The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a high-quality program of international education that spans Pre-Kindergarten all the way to university entrance.
Over 20 years ago, TFS was authorized to teach the Diploma Program of the International Baccalaureate, and was the first school in Toronto in which the program was mandatory.
TFS is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to teach the Primary Years Program (PYP) and the Middle Years Program (MYP) and to offer the IB Diploma Program (DP).
What makes these three programs so highly sought after?
More than the content of study itself, it is the approach the IB takes to learning that is unique. The IB propels students away from insular study inside a classroom alone. It demands active engagement in learning and ensures this learning is intrinsically linked to students' lives and the world.
Please click here to view the following videos: IB Learner Profile, Connect to the IB and Connect to the World, and What is an IB education. Visit the IB website for detailed curriculum notes and further background on the programs.
All programs of the IB are founded on the inquiry-based model of learning. During the PYP years (Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5), units of inquiry are developed based on six transdisciplinary themes. They are: who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organize ourselves and sharing the planet.
The transdisciplinary nature of the PYP allows for a synthesis of subjects to be incorporated into each unit of inquiry. So, for instance, learning about Folktales as a 'how we express ourselves' unit of inquiry involves writing, study of global cultural traditions, visual arts, history and more.
The MYP takes place from Grade 6 through Grade 10 (Level III). The MYP employs an interdisciplinary approach, reflecting the more advanced study of subjects at this age. Therefore, unlike the PYP, which draws various subjects into theme-based units of study, subjects are studied on their own. However, exploring connections between various subjects is an important part of the MYP program.
In MYP, units of study are based on specific content which is then examined through one of the five areas of interaction: approaches to learning, community and service, health and social education, environments and human ingenuity. This deepens the level of inquiry and helps students relate the subject matter to the world around them as well as their own lives.
At TFS, students undertake the IB Diploma program during their last two years of high school, and have the unique opportunity to study for the IB Bilingual Diploma.
Based on a liberal arts approach, students must include subjects from a wide range of study areas in their program. Subjects are carefully considered and selected in consultation with the Diploma Coordinator, guidance counsellors and teachers. The final course of study is designed with the input of both students and parents, and with an eye to what students might wantto study once they enter university.
Subjects are studied over a two-year period, concluding with a final set of exams marked by external examiners, under the auspices of the IB organization.
Being part of the IB Diploma program also means fulfilling the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) components. The CAS program requires students to be involved in creative pursuits, physical activities and community service over these two IB Diploma years.
Students also flex their writing and critical thinking skills as they undertake the Extended Essay. The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word, independently-written research paper on a thesis of the student’s choice, supported by a faculty supervisor.
The unique and highly-regarded Theory of Knowledge course asks students to reflect critically upon knowledge claims and judgments made in a wide range of academic and experiential areas.
At TFS, students have the opportunity to study for and achieve the IB’s Bilingual Diploma, which has additional French-language requirements.
Is it rigorous? Yes. However, after leaving TFS, graduates tell us time and again how much of an impact the IB experience has had on their lives, and how well-prepared they felt as they began university.
Guides to each IB program
The IB Learner Profile
As an IB Diploma school, TFS respects and promotes the values expressed in the IB Learner Profile and French IB Learner Profile, such as striving to be knowledgeable, caring, principled, and open-minded.