, IB Psychology, or IB Business & Management. These will be incorporated into their IB Course of Study.

  • IB Visual Arts: The student will decide on his or her chosen medium for their 11th and 12th grade years. He or she will decide between Visual Art, Photography, Crafts, or Computer Art/Graphics. A student may take classes in different mediums during his or her 9th and 10th grade years to decide which medium they prefer.

  • IB Music: Students will enroll in a music performance class for all 4 years of high school (Band, Chorus, or Orchestra). Students will then also take the IB Music class during their 12th grade year, which is an overall study of Music that includes elements of Music history and Music theory.

  • IB Theatre: This is a one or two year course that can be taken during a student’s 11th or 12th grade years.

  • IB Psychology: This is a one year course that can be taken during a student’s 11th or 12th grade years.

  • IB Business and Management: This is a one year course that can be taken during a student’s 11th or 12th grade years.

  • IB Sports, Exercise, and Health Science: This is a one year course that can be take during a student's 11th or 12th grade years.