How to Know if the IB Diploma is Right for Me

Megan Armstrong, Acting IB Coordinator

At Kambala we believe educational choice is a critical factor in how we empower girls to discover and realise their purpose in life. For senior students at Kambala, the choice of academic programs includes either the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC). Knowing which pathway is the right choice requires some understanding of the differences between the two course of study.

Academic Depth and Breadth

Established in 1968, the IB Diploma Programme was created by teachers at the International School of Geneva. The Diploma was established to provide students with a balanced education, facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) at Kambala is for students aged 16 to 19 years and aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. Students must study six subject areas and three core elements. Subject areas include:

  • Language and literature
  • Language acquisition
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts

In addition, three core elements encourage students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that involves community service:

  1. Theory of Knowledge
  2. Extended Essay
  3. Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

There are many reasons why your daughter might choose to study the IB over the HSC. For Year 10 Kambala student, Natasha Ludlow, the breadth of the IB offering and the opportunities it presents beyond school appealed the most.

“I have been certain of doing the IB Diploma Programme since joining Kambala in Year 7. The range of subjects on offer and the opportunities it presents after School really appeals to me. I like the idea of a course that is taken by those who really want to do the extra work – since I have been told there is a lot of work to do! – covering six subjects in addition to the core elements,” said Natasha.

A Globally Recognised University Entrance Qualification

The IB Diploma and the HSC both offer rich learning opportunities – there is no wrong choice. However, there are some important differences between the two courses of study. These include:

  • The IB Diploma has a strong focus on university preparation.
  • The IB Diploma is a genuine international qualification and is highly recognised worldwide.
  • The IB Diploma equips students with the skills required for tertiary learning and promotes a spirit of intellectual inquiry and critical thinking.
  • The IB Diploma is a two year course – Years 11 and 12

For Natasha, the IB Diploma’s international recognition was a big drawcard, “The IB provides different opportunities to the HSC. It is globally recognised and makes international study more accessible. I think it will prepare me well for both university and a career as you have to have good time management skills and be self-motivated. I hope that in becoming an IB student I will have an ‘edge’ when I leave Kambala.”

On Wednesday 5 June Kambala will host a public information evening for prospective students and their families interested in learning more about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. To register your attendance, visit

To learn more about Kambala’s academic programs, download our Prospectus.

About Megan Armstrong

Megan Armstrong is the Acting IB Coordinator at Kambala who manages and leads the implementation of the Programme to ensure the highest standard of delivery. Megan coordinates learning across the subject groups and engages with students, parents, teachers and the International Baccalaureate Organisation.