A culture rooted in the values of East and West

High School

International Baccalaureate® (IB) High School Diploma Programme (DP)

Respected by leading universities across the globe, the IB High School Diploma Program is designed to help students attain both breadth and depth of knowledge while growing intellectually, physically, emotionally and ethically. Students are also expected to be fluent in at least 2 languages and excel academically in traditional academic subjects. 

The DP was created to provide students with a balanced and all-rounded education, facilitate cultural and geographical mobility and to cultivate international understanding. Created by the teachers at the International School of Geneva with assistance from other international schools, the program has developed and evolved over the years.

According to international research, DP students are much better positioned to cope with demanding workloads compared to their peers. 

According to another study, analysis of DP students in Canada, the UK and the USA found that the DP’s extended essay improves students’ approach to learning in higher education.

In another notable study, 72% of students taking the DP in China attend one of the world’s top 500 universities, according to a 2013 study.


HWA’s rigorous two-year Diploma Programme (DP) is designed to assist young adults to thrive intellectually, academically, and morally, which together, readies them to solve problems at university or future workplaces. Aside from paving one’s way to an IB qualification that is widely recognised by over 1,000 leading universities around the world, successful completion of the IBDP enables students to apply directly to universities with no need to attend pre-university or language remediation programmes.

The IBDP is a highly demanding and rigorous course, and comprises six subject groups: Studies in Language and Literature, Language AcquisitionIndividuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics and The Arts. Students are also required to engage with three mandatory IBDP core subjects including Theory of Knowledge, which is a reflection on the nature of knowledge; Creativity, Action and Service, which involves students in a range of meaningful activities alongside their academic studies; and the Extended Essay, which is a research paper that requires students to demonstrate their ability to explore subjects in creative and thorough ways.

Despite the exigent demands of the IBDP, the programme goes beyond a mere compendium of facts, knowledge and content, to groom students to become caring and sharp-witted thinkers. Students are consistently invited to ask difficult questions, learn via their own esoteric ways, develop a strong sense of identity and culture, while at the same time, to interact with and come to understand peers from different backgrounds. It may be an arduous, two-year challenge, but rewarding, life lessons await students at the end of their IB-DP journeys.


Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.

The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (Lowest) to 7 (Highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results in Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay. The Diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the Creativity, Action, Service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points.

 Course Title   Mode   Duration   Start   End 
 (IB-DP) - GRADE 11 
 Full-Time   12 Months   August   July 
 (IB-DP) - GRADE 12 
 Full-Time   12 Months   August   July 


The optimum teacher-student ratio which is approved by Academic Board, stipulated for HWA programmes is as follows:

 Programme   Teacher:Student ratio 
Kindergarten  1:8 
 Primary School   1:24 
 Middle & High School   1:24