Upper School

One School, Two Diplomas

The Upper School comprises all students from Grade 7 to Grade 12 and represents approximately 40 percent of our total student body.

CDNIS students are required to attempt both the IB Diploma and the OSSD. Many students and parents alike are concerned that this effectively doubles the workload of students in their final years at the school. This is not the case. The programmes are highly complementary. Most of the subject material required for OSSD courses is contained within the equivalent IB course, which is therefore taught as one course. Teachers ensure that their classroom instruction covers all subject requirements of the two curricula.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme serves as the cornerstone of the learning experience in the Upper School. All students in Grade 11 and 12 are enrolled in the full Diploma Programme (DP). The DP is designed as an academically challenging and balanced university preparatory programme. The programme is taught over two years culminating in final examinations and has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities. In Grades 7 – 10, all students are enrolled in the Middle Years Programme (MYP). The MYP provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.

In Grades 7 and 8, as part of the MYP, in addition to the core subjects of Math, English, Science and Humanities, all students will take French, Mandarin, Music, Drama, Visual Arts and Health and Physical Education. In Grades 9 and 10, students have several subject choices available from the areas required by the MYP and the OSSD. In Grades 11 and 12, as part of the Diploma Programme, students study six courses at higher or standard level but must choose one subject from each of Groups 1 to 5 (see course calendar), thus ensuring breath of experience in Languages, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics. The sixth subject may be an Arts course taken from Group 6, or the student may choose another course from Groups 1 to 5.

As students prepare for university admission, we provide counselling and academic support tailored to meet goals, needs and strengths. CDNIS is proud to host more than 300 university reps every year on campus and also organize an annual Higher Education Fair in March each year. We advertise university visits to our students and parents and also organize annual visits during school breaks to campuses around the world.

Please visit the Upper School website for details regarding the interface between the IB Programme and the OSSD.