Creating a Better World through Education

In 1968, a group of talented teachers from international schools around the world created the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. What started as a single programme for internationally minded students has today grown to be three separate programs, experienced by more than a million students from state and private schools in over 146 countries.

As the only independent school in Orange County to offer the IB Programme from Preschool through Grade 8, St. Mary’s mission embodies the importance of developing strong and capable leaders through programs that prepare students for positive interaction in a global setting. Through experiences in the classroom, field studies, participation in arts, music and athletic programs, and engagement in community service activities, students experience the fundamentals of leadership.

St. Mary’s is authorized as an IB World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP). The PYP and MYP both emphasize the dynamic combination of knowledge, skills, independent critical thinking, and the appreciation for the richness of life through international awareness. The IB program develops students to be reflective 21st-century learners who are prepared to contribute in an increasingly interdependent world. Students and teachers are engaged in an inquiry-based program that emphasizes collaboration and principled caring behavior.

What is IB Education?

Primary Years Programme 
For Kindergarten students to Grade 5, we focus on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. While Preschool students to Early Kindergarteners are also IB learners, the track for our Early Education Program is tailor-made for our youngest students.

Middle Years Programme
For Grade 6-8, we provide a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, becoming critical and reflective thinkers. Both programmes:

  • Have a strong international dimension.
  • Draw on content from educational cultures around the world.
  • Require study across a broad range of subjects.
  • Include both individual subjects and transdisciplinary areas.
  • Give special emphasis to learning languages.
  • Focus on developing the skills of learning.
  • Provide opportunities for individual and collaborative planning and research.
  • Encourage students to become responsible members of their community.

The IB Learner Profile

The IB Learner Profile is a set of attributes encompassing characteristics IB learners strive to become. The aim is to develop internationally-minded citizens of the world who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. 

IB Learners strive to be:

We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life. 

We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. 

We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise  initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups. 

We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences. 

We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience. 

We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination: we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives-intellectual, physical and emotional-to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live. 

We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communitities.