About Years 12-13

Senior School

IB Careers Programme

IB Diploma

Phase Team


Senior Phase Learning

Academic success is very important, and we challenge students to achieve the best that they possibly can, through a rich and broad range of experiences.  However, life and education at Island School are so much more than just their academic lessons. 

Our students take on all sorts of roles in and out of school. They lead in proposing, organising and managing events that range from the humanitarian and the environmental to the artistic and the sporting. It is the opportunity and the responsibility of our students in the Senior Phase years to set the agenda for the whole school. These opportunities come from taking on established roles; in our Student Council, being a House Prefect, a school Ambassador or representing the school as part of a sports team, organising and leading the school fair or cultural events and celebrations in school. 

Senior Phase students are the leaders of our school, looked up to as role models by the younger students and relied upon for their independence and responsibility by staff.

Beth Hall

Vice Principal

IB Careers Programme

Island School offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Career Programme. The IBCP offers students two pathways for those who want to focus their education on preparing for a vocational career or through a specialist pathway. 

The 2 routes for IBCP are:

  • Route 1, ‘The Specialist IBCP’- Students will take one DP HL subject from Art, Music, Sport, Theatre, or Computer Science, along with 2 BTEC courses and another DP course SL.
  • Route 2, ‘The Vocational Career Related Core IBCP’ – Students will take all 3 BTEC subjects offered (Business, Creative Media and Hospitality) along with 2 DP courses at SL.

What makes up the IBCP?

  • The 3 BTEC Courses are designed to be as ‘applied’ and ‘vocational’ as possible. This means that when studying the Business course they will be running a business. The Creative Media course sees students learning the skills of film, photography, web design, game design and editing. Hospitality teaches culinary skills, events management and customer service. They are recognized globally as university entrance pathways for the relevant degree courses. Island School has an exceptional record of placing students from this pathway.
  • IBCP students also pick 2 IB courses. This allows for specialization of knowledge and skills in their favourite subject area. Examples of this would be taking BTEC with Sport Science, Computer Science, Art, Theatre or Music. Students could also acquire a new language, beneficial for a global hospitality career.
  • All students have two periods per week dedicated to the Personal and Professional Skills course which looks at Personal Development, Intercultural Understanding,  Thinking Processes and Communication skills. 
  • As IB students they will also be carrying out Service Learning and studying a self-initiated Language Development course.  
  • Finally they will also be researching and producing an academic piece of extended writing as a Reflective Project. Click on the links below to see course descriptions.

The available DP options (choose 2 at SL) are alongside BTEC Business, Creative Media and Hospitality are:

BTEC Courses IB Diploma subjects (subject to availability)
(Video Description)


(Video Description)

Creative Media 
(Video Description) 

English Language & Literature SL

Mathematics: analysis and approaches SL & HL

Mathematical applications & interpretations SL & HL

Chemistry HL

Biology HL

Physics HL

Sports Exercise and Health HL& SL 

Design Tech SL & HL

Computer Science HL&SL

Environmental Systems and Societies SL & HL

Psychology SL & HL

Geography SL & HL

Philosophy SL & HL

Business and Management SL & HL

Visual Art HL & SL

Theatre SL & HL

History SL & HL

Economics SL & HL

Global Politics SL & HL

Who is the IBCP for?

If you have a passion for a career in the areas of Art, Drama, Music Creative Media, Sport, Hospitality, Events Management and Culinary Arts, Business and Hotel Management then you should choose the IBCP. 

Do you recognise yourself in these sentences?

  • “I have many things I enjoy doing outside of school, and the parts of school I really enjoy are not always related to my school subjects.”
  • “I am really good with people and enjoy working with others.”
  • “I am creative but do not like exams.“
  • “I am more practical…I enjoy projects and creating things.”
  • “I do well when I am working on something I love, but struggle when asked to learn something I don’t enjoy.”
  • “I need to have some more space and support to experience successful learning, build up my self confidence before taking on future studies.”

Please click here to watch the IBDP introduction video

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is an academically challenging and balanced curriculum that prepares students for success at university and beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The programme has gained extensive recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. Students have to choose six subjects for the full IB Diploma. This must include at least one from each Group 1-5. Students then opt to take up a Group 6 Subject or choose an additional elective subject from Group 1-5. Students must choose 3 subjects at Higher Level and 3 at Standard Level. All IB Diploma students have to complete the IB Core. This includes the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge and CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service). Click here to read more about Core.
  •  Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature (A) Literature Higher Standard Video Description
    Language & Literature (English or Chinese) Higher Standard Video Description
    Literature & Performance Standard Video Description
    Chinese Language Higher Standard Video Description
    Self Taught Language Standard Video Description
    Group 2 Language Acquisition Chinese Higher Standard Video Description
    French  Higher Standard and Ab Initio  Same as above
    Spanish Higher Standard and Ab Initio Same as above
    Japanese Higher Standard Same as above
    Group 3 Individuals and Societies Business & Management Higher Standard Video Description
    Economics Higher Standard Video Description
    Geography Higher Standard Video Description
    History Higher Standard Video Description
    Philosophy Higher Standard Video Description
    Global Politics Higher Standard Video Description
    Psychology Higher Standard Video Description
    Group 4 Sciences Computer Science Higher Standard Video Description
    Biology Higher Standard Video Description
    Chemistry Higher Standard Video Description
    Physics Higher Standard Video Description
    Environmental Systems Standard Video Description
    Design & Technology Higher Standard Video Description
    Sports, Exercise and Health Science Higher Standard Video Description
    Food Science Standard Video Description
    Group 5 Maths Mathematics applications and interpretations Higher Standard Video Description
    Mathematical analyses and approaches Higher Standard Same as above
    Group 6 The Arts Theatre Higher Standard Video Description
    Visual Arts Higher Standard Video Description
    Music Higher Standard Video Description


  • Click here to see the Higher Education website

    Senior Phase Team

    Ms Beth Hall Senior Phase Vice Principal
    Ms Lorraine Harte Deputy Senior Phase Leader
    Mr Paul Cooper CAS Co-ordinator
    Mr Cameron Otto Extended Essay  Co-ordinator
    Bachka Batmunkh Theory of Knowledge Coordinator
    Mr Roger Wilkinson IBCP Co-ordinator
    Ms Claudia Yung Higher Education Counsellor
    Ms Rimma Tyan Higher Education Counsellor
    Mr Chris Whitehead Higher Education Counsellor
    Ms Kate Yu Counsellor
    Ms Flora Ho Administrator

    Choosing Courses for Years 12 and 13 at Island School

    Click here to read the IBDP and IBCP FAQs

    What are the broad aims for all students in these two years?

    We aim for students to have a balance of depth, in subjects they choose to study intensively, and breadth of understanding in a wide range of learning areas. During these two years, students should discover their strengths and build on them. They should find out what their passions and interests are and find paths to pursue them. They should be able to try a wide range of different areas of study. In Year 11, students should be well placed to make informed choices for the next phase of their education based on their strengths, skills, interests, passions and learning styles. We aim for students to enjoy the experience of school for its own sake and because students perform better in a climate of enjoyment.

    How and when are choices made?

    Options Week takes place in late October and will include a Zoom Parent Information Evening.  Students’ first option choices are made in early November.  In the preceding weeks, these choices are reviewed and Tutors, Heads of House, Higher Education Counsellors, Subject teachers and the Senior Phase team will review these choices and offer guidance about the choices that have been made. Each student will have an individual appointment with the Higher Education department as well as a Tutor for Learning session before the Final Round of options takes place later in the year. 

    Preliminary round options are not final.  They do inform timetabling and staffing therefore a lack of interest in a certain course could lead to it not running.  Any change requests made after the final round will be subject to availability.

    What is the difference between the IB Diploma and the IB Careers Programme?

    Students following the IB Diploma must choose 6 subjects.  Those following the IB Careers Programme chose the equivalent of three BTEC qualifications as well as one or two IB subjects.   It is possible to study different combinations of BTEC and IB subjects but these will need to be discussed on an individual basis.

    Both the IB Diploma and the IB Careers Programme have a compulsory core element to them.  The IB students complete an Extended Essay, study the Theory of Knowledge and complete CAS commitments (Creativity, Activity, Service).  IB Careers Programme students complete an Extended Project, Work Experience as well as the same CAS as all other Year 12 and 13 students.

    The IB Diploma and the IB Careers Programme both have clear routes into Higher Education.  The key is choosing the pathway that is most appropriate for the individual student.  It is important to research carefully during the Options process to ensure students have full knowledge of the options available to them.

    It is a requirement for all students entering the IB Diploma in Year 12 to have achieved five GCSEs at grade C / level 5 or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered for students joining Island School in Year 12.

    How will the choices made impact upon the future choices at Higher Education?

    The IB Diploma has gained extensive recognition and respect from leading universities across the world.  The BTEC courses are also widely recognized and accepted across the world.  If you follow our pages on the IB Diploma and IB Careers Programme as well as the Higher Education website you will find detailed information on where IB and IB Careers Programme students are progressing.

    Different universities in different countries will have a range of requirements in terms.  For IB Careers Programme students BTEC subjects are a UK-based qualification so naturally, routes into UK universities are more established.  We are however finding students increasingly progressing from the BTEC courses to universities in a range of different countries.  Some of the highest performing universities may also be unwilling to offer students taking BTEC courses.  It is however worth noting that those universities are also likely to only offer places to IBDP students with significantly high predicted grades.

    In terms of IB subject choices, there may well be certain requirements to access specific courses at certain universities.  For example, typically to study medicine students should be taking two sciences at IB and at least one of them at Higher Level.  The Island School Higher Education department will provide further advice and information on this area.

    Curriculum choices for languages other than English

    It is important to understand that a student’s language choices must represent the most appropriate level of challenge for the student.  In order to meet this IB requirement, ESF schools have clear language pathways for students and in advance of next month’s options process, language teachers have begun one-to-one meetings with students about language pathways.  In addition, we know that universities will consider the level of challenge in the programmes of study. It is important that our students are competitive in their applications and can demonstrate to universities that they have an appropriately challenging programme.  

    Below are the details of the pathways. 

    • For students currently taking the Spanish or Japanese GCSE course, the expectation is that they continue with the language at B level and at either SL (Standard level) or HL (Higher level) in Year 12. 
    • For students currently taking the Chinese as a Foreign Language GCSE course, the expectation is that they continue with Chinese B at either SL or HL level in Year 12. Or students may decide to take up a new language at Ab initio level. 
    • Students currently taking Chinese as a Second Language GCSE course and expected to achieve an A* or A grade/level are expected to take Chinese B at HL in Year 12. Students who are expected to achieve B or below or a C grade/level may choose to take Chinese B at either SL or HL in Year 12.  Students achieving below a C may be advised to consider an Ab Initio course rather than continuing with Chinese B. 
    • Students currently taking Chinese as a First Language GCSE course and expected to achieve A* or A grade/level candidate are expected to take Chinese A at either SL or HL in Year 12. Students who are expected to achieve B or a C grade/level may choose either Chinese B at HL or Chinese A at either SL or HL in Year 12. Or students eligible for Chinese B may decide to take up a new langauge at Ab initio level in place of Chinese B.

    For all students, we offer the fantastic Ab Initio courses in French, Spanish and Japanese. The Ab Initio course is designed to teach students the basics of the language and attain a level where they can competently speak, read, write and listen to specific topics at a good level. This course is welcomed by universities as they realise that the students who take it have challenged themselves to learn out of their comfort zones. The course, whilst rigorous, is designed to allow every student the opportunity of scoring the highest grades.

    For any students whose mother tongue is not English or Chinese, we also offer the School Supported Self TaughtSSST course (School Supported Self Taught) programme. This is a rigorous literature-based course designed for fluent speakers and is supported by the LOTE department. This is only available as an SL Language A course and for more information please contact Mr Najman or Ms Hall.