My Cheshire
In June 2011, Cheshire Academy was designated as an International Baccalaureate® World School. Our quest to bring the IB Programme to the Academy began in 2009 as part of a comprehensive curricular review. As a faculty, we found ourselves eager to embrace a curriculum so thoughtfully rooted in five fundamental premises. The educators who founded the IB, nearly half a century ago, were visionaries who understood the importance of international-mindedness. They believed that the world is becoming increasingly smaller and that our children must become members of a global community. They understood that we have only one good earth and that our daughters and sons must become stewards of it. They preached the importance of giving back and emphasized that students must become involved in community service. They advocated students should become fluent in a second language. And they emphasized the importance of teaching writing across the curriculum. These fundamental tenets speak to what we assert as core values of a Cheshire education.
Balanced and rigorous, the Diploma Programme encourages students to communicate critically, to understand the relationships between subject areas, and to embrace international-mindedness. Emphasizing a balance between breadth and depth, IB courses foster critical-thinking and writing skills in a pedagogical approach designed to help students become thoughtful citizens in an increasingly global community. The full IB Diploma course load requires that students each select one course from each of the six subject groups. At least three (four maximum) of these courses must be studied at the Higher Level (HL), with the remaining courses studied at the Standard Level (SL). In addition to the six subject courses, a Diploma Programme (DP) student must fulfill three core requirements:
Creativity, Action, and Service
Read More

Extended Essay
Read More

Theory of Knowledge
Read More
IB students complete a variety of assessments — written, oral, art portfolio, group science project, group math project — that occur during the regular school year. Cheshire Academy IB teachers grade these projects and use the results to predict their students’ performance on IB external exams taken in May of the senior year. IB external assessments in all subject areas are exams, which vary by discipline. Some are oral, some are written, and some are cumulative portfolios. Students take their exams on campus. CA instructors then send the exams to outside examiners for grading.
Receiving the IB Diploma requires that students earn a minimum of 24 points. Marks for each subject area range from 1 (lowest) to 7 points (highest). Students can also earn an additional three points from the ToK essay and the Extended Essay. The maximum number of points possible is 45. Final IB grades are released on July 6. Students who find that the full Diploma Programme does not best meet their interests or talents may elect to take individual IB courses can be taken, for which Certificates may be earned.
In general, a successful IB student has a solid academic record that most importantly reflects effort, determination, and a love of learning. Other qualities that bode well for success in IB courses include good communication skills (both writing and speaking), solid organizational skills, an interest in learning about international perspectives, a strong work ethic, and a full commitment to meeting the requirements of the Diploma Programme. In order to be considered as a potential IB student, a student may be recommended by a teacher, request a recommendation from a teacher, or request an appointment with the IB Coordinator. The next step for each potential IB student will be an interview with the IB Coordinator and/or the Academic Office. During their interview, students will have the opportunity to explain why they wish to participate in the Programme and how they see themselves benefitting from the curriculum. All applicants will also participate in a short writing exercise.
American and international colleges and universities recognize the value of the IB Diploma and appreciate the rigor and range of the IB curriculum. The International Baccalaureate organization touts its diploma as “a passport to higher education.” Universities “welcome the unique characteristics of the IB Diploma Programme students and recognize the way in which the Programme helps to prepare students for university-level education. IB students routinely gain admission to some of the best-known universities in the world. Most of these institutions have established recognition policies for the IB Diploma” ( In general, high marks (5, 6, 7) on an HL course earn advanced standing or credit for entering university students. Some universities and colleges also grant advanced standing or credit for high marks on SL courses.
For a comprehensive look at the IB, visit the IB website. Click here to view the brochure.
For questions about the IB Programme at Cheshire Academy, contact Laura Longacre, IB Coordinator.
IB Courses at CA
2014 - 2015
Group 1: English
English Language and Literature HL
English Language and Literature SL

Group 2: Second Language
French/Mandarin ab initio
French/Spanish SL
French/Spanish HL

Group 3: Individuals and Societies
Economics SL
History of the Americas HL

Group 4: Sciences
Chemistry SL
Chemistry HL
Biology SL
Biology HL

Group 5: Mathematics
Math Studies SL
Math SL
Math HL

Group 6: The Arts                  
Theatre SL
Visual Arts SL
Visual Arts HL

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the mission of the International Baccalaureate?
Read More

How many IB courses does a student take?
Read More

What are IB external assessments?
Read More

What are IB internal assessments?
Read More

What are the additional requirements of an IB Diploma besides the courses?
Read More

What are the requirements for IB teachers?
Read More

What is the difference between an HL course and an SL course?
Read More

What type of student does well in the IB Programme?
Read More

When are the final IB grades available?
Read More

When do IB external written assessments take place?
Read More