In the Sixth Form, all pupils study for the full International Baccalaureate Diploma. The IB course is a rigorous and well-structured programme designed to provide a broad educational basis that prepares young people for further study at leading universities and work in international contexts. Although the majority of our IB diploma graduates go on to study at leading universities abroad, we have recently been informed by FGV Economia, FIA and ESPM that candidates who have successfully completed an IB Diploma will be excused from taking regular vestibular university entrance exams. PUC, Ibmec, Insper FGV Administração and FAAP have also expressed interest in the IB and are looking at possible entry requirements; this is a positive sign that international education is moving forward in Brazil.
The International Baccalaureate Organisation has identified the need to provide a curriculum broad enough to encourage pupils to understand the concept of “common humanity” and the importance of social responsibility, which is also specific enough to prepare them for higher education and employment in a competitive world. The IB Diploma Programme is not just about teaching content – it teaches pupils how to learn, and provides them with the key values and opportunities they need to make wise choices in life.
This approach is closely aligned with the St. Paul’s values. Our Sixth Form pupils are expected to show initiative and to think for themselves. They are taught to be independent, critical thinkers who understand the world around them, and how they can contribute to it.
Through the IB diploma programme, St. Paul’s is able to develop pupils who:
- have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge
- flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- study at least two languages
- excel in traditional academic subjects
- explore the nature of knowledge through the programme’s unique theory of knowledge course.
International research shows that there are many benefits to choosing the IB diploma programme:
- pupils are better able than their peers to cope with demanding workloads, manage their time and meet the expectations placed on them
- analysis of DP pupils in Canada, the UK and the USA found that the programme’s extended essay improves pupils’ approach to learning in higher education
- 72% of pupils taking the DP in China attend one of the world’s top 500 universities, according to a 2013 study.
Further details on the programme can be found on the IB website at
To view the school’s most recently published IB results, read our School Profile 2021-2022.
IB Learner Profile
The IB learner profile is closely aligned with the St. Paul’s values. The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
IB learners, and Pauleans, strive to be:
- INQUIRERS: 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.
- KNOWLEDGEABLE: 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.
- THINKERS: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
- COMMUNICATORS: 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.
- PRINCIPLED: 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.
- OPEN-MINDED: 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.
- CARING: 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.
- RISK-TAKERS: 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.
- BALANCED: 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.
- REFLECTIVE: 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.