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International Baccalaureate Diploma


In 2018, the International Baccalaureate (IB) celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Pioneering a movement of international education in 1968, the non-profit foundation now offers four high quality and challenging educational programmes to students aged 3-19 years old. Through a unique curriculum with high academic standards, we champion critical thinking and a flexibility for learning by crossing disciplinary, cultural and national boundaries. The IB currently engages with more than 1.4 million students in over 4,775 schools across 153 countries.


More than an education, a world of opportunities

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a challenging educational program which is offered by a worldwide community of schools. The program has gained a reputation for its high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalised 21st century, and for helping to develop the future citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world.

Since 2010 Cairns State High School has delivered the IB Diploma Program as a senior schooling pathway. The challenging two year program develops inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The program also serves as a preparatory university course with the possibility of university credits. The school is very proud of the increasing numbers and calibre of graduates in each cohort.

Only schools accredited as IB World Schools can offer the Diploma Program. Cairns High was the first school and continues to be the only state school outside the South East corner of Queensland to be granted this prestigious accreditation by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).

The IB Learner Profile 

The IB Learner Profile is central to the IB program and encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. IB learners become: 

inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, courageous, balanced and reflective beings.

Core elements of the IB Diploma 

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The interdisciplinary Theory of Knowledge course is designed to provide coherence by exploring the nature of knowledge across disciplines, encouraging an appreciation of other cultural perspectives. 

Extended Essay (EE)

The Extended Essay offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of individual interest, and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. 

Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)

Participation in the Creativity, Action, Service component encourages students to be involved in artistic pursuits, sports and community service work. This aims to foster students’ awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic arena.


IB learners are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject. External assessments form the greatest share and include written assignments and essays marked by external examiners. This allows for a greater degree of objectivity and reliability. 

Experienced and Passionate Teachers

IB subjects are taught by very experienced teachers who have a passion for their subject area. IB Heads of Department and teachers have attended IBO professional development workshops and have visited accredited IB World Schools throughout Australia and internationally. 

Pre IB Program

Academic Enrichment and IB Activity Days for year 8, 9 and 10 students are held throughout the year. These days are designed to introduce prospective students to the IB Learner Profile, to the philosophy, the structure and core elements of the IB Diploma. 

Enrolment into the IB Program

Students currently enrolled at Cairns High should see the IB Team for an application form.  Students not currently enrolled at Cairn High may enrol into the program through the International Baccalaureate Program of Excellence as detailed in the Enrolment Management Plan. 

Stefanie Biancotti l IB Program Manager l T 4050 3065 l E

Jill Brough l IB Admin Officer l T 4050 3058 l E​