International Baccalaurate

Northfield High School, an IB Diploma Programme Candidate School

Northfield High School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme candidate school. We expect to be certified as a Diploma Programme school for the 2017–2018 school year.

The IB Diploma Programme for all Northfield juniors and seniors is a balanced and academically challenging program of education with rigorous assessment. It will prepare you for success in higher education and encourage you to become an active participant in an increasingly global society.

The IB Diploma Programme . . .

  • Draws on content from educational cultures around the world
  • Requires study across a broad range of subjects
  • Gives special emphasis to learning languages
  • Focuses on developing the skills of learning
  • Provides opportunities for individual and collaborative planning and research
  • Encourages students to become responsible, active members of their communities

All of Northfield’s juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to choose to pursue the IB Diploma or an IB Certificate.

IB at Northfield High School

Below are links to documents specific to IB at NHS. The presentation includes how IB will look at Northfield, the authorization process and course mapping. The information sheet is a summary of requirements for the Diploma Programme and the Diploma Course options.

Presentation – IB at Northfield

Information Sheet – IB at Northfield



All upperclassmen at Northfield High School take coursework grounded in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (DP) curriculum. Northfield offers challenging, engaging and rigorous coursework for all 9th and 10th grade students to provide academic continuity and best preparation for successful attainment of the IB Diploma.

Northfield High School is an IB candidate school; upon IB authorization expected by August 2017, students in the founding class will be able to earn the full IB Diploma.

What is the IB Diploma Program?

The internationally recognized IB Diploma Program aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. An extended essay, Theory of Knowledge course, and outreach through Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) are central to the program. Students may receive college credit for their IB Diploma Program coursework. The rigor, well-roundedness, and focus on the whole student build college readiness, persistence, and success.

The academic model of Northfield High School, including in-depth study in core subject areas as well as sustained focus on elective pathways according to student interest, provides a foundation upon which students will build to achieve future success in college and their chosen career pathway. The IB Diploma Program’s approach to pedagogy and assessment align to Northfield High School’s vision for great teaching and learning, which is why it was selected as the foundation for 11th and 12th grade coursework.

View a detailed brochure of the IB Diploma Program here.

The IB DP Curriculum

The IB Diploma Program (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The program has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.

IB Diploma Program students must choose one subject from each of the five groups, ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students must also choose either an arts subject, or a second subject from the first groups. DP exams can be taken at higher level or standard level. For details of these groups, review this IB Diploma Program document here.

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) Program

Creativity, action, service (CAS) is at the heart of the IB Diploma Program, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies. The component’s three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

  • Creativity – exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance. This may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts and crafts.
  • Action – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Service – collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need. Through Service, students develop and apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability for their actions. Service experiences can be approached using the Service Learning model. Service Learning is the development and application of knowledge and skills towards meeting an identified community need. In this research-based approach, students undertake service initiatives often related to topics studied in the curriculum, utilising skills, understanding and values developed in these studies. Service Learning builds upon students’ prior knowledge and background, enabling them to make links between their academic disciplines and their Service experiences.

College Success Studies of IB Diploma Program Students

The following research articles provide in-depth evaluations of the impact of the IB Diploma Program on a student’s level of college preparation and his or her ability to successfully enroll and succeed in high-quality college institutions by exhibiting the persistence, work habits, organization, and thoughtful analysis and creative output required to excel in their chosen field of study.

  • “Findings indicate that students who are in the DP are more likely to enroll in college, more likely to enroll in a more selective college and more likely to stay enrolled, compared to matched non-IB students. When controlling for college characteristics, analysis suggests that IB students are both going to better colleges at higher rates and performing better once there. Overall, the DP students interviewed generally felt that they were academically well-prepared to engage and succeed in college coursework, and described strong analytical writing and math preparation, motivation, work habits, organization and time management as strengths.”
    Read full article here.
  • “IB students in the UC system tend to perform better than a matched comparison group and students overall, and that performance in the IB programme in high school significantly predicts achievement in college.” Read full article here.
  • “When compared with former AP students, IB students were significantly more likely to indicate that they: felt prepared for college-level coursework involving research; had executed a research project at UVA; were proud of their research; intended to conduct future research; and found their research skills to be important to future success…Finally, findings showed a statistically significant relationship between EE [Extended Essay] score and college grade point averages (GPAs), after controlling for background characteristics.” Read full article here.
  • “…former DP students were more likely to persist and to complete college” Read full article here.
  • “At each institution comprised in this sample, the graduation rate of DP candidates was consistently higher than the institutional rate.” Read full article here.
  • “Overall, 81% of IB students graduated within 6 years of enrolling full-time at a 4-year institution, compared to the national average of 57%.” Read full article here.