High School


Grade 9-10: MYP

Students in grades 6-10 are part of our Middle Years Programme (MYP) at Boston International School. Our MYP curriculum framework comprises eight subject groups that seek to prepare our students holistically and encourage them to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.


Grade 11-12: DP

The IB Diploma Program is a challenging two-year course of study taken during Grades 11 and 12 at Boston International School. The vision of the IBDP program is that students share a well-rounded academic experience that emphasizes critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view. The IB Diploma is a demanding course of study comprised of six academic subjects and the DP Core. The strengths of the IB Diploma are its academic rigor and well-rounded curriculum, enhanced with an extended essay, inquiry into the theory of knowledge, research, creativity, action and service. The IB Diploma has grown to be one of the strongest and most recognized entry qualifications to universities around the world.


Matthew Kirk

“I am very proud of the growing success of our IB Diploma Programme at BIS and even prouder of the BIS students who continue to persevere through this challenging two years to graduate with an IB Diploma qualification. These students have gained admission to universities all over the world based on their IB Diploma scores and their demonstrated ability to succeed.”

Academic Subject Groups in the IB Diploma

We strive to offer a broad range of subjects and subject combinations for our IB Diploma students at BIS. All of our IB Diploma subjects are taught by qualified and experienced subject specialists, some of whom are/have been IB Diploma examiners or moderators. IB Diploma courses are typically assessed by the IB in two ways: Internal Assessment requirements throughout Grades 11 and 12 and External Assessment requirements (usually written examinations) in May of Grade 12.

Students choose courses from the following subject groups: Studies in language and literature; Language acquisition; Individuals and societies; Sciences; Mathematics; and the Arts.

Students may opt to study an additional Science or Individuals and Societies, instead of a course in the Arts.

Students will take some subjects at Higher Level (HL) and some at Standard Level (SL).  HL and SL courses differ in scope but are measured according to the same grade descriptors, with students expected to demonstrate a greater body and depth of knowledge, understanding and skills at Higher Level.

Each student takes three subjects at Higher Level, and the remaining three at Standard Level.

These courses offer a broad range of texts, and students grow to appreciate a language’s complexity, wealth and subtleties in a variety of contexts. Students take their studies in a language in which they are academically competent. Through studies in language and literature, the DP aims to develop a student's lifelong interest in language and literature, and a love for the richness of human expression.

At BIS we typically offer: Chinese Language and Literature, English Language and Literature and Korean Language and Literature in this subject group. We can also sometimes support students with other Group 1 subjects offered by the IB as School Supported Self Taught (SL Only).

The main emphasis of these language courses is on the acquisition and use of language in a range of contexts and for different purposes while, at the same time, promoting an understanding of another culture through the study of its language.

At BIS we typically offer: Chinese B/ab initio, English B or German ab initio in this subject group. We can also sometimes support students taking some other Group 2 subjects through Pamoja online

Studying any one of these subjects provides for the development of a critical appreciation of human experience and behaviour, the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit and the history of social and cultural institutions.

In addition, each subject is designed to foster in our students the capacity to identify, to analyse critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.

At BIS we typically offer: Business and Management, Economics, Geography, History and Psychology in this subject group.

Students explore the concepts, theories, models and techniques that underpin each subject area and through these develop their understanding of the scientific method. A compulsory project (Group 4 Project) encourages students to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science. This is collaborative and interdisciplinary and provides an opportunity for students to explore scientific solutions to global questions.

At BIS we typically offer: Biology, Chemistry and Physics in this subject group.

IB DP Mathematics courses serve to accommodate the range of needs, interests and abilities of students, and to fulfill the requirements of various university and career aspirations.

The aims of these courses are to enable our students to develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles, develop logical, critical and creative thinking and employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization.

Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of Mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives. All DP mathematics courses require students to appreciate the use of technology in Mathematics and become proficient with graphic display calculators.

At BIS we typically offer: Mathematics (Analysis and Approaches) and Mathematics (Applications and Interpretation).

The subjects in the arts allow a high degree of adaptability to different cultural contexts. The emphasis is on creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research into the relevant genres.

In addition, each subject is designed to foster critical, reflective and informed practice, help students understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts, explore the diversity of arts across time, place and cultures, and express themselves with confidence and competence.

At BIS we typically offer: Music and Visual Arts.

The IB Diploma Core

The IB Diploma Programme has the strength of a traditional pre-university curriculum but with three important additional features known as the ‘Core elements’. These elements distinguishes the IB Diploma Programme from all other pre-university educational programmes.

  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is central to the philosophy of the IB Diploma Programme. It offers students the opportunity to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and to consider the role of knowledge in their culture, the culture of others and in different subject areas. Students at BIS receive three TOK lessons each week in G11 and 12, building up to the IB required assessments of TOK Exhibition (at the end of G11) and the TOK Essay (completed by February of G12).
  • Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS). Through CAS, students can learn about themselves, about others and about the wider community as well as learning how to reflect on the knowledge and experiences they acquire. Uniquely, CAS pushes students to extend themselves into domains where they may have never ventured before. The CAS programme is designed to complement the academic programme and universities attach great importance to CAS participation as it is in this area that students can truly demonstrate their personal qualities and drive. Students must complete approximately 150 hours of CAS and meet seven CAS outcomes across the two years. There is an independent requirement to CAS, but students at BIS receive support in meeting the CAS outcomes through opportunities provided by Boston Explorers, Week Without Walls, Sports Teams, Student Council, International Day and various other leadership opportunities and academic competitions that we run as part of the BIS experience.
  • Extended Essay. Each student selects and investigates a topic of special interest about which they write a 4000 word ‘Extended Essay’. Emphasis is placed on the research process, on personal engagement in the exploration of the topic and on the development and the communication of their ideas. Students, teachers and universities attach great importance to this task because it provides practical preparation for the kind of undergraduate research required in higher education. Students at BIS will be supported throughout the research and writing period with advice and guidance from a subject specialist Extended Essay supervisor. At BIS, this process begins in Semester Two of Grade 11 and is completed by December of G12.

During their time in the IB Diploma Program at BIS, students are encouraged to develop: 

  • time management skills and a strong sense of self-motivation 
  • a keen interest in service and personal engagement
  • increasing academic ability linked to inquiry
  • strong research and study skills
  • critical thinking abilities
  • an international outlook