International Baccalaureate

NLCS is a centre of excellence for the International Baccalaureate. We have offered the IB Diploma Programme as an alternative pathway to A Levels in the Sixth Form since 2004. With 20 years of consistent student success and deep expertise in teaching the Diploma Programme, we enjoy a privileged position as one of the highest-achieving IB World Schools anywhere across the globe and we place regularly in the top three IB schools in the country.

In 2023, NLCS was the number one institution in the UK for IB results.

The IB is highly recognised by universities and employers for the breadth and interdisciplinarity of the curriculum and the critical thinking skills and greater global awareness that it encourages. The curriculum promotes an ambitious academic education that allows for specialisation while maintaining a valuable balance up to age 18 between Languages, Maths, Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. Students choose six subjects from a wide selection, opting for three to which they will dedicate more time at Higher Level and three as supporting subjects at Standard Level.

At the heart of the IB curriculum are three core components which ensure that students grow into independent, critical thinkers whilst balancing academic study with other pursuits and the development of responsible citizenship. Alongside their six subjects, every student:

• follows a course in Theory of Knowledge, which challenges them to reflect critically upon the nature and complexity of knowledge, transcending and unifying the six subjects whilst building appreciation of different intellectual and cultural perspectives
• submits an Extended Essay, an original in-depth study on a topic they choose, allowing them to investigate an area of interest and develop the skills of independent research and extended writing expected at university
• fulfils a Creativity, Activity & Service (CAS) component, a refreshing and empowering element which all NLCS Sixth Formers achieve through our broad co-curricular programme with its emphasis on student leadership of societies, intellectual and artistic enrichment and service to others.

IB students from NLCS have gone on to great success at university in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe, studying a wide range of subjects such as Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Modern Languages, Neuroscience, History, PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), English, Chemistry and Economics. While the number of points required for university admission varies according to the institution and the course, a typical UK offer usually lies between 35 and 39 points. Offers for places at Oxford or Cambridge are typically between 38 and 42 points – well within the reach of a student achieving the School’s average score.

IB students are highly sought-after by leading universities, and the IB is an equally attractive and valuable pathway for those seeking to study in the UK or go overseas. Recent UK research shows that IB students are three times more likely than non-IB students to gain entrance to a top 20 university and are 38% more likely to progress to postgraduate study. The IB provides great preparation for overseas applications too: for example, another recent study revealed that IB students in the US are more likely than other groups to gain admission to more selective universities.

Isabella and Sophia celebrate their perfect IB scores of 45 points in 2024