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Bedford Road Collegiate
Inspiring Learning
Frequently Asked Questions
 
The IB Diploma Programme is a two year programme that requires students to study courses across all disciplines.  Students have some flexibility to suit their curricular needs.  Regardless of course selection, all students explore the connections between the six major subject areas, will study each subject through an international perspective, will reflect critically on what it means to be a ‘knower’ (Theory of Knowledge), will pursue one subject in great detail through independent research (Extended Essay), and, will have an opportunity to apply their knowledge/skills and interests locally (Creativity, Action, Service).  Only students enrolled in and attending an authorized IB World School may participate in an IB programme.
 
Assessment of student achievement happens in a variety of ways throughout the course of the two-year programme. It includes assessment of student work both by outside examiners, as well as the students’ own teachers. All assessment undergoes careful review or moderation to ensure that a common, international standard is applied equally to the work of students around the world. Each subject area is also in a five year cycle of renewal, guaranteeing the most relevant, contemporary high school curriculum anywhere in the world.  For these reasons, the IB Diploma is recognized as a superior education, preparing students to succeed at post-secondary institutions. 
 
No.  In 1968, the IB Diploma Programme was generally offered in private international schools.  Nevertheless, the IBO has always been committed to making an IB education available to students of various socio-economic backgrounds. Today, in North America especially, 90 percent of schools offering the IB are public schools.
 
Students with IB Diplomas who now attend universities report that their involvement with IB has given them the tools needed to make the most of their post-secondary education.  In particular, students comment on their sense of preparedness, their self-confidence, their research skills, their ability to manage their time, and their willingness to be actively engaged in their own learning.  This confidence will manifest itself with superior critical thinking, reading, writing, organizational, and collaborative abilities.  These skills will serve someone seeking post-secondary study, but such skills will serve a person well in any life pursuit.  Even more importantly, they have developed a sense of the world around them, their responsibility to it, and the skills with which to embrace the complexities of life.
 
Students can select individual IB courses.  These IB students are called Diploma Courses Students (DCS).  However, the strength of the IB Diploma Programme is in the Diploma itself.  At Bedford Road Collegiate Institute (BRCI), our timetable often (not always) obliges DCS to take three or more IB courses.  The majority of IB students at BRCI challenge the full Diploma.
 
Yes.  A student’s application for a Bilingual IB Diploma will depend on a student’s level of French. The decision is made in consultation with the IB French teacher, the guidance counsellor and the IB coordinator.  Contact the IB coordinator for more information.
 
A Diploma student will sit for IB exams in most of his/her IB subjects, normally in May of the student’s grade 12 year.  A Diploma Courses (DCS) Student will sit for as many exams as he/she has IB courses.
 
No.  A significant part of a student’s final grade comes from work done in the classroom (or "field") and in collaboration with classroom peers.
 
Yes.  Students who succeed in receiving the IB Diploma will also receive a Saskatchewan High School Diploma. Students who successfully complete select IB courses will supplement their graduation requirements with courses from the Saskatchewan curriculum. 
 
The IBO has established policies for students with special assessment needs.  Contact the Diploma Coordinator for more information.  Schools are asked to notify the IBO of participating students whom they have identified as having special assessment needs. This is especially important at the time student-learning plans are being developed.
 
Yes, but while the Diploma Programme itself is the same from school to school, the subject choices (and levels) available to students will vary. Timelines and deadlines for a programme’s central elements – Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (ToK), CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) – usually vary also.
 
The Extended Essay is a 4,000 word paper, researched and written by each IB Diploma candidate. It is completed between the first term of grade 11 and the end of the first term of grade 12.   The student researches and writes on a topic of his/her choosing, and has an Extended Essay coordinator, as well as an Extended Essay supervisor (teacher) to provide support.  BRCI IB students have borrowing privileges at the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan. 
 
Theory of Knowledge, or ToK, is a seminar-type course that explores the links between subject areas (courses). It is part existential, philosophical, psychological and metaphysical.
 
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) honours the experiential portion of the IB Diploma Programme.  In order to successfully complete the IB Diploma Program, each student must have documented service, active and creative involvement in activities outside the classroom that are devoted to the school, the local, and the international communities.  The IB CAS Programme complements BRCI’s mission to serve our local, school and global communities in ways that are both formal (curricular) and informal (extra-curricular).
 
The IB curriculum represents the highest level of rigor of ANY high school program.  Most well respected universities recruit IB students and offer special scholarships, transfer credits and other incentives.  Note that most of the time, you must actively seek out and apply for the scholarships available.  Click here for scholarship information.
 
Admissions officers must look for other evidence than averages that a student will succeed in the challenges of a new academic environment.  Admissions officers look for such factors as the quality of the courses represented on a transcript, the balance of courses across all disciplines, the record of the student’s research abilities, and the details of school and community involvement – all requirements of the Diploma Programme.  Click here for information on IB Recognition in Canada and the United States.  Other world universities that have established IB recognition policies include United Kingdom: Oxford University, The University of Cambridge; New Zealand: University of Auckland; the Netherlands: Erasmus University; France: Université Paris Sorbonne - Paris IV; Japan: Tokyo University of Science(Tokyo Rika Daigaku).  You can follow this link to search for IB recognition at other international universities.
 
Yes, in many cases. One of the founding ideals of the Diploma Programme was to establish an internationally recognized system of curriculum and assessment that would be accepted by universities and ministries of education around the world. Happily, the Diploma Programme is accepted by universities in 125 countries.  Click here to research the IB recognition policies of post-secondary institutions throughout the world.
 
Students are awarded Diploma Courses Certificates for the examinations successfully completed, as well as a Saskatchewan High School Diploma.
 
Each course is evaluated separately at the basis of the Outcomes.  This means an IB student`s average is calculated using Saskatchewan’s Outcomes for each course and your IB score is calculated using each IB curriculum’s Outcomes.  Two of the three Bedford Road Greystone Scholars in 2011 were IB Diploma Students! In 2012, one of the IB Diploma graduates was awarded the Governor General’s Academic Medal.
 
IB students enjoy a very rich extracurricular high school experience.  IB students have successfully participated in many extracurricular sports, school clubs and community activities.
Remember that CAS, encourages a variety of non-academic pursuits.  In addition, many IB students enjoy a rather high percentage of leadership positions in the school and the community.  
 
It is true that in order to keep pace with the expectations and be successful, an IB student can expect to have homework.  IB courses are typically more challenging than regular high school courses, and so students may be asked to do more homework. The challenge, however, is not always in the amount of homework assigned; rather it is in the quality of the assignments and the extent to which students engage those assignments.  The IB teachers use the “IB Central” (ManageBac) calendar to coordinate assignments and exams so that no one night (or week) is particularly overwhelming.  IB students should develop good time management skills in order to be successful in the programme.
 
There is no cost for the student.  Different schools have different admissions requirements and many charge tuition.  Saskatoon Public Schools is committed to the IBO’s philosophy that any student who is motivated to take the challenge should apply.  (See Admissions tab regarding pre-requisites.)  All fees are covered by the Saskatoon Public School Division.  
 
Students prepare for the Diploma Programme in three ways:  1) Notify the IB Coordinator at BRCI as soon as possible.  Submit a Registration Form of Interest.   2)  See the Admissions tab regarding pre-requisites.  2) While not mandatory, many IB Foundations (grades 9 and 10) students apply to our Advanced Program (locally developed).  This program is designed to assist students in developing a solid background in such subjects as languages and mathematics.  This program also helps students develop their sense of the connections between subject areas.
 
Click here regarding admissions protocol or contact the BRCI’s IB Diploma Programme coordinator to learn how to enrol your son/daughter.  International students click here for information.