The Core of the Diploma Programme

The Grade 11 and 12 Diploma Programme is made up of three core requirements: CAS, Extended Essay, and the Theory of Knowledge. All three work together to enrich the two-year program, providing balance, critical thinking skills, and preparation to succeed in post-secondary studies.

Creativity, Activity, & Service (CAS)

Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) provides balance to the highly academic Diploma Program. At Meadowridge, students are provided opportunity to complete CAS requirements in ways which are meaningful, enlightening, and profound.

Creativity: Students explore their creative side in the arts, music, photography, or the design of service projects.

Action: Students get moving, taking initiative in sports, physical learning experiences, and expeditions – it’s a great chance to keep fit and active through all the studying!

Service: Students perform valuable service projects in the local and international communities.

Why Does This Matter?

Balance is at the core of CAS. Students balance out the highly academic DP with skills that – while not always readily taught through curriculum – are certainly applicable to curriculum, career, and well-being:

  • Increased self-awareness, including strengths and areas for growth.
  • Confidence to take on new challenges.
  • Initiative to plan and take lead on projects, both independently and collaboratively.
  • Perseverance and commitment.
  • Ability to engage with issues of global importance.
  • Empowerment to think and act ethically.




The Extended Essay

Beginning in their Grade 11 year, our DP students embark on a two-year, self-directed piece of research; and, by the time they submit their 4,000-word paper in their grade 12 year, they will have produced a university level research paper.

The Extended Essay teaches students how to formulate an appropriate research question, to engage in a personal exploration of the topic, and to develop a sustained and reasoned argument throughout the paper.

Why Does This Matter?

The Extended Essay teaches students how to formulate an appropriate research questions, to engage in a personal exploration of the topic, and to develop a sustained and reasoned argument throughout the paper.


Extended Essay Topics of Study

See below for examples of research questions our students have asked and answered in their own Extended Essays.




Theory of Knowledge

The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is central to the educational philosophy of the Diploma Programme, providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and how we know what we claim to know. In TOK, students learn to question and understand how they know what they know.

From the IB Website

Theory of knowledge (TOK) plays a special role in the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.