International Baccalaureate

At the Upper School, students in their final two years study to complete the International Baccalaureate, a rigorous diploma originally developed as a universal educational standard for geographically mobile students. Students select courses from six subject groups, including a second language, mathematics, the sciences and the humanities.

Many are impressed by the IB’s academic rigour and emphasis on critical thinking, as well as its development of higher level writing and research skills. IB students are well prepared for university work, and they often benefit from enhanced recognition when the time comes to apply.

UCC students have a 100-per cent acceptance rate to post-secondary institutions around the world. 

• Group 1 Subjects: Language A1
The language of instruction: HL/SL English, SL French
The International Language Policy may apply in special circumstances.

• Group 2 Subjects: Language A2, B or ab initio
Language A2: SL English (numbers permitting)
Language B: HL/SL French, SL German, SL Spanish
ab initio: SL Spanish
SL Latin

• Group 3 Subjects: Individuals and Societies
HL/SL geography, HL history, HL/SL economics, SL world cultures, HL philosophy

• Group 4 Subjects: Experimental Sciences
HL biology, HL/SL chemistry, HL/SL physics, SL environmental systems

• Group 5 Subjects: Mathematics
HL mathematics, SL mathematics, SL mathematical studies

• Group 6 Subjects: The Arts and Electives
HL/SL music, HL dramatic arts, HL/SL visual arts or an additional subject from Group 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5; an additional Group 2 subject can only be taken with HL French B; if two Group 3 or two Group 4 subjects are chosen, at least one must be at the Higher Level.
Additional Requirements 
Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
Theory of knowledge is an interdisciplinary course undertaken during the IB program. It's designed to stimulate critical awareness of the bases of knowledge, experience and judgment in human thought and creativity.

Extended Essay (EE)
Students research, write and submit for external evaluation a 4,000-word essay on a topic of interest from within the IB curriculum, usually taken from one of a student’s Higher Level subjects.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
Students complete a minimum of 150 hours of extra-curricular involvement in creative, athletic and community service activities.

Creativity programs and activities provide opportunities for personal growth through cultural appreciation and achievement in performance, music and art.

Action activities offer a blend of team and individual sports as well as recreation activities that promote sportsmanship, cooperation and physical fitness.

Service programs provide students with a large number of opportunities to participate in individual and team-based service in the Greater Toronto Area, nationally and internationally.

The Path to the IB Diploma
The program in Years 1 and 2 at the Upper School prepares students for their IB years with a liberal curriculum. Its breadth responds clearly to the commitments of the College’s "Statement of Aims and Objectives" while at the same time meeting the requirements of the Ministry of Education.

Year 1 and Year 2
The Year 1 and Year 2 program includes core subjects: language A (English), language B (French or Spanish), mathematics, Canadian geography (Year 1), Canadian history (Year 2), science, art or music, physical education, civics and careers (Year 1). In addition, students in Year 2 choose an elective from computer science, geography, Mandarin, Latin, dramatic arts or Spanish.

Emphasis is placed on research, study skills, time management and exam writing techniques to prepare students for the successful completion of the IB program.

Students are also involved in creative activities, athletics and community service during Year 1 and Year 2 to maintain a well-rounded program and to prepare for the CAS requirement that forms an integral part of their IB years.

Foundation Year
In the Foundation Year, the program consists of a combination of IB prerequisites, electives from the six subject groups and a compulsory course in physical and health education to make up a total course load of eight subjects.

Students continue to acquire the knowledge, skills and modes of thinking essential for successful completion of the IB program. They continue their involvement in extra-curricular activities, including creative, athletic and community service pursuits.

During the winter term, students finalize their selection of an IB program of Standard and Higher Level courses.

The IB Years
In IB1 students begin their three Higher Level and three Standard Level courses from the six subject groups. In addition to their course work, which includes theory of knowledge, students continue the documented CAS component. During the autumn term they also begin their research for the extended essay, which is completed by May of their IB1 year. Documentation of CAS activities begins this year.

In the second and final year of the IB program, students complete course work and write examinations in their Higher and Standard Level subjects. They also complete the CAS requirement by March of IB2.

Students are expected to maintain a balanced program of academic work, athletics and extra-curricular activities throughout their final year.