St. Mary's An IB World School

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What is an IB Education?

Creating a Better World through Education2 preschool sisters dressed in Japanese attire

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 private 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.

Primary Years Programme Two 5th grade boys with chart to share at expo

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 Junior 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.grade 7 students genetics science lesson growing sweat peas

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.