Diploma Programme (Grades 11-12)

Welcome To The Diploma Programme

Discover a school where everyone is all in, all the time.

At SJK, the IB Diploma Programme (DP) resides in our Upper School, for students in Grades 11 and 12. The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is a robust and meaningful academic experience that can be highly customized to allow students to pursue their passion in learning. Students have the opportunity to embrace a rigorous program designed to cultivate their interests. 
The wide range of courses offered at SJK, allows each student to build a personalized program that is best suited to their interests, strengths and goals. With its academic breadth, depth and rigour, SJK’s IB DP students develop skills of research, time management and problem-solving. Paired with ever-evolving communication and collaboration skills, students are prepared for the world beyond SJK as confident, independent, globally-minded learners. 
Importantly, we want every student to choose his or her own path.

“The School supports the projects in a range of significant, and often surprising ways. Delightfully, one of the students was presenting on rock music, and during the setup was practicing classic, heavy metal licks on an electric guitar. His talent was clear, though so too was the fact that his interest was taken seriously, and he was supported in using that as a way into a project around music and culture. ‘I just found AC/DC and I went from there’, he says. It was as lovely as it was impressive; teachers are clearly keen to meet students wherever they are, and move ahead from there.”
-Our Kids School Review

Choose Your Own Pathway

The IB Diploma Programme aims to develop students who have both excellent breadth and depth of knowledge and who flourish intellectually, emotionally, physically and ethically. Students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service. The learning is hands-on, student-driven and personalized to the student’s educational journey. The breadth of experience is achieved, in part, through the connected IB curriculum. Experiences beyond the classroom such as leadership opportunities, community engagement and service initiatives all add to the student experience.

Find Your Place Here

At SJK, students develop deep connections with their teachers and with each other. It is a place where relationships are built with a lifetime guarantee; the friends you make here are the friends you will keep. Since our students all participate in the IB Diploma Programme, there is a shared student experience and a sense of camaraderie fostered through the programming.

Taking risks is okay. We’ve got you.

Students at SJK are encouraged to take risks and to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Our students are encouraged to try something new, each term, through co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities. Our diverse, supportive programming is designed to help students find their place perhaps on a team or as part of a club, through leadership or service, in the classroom, on stage, in the world. Students have the freedom to choose; to ‘try something on for size’ and discover what belongs to them. This process of discovery is an essential lifelong skill, which builds confidence in the learning that follows thoughtful failure. Our students know it is safe to try here.

The Extended Essay

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  • A Culmination of the Diploma Programme

    Each of the IB programmes ends in a culminating project that students work on over the course of their final year within each program. For the IB Diploma Programme, this is the extended essay.

    The extended essay is a required component of the IB Diploma Programme. It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. The extended essay provides practical preparation for undergraduate research, and an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them related to one of the student's six DP subjects.

    Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge. Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a teacher at the School.

Creativity - Activity - Service

A key tenet of the IB Diploma Programme is the emphasis on developing internationally-minded citizens who will engage with their community in meaningful ways. Our program encourages students to embrace healthy and balanced involvement in pursuits beyond the classroom that cultivate an interest in Creativity, Activity and Service (commonly referred to as CAS).

Students will engage in CAS experiences across the two years of their DP education with the freedom to choose how they want to be involved.

The Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language, and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical, and historical).

The TOK requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the DP. As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is ‘How do we know?’ Through discussions students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives.

St. John's-Kilmarnock School

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