Diploma Programme

IB Mission Statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Our Mission

As a school committed to excellence, Al Faris International School strives to provide a rigorous programme based on measurable standards with a commitment to improving Teaching and Learning.

Al Faris International School aims to foster a diverse and inclusive community that supports, enhances, and nurtures the learners’ own natural desire through approaches to learning skills (ATL skills) that can lead to lifelong learning, hence cultivating them into global and ethical citizens in a sense of compassion for others in a world of differences.

Our Vision

Al Faris International School envisions a school built on academic excellence, mutual trust, strong commitment and cooperation between staff, students and parents. Our dedication to provide incomparable, yet affordable, education of the highest standards, in a safe and motivating environment using the most advanced and effective resources, is driven by the desire to produce creative, independent leaders that will contribute positively to the global community.

IB Learner Profiles

The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

As IB learners, FIS students strive to be:


 IB Learner Profiles
InquirersWe nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to
learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning
throughout life.
KnowledgeableWe develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of
disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
ThinkersWe use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on
complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
CommunicatorsWe express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many
ways.  We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and
PrincipledWe act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with
respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and
their consequences.
Open-MindedWe critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values
and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow
from the experience.
CaringWe show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to
make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us
Risk-TakersWe approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and
cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in
the face of challenges and change.
BalancedWe understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual,
physical, and emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our
interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
ReflectiveWe thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to
understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

What is the Diploma Programme?

The Diploma Programme (DP) is a rigorous pre-university course of study designed for students in the 16 to 19 age range. It is a broad-based two-year course that aims to encourage students to be knowledgeable and inquiring, but also caring and compassionate. There is a strong emphasis on encouraging students to develop intercultural understanding, open-mindedness, and the attitudes necessary for them to respect and evaluate a range of points of view.

The course is presented as six academic areas enclosing a central core. Students study two modern languages (or a modern language and a classical language), a humanities or social science subject, an experimental science, mathematics and one of the creative arts. Instead of an arts subject, students can choose two subjects from another area. It is this comprehensive range of subjects that makes the Diploma Programme a demanding course of study designed to prepare students effectively for university entrance. In each of the academic areas students have flexibility in making their choices, which means they can choose subjects that particularly interest them and that they may wish to study further at university. Normally, three subjects (and not more than four) are taken at higher level (HL), and the others are taken at standard level (SL). The IB recommends 240 teaching hours for HL subjects and 150 hours for SL. Subjects at HL are studied in greater depth and breadth than at SL.

In addition, three core elements—the extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, activity, service—are compulsory and central to the philosophy of the programme.

Assessment :

At the end of the two-year programme, candidates are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated curriculum and assessment objectives for each subject.

In all subjects, at least some of the assessment is carried out internally by teachers, who mark individual pieces of work produced as part of a course of study. Examples include oral exercises in language subjects, projects, student portfolios, reports, class presentations, practical laboratory work, mathematical investigations, and artistic performances. Some assessment tasks are conducted and overseen by teachers but are then marked externally by examiners. Examples include written assignments or tasks for language subjects in groups 1 and 2, the essay for the theory of knowledge, and the extended essay

Because of the greater degree of objectivity and reliability provided by the standard examination environment, externally marked examinations form the larger share of the assessment for most subjects. The grading system is criterion-related as results are determined by performance against set standards; validity, reliability and fairness are the watchwords of the Diploma Programme assessment strategy.

Approaches to Learning (ATL Skills)

A unifying thread throughout the PYP, MYP, and DP prograrammes are approaches to learning (ATL) skills, which provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of students’ knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these skills help students learn how to learn. Students must develop the following skills by the end of the programme: communication, social, self-management, research, and thinking.

Subject Groups

  • As can be seen in the DP model on p. 6, the Diploma Programme consists of six subject groups:
  • Group 1: Studies in Language & Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals & Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts

Full diploma candidates are required to take one subject from each of Groups 1 to 5. Since we currently do not offer arts at our school, students may select a second subject from either Group 3 or Group 4.


Each of the six IB subjects will be marked using the IB 7-point scale. These marks are interpreted as follows:

  • 7 – Excellent
  • 6 – Very Good
  • 5 – Good
  • 4 – Satisfactory
  • 3 – Mediocre
  • 2 – Poor
  • 1 – Unacceptable
  • N – No Score Awarded (due to failure to submit work)

Core Subjects

  • The core subjects are also a requirement for the full diploma. They are however individually recognized as stand-alone offerings, whereby course certificate candidates (i.e. students taking selected IB courses and will receive a certificate for these selected courses only) may select at least one of the core subjects during their two-year IBDP programme. A brief description of the core subjects are as follows:
    • The extended essay (EE) has a prescribed limit of 4,000 words. It offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.
    • The interdisciplinary theory of knowledge (TOK)course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other perspectives.
    • Participation in the CASprogramme (creativity, activity, and service) encourages candidates to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work. The programme fosters students’ awareness and appreciation of life beyond the academic arena.

CAS Assessment

CAS is not formally assessed but students need to document their activities and provide evidence that they have achieved the seven learning outcomes.

  • Students do not receive a CAS grade. CAS is pass or fail and you cannot receive an IB diploma without passing CAS.
  • All CAS students are expected to maintain and complete a CAS portfolio as evidence of their engagement with CAS. The CAS portfolio is a collection of evidence that showcases CAS experiences and for student reflections; it is not formally assessed.
  • Completion of CAS is based on student achievement of the seven CAS learning outcomes.

TOK & Extended Essay Assessment

Students will get assessed on two components of TOK:

  • TOK Exhibition (completed by the end of Year 1)
  • TOK Essay (completed by Term 2 of Year 2

These are both internally assessed by our teachers, and the marks are then sent to the IB for moderation purposes. The Extended Essay is externally assessed by an IB examiner. Both the TOK and Extended Essay components are given a mark (A to E letter scale) that is entered in the Diploma Points Matrix below to award a possible maximum of 3 additional points that are added to students’ Diploma score. Candidates who do not submit satisfactory work in either component will not receive an IB Diploma.

Diploma Points Matrix for TOK/Extended Essay
 Extended Essay


















Failing Condition












Failing Condition 

Failing Conditions

  • A student does not submit an extended essay and/or the two TOK components.
  • If a student scores an E in either component, the diploma will not be awarded.

Awarding an IB Diploma

To be a successful IB Diploma student, it is necessary to be well organized and punctual. It is essential for students to manage their time appropriately and prioritize tasks efficiently. The importance of adhering to internal deadlines is paramount.

There is a maximum of 7 points available for each of the six required courses. In addition, there are 3 points available for the combination of TOK and the Extended Essay. Therefore, the maximum number of points available is 45.

In general, in order to receive the IB Diploma, a student must score at least a 4 in each subject, or a minimum total of 24 points. Earning a score of 24 points, however, does not always guarantee the awarding of an IB Diploma. The full criteria for earning the IB Diploma are enumerated below.

The IB Diploma will be awarded to a candidate whose total score is 24 or greater points, provided all of the following requirements have been met:

  • Numeric grades have been recorded in all six subjects registered for the IB Diploma.
  • All CAS requirements have been met.
  • Grades A to D have been awarded for both Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.
  • There is no grade of 1 in any course.
  • There is no grade of 2 in more than 2 courses.
  • There is no grade of 3 in more than 3 courses.
  • At least 12 points have been earned in HL courses (candidates who register for four HL courses must earn at least 12 points in their 3 highest scoring HL courses).
  • At least 9 points have been earned in SL courses (candidates who register for two SL courses must earn at least 5 points in SL courses).
  • The final award committee has not judged the candidate to be guilty of malpractice.

Course Selection at FIS

Students wishing to pursue the IB Diploma must take one class from each of Groups 1 – 5 as well as a sixth class either from Group 6 or a second class from Groups 3 and 4. The courses must be taken at the following levels:

  • 3 Higher Level (HL) courses and 3 Standard Level (SL) courses

  • 4 Higher Level (HL) courses and 2 Standard Level (SL) courses

In addition, all IB Diploma candidates must complete the requirements of the three core subjects.

We offer the following IB subjects at FIS:

Course Selection at

Subject GroupSubjects Offered at FISLevel
Group 1:
Studies in Language & Literature
English A Language & Literature SL HL
Group 2:
Language Acquisition
Arabic B SL HL
Arabic ab initio SL 
French ab initio SL 
Group 3:
Individuals & Societies
Business SL HL
Economics on Pamoja* SL HL
Psychology on Pamoja* SL HL
Group 4:
Biology SL HL
Chemistry SLHL
Physics SL HL
Computer Science SL HL
Group 5:
Mathematics Analysis & ApproachesSL 
Mathematics Analysis & Approaches on
Mathematics Applications &
Interpretations on Pamoja*
Group 6:
The Arts
Film on Pamoja* SL 

*Pamoja is an IB-authorized, online learning platform that enables students to take subjects that we do not offer at school. It relies heavily on independent learning. Pamoja charges students additional fees per subject on an annual basis.