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The IB Diploma Programme

At SMS, all Grade 11 students are automatically enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, offering the chance to earn both IB and BC diplomas. With personalized support, students can also customize their program by combining IB courses with SMS electives, earning IB course credit and the BC Dogwood Diploma.

Through a holistic focus on learning skills in an inquiry-based environment, Grades 11 and 12 students in the IB Diploma Programme at SMS develop advanced communication and collaboration skills alongside a broadened global perspective.

The SMS approach ensures students emerge as strong, confident learners.


Students pursue a course of studies in six subject groups, one in each of the groups.

Three of the six subjects must be taken at the Higher Level (HL) and three at the Standard Level (SL). Students may opt to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course, instead of a course in the arts.

Studies in Language and Literature

Language Acquisition

Individuals and Societies





In addition to their six chosen subjects, Diploma Programme students complete three required CORE elements which aim to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and learning skills. 


Theory of knowledge

The IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course aims to promote critical thinking by exploring the nature and complexity of knowledge across various disciplines. Through a central question of "how do we know?”, students explore concepts like bias, assumptions, evidence, truth; leading to a critical understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives.

A practical view of TOK

Artificial intelligence (AI) advancement: 

How will AI revolutionize our comprehension of the fundamental question, "how do we know?"

AI is challenging traditional notions of knowledge acquisition and dissemination, raising questions about the reliability, validity, and ethical implications of knowledge generated by intelligent systems. In exploring the nature of knowledge, Diploma Programme students develop critical thinking skills to navigate the transformative impacts of AI.



The extended essay is a self-directed research project resulting in a 4,000-word essay. Former Diploma Program students report feeling prepared for university research, proud of their work, and valuing the skills they developed for future success.


Creativity, Activity, Service

CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) requires students to engage in reflective experiential learning through creative pursuits, physical activities, and community service. It fosters personal growth, leadership skills, and social responsibility, enriching students' educational experiences beyond academics.

Research shows positive impacts of student participation in CAS, including helping students to:

  • Develop an ethic of service
  • Become more caring, open-minded and reflective
  • Develop more self-confidence and maturity

Read the IB Blog for inspirational global examples of creativity, action, and service.

Delve deeper into our ib Diploma Programme