INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (9TH–12TH GRADE)
ENSURING COLLEGE READINESS: HIGH STANDARDS + HIGH EXPECTATIONS = HIGH ACHIEVEMENT
At St. Stephen's, we provide each student a rigorous world-class educational program, encouraging academic achievement, intellectual confidence, and personal growth. We begin prepping students in grade 9 to build arguments, defend viewpoints, make sense of data, write persuasively, and think critically.
What is the IB programme?
The International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and beyond. The programme has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The IB prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:
- Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically.
- Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from six subject groups.
- Develop the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education.
- Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own.
- Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
- Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay.
- Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service.
The Diploma ProgramME Core
- The Extended Essay (EE) asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the IB subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance, which they examine through the lens of at least two IB subjects.
- Theory of Knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
- Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the IB. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Action seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.
IB students must choose one subject from each of five groups, ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in Group 1: English; Group 2: Spanish; Group 3: social sciences; Group 4: sciences; and Group 5: mathematics. Students may choose either visual arts from Group 6, or a second subject from Group 3.
Our High School trips are an immersion exercise in diversity and multicultural settings and they become part of our curriculum. We want our students to:
- Discover a new environment.
- Learn to share space and live together for a few days with fellow students and teachers/chaperones.
- Become immersed in a different culture when traveling abroad.
- Step out of the comfort zone they all enjoy in their private life.
- Become educated according to the trip destination and goals.
- Make connections bridging subjects and disciplines.
Students in 11th and 12th grade alternate their trips between destinations in the U.S. and abroad.
Previous international trips included:
2017: Barcelona, Spain
2016: Panama City
2015: Barcelona, Spain
2014 and 2011: Costa Rica
2013 and 2007: Yucatán, Mexico
2012 and 2010: Puerto Rico
2009: San Diego, CA
2008: Athens, Greece
2006: British Columbia (Canada)
Trips are an integral part of the curriculum. All subjects are integrated: writing journals, researching the destination (literature, history, sciences, foreign language) and presenting results in an artistic and creative manner.
Winterim is a unique event that takes place during the first week of January. Each year we delve in a topic that students, in groups, will present to the community on the last day of the week.
Winterim is integrated in our curriculum. The topic becomes an overarching theme for the year, connecting with our High School trips.
Previous years’ topics:
2017: Houston Architecture
2016: Mock Trial Competition
2015: Houston History
2014: Living in the Environment
2013: World Religions
2012: One day in life: “How similar or how different are we” (Multimedia project)
2011: Debate on the death penalty