International Baccalaureate

Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic School
An International Baccalaureate School
 Saint Thomas the Apostle is an authorized IB World School for the PYP and MYP programmes.  IB World Schools share a common philosophy- a commitment to high-quality, challenging, international education- that we believe is important for our students.  For specific information regarding the International Baccalaureate, please visit www.ibo.org.
What is an IB Candidate School?
 The International Baccalaureate Organization is a nonprofit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. It offers to schools three programmes: The Diploma Programme (DP) for students in the final two years of secondary school, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16, and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3 to 12. The organization was established in 1968 as an effort to create schools all over the world that shared a common curriculum for geographically mobile students. International educators were motivated by the idea that a shared academic experience, emphasizing critical thinking and exposure to a variety of points of view, would encourage intercultural understanding and acceptance of others by young people. Today IB World Schools are considered to be some of the most prestigious and widely recognized schools around the world.
 A Catholic and IB School
What makes our school unique from any other is that while instilling the IB philosophy, it continues to keep Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church at its center. The philosophy of IB is to create students that think internationally and are respectful of others. This is exactly what our Gospels teach us, to love others as ourselves. Through the IB program and the many other programs at our school, our goal is to develop the whole child. One that is committed to life-long learning and faith.
The IB Leaner Profile
IB schools strive to instill a “Learner Profile”, or characteristics that students will exhibit in their learning. IB students at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School are. . .
Inquirers. Students natural curiosity has been nurtured. They have acquired the skills necessary to conduct purposeful, constructive research. They actively enjoy learning.
Thinkers. Students exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to make sound decisions and solve complex problems.
Communicators. Students receive and express ideas and information confidently with each other and in more than one language.
Courageous. Students approach unfamiliar situations without anxiety and have the confidence and independence to explore new ideas, roles, and learning strategies.
Knowledgeable. Students have spent time in school exploring themes which have global relevance and importance. In doing so, they have acquired a critical mass of significant knowledge.
Principled. They have a sound grasp of the principles of moral reasoning. They have integrity, honesty, and a sense of fairness and justice.
Caring. They show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a sense of personal commitment to action and service.
Open-Minded. They respect the views, values, and traditions of other individuals and cultures, and they are accustomed to seeking and considering a range of points of view.
Balanced.  They understand the importance of intellectual, physical, spiritual, and mental balance for one’s personal well-being.

Reflective. Students analyze their personal strengths and weaknesses in a constructive manner.

PYP Programme (Grades PK3-5th Grade)
The PYP Program is a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning that focuses on the development of the whole child. With an international focus, it addresses the academic, social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs of students. The program elements include the learner profile, specific attitudes, a concept-driven curriculum, and the understanding that socially responsible actions are an integral part of the learning process.
The curriculum framework incorporates these five elements by asking three inter-related questions:
What do we want to learn?
How best will we learn?
How will we know that we have learned?

Academic subjects are studied in themes and explored in ways that transcend conventional methods. Teachers and students design units for exploration and study, guided by series of questions and student inquiry.

MYP Programme (Grades 6th-8th)
The MYP Program provides a framework of academic challenge and life skills for students in middle school. The program offers an educational approach that embraces yet transcends traditional school subjects. It follows naturally the PYP Programme and serves as excellent preparation for the Diploma Programme, which is offered in neighboring high schools. Students at this stage of life are in a particularly critical phase of personal and intellectual development. This is a time of uncertainty, sensitivity, resistance, and questioning. An educational programme needs to provide them with discipline, skills, and challenging standards but also with creativity and flexibility.
The MYP Programme provides a thorough study of various disciplines while accentuating the interrelatedness in them and yet recognizing the importance of each subject. This serves to prepare students for further study in various subjects.