The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an academically-challenging and balanced programme of education that works to develop students who live, learn and work in a rapidly changing world. With a focus on independent thinking, academic rigour, community service, inter-cultural understanding and respect for others, the Programme prepares students for success at university and beyond.

Diocesan and the IB Diploma Programme

Diocesan and the IB Diploma Programme

Our teaching and learning philosophy is to encourage learners who are open to challenge, willing to develop their abilities and achieve their personal best, take risks and accept mistakes, make ethical decisions and enjoy learning.
This vision complements the IB Diploma programme which aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, open-minded, reflective, caring and principled young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through effective communication, intercultural understanding and respect.

The IB Learner Profile underpins the programme and ensures the development of the whole person.


How the IB Diploma Programme prepares students for university

How the IB Diploma Programme prepares students for university

If you're still undecided about the best academic pathway to take, the IB has launched a new video series on how the Diploma Programme prepares students for university, and why universities value the experience that IB students bring along.


How the IB Diploma Programme prepares students for University


Where are our IB Diploma Programme graduates now?

View the IB Diploma Programme Brochure

IB Diploma Programme at a glance:

Benefits of the IB Diploma Programme

Benefits of the IB Diploma Programme

  • Provides students a careful balance of subject breadth and depth 
  • Addresses the nature of knowledge across disciplines through the unique Theory of Knowledge course
  • Encourages international-mindedness, including a foundation in the student’s first language and culture and in a second language
  • Develops a positive attitude to learning that prepares students for university education
  • Offers a strong reputation for its rigorous external assessment with published global standards, this qualification is welcomed by universities worldwide.
  • Emphasises the development of the whole student – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
So what does it involve?

So what does it involve?

  • All Year 12 students who meet the entry requirements can enter. It is not limited to students who achieve highly
  • It is taught over two years with final examinations held at the end of Year 13. Students can also take NZQA scholarship exams
  • The students select one subject from each of the six subject groups, with some variation possible, within these choices: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, The Arts
  • Three subjects are studied at a higher level and the remainder are studied at a standard level. While both are two-year courses, higher level has more content and requires deeper thinking.
  • Each subject includes at least 20% internal assessment 

The IB Diploma Programme comprises three important additional compulsory components:

1. Extended Essay

The extended essay of some 4,000 words offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student’s six Diploma Programme subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.

2. Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge has an emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills, encouraging students to be aware of subjective biases and to develop the ability to analyse evidence. This is a key element in encouraging students to appreciate other perspectives.

3. CAS (Creativity, activity, service)

Creativity, activity, service is at the heart of the Diploma Programme, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies throughout the IB Diploma Programme. The component’s three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterised as follows.
Creativity—arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking
Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme
Service—an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.

Learn more

Diocesan IB Diploma Programme students consistently perform favourably against world averages. View our exam results

IB Diploma Programme Dux 2020

IB Diploma Programme Dux 2020

Deborah Huang is the well-deserved Dux of the International Baccalaureate class of 2020. Deborah is an absolute stalwart of music at Dio, a member of the Dio Symphony Orchestra and the Concert Band and many chamber groups. She is a Deputy Prefect in Mary Pulling house, is in the premier underwater hockey team and premier debating team, and demonstrates commitment to volunteerism by working in the after-school care programme. She is head of the Ethics Council and has competed in the New Zealand mooting competition and been part of Amnesty International. In 2020 Deborah was made an honorary prefect in recognition of the leadership she showed as part of all these groups. However, she receives this award for her academic success – she has been awarded Academic Honours, Diploma Group prizes in economics, chemistry and history and a University of Otago Academic Excellence.

IB Diploma Learner Profile Award

IB Diploma Learner Profile Award

The 2020 awarded went to Diane Wang .


This award is given to a student in Year 13 who, throughout the two years of the Diploma, has consistently exhibited the attributes of the IB Learner Profile. This profile can be considered as a map of a lifelong journey in pursuit of international-mindedness. It aims to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners, and to prepare students to make exceptional contributions both at school and beyond. The IB mission is to encourage students to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open- minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective, thus educating the whole person for a life of active, responsible citizenship.

IB Diploma Top Scholar Awards

IB Diploma Top Scholar Awards

We are delighted with the achievements of our IB Diploma Programme students in 2020.  It was a privilege to have four of our students invited to the prestigious ‘Top Scholar Award Ceremony’, hosted by Diocesan School for Girls on 13 February 2021.


Deborah Huang (40 points) and Zoe Zhu (40 points) were in New Zealand and were able to attend the ceremony, while Sarina Mackey (41 points) and Diane Wang (42 points) were overseas, watching the live stream. Achieving an IB Diploma score of 40 points or more places these students in the top 6% of students across the world. We are very proud of the achievements of these students and watch with interest where their studies take them in the future.