FAQs

Where can I find the NS Department of Education’s website regarding IB?
The DOE website can be found here.

Question about DP:

Does the IB Diploma satisfy the Nova Scotia Department of Education requirements?
Yes. A student who fulfills the requirement for an IB Diploma will be awarded a Nova Scotia Graduation Diploma.

Is there a heavier workload associated with IB Courses?
Yes. The IB program is recognized for its academic rigor. Emphasis is placed on the in-depth examination of a particular topic. Students are expected to commit to independent research, reading, analysis and lab work. This generates a significant work load for IB students, and the development of time management and study skills is an important component of the program. There is, however, support built into the program at Horton such as coordinated teacher assignments and sessions on effective study strategies to help students work more efficiently.

What is the amount of time that a typical IB student would spend on homework each night?
It varies among individual students, but one can expect to spend about two to three hours a night on homework assignments.

Do IB students get to take electives?
The IB Diploma Programme is definitely more focused than the non-IB program at Horton, but students do have an opportunity to choose a couple of elective courses. All students in grade 10 Horton preIB at Horton get to choose one elective. Keep in mind that within the IB program, students do have choices of which courses they will take and at what level.

Can students participate on sports teams and in other extra-curricular activities when enrolled in the IB program?
Yes. The IB program emphasizes a well rounded education that includes extra-curricular activities. IB students are encouraged to get involved in the extra curricular life at Horton and will receive credit for the CAS component of the IB diploma program for participation in many of the activities that we offer at the school. It is expected that students will learn to manage their time effectively so that they do not get overwhelmed by academic and extra curricular commitments.

Is it true that IB students have no life?
No. IB students do spend a lot of time on their course work, but also become very good at managing their time to ensure they do have a life. The CAS requirements ensure that IB students are physically active and involved in a variety of extracurricular activities.

Won’t I get lower marks in IB courses than I would in non-IB courses?
The IB Diploma Programme is an academically challenging program with internationally standardized assessment. This is why the IB Diploma has such a stellar reputation and is so highly regarded at universities all over the world. Students can be very successful and achieve the IB Diploma and the recognition awarded to it, such as preferred entrance and advanced standing at universities, without earning straight A’s. It is the rigor of the program that is important, not just the marks. The IB Diploma Programme is so beneficial because it is an excellent international curriculum that gives students the skills necessary to be successful in post-secondary studies, not that it allows students an opportunity to score high marks in all courses.

If I go into the IB Diploma Programme, won’t I be with the same people all the time?
Students in the IB Diploma Programme at Horton will be taking classes with other highly motivated students who are also pursuing the IB Diploma. (IB graduates often describe the lasting friendships that have been forged with fellow IB students as they work together and support each other throughout the IB program). Within the IB Diploma Programme, there will be a selection of IB courses from which students can choose. A student pursuing a course of studies with an emphasis on the sciences will be enrolled in different courses than a student pursuing a course of studies with an emphasis on the humanities. IB students will be actively involved in the larger school and local communities through their CAS activities. This will include membership on sport teams, clubs, Student Government and volunteer agencies. There will be many opportunities for IB students to meet and spend time with students who are not taking IB courses.

Is it true that the IB Diploma Programme is geared more towards students planning to pursue liberal arts in university?

No. While the IB Diploma Programme offers an excellent foundation for those students who are planning to take a Bachelor of Arts upon graduating from high school, the IB Diploma Programme has an excellent selection for students who are strong in the sciences. Horton offers three IB science courses and a strong math program. As part of the IB curriculum, science students will spend a lot of time developing independent laboratory research skills. Students will also take part in a multidisciplinary science research project and may also choose to do their extended research essay on a scientific topic.

Is it true that the IB Diploma Programme is geared more towards students planning to pursue sciences in university?

No. While the IB Diploma Programme offers an excellent foundation for those students who are planning to take a Bachelor of Science upon graduating from high school, the IB Diploma Programme has an excellent selection for students who are strong in the liberal arts. Horton offers History, Geography, and English at the higher level. These courses, combined with the requirement of Theory of Knowledge, provide an excellent foundation for students in the humanities.

At Horton we offer two different types of math courses (see “Course Registration” link at left) to give students a choice between a pre-calculus type math course or a statistics based math course which may be of more interest to students who wish to pursue a liberal arts program.

A student graduating with an IB Diploma and higher level English, history or geography course will be extremely well prepared for to pursue the liberal arts in their post secondary studies.

Will IB courses replace advanced courses at Horton?
No, advanced courses will continue to be offered at Horton. However, sufficient enrollment is required in any course for it to be staffed and scheduled in the timetable.

In what year does the IB program begin?
The IB Diploma Program officially begins in Grade 11, however students will take diploma preparation courses in Grade 10 (Horton preIB) in order to prepare for IB courses.

How is eligibility for the Grade 10 Diploma Preparation program determined?
Any committed, conscientious student should be successful in the IB Diploma Programme. Motivated students capable of coping successfully with our regular high school academic courses should also be able to cope with the IB diploma, provided they are willing to put in the extra time and effort required. There is no entrance exam or pre-requisite as part of the selection process at Horton High school, but we encourage you to seek advice from your teachers, guidance counselors and parents before deciding to pursue Horton preIB.

How does one decide which courses to take at the Higher Level?
You must take three of six IB courses at a higher level. Which ones you decide to take will depend on what higher level courses are being offered at Horton, your academic strengths, area of interest and future plans. You will meet with the Diploma Program Coordinator and Guidance Counselors when making this decision.

If I register for the IB Diploma Program (DP) and I decide that it is not for me, when can I ‘get out’ and return to regular public school programming (PSP) courses?
Having consulted with the IB Coordinator, students may exit from the DP at the end of their grade 11 year. However, if a student chooses to leave the IB Diploma program after grade 11, he or she must complete all NS graduation requirements.

Do universities recognize IB courses and offer advanced standing to those students who have earned an IB diploma? 

Universities are strong supporters of the IB Diploma Programme and recognize IB students in their admission policies and scholarships.

Here are some links to specific universities IB admissions policies.

Dalhousie University
Saint Mary’s University
University of King’s College
Acadia
St F X
Mount Saint Vincent
Memorial University
Mount Allison
UPEI
UBC
McGill
Queen’s
University of Waterloo
University of Alberta
University of Calgary
University of Toronto

Are students required to complete diploma preparation courses before enrolling in the IB Program?
It is strongly recommended that students who would like to enroll in the IB Diploma Programme take Diploma Preparation courses (Horton preIB) so that they have the academic skills necessary to meet the demands of IB courses.

Can I transfer from one IB school to another and still remain in the IB Diploma Programme?

Yes, but one should be aware that while the IB Diploma Programme is standardized, the availability of courses varies from school to school.

Can I complete my IB diploma if I transfer to a non IB school? 
No, the IB Organization does not allow students to complete an IB Diploma or certificate courses unless they are attending an IB school.

Questions asked by Students thinking about Pre-IB:

Is Pre-IB for you?
Horton pre-IB (grade 10) may be for you if you…
* enjoy an academic challenge
* have a curious frame of mind
* have a good work ethic (reliable, completes assignments on time)
* possess tenacity (strong self motivation) — doesn’t get frustrated or give up easily..you have “stick-with-it-ness”
* a desire to succeed
* enjoy reading
* possess competent writing and math skills

Horton pre-IB is an opportunity …
* for enriched curriculum
* to explore ideas and stretch yourself
* to learn new transferable skills
* to be better prepared to choose the IB Diploma Program during course selections of your Grade 10 year

Are Pre-IB courses the same as regular academic courses at Horton High School?
Pre-IB courses have essentially the same outcomes and timeline as the associated academic courses. All courses were developed by the NS Dept of Education.

Are Pre-IB courses different than regular academic courses at Horton High School?
Pre-IB courses are embedded with specific skill development in research, essay writing, critical analysis, oral presentation, and problem solving to prepare for entry into the IB Diploma program in Grade 11-12 OR to better prepare you for any curriculum you wish to engage in at Horton High School. The types of assessments assigned by pre-IB teachers may be different to develop these skills. In a few courses there may be additional content incorporated or the pacing of the course may be slightly faster. Usually there is a lot of opportunity for you to gain confidence in your own voice and ideas, as respectful open discussion is encouraged. Students in the pre-IB courses are usually really interested in learning.

Would the pre-IB Grade 10 students get different exams than the other Grade 10 students taking the same courses?
Yes, however, the exams are often only slightly different as pre-IB courses have essentially the same outcomes as the academic courses for the same subject. Pre-IB courses differ in the type of assessments that may be expected as specific skills like research, essay writing, critical analysis, oral presentations, time management and problem solving are developed to help students in their preparation for entry into the IB Diploma program.

Am I able to meet new people?
All Grade 10 students at Horton High School take four courses each semester. Six of the eight classes you take in Grade 10 are pre-IB designated courses and you will have students in these classes that are registered in pre-IB. Each class will be comprised of a different make up of pre-IB students. There are lots of opportunities to meet other students attending Horton High School before and after school or at lunch during extracurricular or social activities.

How much homework should I expect?
All students entering Horton High School in Grade 10 will be making an adjustment to their homework routine. Students will experience changes related to the semester system, pacing of instruction, curriculum and their new physical and social environment. Most students will establish a new routine for themselves by mid October (~ 6 weeks).
Everyone is different in how they manage their time and how efficient they are in completing their work well. As your skills improve, the amount of time that you need to spend doing your homework may change. A reasonable expectation for all students is 1-2 hours Monday to Friday and 3-4 hours on the weekend. Homework may include reviewing notes taken in class for understanding (sticky notes and highlighters can help here!), reading associated text material for understanding, completing specific assessment tasks assigned by the teacher, preparation for quizzes, tests and exams. A regular homework routine can improve your confidence with new material and your performance. The most important step is to stay focused in the classroom and to do as much work as possible in this setting, to minimize work that must be done at home.

How do I get help if I need it?
Support is available for all students at Horton High School. Pre-IB students can find support for both academic and personal concerns. If you need help please contact the IB Coordinator (Mr. Fuller) right away. Try and not put this off, because to be proactive in addressing a problem is usually the best strategy. Guidance Counsellors, Pre-IB and IB teachers, and Administration are also available to support students. Specific services exist to help students with their academics such as – Library support, workshops on Time Management and Biology of Stress to name a few.

Do I have to take Pre-IB French?
Yes. A second language is an essential component of the IB Diploma program. You may or may not decide to enter the IB Diploma program in the spring of your Grade 10 year. If you decide to enter the IB Diploma program, you will be properly prepared to do so, if not, the Pre-IB French course will count as one of your electives towards a Nova Scotia graduation certificate.