An IB school

What is an IB School?

The Canadian International School (CIS) is an authorised International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. The structure of the IB programmes are designed to provide all students with common understanding of key terms and tenets, while allowing schools to creatively use their resources to provide experiences that meet the needs of their student body.

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Central to all IB programmes is the IB Learner Profile, which is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. The CIS mission, to Engage, Enlighten, and Empower our students, aligns perfectly with that of the IB, ensuring a synergistic educational approach.

Not all IB schools look and feel the same around the globe; however, students in IB schools do gain a shared awareness of what it means, for example, to be internationally-minded, to value and cultivate human ingenuity, to hone and make use of transdisciplinary skills, to approach learning with attitudes that yield optimum results, and to assess one’s learning in a myriad of ways.

Authorised IB World Schools have adopted and successfully demonstrated a commitment towards meeting all the standards, practices, and requirements in developing each programme as stipulated by the IBO. By committing to this framework, the school is supported by the IBO to ensure high quality delivery and fidelity in the implementation of its programmes. IBO support covers four main areas: authorisation and evaluation; training and professional development; assessment; and curriculum.

An IB school

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

At CIS, we follow the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) from Pre-Kindergarten through to Grade 6. The PYP is a curricular framework based on the most current best-practice educational research from around the world. As an IB World School, we regularly participate in external audits to ensure that we offer a rigorous academic programme that meets the highest standards in teaching and learning.


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The PYP prepares students for the intellectual challenges of further education and their future careers, while focusing on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world at large. The programme aims to develop students’ academic, social and emotional well-being, through a focus on international-mindedness and strong personal values.

The CIS Curriculum is built on the PYP framework of five essential elements - knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action. These elements help equip students with the skills needed to be successful, both now and in the future. We work with the five elements to construct a rigorous and challenging primary curriculum that meets the needs of an international community, while at the same time developing unique and effective programmes that meet the needs of the broader school community.

The PYP consists of:

  • The written curriculum, which explains what PYP students will learn;
  • The taught curriculum, which sets out how educators teach the PYP; and
  • The assessed curriculum.

The PYP is transdisciplinary in nature, meaning that it focuses on issues that go across subject areas, and incorporates, where possible, local and global issues into the curriculum, asking students to look at six related, transdisciplinary themes and to consider the links between them.

In the PYP, students engage in six large, transdisciplinary themes organised as Units of Inquiry (UOIs). These UOIs are outlined in our school-wide Programme of Inquiry (POI) and are carefully designed to build from one year to the next as students' progress through the school.

With the UOI at its core, language, mathematics, social studies, and science standards are addressed in authentic and meaningful contexts. The programme is further complemented through Additional languages (Chinese and French), Physical Education, and Arts (Visual Arts, Drama, Music and Dance) all taught by specialist teachers in their respective field.

As an IB World School, we are active participants in an international community of teachers, students and educational researchers, and we are fully committed to recruiting and retaining proven professionals. Perhaps most importantly, when your child enters Primary School, they are greeted by a happy, nurturing, creative, educated, effective and highly dedicated teacher.

Visit the IB website for more about the PYP or the IBO.

An IB school

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) at CIS spans Grades 7 through 10, and provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be active and effective participants in the 21st century. Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Programme (DP).

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The MYP is a challenging curriculum framework that helps teachers establish goals, focus units of study using the ‘Global Contexts’ and conduct meaningful assessments. The MYP framework encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.

Students are expected to be well-versed in the traditional subject areas of our current curriculum, and they are encouraged to see the relationships between them. They are expected to develop a genuine understanding of their own history and culture, and are encouraged to appreciate the traditions of other people and other places.

The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community. MYP teachers organise the curriculum with appropriate attention to:

Teaching and learning in context. Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and the world that they have experienced. Using global contexts, MYP students explore human identity, global challenges and what it means to be internationally-minded.

Conceptual understanding. Concepts are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically.

Approaches to learning (ATL). A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skills help students learn how to learn.

Service (community service) and Action (learning by doing and experiencing). Service and Action have always been shared values of the IB community. Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Service as action is an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.

Language and identity. MYP students learn at least two languages. Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to their development of intercultural understanding and crucial to their identity affirmation.

(Extracted from: http://www.ibo.org/myp/curriculum/). Visit the IB website to learn more about the MYP.

An IB school

Diploma Programme (DP)

The IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) was born in the 1960’s in an effort to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. Designed for highly motivated secondary school students aged 16 to 19 years, it is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to examinations.

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The IB DP curriculum is represented by the hexagon with six subject areas supported by the core. Each candidate is required to study one subject from each of the subject areas. A minimum of three subjects must be taken at the Higher Level (HL), allowing for specialisation or focus of interest. The remaining courses are taken at the Standard Level (SL). HL courses require 240 instructional hours versus the 150 required by SL courses. HL courses also require additional assessment.

The Extended Essay (EE), a core element of the IB DP, is a 4000-word essay and is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Programme subjects. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. Assessment is criterion related, and judges each student in relation to identified assessment criteria and not in relation to the work of other students. The EE is externally assessed by IB examiners, and is marked on a scale from 0 to 36.

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself. What makes TOK unique, and distinctively different from standard academic disciplines, is its process. In this process, students’ thinking and their understanding of knowledge as a human construction are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different DP subjects, through CAS or in extended essay research. Because the subject matter of the course is defined in terms of knowledge issues, there is no end to the valid questions that may arise in a TOK course. The assessment model in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) comprises two components, both of which should be completed within the 100 hours designated for the course.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the DP. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s DP experience. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.

  1. Creativity: Arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
  2. Action: Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Programme.
  3. Service: An unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

The CAS Programme aims to develop students who are:

  • Reflective thinkers—they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth.
  • Willing to accept new challenges and new roles.
  • Aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
  • Active participants in sustained, collaborative projects.
  • Balanced—they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.

Assessment in the DP

Student's achievement is assessed according to his/her own ability in regards to the criteria specified within each subject group area. Most subjects have an internal assessment component, though the majority of the subject grade is carried out via external assessment.

Internal assessments vary between subject groups, however, all aspects of internal assessment, initially marked by the teacher in charge, will be externally moderated by IBO moderators to ensure uniform standards are being met.

External assessments are written examinations based on all or part of the course syllabus. In some courses, oral examinations / visual art presentations / theatre productions are recorded and submitted and externally assessed by an IBO examiner.

Visit the IB website for more information about the IB Diploma Programme.

Our stories
Read more Sevens hit fever pitch @ CIS! By Dean Monaghan, Head of Sports With all the excitement building towards the Singapore Rugby 7s, CIS has had its fair share of the hype! On Tuesday afternoon, we were lucky enough to witness the New Zealand 7s team train in our gym with autograph hunters at the ready for a famous 'selfie' with their chosen players. Read more TK sports days By TK PE Team TK campus is always an exciting place, but this particular week our students energy seemed to reach a peak as all grades enjoyed their sports days! Read more A profitable market day By Gal Sokol and Kaitlin Niebauer, Grade 6 students This year Grade 6 students had a successful market day on 14 February, with most of us earning a profit on the day. The market day was a blend of everything! From stress balls to wallets, the entire Grade 6 Pod was decorated with unique posters and banners. All in all, we learnt the importance of partnerships and working together for a common goal. We also learnt how to become responsible consumers and producers. But, most importantly we all learnt what being a responsible business means and how self-management skills are essential throughout the process of starting a business. Read more Tabitha Founder visits CIS Primary By Thomas Hansen, Community Service Coordinator On 22 March 2017, CIS welcomed back long-time friend and founder of Tabitha Cambodia, Ms Janne Ritskes, who met with some of our primary students and shared her story about the vitally important work her organisation is doing in Cambodia.
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