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  • The first year of the Dipont Education International Baccalaureate Diploma Program focuses on the development of English skills. It also offers an introduction to the subjects available within the diploma so students can make informed study choices. IGCSE certification is incorporated into the first year.

    All students study six subjects from the following groups:

    Aesthetics >

    Humanities >

    Mathematics >

    Science >

    Language A >

    Language B >

    In addition, they participate in a range of activities alongside their academic studies, attend theory of knowledge classes and complete a 4,000-word extended essay.

    Subjects in-depth


    Students are encouraged to choose a subject from the Aesthetics group, although some will opt out to enable them to do additional subjects from another group.

    Courses on offer include music, visual arts and performing arts. There is great emphasis placed on the development of skills, which are assessed through practical demonstrations of expertise, such as performance or exhibition.

    Students’ skills and knowledge 

    Students who select music require a prior level of expertise in at least one musical instrument and/or voice. Students are also involved in composition, learning to use the latest software. Great emphasis is placed on listening to world music in order to appreciate other cultures.

    Students who select an art course must be prepared to develop an intellectual approach to the study of art. They need to become self critical and be able to discuss how their work has developed to a finished piece. As such, the use of sketchbooks to gather and develop ideas is extremely important.

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    In the humanities group, students can select business and management, economics or geography at either standard or higher level.

    Business and management

    The course takes students from an initial business idea through funding options and marketing techniques to the finer details of leadership.

    Students learn about detailed financial analysis and valuation techniques and how to apply these to real business situations. They are challenged to make decisions appropriate to the business as a whole.

    Meeting this challenge enables students to assimilate the principles of business and management and become effective participants in our globalized world.

    Core content:

    • Business organisation and environment
    • Human resources
    • Accounts and finance
    • Marketing
    • Operations management
    • Business strategy (higher level only)


    Economics gives students an insight into the levers of wealth and well-being and offers them a framework by which the world can be ordered and understood. Our I.B. Economics classes are enlivened by self-directed research, simulations and discussion.

    Core content:

    • Microeconomics: markets and market failure
    • Macroeconomics: national income accounting, economic growth and development, unemployment, inflation, contemporary theories of economics
    • International economics: international trade, international agreements on trade, issues that arise from trade and the balance of payments
    • Development economics: sources of growth and development, consequences of growth, barriers to growth and development and different strategies used to approach development.


    I.B. Geography requires an inquiry approach to teaching, which equips students with the knowledge and skills of investigation, critical thinking, problem-solving and communication. Students are encouraged to foster attitudes that will assist them to participate as active and informed citizens in our global society and to appreciate and apply the concept of sustainability.

    Core content:

    • Population in transition
    • Disparities in wealth and development
    • Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability
    • Patterns in resource consumption.

    Standard level students will study two and higher level students will study three of the following optional topics:

    • Extreme environments
    • Hazards and disasters
    • Urban environments
    • Freshwater – issues and conflict
    • Oceans and their coastal margins
    • Leisure, sport and tourism
    • The geography of food and health.

    Higher level students will also study an additional ‘global interactions’ course. At both higher and standard level, students are expected to complete one 2,500-word internal assessment field work project, based on a field trip. 

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    I.B. Mathematics gives students the opportunity to study mathematics at standard or higher level or further mathematics at higher level. The course has a strong focus on developing students’ analytical and technical skills so they can apply these skills to solve a wide range of real-world mathematical problems.

    Core content:

    • Algebra
    • Functions and equations
    • Circular functions and trigonometry
    • Matrices
    • Vectors
    • Statistics and probability 
    • Calculus.

    Students are required to produce a portfolio consisting of two pieces of work, one based on mathematical investigation and the other based on mathematical modeling.

    Further mathematics assumes students have already acquired the knowledge outlined in higher level mathematics and extends the learning further by covering topics such as:

    • Geometry
    • Statistics and probability
    • Sets
    • Relations and groups
    • Series and differential equations
    • Discrete mathematics.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Although our Chinese students have very strong mathematical knowledge when they join our centres, they have generally had little exposure to western teaching methods. Therefore, a strong emphasis is put on working in an investigative and enquiring manner, coupled with developing the academic English required to explain calculations in the context of the questions set.

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    I.B. Science gives students the opportunity to study up to two science subjects from biology, physics or chemistry. Each science subject can be studied at either standard or higher level.

    Science courses have a strong focus on developing students’ practical skills and ensuring they have exposure to the latest scientific methods and equipment.

    Course content covers all the major theoretical aspects of the subject. However, one of the distinct advantages of IB Science is that it also allows students to select two optional sections on more challenging or applied topics.

    Students are also encouraged to work together with other science disciplines to produce an extended project involving a high level of innovation and design.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Although our Chinese students have a strong theoretical knowledge of science when they join our centers, they have generally had little exposure to practical work.

    A strong emphasis is put on rapidly developing the core skills necessary to produce excellent laboratory work. This is coupled with the academic English required to describe their results and conclusions in university-level experimental reports.

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    Language A (Chinese)

    The I.B. curriculum requires all students to study language and world literature, preferably in their native tongue. Students learn the skills of textual analysis and critical literacy.

    Due to the importance placed by the I.B. on intercultural understanding, the language and literature course does not limit the study of texts to the products of one culture or of the cultures covered by any one language. It places great importance on the study of literature in translation from other cultures thus developing a greater sense of the global perspective in students.

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    Language B (English)

    The I.B. Diploma gives students the opportunity to study an additional language learning course (Language B). This course is tailored to the needs of students who have previously learned the English language. Language B can be studied at standard or higher level.

    The course:

    • develops students’ English language acquisition and language skills
    • assists students with linguistic competence through the study and use of a variety of written and spoken materials
    • places emphasis on critical thinking, expanding an awareness of the world and cultivating respect for cultural diversity
    • provides students with in-depth international understanding and instills concern for global issues
    • raises student’s awareness of their individual and collective responsibility at a local level.

    Materials are carefully selected for this course to enable students to not only develop mastery of language skills in English, but also to foster intercultural understanding. Teaching methods used are balanced between teacher-led activities and student-centered activities to provide a holistic approach to teaching and learning, which facilitates students’ linguistic abilities through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills.

    The Language B course is pivotal in providing students with an international dimension. Students gain increased awareness of the similarities and differences between their culture and the culture of the target language. Students ultimately gain a solid foundation in English which supports learning across other subject areas.

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