International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science

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Group 5: Mathematics and Computer Science

Mathematical Studies SL, Mathematics HL/SL

Group 6: The Arts

Visual Art (HL/SL)

IB Diploma course description

Group 1: Language A
Language A: Language and Literature: English and Arabic HL and SL
The language A course is a literature course undertaken by students in their “best language”, mother tongue or first language. It is aimed at students who intend to pursue literature, or related studies, at university, as well as at students whose formal study of literature will not continue beyond this level. The programme encourages literary appreciation and develops a student’s oral and written skills through a study of a range of literary works. It gives the potential to enrich the international awareness of the IB students and to develop in them the attitudes of tolerance, empathy and genuine respect for perspectives different from their own. Students will examine literary criticism of works read in the course and will have ample opportunity to apply appropriate techniques of responding to literature orally, creatively, and in written form. Class assignments will require students to further cultivate their critical and analytical skills.
Group 2: Second Language
English B, or Spanish / Ab Initio: HL and SL
The acquisition of a second language carries great importance in the Diploma Programme. Students learn to understand and use the language, and gain insights into the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. This subject groups includes course for beginners (ab initio); second-language learners with previous experience with the language (language B) and bilingual students with a high level of fluency (language A).
Syllabus Outline
Language, texts and culture are explored through the framework of cultural and literary options. At higher level students study four options and at standard level students study three options. At least one option must be literary and at least one cultural. Each literary option consists of the study of three works originally written in the target language. Within a literary option works must be linked together by a theme, genre or period.
Examples of Cultural options: Language and culture

Media and culture

Social issues

Global issues

Examples of Literary options: Antigone by Jean Anouilh

The Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

The School for Wives by Moliere

The Wild Duck by Henrick Ibsen

Miss Julie by August Strindberg
Though the nature of the language B programme is same for higher and standard level, the two levels differ in the type of texts used and in the breadth and depth of the language used

Language Ab Initio: Spanish: SL
This is a two-year course for students who have little or no previous experience of the language. The overall objective of this course is for students to achieve communicative competence in a variety of everyday situations.
Syllabus Outline
This involves a range of skills, including listening, speaking, reading and writing - the four primary language skills. The central subject areas treated are: the individual, school and work, shopping and public services, food and drink, travelling and leisure, environment, health, and emergency situations, interspersed with cultural information.

Group 3: Individuals and societies
The aims of all subjects in group 3, individuals and societies are to:

  • encourage the systematic and critical study of: human experience and behaviour;

physical, political, economic and social environments; the history and development of social and cultural institutions

  • develop in the student the capacity to identify, to analyse critically and to evaluate

theories, concepts and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society

  • enable the student to collect, describe, analyse and interpret complex data and

source material and to test hypotheses

  • develop an awareness in the student that human attitudes and beliefs are widely

diverse and that the study of society requires an appreciation of such diversity

  • enable the student to recognize that the knowledge and methodologies of the

subjects in group 3 are contestable and that their study requires the acceptance of uncertainty
History: HL and SL

The study of history from an international perspective is increasingly important today. In the contemporary context, one of globalization, technological development, different cultures

What history aims at is explaining trends and developments, continuity and change through time and through individual events. In order to do this we look at individuals and societies in a very wide context: political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural, although, in all fairness, some parts are stronger than others.

Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS): HL and SL
This course explores the impact of IT on individuals and society. Through this subject students would analyze and evaluate the ethical considerations of using IT at the local and global levels.
Syllabus Outline
The ITGS syllabus is divided into three sections: Social and ethical issues, IT systems in a social context and Areas of Impact (six areas are identified). The three sections are interconnected and a teacher usually uses an integrated approach. Use of real life situations is encouraged and drawing examples from local, national and global levels is considered essential to the course.
Higher level and standard level
The ITGS syllabus at HL and SL is divided into three sections: social and ethical issues, IT systems in a social context and the six areas of impact.
Section 1: social and ethical issues
Section 2: IT systems in a social context
Section 3: areas of impact

Students at HL are required to study all six areas of impact. Students at SL are required to study a minimum of two.

Psychology: HL and SL

The aims of the Psychology programme at Higher Level and Standard Level are to:

  • Develop an awareness of how psychological research can be applied for the benefit of human beings.

  • Ensure that ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry

  • Develop an understanding of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural influences in human behaviour

  • Develop an understanding of alternative explanations of behaviour

  • Understand and use diverse methods of psychological inquiry.


Having followed the Psychology programme at Higher Level or Standard Level candidates will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge and comprehension of specified content

  2. Application and analysis

  3. Synthesis and evaluation

  4. Selection and use of skills appropriate to psychology.

Content and Skills

The syllabus consists of:

HL and SL core

  1. The biological level of analysis

  2. The cognitive level of analysis

  3. The socio-cultural level of analysis

Options (HL: 2 out of the 5 options and SL: 1 out of the 5). We will do the options in the second year of the programme

  1. Abnormal psychology

  2. Developmental psychology

  3. Health psychology

  4. Psychology of human relationships

  5. Sport psychology

Qualitative research methodology (HL only)
One simple experimental study (HL and SL) The Internal Assessment (the simple experimental study) will be done in the second year of the programme.
Business and Management: HL and SL
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of how the world of Business works. The course contains the following elements:

  • Introduction to Business

  • Legal structures, how to set up a business in the KSA

  • Joint ventures between companies from the KSA and overseas firms

  • Manufacturing processes

  • Economics

  • Marketing

  • Production Planning

  • Break even analysis

This subject will provide students with the opportunity to prepare their own products and write up a business plan
This is based 75% on an externally assessed examination with 25% taken from an individual project.
Group 4: Experimental Sciences
Experimental science subjects promote an understanding of the concepts, principles and applications of the respective disciplines, together with an appreciation of the methodology of the experimental sciences in general. Students develop practical laboratory skills as well as the ability to work collaboratively through participating in an interdisciplinary group project.
The subjects available in group 4 at Advanced Learning Schools are the following:

  1. Biology

  2. Chemistry

  3. Physics

Biology HL and SL
In this course you will learn about the human body, genes, cloning and genetic engineering, cells and biomolecules, or how life on this planet has evolved? Then biology is your natural science subject! These things and much, much more will be covered in the Diploma biology course. Biology is the science of life and living organisms. It is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. The course aims to develop a deep knowledge of important facts as well as give you a broad understanding of the concepts of biology. It also aims to prepare you for further higher education such as medicine, biological- and environmental sciences.

The subject can be studied at standard or higher level, where all students study the subject specific core material and the HL students study additional higher level topics (AHL), and thus will go deeper into the different fields of biology.

The SL and HL Diploma biology include theoretical studies as well as a large number of practical investigations, projects and field studies. This will help you to gain further understanding of the principles and concepts of life.
Chemistry HL and SL
Chemistry combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigational skills. It is called the central science as chemical principles underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems. In chemistry, SL and HL students study the same topics, but of course at different levels. A simplification is that on SL you will study elements and compounds that tend to follow relatively simple rules, whereas on HL you will study these rules in a more complex form.
Physics HL and SL
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies (1024 m).
Both theory and experiments are undertaken by all students to allow them to develop traditional practical skills and techniques and also increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of physics. The course also allows students to develop interpersonal skills, and information and communication technology skills which are essential in modern scientific endeavour.
You should not choose Mathematical Studies if you want to study IB physics. (Mathematics SL is enough for both physics HL & SL.)
Group 5: Mathematics
Mathematics HL, Mathematics SL or Mathematical Studies (SL)
All Diploma candidates are required to complete a mathematics course. Choices are available to cater for differing degrees of ability and student interest. Each course aims to develop a student’s understanding of mathematics as a discipline and to promote confidence and facility in the use of mathematical language.
Mathematics: HL and SL
The higher level course caters to students with a good background in mathematics who are competent in a range of analytical and technical skills. The majority of the students taking this course will be expecting to include mathematics as a major component of their university studies, either as a subject in its own right or within courses such as Physics, Engineering and Technology. Others may take this subject because they have a strong interest in mathematics and enjoy meeting its challenges and engaging with its problems. The standard level course is a course aimed at students with a scientific bias to their curriculum.
In general, IB Maths helps the students to develop a variety of skills which include understanding, using and interpreting mathematical terminology and notation, solving various mathematical problems using appropriate strategies and methods, to present data in many forms and finally, to demonstrate understanding and use of mathematical practical applications and modeling.

Group 6: The Arts
The study of a subject from group 6 is optional. You may instead choose another subject from group 1 – 4.
The emphasis of the subjects in group 6 is on creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research into the relevant genres.
IB Visual Arts SL/HL Year 1
Course Description:

The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to study visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts.

Content of Course/Outcomes:

Studying the IB Visual Arts course allows students to develop a critical and intensely personal view of themselves in relation to the world. The visual arts coursework is explored in three areas of practice:

  1. Theoretical

Students examine and compare the work of artists from different cultural contexts.  They investigate and compare how and why different techniques and processes have evolved. In addition, they learn about how to most effectively communicate knowledge and understanding.

  1. Art Making

Students make art through a process of investigation, thinking critically and experimenting with techniques and media in several areas. They develop concepts through processes that are informed by skills, techniques and media. By the end of the course students will have produced a body of artwork through a process of reflection and evaluation, showing a synthesis of skill, media and concept.

  1. Curatorial Practice

Students consider the nature of “exhibition” and think about the process of selection and the potential impact of their work on different audiences.  In the spring of Year 2 of the course, students select and present resolved works for exhibition.


At the end of the two years, the IB-assessed components for the Visual Arts Course are as follows:

  1. Comparative study: Students analyse and compare different artworks by different artists. This independent critical and contextual investigation explores artworks, objects and artifacts from differing cultural contexts. Externally assessed (20%)

  1. Process portfolio: Students submit carefully selected materials which evidence their experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two-year course. Externally assessed (40%)

  2. Exhibition: Students submit for assessment a selection of resolved artworks from their exhibition. The selected pieces should show evidence of their technical accomplish-ment during the visual arts course and an understanding of the use of materials, ideas and practices appropriate to visual communication. Internally assessed (40%)

The Core Requirement of the Diploma Programme

The Extended Essay (EE)
The Extended Essay (EE) is a piece of personal research of about 4000 words supervised by a ALS teacher in accordance with the guidelines published by the IB Organization (IBO). It must be in one of the DP subjects and must meet the assessment criteria and follow subject-specific details. All extended essays are externally marked on a scale from 0 to 36. The supervisor submits a predicted grade to the IB.

The marks obtained are converted to a letter grade using the following mark bands


Mark band



30 – 36



25 - 29



17 - 24



9 - 16



0 - 8

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is known as the “flagship” of the DP and encourages students to think critically about knowledge itself. The TOK programme is often represented by the pictorial diagramme in the following page:

At the heart of the course is the student as a knower, surrounded by the ways of knowing and the areas of knowledge. The manner and order in which the topics are addressed is decided by the TOK teacher.

The TOK course has two assessment tasks:

Part 1: Externally assessed - 40 points essay (1200 – 1600 words) on one of the 10 prescribed titles.

Part 2: Internally assessed – 20 points comprising a presentation (individual or group). A written presentation planning document and marking form are to be submitted.

The prescribed titles are sent by the IB each year. Both tasks are assessed using identified criteria. There are four assessment criteria for each of the tasks.

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