Secondary » International Baccalaureate

International Baccalaureate


High School Overview


The High School program includes Years 10-13 and enrolls approximately 100 students, providing a complete college preparatory program. The academic program is designed to prepare students for university while giving emphasis to the importance of learning as a process. Our curriculum focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and the development of thinking and problem-solving skills. We strive for academic excellence, a well-balanced development of all aspects of the students’ personality and an appreciation for lifelong learning. We offer two sets of certificates during the High School years that feature external exams. Years 10-11 culminate with the sitting of the IGCSE Exams. All students attending LIS must sit these exams. LIS offers the IB Diploma in Years 12-13. Students have the option of graduating with an IB Diploma, IB Certificates or an LIS High school Diploma.


The IB Diploma Programme at Lucaya International School

(Courtesy of the IB Website

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an externally assessed, academically challenging, balanced program respected by leading universities around the globe. 
 The IBDP was designed as a curriculum for students in international schools. It is a demanding pre-university course of study designed for highly motivated High School students aged 16-19. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment. With the IB, students will fulfill the requirements of their national or state education systems while equipping them with skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education, employment, and their future life as members of an increasingly global society. Internationally mobile students are able to transfer from one IB school to another, while students who remain closer to home benefit from an internationally respected curriculum. The IB Programme was introduced at LIS in the 2006/2007 academic year and our first IB Diploma students graduated in 2008. LIS is an IB-accredited World School, one of fifteen hundred schools around the world authorized to offer this program. The IBO is a Swiss based charitable foundation, established in Geneva in 1968 and continues to be one of the world's leading academic programs.


Through the DP, schools are able to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge, flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically; study at least two languages, excel in traditional academic subjects and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.  (DP) The program's curriculum is taught over a two year period. centres on the DP core. Three components make up the core, which are studied alongside individual subjects and throughout a student’s time in the DP. These components provide a framework for the study of individual subjects. The components of the DP core are Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and CAS. The six academic subjects ensure experience in Languages, Social Studies, Experimental Sciences and Mathematics. The subjects are studied concurrently. Diploma candidates study one subject from each of the six groups at either Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). At least three and not more than four are taken at Higher Level (HL), the others at Standard Level (SL). HL courses represent a recommended minimum of 240 teaching hours, and SL courses cover 150 hours. In addition to the subjects studied, IB Diploma students must also complete the three core element requirements. This includes the writing of an Extended Essay, the completion of a course in the Theory of Knowledge, and successfully completing the requirements of the Creativity, Action and Service program.


Group 1 - Language A1 - English Literature and English Language and Literature

English Literature is the study of literature in English and of a selection of texts translated into English. The range of texts studied is broad, and students grow to appreciate literature in a variety of contexts. The course aims to engender a lifelong interest in literature and a love for the elegance and richness of human expression while developing skills in literary analysis. English language and Literature is the study of both fiction and non-fiction texts from a range of genres and contexts. The course aims to encourage a deep understanding of the power of language to entertain, persuade, educate and inform. Both courses are offered at Higher and Standard Level; assessment is both oral and written.


Group 2 - Second Language

The aim of the Group 2 is to promote an understanding of another culture through the study of a second language. Language ab initio and language B are language acquisition courses designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. This process encourages the learner to go beyond the confines of the classroom, expanding an awareness of the world and fostering respect for cultural diversity.


The Group 2 courses use a balance between approaches to learning that are teacher-centered (teacher-led activities and assessment in the classroom) and those that are learner-centered (activities designed to allow the students to take the initiative, which can also involve student participation in the evaluation of their learning). The teacher is best placed to evaluate the needs of the students and is expected to encourage both independent and collaborative learning. The two modern language courses—language ab initio and language B—develop students’ linguistic abilities through the development of receptive, productive and interactive skills.


These two options are available at LIS to accommodate students with different backgrounds.

  • Language B courses are intended for students who have had some previous experience of learning the language. They may be studied at either Higher Level or Standard Level.
  • Language Ab Initio courses are for beginners (that is, students who have no previous experience of learning the language they have chosen). These courses are only available at Standard Level.


At LIS, we offer French B (HL, SL), French Ab Initio (SL) and Spanish B (HL, SL).


Group 3 - Individuals and Societies

At LIS students can take History (HL, SL), Geography (HL,SL) and Information Technology in the Global Society (HL/SL) from the Group 3 options. History and Geography are the options in Group 3 and ITGS in place in Group 6 under Electives.

Studying these subjects provides for the development of a critical appreciation of:

  • human experience and behavior
  • the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit
  • the history of social and cultural institutions.

In addition, the subjects in this group are designed to foster in students the capacity to identify, to analyze critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.


Group 4 - Experimental Sciences

Students explore the concepts, theories, models and techniques that underpin each subject area and through these develop their understanding of the scientific method.

A compulsory project encourages students to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science. Practical laboratory skills are developed and collaborative learning is encouraged through this interdisciplinary group project.This exercise is collaborative and interdisciplinary and provides an opportunity for students to explore scientific solutions to global questions. It also helps students develop an awareness of moral and ethical issues and a sense of social responsibility is fostered by examining local and global issues.

At LIS, we offer Biology (HL, SL) and Physics (HL, SL) in Group 4 and Chemistry (HL,SL) as a Group 6 Elective so that students have the chance to take two Experimental Sciences if they wish to do so.


Group 5 - Mathematics

Candidates are required to complete a mathematics course, with two options being available at LIS: Mathematics (SL) and Mathematical Studies (SL). These courses serve to accommodate the range of needs, interests and abilities of students, and to fulfill the requirements of various university and career aspirations.

The aims of these courses are to enable students to:

  • develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles
  • develop logical, critical and creative thinking
  • employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization

Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives.


Group 6 - The Arts or an Elective Choice

The school offers Visual Arts (HL, SL) as the Arts choice for Group 6. The emphasis of the Visual Arts course is on creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research into the relevant genres. It also allows for a high degree of adaptability to different cultural contexts. In addition, the course is designed to foster critical, reflective and informed practice, help students understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts, explore the diversity of arts across time, place and cultures and express themselves with confidence and competence.

Students are also allowed to select an additional subject from Group 3 and 4 if they are not comfortable with doing the Visual Arts course. At LIS, we offer Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) from Group 3 or Chemistry from Group 4 as our additional choices. Both of these courses are offered at SL and HL.


The Core Requirements

The Centre of the Hexagon is what makes the IB different from other curricula. These three core requirements broaden the educational experience and ensure that the student develops both academically and as a person.


Theory of knowledge (TOK)


Theory of knowledge (TOK) provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. It is mandatory for all students. TOK is an interdisciplinary requirement which aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge. Throughout the 2-year TOK course, students critically examine Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowledge, considering ideological biases and the role of worldwide cultures. Students will learn to be aware of themselves as thinkers and be able to recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world. TOK is assessed through an oral presentation and a 1600-word essay.


Extended Essay (EE)

The extended essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, culminating with a 4,000-word paper.


The extended essay provides practical preparation for undergraduate research, an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them, which is also related to one of the student's six subject areas.


Through the research process, students develop skills in formulating an appropriate research question, engaging in a personal exploration of the topic, communicating ideas and developing an argument. Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge. Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is a teacher at the school. 


TOK Essay in combination with the Extended Essay can give students up to 3 extra points towards their Diploma score.


Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

CAS aims to educate the whole person and foster responsible, compassionate citizens. Through CAS activities students should develop greater awareness of themselves, concern for others, and the ability to work cooperatively with other people. Participation in the school's CAS program encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work, thus fostering their awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena. Students are required to complete 150 hours of CAS activities in order to receive an IB Diploma.



The IB assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Programme courses.

The Diploma Programme goals provide students with:

  • a broad and balanced, yet academically demanding, programme of study
  • the development of critical-thinking and reflective skills
  • the development of research skills
  • the development of independent learning skills
  • the development of intercultural understanding
  • a globally recognized university entrance qualification


Diploma Programme assessment procedures measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills in fulfilling these goals, for example:

  • analyzing and presenting information
  • evaluating and constructing arguments
  • solving problems creatively

Basic skills are also assessed, including:

  • retaining knowledge
  • understanding key concepts
  • applying standard methods

In addition to academic skills, Diploma Programme assessment encourages an international outlook and intercultural skills where appropriate.

Assessment tasks are designed to support and encourage good classroom teaching and learning.

Student results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student's position in the overall rank order.



A variety of different methods are used to measure student achievement against the objectives for each course.


External assessment

Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability. They include:

  • essays
  • structured problems
  • short-response questions
  • data-response questions
  • text-response questions
  • case-study questions
  • multiple-choice questions (limited use of these)

There are also a small number of other externally assessed pieces of work, for example, Theory of Knowledge essays, Extended Essays and World Literature assignments. These are completed by students over an extended period under teacher supervision instead of examination conditions, and are then marked by external examiners.


Internal assessment

Teacher assessment is also used for most courses. This includes:

  • oral work in languages
  • fieldwork in geography
  • laboratory work in the sciences
  • investigations in mathematics
  • artistic performances

Assessments are checked by external examiners and normally contribute between 20% and 30% of the total mark. The Visual Arts course has assessment of a major practical component (student portfolio), which can account for as much as 50% of the total mark.

Students are internally assessed by their teachers throughout their study. In addition, certain student works are submitted to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for independent assessment. At the end of the two year program, students take external examinations which are moderated by the IBO.

Students are graded on a scale from 1 to 7 in each course, with 7 being the best grade. Students must achieve at least 24 points overall, with certain other minimum requirements, in order to achieve the IB Diploma (maximum score is 45).