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International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate

The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepare high school students for success at university and life beyond.

Information Meeting Night was on Thursday, January 9 at 7pm in the Auditorium.

The International Baccalaureate Mission Statement

"The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end, the organization works with school, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right."

The IB Learner Profile

In addition to the Mission Statement, the IB Organization has established ten Learner Profiles that as IB learners, IB students should strive to be:

  • Inquirers - curious
  • Knowledgeable - well-read, aware
  • Thinkers - rational, critical
  • Communicators - collaborative
  • Principled - honest, act with integrity
  • Open-Minded - non-judgemental, unprejudiced
  • Caring - compassionate
  • Risk-Takers - resilient
  • Balanced - mindful
  • Reflective - thoughtful

For more details about the individual learner profiles, see:


The Outcomes of an IB Education

Diploma Programme candidates are required to study six subjects and a programme core. Specialization is provided by requiring at least three [no more than four] of the six subjects to be studied at HL. Breadth is provided by studying three subjects [two if four HL subjects are taken] at standard level (SL).

Students choose courses from the following subject groups:

  • Group 1: Studies in language and literature
    • English A: Literature
    • French A: Language and Literature
    • Chinese A: Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language acquisition
    • French B
    • Chinese B
    • Japanese ab initio
  • Group 3: Individuals and societies
    • Geography
    • History
    • Psychology
  • Group 4: Sciences
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The arts
    • Film
    • Theatre
    • Visual Arts

Students may opt out of Group 6 to study an additional sciences, individuals and societies, or languages course. For more detailed descriptions of the IB courses offered at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, see the PDF attachments below.

The core of the Diploma Programme consists of the theory of knowledge (TOK), the extended essay (EE) and creativity, activity, service (CAS).

  • TOK provides a forum for discussion, reflection and instruction that considers the nature of human knowledge and supports the development of interdisciplinary understanding.
  • The EE provides the opportunity to investigate an academic research question of individual interest and in the process to develop the independent research and writing skills expected for further education.
  • Participation in the school’s CAS programme broadens the educational experience by expecting students to be involved in creative, physical and service activities.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School

Other than for IB Chemistry, candidates do not have to choose their HL/SL status until Year 2.

All IB Group Subjects are completed on timetable over two years.

Please note: we do our best to accommodate all course requests; however, there may be restrictions in the timetable and students may not get all the courses and/or levels they request.

Group 1:  English

All candidates will complete English A.

Group 2: French Immersion A and Chinese Immersion A

French A is for candidates admitted to the IB French Immersion Programme. Chinese A is for candidates with the ability to read literature and fluently write in Chinese. Our Chinese Language teacher, Ms Lin, will organize an interview with you at the Course Selection session to help you determine your level.

French and Chinese B

For candidates with grade 10 level ability in the language. For Chinese language candidates, our Chinese Language teacher, Ms Lin, will organize an interview with you at the Course Selection session to help you determine your level.

Japanese ab initio

For candidates who are interested in learning a new language from the beginning (ab initio) or for candidates who do not qualify for French A, French B, Chinese A, or Chinese B. Our Japanese Language teacher, Ms Wakabayahsi, will be available for questions at the Course Selection session.

Group 3:

Candidates select one Group 3 subject (can select two if they elect not to complete a Group 6 subject). If a candidate chooses IB Psychology, in order to graduate high school, the candidate must also complete a Social Studies 11 (SS11) equivalent course online or in summer school as IB Psychology does not meet the requirements for SS11. If a candidate completes either IB Geography or IB History, the requirements for graduation are met and no online or summer school SS11 equivalent course needs to be completed. 


History HL

History SL


Group 4:

Candidates select one Group 4 subject (can select two if they elect not to complete a Group 6 subject).

NB: Most Canadian post-secondary institutions require students complete two sciences for admissions into their Science faculties. Also, most Canadian post-secondary institutions require that students complete Provincial-level (i.e. not IB) Chemistry 11 and Physics 11. IB candidates taking one of these (IB Chemistry or IB Physics, but not both) and IB Biology (thus completing the two required sciences) will need to complete the other (Chemistry or Physics) at the Provincial grade 11 level only. This should be done online or during summer school.

NB: Engineering programs vary in their requirements and IB candidates should examine what they will need for admissions before course selection. Most engineering programs require both Chemistry and Physics at the grade 12 level too; in that case, IB candidates completing one of these course requirements in IB (i.e. IB Chemistry or IB Physics) ought to complete the grade 11 and 12 at the Provincial level online or in summer school.

IB candidates can request to complete IB Chemistry and IB Physics; however, we encourage candidates to also follow their interests. If a candidate is interested in a future in medicine, they really ought to take IB Biology! The universities do not care if the required Physics and Chemistry 11 classes are IB or not. Many of our IB candidates complete the other required science at the provincial level online or during summer school. 

Biology HL

Biology SL

Chemistry HL

Chemistry SL

Physics HL

Physics SL 

Group 5:

With the IB Curriculum changes implemented recently, IB at SWC is approaching admissions to IB Math differently. Candidates who have successfully completed Math 10 will be placed in one cohort and candidates who have successfully completed Math 11+ will be placed in another. The cohort for Math 10 candidates will be learning Analysis and Approaches (AA) SL. The cohort for Math 11+ candidates will be learning AA blended HL/SL. The difference between the dedicated AA SL and blended AA HL/SL cohorts will be content and speed with which units will be taught. Essentially, the AA HL/SL cohort is a year ahead.  

Candidates will work throughout the year in their designated cohorts to demonstrate their ability and upon their teachers’ recommendation and a minimum required IB score achieved by the end of term 2, candidates from both cohorts will either:

  • Continue in AA SL
  • Enter a new stream available in Year 2 only: Applications and Interpretations (AI) SL.
  • Enter a new stream available in Year 2 only: Analysis and Approaches (AA) HL

NB: Candidates interested in admissions to Commerce, Sciences, or Engineering faculties in university must complete AA SL or HL to be considered for admissions. Candidates interested in Arts faculties will be considered for admissions with the completion of AI SL.

Math Analysis and Approaches SL & HL (HL Year 2 Only) 

Math Applications and Interpretations SL only Year 2 Only  

Group 6:

For candidates to have the true IB experience and a most manageable course load, they ought to complete a Group 6 subject. However, IB recognizes some of the limitations post-secondary institutions have placed on admission requirements and Group 6 is optional.

NB: Group 6 is a perfect outlet for creativity, it adds balance and structure to the IB candidates overwhelming schedule, and significantly develops the critical skill of critical thinking. FYI: candidates interested in architecture ought to consider completing Visual Arts! 

Film HL/SL

Theatre HL

Theatre SL

Visual Arts HL

Visual Arts SL


Successful completion of the IB Programme depends on the successful completion of its core.

CAS and the EE are completed off-timetable with the guidance of the CAS Coordinator, Ms Waight, and the Diploma Coordinator, Ms Puzio.

TOK, or Theory of Knowledge, is completed on-timetable over the two years. 

Core CAS

Core Extended Essay

Core TOK 

Application Forms

Applications are available below:

10 Jan 2020 IB Information Night: FAQs

IB Program Application Timeline:

10 Jan 2020: Application forms available online for current Prelude students and non-Prelude

  • Please print the application form and complete all steps accordingly
  • Follow instructions carefully


17 Jan 2020: Application forms due

  • Application forms and supplementary material due to Churchill’s Main Office or the IBO by 3:30pm


30 Jan 2020: Entrance Exams

  • Internal (Churchill) applicants (not for current Prelude students): 12:30pm to 3:00pm; Churchill cafeteria
  • External (non-Churchill) applicants: 4:00pm to 6:30pm; Churchill cafeteria
    • External applicants only: be sure to sign up for an interview


5 and 6 Feb 2020: Interviews

  • For external applicants only
  • Interviews take place at Churchill school; specific room TBD


24 February 2020: Letters

  • For internal applicants are available only at 3:30pm in the Superlab on the second floor at Churchill School
  • For external applicants, will be mailed out


28 February 2020: Notice of Acceptance

  • Must notify us if you are accepting your seat in IB; Year One Programme Costs and VSB Fees are due


10 March 2020: Course Selection

  • In Churchill Cafeteria from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Parents are welcome to attend.
  • Click on the file to see the incoming 2020-2021 IB Yr 1 Electives for English track students IB Year 1 Electives 2020

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