Course-based system for university preparation
In close collaboration between international schools and the UNESCO, the International Baccalaureate (IB) was initiated in 1968 as a final, secondary-school leaving examination under the influence of Kurt Hahn, the founder of the school in Salem. This examination is taken under exactly the same conditions throughout the world, and is recognised worldwide as a university entrance qualifying examination. There are currently some 4500 IB schools in 147 countries with more than 1.3 million students, while several thousands of additional candidates sit the exam on an individual basis.
The IB Diploma enjoys a high reputation worldwide thanks to its rigorous academic profile. It also provides an ideal foundation for German universities, which are increasingly offering courses in English leading to Bachelor or Master degrees. An IB Diploma is recognized as valid for German university admission, if it has been obtained after attending at least twelve years of full-time education (conference of cultural ministries of the German Federal Republic October 1, 2015).
The IB curriculum consists of six subject groups and students select one subject from each group. In Salem, the IB curriculum is applied as follows:
1. Language A Literature and/or Language A Language and LiteratureThe learner’s native language or 'best language', including the study of works of world literature translated into that language. The languages currently offered are English, German, Spanish.
2. Language B
The languages currently offered are English, French, Spanish, German B-Level and ab initio; or the pupil selects a second language at A-level.
3. Individuals and Societies History, Economics
4. Experimental Sciences Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science
5. Mathematics Offered at three levels
6. Arts & Electives Visual Arts, Computer Science, Theatre or a further subject from groups 1, 2 or 3
Each subject can be selected at standard or higher level, whereby a total of three subjects must be studied at higher level and three at standard level.
Special features of this demanding curriculum are at its core: an obligatory course on 'Theory of Knowledge', an extended essay with a free choice of subject and participation in the CAS programme (Creativity, Activity, Service), i.e. artistic, sporting and social activities.
The language of instruction for the IB course at Salem College is English (with the exception of the languages), an appropriate command of English being a precondition of admission to the course. The IB curricula are devised by international curriculum committees under the auspices of the IBO ('International Baccalaureate Organisation'). The examinations are held simultaneously throughout the world and are assessed centrally.
The IB Diploma Programme is a two-year course. Students can then go on to study in Germany, whereby maths or a science must have been selected as a higher level course. They should also take German as 'Language A', otherwise they are obliged to sit an additional state examination to demonstrate 'an adequate knowledge of German'. Without these requirements, students can study at a wide variety of universities around the world, in particular American and British higher education institutes welcome those with good IB results. For Salem IB results of the past years please click here.
For Abitur students not wishing to pursue the Diploma Programme, individual certificates in subjects such as Economics or Theatre are an attractive option, as they can serve as an introduction to business English or preparation for specific degree courses or studying abroad in general.
"Rebecca is thriving at University. On the basis of her grades in IB and the work she did while a student at Salem, she was advanced from first year to second year status immediately. She was also advanced to third year status in some courses, and it has been recommended that she take a forth year course after Christmas. You really did a fine job with her education."
Daniel Dixon, father of Rebecca Dixon, who passed the IB Examination in May 2008 and is now registered at the University of British Columbia, Kanada. In 2011 Rebecca Dixon received a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford.