IB Diploma Programme
In addition to secondary school education for boys, SJI offers pre-university education for both boys and girls with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)*.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, as an alternative to the GCE ‘A’ Levels, is recognized for admission to all Singapore universities and leading universities globally. It is valued for its holistic curriculum and strong focus on independent learning and thinking for university studies, the workplace and the all-round development of young people for a fulfilling life.
Its strong emphasis on internationalism, intercultural understanding and making a positive difference to the world fits well with the mission of SJI. The IBDP also empowers Josephians to address the complexity and diversity of a rapidly changing world to become youth with a global outlook, while remaining strongly rooted in faith, values, culture and community.
Our hope for each young person is to achieve academic excellence, to gain an enriching transformative educational experience that will allow them to become true global citizens, and ultimately, to be a catalyst for change and never lose sight of the last, the lost and the least. SJI is committed to providing high quality education in the true spirit of the IBDP, and according to the ethos and values of Lasallian education.
SJI offers the IBDP in three distinguishing but interlinking elements: Academic: the SJI Approach, Holistic Development: the SJI Way of life, and Character: the SJI Difference. These three elements provide a holistic learning experience and varied platforms to engage our students, on their journey of lifelong learning.
* All students will be expected to own their personal computing device as part of the programme. Students who are on financial assistance or in need of financial assistance will be provided help in owning a personal computing device.
- The IB Learner Profile
- The Six Academic Subject Groups
- Extended Essay
- Theory Of Knowledge
- Creativity, Activity, Service
- IBDP Assessment
- Student Life In SJI
- Frequently Asked Questions
Academic: The SJI Approach
The IB Curriculum
SJI is an IB World School and is committed to quality education in the spirit of the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). Recognized as the leader in international education, the IBDP cultivates the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable students to excel in university. Through the SJI IBDP, students gain rigorous and balanced academic preparation, an ability to draw on knowledge and understanding of various cultures and histories, and the experience of learning how to think critically and apply what they have learned in different contexts and across disciplines.
The challenging curriculum educates the whole student aiming to develop their capacity for inquiry, research and problem-solving, as well as essential skills for communication and collaboration. Over the course of the two-year IBDP, students will:
- Study six subjects chosen from six subject groups
- Complete an Extended Essay
- Follow a Theory of Knowledge course
- Participate in Creativity, Activity, Service
The IBDP Academic Subject Groups
Students study 6 subjects from 6 subject groups for a strong balanced academic foundation, with 3 at Standard Level (SL) and 3 at Higher Level (HL) to recognize strengths and interests. For more information on the specific subjects offered below, please see http://www.ibo.org/diploma/curriculum.
|Group 1: Studies in Language & Literature||Group 2: Language Acquisition ^||Group 3: Individuals & Societies||Group 4: Experimental Science||Group 5: Mathematics
|• English: Literature
• English: Language and Literature
• Chinese: Literature
|• Chinese B
• Malay B
• Tamil B
• Bahasa Indonesia Ab Initio
• Mandarin Ab Initio
• Spanish Ab Initio
|• Maths Analysis and Approaches
• Visual Arts
(Elective: Instead of an Arts subject,
students can choose a subject from
Group 3 or 4)
* subject to staffing resources
^ Group 2 :
1. MOE Bilingual Policy requires students taking NTIL or any MTL-in-lieu to do this in addition to the IBDP requirements.
2. WEF 2019, SJI will replace the SEC MTL & HMTL (Higher Mother Tongue Language) examinations with school-based examinations for SJI’s IP students.
Group 1: Studies in Language & Literature
Students are expected to choose one of these courses from Group 1.
|a) English A: Literature||HL & SL|
|b) English A: Language & Literature||HL & SL|
|c) Chinese A: Literature||SL|
a) English A: Literature
Literature is a course concerned with the exploration of our conceptions, interpretations and experiences of the world. It enables the exploration of one of the more enduring areas of human creativity and in so doing it encourages independent, critical and clear thinking. It encourages personal growth and respect for the imagination, and a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of a variety of literary works. A selection of literary texts will be read and studied in preparation for the IB examinations, consisting of Paper 1 (the Unseen), Paper 2 (Comparative Essay), the Individual Oral (engaging global issues across texts) and a Research Essay for HL students only.
b) English A: Language and Literature
The Language and Literature course aims to prepare students to be capable critics and savvy consumers of the role of language in our lives. It roughly divides attention between traditional literary works and a variety of other language texts, with the aim of exploring how language can be used and manipulated.” (Oxford Companion) The course has two key unique foci – one is the construction of meaning of texts and how meaning, whether personal, social or political, is produced in language. The other key aspect is the interplay between context, producer, text and consumer, and the manner in which these interact to create meaning. A selection of literary and non-literary texts will be read and studied in preparation for the IB examinations, consisting of Paper 1 (the Unseen), Paper 2 (Comparative Essay), the Individual Oral (engaging global issues across texts) and a Research Essay for HL students only.
c) Chinese A: Literature (SL)
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
The Language A literature course should be taken in the student’s best language. The focus is to develop skills in both critical reading and textual analysis of literary works. At Chinese A Standard Level, students study 10 works of literature. Texts studied include poetry, drama, short stories and novels originally written in Chinese as well as literature in translation. In the literature section of the exam, students are required to demonstrate mastery of the analysis techniques for poetry and drama works, comment on the writing and expression techniques used in Chinese and Foreign Literature, and have a thorough understanding of the text types and terminologies. For the cultural part, students need to display up to date cultural knowledge, decode the expression techniques and cross-cultural meanings behind the text and images, and make use of their creativity to express how they understand the nature of society.
Group 2: Language Acquisition
The Group 2 ^ (or Second Language) subjects of the IB Diploma Programme offer two modern language courses - language Ab initio and language B. These courses are offered at the following subjects and levels:
SL and HL
^ Group 2:
1. MOE Bilingual Policy requires students taking NTIL or any MTL-in-lieu to do this in addition to the IBDP requirements.
2. WEF 2019, SJI will replace the SEC MTL & HMTL (Higher Mother Tongue Language) examinations with school-based examinations for SJI’s IP students.
To earn an IB Diploma, a candidate must study an additional language, though a second Language A may be taken instead of studying that language as a Group 2 subject.
All group 2 subjects promote a vision of learning in which the development of language skills and conceptual understandings of language are complementary to each other. Students will become more accomplished communicators in the languages they study when their abilities to read, write and speak about course content are reinforced and extended by an understanding of the why and how people use language to communicate.
Language Ab Initio courses are for beginners (that is, students who have little or no previous experience of learning the language they have chosen). These courses are only available at standard level. Such a course focuses on giving the student basic knowledge of both the language in everyday use and the culture of the places where it is spoken. Students will develop an awareness of the relationship between language and culture. Their appreciation of different cultural perspectives will be enhanced by studying this course, thereby promoting internationalism. The standard reached by the student after two years is considerably lower than that reached in language B. For students to achieve communicative competence in a variety of situations, the following prescribed themes are explored in the Language Ab Initio course: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organisation, sharing the planet. The language skills that are taught and assessed are: listening, reading, writing, speaking and cultural awareness.
Language B courses are intended for students who have had previous experience in learning the language. These courses further develop students’ ability to communicate in the language through the study of language, themes and texts. In doing so, they also develop conceptual understandings of how language works. Language B courses may be studied at either higher level or standard level.
SL: Students will learn to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. They will describe situations, narrate events, make comparisons, explain problems, and state and support their personal opinions on a variety of topics relating to the prescribed themes of identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organisation, sharing the planet. The course aims to help students understand the importance of communication in the modern world and equip them with the communication skills necessary to incorporate the language into their lifestyle or work after school and university.
HL: In addition to the requirements of the SL course, HL students are expected to extend the range and complexity of the language they use and understand in order to communicate. They should also be keen to develop an understanding of the fundamental elements of literary texts such as theme, plot and character. The course is for students who are considering further study of the language at the university level or in their future careers.
Group 3: Individuals & Societies
Students are expected to choose one of the following courses at either Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL):
- Economics - HL / SL
- History - HL / SL
- Geography - HL / SL
These courses encourage the development of a critical appreciation of:
- human experience and behaviour
- the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit
- the history of social and cultural institutions.
Each course is designed to foster in students the capacity to identify, analyse critically and evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.
The courses in Group 3 have no formal requirements; prior experience with history or geography at the secondary level are also not necessary. However, a strong passion for the subject and a critical and curious mindset would be appreciated.
An exciting and dynamic subject, the DP economics course allows students to develop an understanding of the complexities and interdependence of economic activities in a rapidly changing world. The problem of scarcity is central to economic theory. Due to this, choices have to be made. At both SL and HL levels, students examine economic theories, models and key concepts and apply them through examining 6 real-world issues. The 9 concepts underpinning the economics course are scarcity, choice, efficiency, equity, economic well-being, sustainability, change, interdependence and intervention. Students of this course will develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to act responsibly as global citizens.
History is more than a study of the past. Using a comparative and multi-perspective approach, the DP History course is a world history course, which not only involves the study of a variety of history (political, economic, social and cultural) but also provides a balance of structure and flexibility. In addition to gaining factual knowledge, students are encouraged to think historically and to develop historical skills, critical thinking and an understanding of the multiple interpretations of history. The 6 concepts that feature strongly for the DP History course include change, continuity, causation, consequence, significance and perspectives.
A dynamic subject that lies between social or human sciences and natural science, the DP Geography course examines the interactions between individuals, societies and physical processes in both time and space. Trends and patterns of these interactions are of special interest. Students will investigate how people adapt and respond to change and evaluate the management strategies associated with these changes. They are also encouraged to explain the similarities and differences between different places, on a variety of scales and from different perspectives. Distinct in its spatial dimension, this course integrates environmental, human and physical geography and examines concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. As such, students acquire aspects of both socio-economic and scientific methodologies, develop life skills and an appreciation and respect for alternative ideas, approaches and viewpoints.
Group 4: Sciences
All science courses in the IBDP share a common structure. Each comprises of four parts over the 2 years:
- core topics (95 hours) that are studied at both Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL),
- additional higher level (AHL) topics (60 hours) that are taken at HL only,
- one option which comprises core topics (both HL and SL - 15 hours) and additional higher level topics (HL only - 10 hours).
- practical scheme of work (60 hours for HL and 40 hours for SL) which comprises practical activities, individual investigation (internal assessment - IA) and Group 4 project.
All students take part in the group 4 project which is an interdisciplinary activity in which all Diploma Programme science students must participate. The intention is that students from the different group 4 subjects analyse a common topic or problem. The exercise is a collaborative experience where the emphasis is on the processes involved in, rather than the products of, such an activity.
The assessment structure is the same for all sciences. External assessment (exams) at the end of the course contribute 80% of the final mark. The remaining 20% is based on the internal assessment.
The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth. To take a science at HL, previous exposure to the specific group 4 subject would be necessary at SEC or IP Year 4. For Chemistry HL and Physics HL, it is expected that students are at least taking Mathematics SL. At SL, previous knowledge of the specific science subject is helpful but not essential.
In Biology, you will study the science of living things and how they function. The Core includes Cells, Genetics, Ecology and Human Physiology. The additional material takes these further, and adds some more, such as Plant Science, and Defence Against Disease. Linking themes are Structure and Function; Universality versus Diversity; Equilibrium within Systems; and Evolution. The option offered is Human Physiology.
In Chemistry, you will study materials, and the conversion of substances from one to another. Core and Additional Higher level: material covered here includes such important topics as Stoichiometry; Atomic Structure; Chemical Bonding and Structure; Periodicity; Energetics; Chemical kinetics; Equilibrium; Acids and Bases; Redox Processes; and Organic Chemistry. The option offered is Medicinal Chemistry.
In Physics, you will study the properties and interactions of matter and energy. Core and Additional Higher level: these introduce the central concepts of Mechanics; Atomic and Nuclear Physics; Waves; Thermal Physics; Electricity and Magnetism. The option offered is Astrophysics.
Group 5: Mathematics
In the MAA courses, there is an emphasis on calculus, algebraic, graphical and numerical approaches, which are areas familiar to IP and SEC students. There will be some consideration of mathematical proof in both the MAA HL and SL courses that will be new to most students. Dependant on the mathematical pre-requisites of different university courses, the MAA courses will also be recognised for entry to university courses in Singapore and in other countries throughout the world such as the UK, US and Australia.
The content of the MAA SL course will be a subset of the MAA HL course. However, the MAA HL and SL courses will cater to the different needs, interests and abilities of students. The MAA HL and SL courses will consequently be taught with a different emphasis, depth and pace at SJI. Therefore, great care should be taken to select the course that is most appropriate for an individual student. In making this selection, individual students should be advised to take account of factors such as their own ability in mathematics, as well as their plans for university or intended career paths.
The assessment of the respective MAA courses comprises external assessment in the form of written examination papers (80%) which will involve some questions common to the HL and SL courses, and a coursework component (20%) called the Internal Assessment (IA). The final assessment of the Internal Assessment is slightly different for each course. However, the Internal Assessment process for students in both courses will include an extended period of mathematical exploration involving mathematical investigation or mathematical modelling in an area of a student’s own interest. During lessons, students will be provided with a toolkit of skills required to tackle the IA in mathematics effectively. An overview of the assessment components of each MAA course is given below:
|Assessment Component||MAA HL||% Weighting||MAA SL||% Weighting|
short questions and long questions.
Graphical calculator permitted;
short questions and long questions.
Graphical calculator required with the use of other technological tools to possibly be permitted
Two open-ended problem-solving questions from across the MAA HL syllabus.
Investigative, problem solving and modelling skills development leading to one written exploration.
|30 hrs||20||30 hrs||20|
a) MAA Mathematics HL
This course caters for students who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills in the subject including having strong algebraic skills and the ability to understand simple mathematical proof. They will be students who have a strong interest in mathematics who enjoy spending time with problems and get pleasure and satisfaction from solving challenging problems. The majority of these students will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as physics, engineering and possibly economics.
b) MAA Mathematics SL
This course caters for students who already possess knowledge of basic mathematical concepts, and who are equipped with the skills needed to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly. The majority of these students will expect to develop a sound mathematical background and ability to apply or interpret mathematics effectively in practical contexts as they prepare for future studies in subjects such as medicine, chemistry, the physical sciences, psychology and business administration.
Group 6: The Arts (or Elective)
a) Visual Arts
The Diploma Programme visual arts course enables students to engage in both practical exploration and artistic production, and in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation. The course is designed to enable students to study visual arts in higher education and also welcomes those students who seek life enrichment through visual arts.
Quality work in visual arts can be produced by students at both HL and SL. The aims and assessment objectives are the same for visual arts students at both HL and SL. Through a variety of teaching approaches, all students are encouraged to develop their creative and critical abilities and to enhance their knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of visual arts.
|Part 1: Comparative study||20%
HL (18 screens)
SL (15 screens)
|Part 2: Process portfolio||40%
HL (25 screens)
SL (18 screens)
|Part 3: Exhibition (Internal Assessment)||40%
HL (8-11 works)
SL (4-7 works)
The Visual Arts course is designed to offer students the opportunity to build on prior experience while encouraging them to develop and use new skills, techniques and ideas. While it is possible to take the course without previous experience, this is helpful, particularly at HL option A (HLA).
The Diploma Programme music course provides an appropriate foundation for further study in music at the university level or in music career pathways, and also provides all students with the opportunity to engage in the world of music as lifelong participants. All students will engage in exploring and experimenting with music in and of varied contexts. Through practical engagement in musical activities as researchers, performers and creators, students learn to communicate critical and artistic intentions and purpose.
HL students offer an additional collaborative project component based on real-life practices of music-making where they take up musical leadership to plan, and collaboratively realise.
While prior music experience is not mandatory at SL, it is recommended.
Prior music experience is very strongly recommended at HL.
The annual Year 6 Grad Show presents the works by the visual art and music students from the graduating IBDP class. Their artistic works and original compositions were presented to the SJI community in the Bunker. This video showcases the creative works as explained by the student artists from Class of 2022:
Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay (EE) provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor. The EE promotes high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. The 14-month EE journey culminates in a major piece of formally presented and structured writing (3500-4000 words), in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. Through continual process reflection, students are able to demonstrate the rationale for decisions made and the skills and understandings developed, as well as the authenticity and intellectual initiative of their voice.
The learning involved in researching and writing the extended essay is closely aligned with the development of many of the characteristics described in the IB learner profile. Students are to a large extent, responsible for their own independent learning, through which they acquire and communicate in-depth knowledge and understanding. The research process necessarily involves intellectual risk-taking and extensive reflection; open-mindedness, balance and fairness are key prerequisites for a good extended essay.
More information at http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/extended-essay/.
Theory Of Knowledge (TOK)
TOK plays a special role in the IB as it provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and the connections between areas of academic knowledge that they study and link it to themselves as a ‘’knower’ in a way that they can be aware of their own perspectives and those of others. The TOK course is centrally focused on developing skills of critical thinking by getting students to interrogate knowledge construction processes and unpack commonly held assumptions. Students are evaluated on two final assessment tasks: at the end of Year 5, students are to create a TOK exhibition and in Year 6, complete a 1600-word essay based on a prescribed title.
For more information, visit https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/theory-of-knowledge
Holistic Development: The SJI Way of Life
SJI places holistic development at the heart of its approach to learning, and the CAS programme plays a key part in this. The following quote from the IB organisation (IBO) expresses our aspirations.
“Holistic Education focuses on the fullest possible development of the person, encouraging individuals to become the very best or finest that they can be and enabling them to experience all they can from life and reach their goals. There is an emphasis on life experience and learning beyond the confines of the classroom and the formal educational environment towards education as growth, discovery and a broadening of horizons. It encourages a desire to elicit meaning and understanding and to engage with the world.”
Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)
With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning. The three strands: creativity, activity and service are defined as follows:
- Creativity - exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
- Activity - physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
- Service - collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.
CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development as well as their social and civic development, through experiential learning. CAS activities should be both challenging and enjoyable - a personal journey of self-discovery that recognizes each student’s individual starting point. CAS experiences should be:
- real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes
- personally challenging - tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope
- thoughtfully considered, such as planning, reviewing progress and reporting
- reflection on outcomes and personal learning
Students must demonstrate satisfactory participation in CAS for the award of the IB Diploma. This is achieved through the student’s active and balanced engagement in all three strands: creativity, activity and service and through having demonstrated the seven learning outcomes observed in the student’s personal reflections.
Students are offered a wide range of co-curricular activities that give students the opportunity to experience new challenges in sports, the arts and community service. Students can also choose to continue with their CCA from secondary school. SJI offers a rich and varied selection of activities and programmes, including the Global Education Programme (GEP) where students take responsibility to plan and implement a trip overseas as part of their service component. This is to develop their leadership skills and fuel the students’ sense of idealism and help them to become true global citizens and to see that they can become a catalyst for change.
This programme develops students beyond the classroom and counterbalances the academic studies. Students are encouraged to lead and participate fully in the range of CAS activities offered.
2. Coding & Technology
3. Debate Society
4. Ecology Club
5. Film Club
6. Literary Society
7. Mathematics Club
8. Photography Club
10. Science Club
11. Society of International & Current Affairs (SICA)
13. Visual Arts Club
6. Dragon Boat
7. Football (Boys)
8. Football (Girls)
11. Track & Field
12. Ultimate Frisbee
3. C3 ACE Programme for Youths
5. Lasallian Youth
6. Paper Bridges
8. Ulu Pandan Star Tuition Programme
For more information, please see
Global Education Programme
The Global Education Programme is an extension of the CAS programme. It is designed to provide opportunities for physical challenges, cultural engagement and community service during a 7-day trip outside Singapore. The aim is for students to acquire the knowledge base and understanding of global issues and develop skills to take action towards creating a better world. The programme embraces both SJI and IB’s vision of developing caring global citizens who will be a catalyst for change and make a difference to the world.
Character: The SJI Difference
In SJI we aspire to educate and graduate young people who have integrity and a desire to serve others. Ethics, values and character development are hallmarks of an SJI education. Thus, character education and faith formation are integral parts of the holistic education offered at SJI. Through CAS and SJI’s own Josephian Formation Journey programme, our students are nurtured into becoming ‘Men and Women of Integrity’ and ‘Men and Women for Others’.
Through the Josephian Formation Journey, our students learn to direct personal growth and develop a principled life, making socially responsible decisions for the good of society and establishing respectful friendships. They also understand society better and prepare to enter society as active participants and contributors.
Assessment for the award of the IB Diploma comprise both externally-assessed and teacher-assessed components.
The final IB Examinations form 70-80 percent of total marks for each subject. Other key external assessments include the Theory of Knowledge essay, the Extended Essay and the World Literature (Language A) assignments. These are completed by students over a period of time under teacher supervision, and marked by external examiners.
Between 20-30 percent of the total marks of each subject are from assignments assessed by teachers and checked by external examiners. This includes oral work in languages, fieldwork in geography, laboratory work in the sciences, investigations in mathematics, and artistic performances (up to 50 percent).
Assessment of the students and the award of marks in the IB Diploma is criterion-referenced. Students obtain the marks as long as they demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for the particular mark band. The final grade awarded is not norm-referenced. It is thus not adjusted according to the performance of other students in the same assessment period.
The IB Points System
Student attainment in each IB subject is graded on a 7-point scale from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). All six subjects have same weightage in IB score calculation. Students can also be awarded up to 3 additional points for their combined attainment in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and the Extended Essay (EE).
The highest total score a student can be awarded is 45 points, and the diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points*, with satisfactory participation in CAS (subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole diploma).
Example of Subject Options and Scores
|Student A||Scores||Student B||Scores|
|HL Chemistry||7||HL English A: Literature||7|
|HL Biology||7||HL Economics||6|
|HL Mathematics||7||HL Visual Art||7|
|SL Malay B||7||SL French Ab Initio||6|
|SL Geography||7||SL Mathematics Studies||7|
|SL English A: Lang & Lit||7||SL Chemistry||6|
|Academic IB Points||42||Academic IB Points||39|
|Theory of Knowledge||A||Theory of Knowledge||B|
|Extended Essay||B||Extended Essay||B|
|Creativity, Action, Service||P||Creativity, Action, Service||P|
|Additional IB Points||3||Additional IB Points||2|
|Total IB Points||45||Total IB Points||41|