International Baccalaureate (IB): Ages 16-18

International Baccalaureate (IB): Ages 16-18

In 2021, of all the 26 students who passed their Diploma, seven scored 40 or more points including one student achieving the maximum 45 points. The average points score per candidate of 36.4 was well in excess of the world average of 33 and was the highest achieved in the 14 years of running the IB Diploma at Taunton School.

Course Overview

We have been offering the IB Diploma since becoming an IB World School in 2007. During that time over 300 students have obtained the diploma and its popularity continues to grow not just with students, but also with universities and employers.

The IB course, although challenging, appeals to the all-rounder who is academically strong in all subjects, allowing them to study a broad range of subjects in the Sixth Form. It will also appeal to those who are clear about their three or four main subjects, but recognise the value of continuing with mathematics and a foreign language.

The IB Diploma course consists of nine elements: six academic subjects and three core components called the Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), and a self-development course called Creativity, Activity and Service. 

The IB Diploma student chooses three subjects at higher level and three at standard level. The subjects are divided into six groups. These include a literature course, a second language, a humanity, a science and mathematics (at a level appropriate to the student). 

Students are based at the Senior School, where a combination of academic study and participation in co-curricular activities allows students to expand on personal development, whilst obtaining life and leadership skills which are increasingly valued by universities.

Entry requirements:

  • Students must be 16 or 17 years old (at the start of the course)
  • IELTS ≥ 5.5 or CEFR ≥ B2
  • Students will need five grade 5 GCSEs or above
  • If GCSEs have not been taken, prospective students will be required to pass entry tests in the subjects they wish to take at IB
  • Students will be looked at on a case-by-case basis and will attend an interview, either face-to-face or via Skype, to determine whether the IB is the right pathway.

Course Details

  • Six terms (2 years) of approximately 60 weeks, starting in September
  • Study 6 x Subjects (see below for available subjects)
  • EPQ – The extended project essay is a personal project that allows in depth study of a subject of particular interest 
  • ToK – The Theory of Knowledge encourages a questioning approach to knowledge and to develop critical thinking
  • CAS – Creativity, Activity and Service encourages students to participate in, and reflect on a wide variety of co-curricular activities that aid personal development beyond the academic
  • 450 hours of directed study/year 
  • 450 hours (minimum) of additional independent study/year
  • Frequent and structured mentoring sessions with a personal tutor
  • Lessons from Monday morning to Saturday afternoon
  • Personalised careers advice
  • Guidance and support for university applications
  • Sport on Tuesdays &/or Thursdays (students are able to choose their sport/activity)
  • No uniform – students are expected to wear their own suits
  • Access to the Year 12 and 13 Horizons programme for PSHE, clubs, societies and activities
  • Click here for a Sample Timetable

Subject Choices

English Lit and Lang, EAL, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Geography, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics, Mathematics, Music, Visual Arts, Economics, Business & Management

For further support and advice, please contact our Admissions Team, who will be happy to help you with any questions you might have or to take you through the application process.