Lausanne is a Diploma Programme 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:
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:
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 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.
In his book The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman asks, “Where do I fit in the global competition and opportunities of the day, and how can I collaborate with others globally?” 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 program 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 program is an internationally renowned program for preparing students for the skills they need to succeed in a world that is increasingly competitive.
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, as a rigorous, two-year course of study, clearly demonstrates to universities that they are ready for the challenges of college. In the IB program, students embark on a journey that includes organizing service projects, writing an extensive thesis paper, and more. At Lausanne, the IB program has been structured in a way in which students have a tremendously independent course of study, while under the care of a school that looks after the whole child.
Students at Lausanne are prepared for the IB through our PK-3 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 Cornerstone program in the Middle and Upper School, Lausanne teaches students to reach their highest potential as personified in the IB Learner Profile (below).
Our best advice for students who are focused on being in the IB program at Lausanne is to do well in all of their courses, take the courses that best fit their abilities and focus on what they enjoy learning. The IB Program enables students to pursue a well-rounded education while spending more time in the areas they are most passionate about.
Lausanne is dedicated to the idea that all students should meet their potential as described by the IB learner profile. Lausanne students and all IB learners strive to be:
Inquirers: They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable: They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Thinkers: They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators: They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled: They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded: They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring: They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers: They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced: They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective: They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development
The admission process a student has to follow to be in the IB program is driven by the student. In the end, the final decision as to whether or not a student is in the program lies with that student.
In August of the student’s sophomore year, the IB Coordinator will give a broad overview of the IB program to the sophomore class and hand out letters of interest to the students. Students interested in applying to be in the IB program will bring the letter home to be signed by their parents and return it to the IB Coordinator. The student will then be invited to a series of meetings that explain what they need to know to make a good, well informed decision as to whether or not they want to be in the program. The IB Coordinator will meet with all the students one-on-one in November to answer any questions the students may have. Students are very strongly encouraged to meet with their teachers to discuss their participation in the IB program.
In January, the IB Coordinator will meet with the parents of the students to give an overview of what the students will be expected to do once they are in the IB program. They will then schedule a time to meet with the Head of Upper School and the IB Coordinator to discuss whether or not the student wishes to be in the IB program.
An ideal IB student applicant fits the following eight criteria:
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