The International Baccalaureate Comes full circle

This year is an exciting one for Cranbrook as the first cohort of 24 students complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Year 12.
December 20, 2022


From our Pre-Schools through to Junior and Middle School Cranbrook teaches through the ‘lens’ of the International Baccalaureate. This year is an exciting one for the School as our first cohort of 24 students complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Year 12.

Cranbrook is one of 214 IB Schools within Australia, and one of only 13 offering the IB continuum programme across Junior and Senior School campuses. The IBDP is widely recognised by Universities in Australia and overseas and used as a tertiary admissions index in 157 countries.

Cranbrook Headmaster Nicholas Sampson is delighted that the first cohort of Cranbrookians are making history at the School. “We are immensely proud of this first cohort of IB Diploma students,”he said. “They have demonstrated academic rigour, overwhelming resilience and creative flair during the course of their studies and are embarking on this journey with the School in its inaugural year, with a focus and courage.”

“Together with our HSC students, the Year 12 cohort have demonstrated tenacity, good humour and generosity of spirit in two years of challenging and disrupted learning. I admire them all,” he says.  

Another 37 students who have started studying the IBDP in Year 11, with numbers expected to increase in the next few years. Director of Academics Nick Jolly says students are choosing to study the IBDP in years 11 and 12 due to their interest in the subjects on offer, and the style of learner they are. “The IB framework focuses on the whole learner through service, action and community which extends much further than just the academics being delivered in the classroom. When you combine this with the skills-based framework, you have a learner that is knowledgeable in many disciplines, but also one who is well rounded and understands they’re more than just a mark on a piece of work,” he says.

The IBDP demands a broad skill set, as students need to study within six clearly defined subject groups, and the study of English, Maths and a language is compulsory. The range of courses include Global Politics to Psychology, History, Design Technology, Spanish, Japanese, French, Theatre, Music, Environmental Systems and Societies, Literature and various Mathematics and Science courses.

The School is proud to be an IB Continuum School, offering an alternate path of study for students as well as cementing Cranbrook’s reputation as a World Class School. We wish the cohort of 2022 every success in their exams and beyond.


From Year 7 to Year 10, Cranbrook teaches the NSW Curriculum through the lens of the IB’s Middle Years Programme (MYP). The Personal Project is the culminating event that rounds off the MYP journey. We talk to Year 10 student Piers Alcott about the progress he’s made.

The Personal Project formally assesses students’ approaches to learning (ATL) skills for self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration. It allows students to demonstrate the skills they have learnt over the course of the MYP, developing a learning goal and product that is relevant and of interest.

Piers Alcott of Woodward House has created a piece of music for his Personal Project:

“My experience has been so positive. My goal is to challenge myself by creating a self-composed piece of music. I have been able to spend more time on a great interest of mine to the benefit of my schoolwork, not just independent inquiry. This has enabled me to flourish at home and at School, where I am constantly bouncing ideas off my mentor, teachers and peer, and thinking of how I can improve. The project not only allows me to explore one skill of interest but to learn and develop many skills through its multi-term course. Each of these I foresee as being beneficial to my personal and working adult life. I am enhancing my musicality certainly, but also my recording, variability, and communication skills, all while enjoying my afternoons with my guitar. I gather from other students that the personal project this year has been accepted as a fun and engaging opportunity, and I feel the same.”

Adrian Harrison, Director of Curriculum for years 7 – 12, has guided Piers in his Personal Project.

“I have found the personal project is an excellent opportunity to develop my relationship with Piers as a learner. What’s great about the project is the passion, drive and interest coming from the learner. Given the enthusiasm for the guitar comes from Piers, in some instances our roles are reversed as he drives a lot of the sessions. My role is to facilitate the discovery process and help him to reflect on his learning”

I firmly believe in the quote: “It is the little conversations that build the relationships and make an impact on each student.” Robert Meehan.