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International Baccalaureate

Lausanne is the only school in Tennessee, Arkansas or Mississippi with a full-continuum, preschool-to-diploma International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, having achieved the designation for our Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. The International Baccalaureate is a natural fit for Lausanne’s global mindset and for families seeking more breadth and depth in the learning process for their students. With the start of the 2018-2019 school year, we became the 24th school in the country to reach the achievement.

It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are. It’s the Lausanne Way.



As the world gets smaller, we need to be able to communicate with people from around the world, not just across languages but also across cultures. The International Baccalaureate programme helps students understand how the subjects they are learning are related to each other, and how to see the things that they are learning from many different points of view and across disciplines, an essential skill when working with people from around the world and in many different fields of study.

The IB programme is an internationally renowned program for preparing students with the skills they need to succeed in a world that is increasingly competitive.

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

As a Primary Years Programme (PYP) school, Lausanne helps our students grow to be caring and knowledgeable inquirers providing a foundation of learning that our students build upon in their journey through Lausanne. The curriculum is designed to teach our students to build connections across subject areas and be able to develop investigations into their own ideas as the students explore the world through six transdisciplinary themes:

  • Who we are.
  • Where we are in place and time.
  • How we express ourselves.
  • How the world works.
  • How we organize ourselves.
  • Sharing the planet.

Lausanne nurtures the whole child through the PYP, helping them grow socially, emotionally, and academically. Using the Learner Profile as the foundational lens through which all Units of Inquiry are taught, students are encouraged to be principled risk-takers as well as communicators to prepare them for college and life. The PYP at Lausanne culminates in the 4th grade Exhibition, where students apply the global skills and concepts they learned through their time in the Lower School.

Learn more about Lausanne's Primary Years Programme here.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

Lausanne is accredited as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme school, bringing its curriculum framework to our 5th to 10th grades. The MYP is designed to drive inquiry-based, holistic teaching in the classroom. The program focuses on interdisciplinary planning and helping students use Real World situations to draw connections between all areas of study. The MYP bridges the learning between the Primary Years Programme and the Diploma Programme by teaching students to effectively collaborate, research, and think creatively.

The program has 8 subject areas in grades 5 to 8:

  • Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition (Spanish, Mandarin, and French)
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physical and Health Education
  • Design
  • Arts (both visual and performing)

In grades 9 and 10, students can choose between Design and the Arts. Upper School students who are interested in Physical and Health Education are encouraged to participate in varsity sports.

In the 10th grade, students work on a personal project, a culminating assessment that allows them to reflect on all skill sets and areas of knowledge that they gained over the five years of the program.

The Programme showcase the student's versatile academic experiences in both the 8th grade with the Community Project and in the 10th grade with the Personal Project by drawing on all skill sets and areas of knowledge that they gained throughout their journey of the program. Lausanne became fully accredited for the MYP by the International Baccalaureate Organization in the fall of 2018.

Click here to learn more about the Middle Years Programme (MYP)

IB Diploma Programme (DP)

Lausanne is a Diploma Programme (DP) school, bringing the IB DP curriculum to our 11th and 12th grades since 2010. The DP framework capitalizes on the inquiry-based, holistic classroom skills learned and applied in Lower and Middle School. This gives students the opportunity to focus on discipline-specific curricula that is enriched by interdisciplinary collaboration. It also allows students to explore areas of interest in each of six content areas in preparation for college and life outside of Lausanne.

The program two year-long subject courses from the following groups are:

  • Language A – literary studies in the student’s native language
  • Language B – acquisition of an additional language
  • Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Arts

Students take one class in each area and have the choice of doubling up in one area by substituting Arts. In most areas students have a variety of choices offered within each group, and students are required to take at least three courses at the higher level (HL), meaning that the course meets 240 hours, and three at the standard level (SL), which meets 150 hours.

Additionally, full diploma students also have an additional requirement, called the core, composed of the following elements:

  • Extended Essay (EE)
  • Theory of Knowledge course (TOK)
  • Creativity, Activity and Service Program (CAS)

The EE gives students the opportunity to develop focused research skills through a discipline-specific investigation paper. TOK allows them to explore philosophical perspectives in learning. Through CAS, students practice and reflect on their personal interests and their potential contributions to the communities to which they belong.

All DP assessments are scored using a scale from 1-7 accompanied by discipline- and task-specific rubrics that guide both the learning process and the final examinations. Additionally, at various points throughout the two-year sequence, students complete IB mandated internal assessments and externally moderated assessments, as well. At the end of the second year, students sit for a final examination in each of the subject areas.

Non-diploma students can also enroll in IB classes and, thus, reap the benefits of an IB education. Students enroll in any IB course, diploma or non-diploma students, are required to complete all IB mandated assessments, including the final examinations.

Learn more about our Diploma Programme here.

The IB World School ContinuumBuilding blocks to the IB Diploma Programme can be found in every grade level throughout the Lausanne experience and teams of teachers work together by subject to make sure the curriculum is aligned from age 3 through 12th grade.

This alignment fosters foundation building from year to year and from subject to subject, giving Lausanne students the opportunity for success in the IB programme. 

Lausanne’s challenging college preparatory curriculum not only prepares students for college but also for life in a global environment. The school is dedicated to the idea that all students should meet their potential as described by the IB learner profile as well as The Lausanne Way.

Students at Lausanne are prepared for the IB through our Pre-Kindergarten to 10th grade curriculum carried out through a research and inquiry-based process. From Early Childhood to the Upper School, we use student-centered learning to guide students in discovering the world around them. From the project-based approach in Early Childhood to the Community Project in the Middle School, Lausanne teaches students to reach their highest potential as personified in the IB Learner Profile and the Lausanne Way.

In addition, universities in the United States and around the world are becoming increasingly competitive and look for students who choose a rigorous course of study in high school. The IB program clearly demonstrates to universities that they are ready for the challenges of college. Lausanne students embark on a journey that includes organizing service projects, writing an extensive thesis paper, and more. Our PK-12 curriculum has been structured in a way in which students have a tremendously independent course of study, while under the care of a school that fosters the whole child.