Group 4 Subjects



Science

A common curriculum model applies to all the Diploma Programme group 4 subjects: biology, chemistry and physics. Students at both SL and HL study a core syllabus and this is supplemented by the study of options. Students at HL also study additional higher level (AHL) material. Students at both SL and HL study 2 options. Students at SL are required to spend 40 hours and students at HL 60 hours, on practical/investigative work. This includes 10 hours for the group 4 project. Click on the + icon to view more information.
 

Assessment

Wherever appropriate, the assessment will draw upon environmental and technological contexts and identify the social, moral and economic effects of science.

External Assessment DescriptionValue
SL and HL Paper 1
Online Assessment
SL : 3/4 hour
HL : 1 hour
SL : 30 multiple choice questions on the core.
HL : 40 multiple choice questions.
SL (20%)
HL (20%)
SL and HL Paper 2
Online Assessment
SL : 1 1/4 hours
HL : 2 1/4 hours
SL : Section A : 1 data-based question and several short-answer questions on the core (all compulsory). Section B : 1 extended-response question on the core (from a choice of 3).

HL : Section A : 1 data-based question and several short-answer questions on the core and the AHL (all compulsory). Section B : 2 extended-response questions on the core and the AHL (from a choice of 4).
SL (32%)
HL (36%)
SL and HL Paper 3
Online Assessment
SL : 1 hour
HL : 1 1/4 hours
SL : Several short-answer questions in each of the 2 options studied (all compulsory.

HL : Several short-answer questions and one extended-response question in each of the 2 options studied (all compulsory).
SL (24%)
HL (20%)
24% of the overall grade for both SL and HL.

The internal assessment (IA) requirements are the same for all group 4 subjects. This consists of the group 4 project in the first year and a series of investigations (such as practicals and subject-specific projects) done throughout the course.

Some of the investigations are chosen for assessment. Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IBO. The performance in IA at both SL and HL is marked against strict assessment criteria.

It is not necessary to use ICT in assessed investigations but students will be required to use each of the following software applications at least once during the course:
• Data logging in an experiment
• Software for graph plotting
• A spreadsheet for data processing
• A database
• Computer modelling/simulation

The group 4 project is a collaborative activity where students from different group 4 subjects work together on a scientific topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared in line with aim 10, that is, to “encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method”. The project can be practically or theoretically based.

In addition to addressing objectives 1, 2 and 3, the internal assessment scheme for both SL and HL addresses objective 4 (personal skills) using the personal skills criterion to assess the group 4 project, and objective 5 (manipulative skills) using the manipulative skills criterion to assess practical work.
 
 

Biology

Biology for the International Baccalaureate programme is a pre-university course for 16 to 19 year olds. IB Biology at HL is a suitable course of study for any student who has demonstrated an interest and ability in the subject in an intermediate course. It is strongly recommended that a student should have a grade B at IGCSE or equivalent to successfully study at HL. It is also recommended that students who may wish to study biological subjects beyond IB should also study Chemistry to at least SL.
 
The course curriculum is as follows:

Semester 1Semester 2
IB1 : Cells (SL and HL), Chemistry of Life (SL and HL), Nucleic Acids and Proteins (HL), Digestion, Transport, and Gaseous Exchange (SL and HL).IB1 : Cell Respiration and Photosynthesis (HL), Plant Science (HL), Ecology and Evolution (SL and AHL), Ecology and Conservation (Option 1 SL and AHL).

IB2 : Ecology and Conservation (Option 1 SL and AHL continued) Residential field trip (SL and HL), Genetics (SL and AHL), Neurobiology and Behaviour (Option 2 SL and AHL) or Human Nutrition and Health (Option 2 SL only).IB2 : Nerves, Hormones and Homeostasis (SL and AHL), Muscles and Movement (HL), Reproduction (SL and AHL), Defence against infectious disease (SL and AHL), The kidney (HL).
 

Assessment

Biology is an experimental science and naturally practical laboratory and field work forms an integral part of the course and 24% of the final assessment. The other 76% of assessment is made up of 3 externally set exam papers. HL students must provide evidence of at least 60 hours of practical coursework whilst SL students require 40 hours.

The criteria for assessment in coursework are Investigation Design , Data Collection and Processing, Conclusions and Evaluations, Manipulative Skills and Personal Skills.Students are also required to display use of specified skills in ICT.
 
 

Chemistry

Students will need to have grade A or A* in IGCSE chemistry and maths in order to cope with the HL course and ideally grade B or better for SL. A high degree of commitment and personal motivation is also required. SL tends to be more descriptive whilst HL involves more calculations.
 

Topics Studied

The topics studied in Chemistry are as follows:

Topic 1: Quantitative chemistry (moles calculations)
Topic 2: Atomic structure
Topic 3: Periodicity (periodic table and reactions)
Topic 4: Bonding
Topic 5: Energetics
Topic 6: Kinetics (reaction rates)
Topic 7: Equilibrium
Topic 8: Acids and bases
Topic 9: Oxidation and reduction (including electrochemistry)
Topic 10: Organic chemistry (very basic)
Topic 11: Measurement and data processing
Option D: Medicines and drugs
Option E: Environmental chemistry
 
 

Physics

Physics for the International Baccalaureate programme is a pre-university course for 16 to 19 year olds. IB Physics at HL is a suitable course of study for any student who has demonstrated an interest and ability in the subject in an intermediate course. It is strongly recommended that a student should have a grade B at IGCSE or equivalent to successfully study at HL. It is also recommended for students who may wish to study engineering.

The course curriculum is as follows:

Semester 1Semester 2
IB1 : (SL and HL) Physics and physical measurements, Mechanics, Oscillation and waves.
IB1 : (SL and HL) Electric currents, Fields and forces, Atomic and nuclear physics, Energy power and climate change.


IB2 : Wave phenomena (OSL and AHL), Quantum and nuclear physics (OSLA and HL), Motion in fields (AHL), Thermal physics (AHL), Electromagnetic induction (AHL).
IB2 : Digital technology (AHL), Electromagnetic waves (OHL), Medical physics (OHL).

 

Assessment

Physics is an experimental science and naturally practical laboratory and field work forms an integral part of the course and 24% of the final assessment. The other 76% of assessment is by way of 3 externally set exam papers. HL students must provide evidence of at least 60 hours of practical coursework whilst SL students require 40 hours.

The criteria for assessment in coursework are Investigation Design, Data Collection and Processing, Conclusions and Evaluations, Manipulative Skills and Personal Skills. Students are also required to display use of specified skills in ICT.
 
 

Computer Science


The IB Computer Science course is a rigorous and practical problem-solving discipline.
 

Course Outline

The course outline for the Computer Science course is as follows:

SL and HLSystem fundamentals, Computer organization, Networks, Computational thinking, problem-solving and programming.
HL onlyAbstract data structures, resource management and control. In addition: Case study and one of the following options: Databases, Modelling and simulation, Web science or Object-oriented programming (OOP).
 

Assessment

Assessment for the Computer Science course is as follows:

Assessment DescriptionValue
SL and HL
Paper 1
Paper 1 is an examination paper consisting of 2 compulsory sections. Section A (30 minutes approximately) consists of several compulsory short answer questions and Section B (60 minutes approximately) consists of 3 compulsory structured questions. SL (45%)
HL (40%)
SL and HL
Paper 2
Paper 2 is an examination paper linked to the option studied. The paper consists of between 2 and 5 compulsory questionsSL (25%)
HL (20%)
HL
Paper 3
Paper 3 is an examination paper of 1 hour consisting of four compulsory questions based on a pre-seen case study.HL (20%)
Internal Assessment Solution: The development of a computational solution. Students must produce
a cover page that follows the prescribed format, a product and supporting documentation (word limit 2,000 words). Group 4 project is to be assessed using the criterion Personal skills.
SL (30%)
HL (20%)