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IB - International Baccalaureate

An opportunity for you?

Immersion at the GM means “plunging” into the English-speaking world. Starting in grade 11, you will attend at least 1500 lessons in English until graduation year in bilingual GM classes in subjects such as history, biology, geography, mathematics, computer science, English or "Theory of Knowledge". You will receive a bilingual graduation certificate with the corresponding entry in the Matura diploma certificate. By attending the IB Diploma Programme ("IB Option 1") at the GM, you are heading for a double degree and will get and the end of your School career the IB Diploma additionally to the Swiss Matura, the IB Diploma being recognized by many universities throughout the world. By choosing "IB option 2", you are focusing on bilingualism in 5 subjects without aiming for the IB Diploma. Instead, you will complete IB Certificates in English and French (compulsory) as well as in German (optional).

The IBDP at GM: development and extension of the existing immersion offer

Since 1999, as the first public Gymnasium in Basel, GM has been building up a wide range of subjects taught in English. Students were given the opportunity to to prepare for a bilingual Matura. As the bilingual immersion graduation found only Little recognition at colleges and universities, we started a pioneer project in the region expanding the previous immersion offer introducing a new, internationally recognized curriculum, the IB Diploma Programme. In May 2011, the GM became an official IB World School®. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two year course which is offered in the last two years (12th and 13th grade) of the Gymnasium. Since we are a state school, the IB Diploma may only be followed in addition to the cantonal Matura. .

Independent research and learning

The IB Diploma Programme puts a particular emphasis on writing essays as well as on presentations. Thus, autonomous, independent learning and project work are of great importance. In natural science subjects, an exemplary research project is carried out; from data collection and analysis up to the discussion of the results. In history and mathematics similar projects are on the syllabus. In 12th grade you will write a Matura thesis paper, which IB students write as ,Extended Essay', core element of the IB Curriculum.

Critical thinking and linking you knowledge: ToK

TOK aims to make students aware of the interpretative nature of knowledge, including personal ideological biases – whether these biases are retained, revised or rejected. It offers students and their teachers the opportunity to reflect critically on diverse ways of knowing and on areas of knowledge and consider the role and nature of knowledge in their own culture, in the cultures of others and in the wider world.
In addition, TOK prompts students to be aware of themselves as thinkers, encouraging them to become more acquainted with the complexity of knowledge snd recognize the need to act responsibly in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world. 
TOK also provides coherence for the student, by linking academic subject areas as well as transcending them. It therefore demonstrates the ways in which the student can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility.
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Acting and taking on responsibility: CAS

CAS stands for Creativity, Action, Service and is at the heart of the DP. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students’ personal and interpersonal learning.
Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.
CAS aims to develop students who enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences, purposefully reflect upon their experiences, identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth, explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles, actively participate in planned, sustained and collaborative CAS Projects and understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
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Final IB exams

In IB Option 1 you will take final IB exams in all subjects at the end of 13th grade. These take place under the same conditions and at the same time around the world. They assess the same skills as the Matura exam and take place before the Matura exams in May. Participation in the IB final exams is voluntary. You will decide in the course of the 12nd year. The costs for attending the Diploma Programme are currently approximately CHF 1,600.-.

Unique offer with many advantages

The new double degree which combines IB Diploma and Cantonal Matura opens the doors to many foreign universities if your scholarly achievements are good. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme enjoys an excellent reputation especially at colleges and universities in the Anglo-Saxon regions and its assessment structure is recognized worldwide by many universities and colleges. Former IB graduates of the GM were able to benefit from this. The fact that you will be writing numerous challenging texts in English and French will improve your language skills enormously. You will learn to work independently and in a disciplined manner as well as to set priorities in busy times. The international orientation will widen your horizon and the high demands for your sense of responsibility will strengthen your personality permanently. All these benefits will later on help you make your way in an international environment or in your academic career, also at Swiss universities, which increasingly align their programs to the English language.

Main elective subject English with IB

If you choose English as main elective subject, you have to Combine it with either IB Option 1 or 2. By choosing English as a major you automatically drop out of your former major subject and instead combine the new major English with one of the following third languages: Latin entry level / Latin advanced level / Italian entry level. Through full concentration on the major subject English in combination with immersive teaching, interested students receive a unique opportunity to achieve an excellent level of knowledge and skill in this important world and scientific language.

Option 1 (IB Diploma) or Option 2 (Immersion with IB Certificates)

You should choose IB Option 1 at the GM, if the international orientation appeals to you, if you enjoy accepting greater challenges and tackling new things, if you like working independently and learning to organize yourself well in the face of additional schoolwork. You will not spend more time at school – only, it will be different. In comparison with other students, you will have more project half-days or block weeks. In order to avoid overload at school, several subjects will be pooled each semester in IB Option 1. This means that you will attend 3 subjects less each week and therefore will be able to focus better on the remaining subjects.

IB Option 2 is interesting for those students who want to focus on the English teaching in 5 subjects and IB-based teaching only in the subjects of English and French.

Admission criteria for both IB Options are good prior achievements. Likewise, interest in languages ​​and communication as well as a good working attitude are important. In case of a big demand for the IB program, the school administration will decide according to these criteria on who will be accepted in the IB programme. Special previous knowledge in English is not required.  

Questions? You will get more information from:
Dr. E. Krieger, Principal: and
Dr. M. Pombo, Vice-principal, IB Coordinator: .ch