Welcome to the
Winter Park High School
Diploma Programme Informational Page
Building on Tradition
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme at Winter Park High School offers students a truly unique educational opportunity, combining one of the most highly regarded academic programmes in the world with our school’s ninety-two-year tradition of academic excellence.
Since 1923, we have been preparing students for collegiate study, conditioning them to take their place in the world as leaders and thinkers. Our goal is to provide student-centered, experiential curriculum that educates the whole person. We employ high standards of scholarship and personal behavior to create a diverse and vibrant community of students, faculty, and staff that recognizes individual interests, passions, and viewpoints.
We strive to nudge our students away from academic self-absorption in the world of the theoretical towards application in the real, practical world around them. The Diploma Programme helps facilitate this mission and build upon our solid tradition of excellence.
The Programme Core
Theory of knowledge
The theory of knowledge (TOK) requirement offers students and teachers the opportunity to reflect critically on different ways of knowing and areas of knowledge, and to consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world. As a reflective inquiry into different ways of knowing, and into different kinds of knowledge, TOK provides coherence for each student's Diploma Programme. Exploration of the nature of knowledge in TOK transcends and links academic subject areas, demonstrating for students the ways in which they can apply their own knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.
The extended essay
This core requirement provides an opportunity for students to engage in an in-depth study of a question of interest within a chosen subject. The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating in a 4,000- word paper. It provides practical preparation for the kinds of research required at the college-level. Emphasis is placed on the research process, on the appropriate formulation of a research question, on selection and development of an appropriate methodology, on personal engagement in the exploration of the topic, and on communication of ideas and development of argument. It develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge. Students are supported and encouraged throughout the research and writing with advice and guidance from a supervisor.
Creativity, action, service
Education does not begin or end in the classroom. Creativity, action, service (CAS) provides a framework for experiential learning and reflection about that learning. This process of application and reflection provides an opportunity to extend what is learned in the classroom and, in turn, for the CAS experience to have an impact on classroom learning. All CAS activities are intended to develop self-confidence, commitment, determination, and to broaden horizons and enrich experience. The service component is particularly important as it is hoped that experiential learning through service will develop lifelong compassion and a willingness to help others. Educating the whole person also includes exposure to artistic, recreational and sporting activities and the enjoyment of purposeful leisure.
Examinations and Assessments
A wide variety of approaches to assessment are used to provide students with suitable contexts in which to demonstrate their capabilities. Internal assessments-language exercises, portfolios, presentations, laboratory work, performances- aim to evaluate student achievement against objectives that do not lend themselves to external written examinations or tests. These are administered and graded by the classroom teacher. Standardized examinations, taken at the end of the course of study, are externally graded. Objective tests comprising a set of multiple-choice questions (similar to Advanced Placement Exams) are occasionally used as well as short-answer questions, structured questions, extended- response questions, essay questions, data-analysis questions, text-analysis questions, and case-study questions.
Each subject is graded on a scale from one point (lowest) to seven points (highest), with three possible points for performance in TOK and the extended essay. Therefore, forty-five points are possible. The minimum score needed to gain the Diploma is twenty-four points, provided that certain conditions are met.
The Diploma Programme Curriculum
A distinguishing characteristic of Winter Park High School, shared by the International Baccalaureate, is a concern for the whole educational experience of each student. The Diploma Program framework and its supporting structures and principles are designed to ensure that each student is exposed to a broad and balanced curriculum.
The Diploma Programme has become a leading, internationally recognized pre-university qualification. A student who satisfies the requirements for the Diploma has demonstrated independent study skills, developed a broad range of academic skills, studied at least three disciplines in depth, engaged with interdisciplinary ideas, reflected on the nature of human knowledge in an international context and taken part in social, physical, and creative pursuits beyond the classroom. The concept of educating the whole person distinguishes the Diploma Programme from many other upper secondary programmes and provides an excellent preparation for university study.
Rick Shaw, Admissions Officer, Stanford University;
Project based learning, encouraging students to pursue double emphasis, promoting integrated learning in the liberal arts, Way of Thinking/Ways of Doing class; there are a lot of cross disciplinary teaching, they have done a lot of studies on the outcome of IB and have found that they are advanced learners, they believe being full diploma prepares students the very best for work at Stanford.
How to Achieve the IB Diploma
Effective: May 2015
All assessment components for each of the six subjects and the additional Diploma
requirement must be completed in order to qualify for the award of the IB diploma.
The IB Diploma will be awarded to a candidate provided ALL of the following requirements have been met.
1. CAS requirements have been met.
2. The candidate has earned at least 24 points.
3. There are no “N” grades for Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay or for a contributing
4. There are no “E” grades for Theory of Knowledge and/or the Extended Essay.
5. There are no “1” grades for any subject/level.
6. There are at most two “2” grades earned (HL or SL).
7. There are at most three “3” or lower grades earned (HL or SL).
8. The candidate earns at least 12 points on HL subjects (or the highest three HL grades for
those who have 4 HL courses).
9. The candidate earns at least 9 points on SL subjects (candidates who register for
two SL subjects must earn at least 5 points).