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International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Tintern Grammar

Respected, and recognised worldwide as a benchmark of academic excellence, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB) has been formulated to give students an optimal preparation for University, and further tertiary studies.

At Tintern Grammar, we have offered this curriculum to our students for over 20 years, as an alternative to the VCE course for Years 11 and 12.

Renowned for the depth and breadth of its academic studies, and for educating ‘the whole person’, all students undertaking IB are required to study six academic subjects, including literature, a second language, Humanities (Economics, History and Psychology), Sciences, Mathematics and the Arts (Music, Theatre and Visual Arts). 

Some flexibility is possible to allow students choice of two Humanities or two Science subjects, rather than selecting Arts.

All IB subjects are studied for two years and are externally assessed at the completion of Year 12.

In addition there are three core components students must complete during the two-year period: an Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Action and Service (CAS).

The Extended Essay is a 4000-word research essay to be written on a topic of the student’s choice. Every student is assigned a teacher who will supervise the research and drafting stages.

Theory of Knowledge is a critical thinking course and links all academic studies. It challenges students’ perceptions of knowledge.

Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) is designed to enable students to develop a balanced approach to life. During the course’s two years, students are required to spend 50 hours working on each of the subject’s three components.

A course coordinator oversees and advises students as they progress through the subject.


The IB program is ideal for students who are enthusiastic about learning, like to be challenged and enjoy working collaboratively, as well as independently.

The International Baccalaureate also attracts those who are keen to embrace community service, be physically active and participate in creative pursuits.

A demonstrated ability across all subjects, and an active interest in the wider world are also necessary for students who undertake this rigorous, rewarding program. Learn more about the IB here:

What is the International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum designed for university entrance with a distinct emphasis on educating the whole person.

The IB is highly regarded by universities in over 150 countries (including all Australian tertiary institutions) and taught in almost 5000 schools including over 70 Australian senior secondary colleges.  IB Students are assessed against the same criteria no matter where they study.

The grades achieved reflect their performance relative to international standards and are not influenced by how well other students do.

IB students should have:

  • A desire to study at tertiary level whether in Victoria, interstate or overseas.
  • Well rounded ability across all subject areas
  • Well-developed study skills
  • Enthusiasm for learning and lively inquiring minds.
  • A sense of social responsibility.

IB students will be interested in:

  • A curriculum recognised worldwide for both depth and breadth of academic studies.
  • Gaining an international perspective.
  • Actively participating in both curricular and co-curricular activities.

All students studying for the IB diploma will:

  • Study six subjects, normally over a period of two years, including: English (or in some cases the student’s native language); a second language; mathematics; a humanities subject and a science subject. Three subjects are taken at Higher Level, providing depth and challenge. The other three subjects are taken at Standard Level, for balance and breadth.
  • Sit external exams in November of Year 12.

What are the ‘compulsory components’ of the IB?

In addition to the six academic subjects, all International Baccalaureate students will:

  • Study the Theory of Knowledge, a course which assists students to improve their thinking abilities and to link together their academic subjects in investigating the nature of knowing.
  • Write an Extended Essay of 4000 words in a topic chosen from one of their subject areas, learning the skills of individual research and preparing the students for university study. A supervising teacher acts as mentor to assist with the task.
    Participate in Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) to widen their horizons and learn to co-operate with others, whilst engaging in a variety of activities, which are creative, promote individual fitness and assist others in the community.

How do students achieve an ATAR?

The achievement of IB students in Victoria is compared against their VCE counterparts by their performance on the GAT (which all Year 12 students sit in June).

A conversion scale is then created which guarantees any IB student achieving 45 points, the maximum possible ATAR.

Summary of IB benefits

  • Is internationally recognised.
  • Caters for an increasingly mobile global community
  • Is geared to university entry, whether in Victoria, throughout Australia or overseas.
  • Focuses on educating the whole person.
  • Is highly regarded by university admission officers in local, interstate and overseas institutions.
  • Keeps Maths, Science, Language and Humanities options open.
  • Broadens the horizons of students as well as that of the whole school community.
  • Provides a university experience through the Extended Essay.
  • Allows students to develop their own personal philosophy.
  • Values community service.