CSB Leading the Way with Parallel Curriculum Offerings in Sixth Form Education

June 7, 2024

Parallel Curriculum Offerings in Sixth Form Education

Cambridge School of Bucharest (CSB) has long been recognised for its commitment to excellence in education. Recently, it achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first school in Romania to offer both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and A Level programmes to students in Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13). This parallel offering is not just a testament to CSB’s innovative approach, but also a strategic effort to provide diverse and effective educational pathways to its students.


What is A Level?

A Levels, or Advanced Levels, are subject-based qualifications for Years 12 and 13 that can lead to university, further study, training, or job placement, after completing the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in Year 11. Typically taken by students in the final two years of secondary school, A Levels are a core component of the British curriculum but are also highly respected worldwide. Students specialise in three or four subjects, which allows for in-depth study and a solid foundation of knowledge in chosen areas.


What is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, or IBDP, is an internationally recognised programme developed by the IB Organisation, aimed at students aged 16 to 19. The IBDP is known for its rigorous academic and personal standards. It aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally, and ethically. The IBDP curriculum is structured around six subject groups and the DP core, consisting of the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), and the Extended Essay.


Exploring the IB Curriculum: Subject Groups and DP Core

The IB Diploma Programme is meticulously structured to foster a comprehensive educational experience. It comprises six subject groups which include: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. This framework ensures students receive a balanced education that encourages both specialisation and broad knowledge. Alongside these subject groups, the DP core further enhances the learning experience with three foundational components:

Theory of Knowledge (TOK): TOK challenges students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we claim to know what we know. It is an essential part of developing critical-thinking skills and understanding interdisciplinary connections.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS): CAS is designed to strengthen students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. This component of the DP requires students to engage in a range of activities that involve creative thinking, physical exertion, and community service.

Extended Essay: This is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. The Extended Essay provides a practical preparation for undergraduate research and an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of personal interest in depth.

Together, these elements of the IB Diploma not only prepare students for academic success, but also cultivate a well-rounded, globally minded individual ready to face the challenges of an interconnected world.


Distinguishing IBDP from A Levels: A Comparative Overview of Education

The IBDP and A Levels cater to distinctly different educational philosophies and student needs. While A Levels are highly specialised, allowing students to focus deeply on three or four subjects typically related to their intended university studies, the IB Diploma offers a broader curriculum of six different groups of subjects, students are evaluated on a range of knowledge and skills across sciences, arts, mathematics, and humanities. Learn more about Sixth Form.