Belief in Education
The guiding force at Leysin American School is to encourage all students to reach their full potential in every area, developing new skills and strengths in the process.
We are committed to the philosophies and principles behind the International Baccalaureate Organization because we believe that quality work and high standards are attainable by all young people, whether or not they choose to pursue the full International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
Advantage of the IB
The International Baccalaureate Organization, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, oversees this rigorous academic and prestigious academic programme, which is internationally recognized as one of the best university preparations available. The two-year programme usually begins in the eleventh grade and continues through the twelfth grade.
At Leysin American School, we offer a range of subjects for the IB in a supportive high school setting. This has resulted in strong university placements and offers for our students, including college credit in selected IB subjects based on each university’s policies.
IB Campus and Teaching at LAS
Our LAS Belle Époque Campus is now home to the IB Programme, with dedicated teachers who specialize in developing each student’s potential. This allows students the chance to fully focus on obtaining the highest possible personal score. Combined with university preparation and visits from university representatives, IB and U.S. Diploma students optimize their opportunities to enter their chosen universities.
The LAS location is an idyllic mountaintop setting in a ski resort. Separate male and female dormitory wings include staff members who supervise and take care of students’ requirements. Facilities include a dining hall, gym, art and music rooms, and various resources for recreational activities.
Diploma Subjects and Content
Over the course of the two-year programme, students will study:
Six subjects chosen from the six subject groups
Five core subject areas—
- Second language
- Social studies
- Any core subject area or arts
- Complete an extended essay.
- Follow a theory of knowledge course (TOK).
- Participate in creativity, action, service (CAS).
Three of the six subjects are studied at Higher Level (courses representing 240 teaching hours); the remaining three subjects are studied at Standard Level (courses representing 150 teaching hours).
Students whose native language is not English, and who are unable to study literature in English at the A1 level, have the option to pursue Language A1 Self-Taught. IB Diploma candidates must take at least three Higher Level courses and no more than three Standard Level courses.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
To graduate with the IB Diploma, students must complete the Theory of Knowledge course and an Extended Essay and also document the required number of CAS hours (150 hours). Successful candidates may earn the IB Diploma in addition to the LAS high school diploma. Students who demonstrate above-average work on Theory of Knowledge assessments and their Extended Essays may earn up to three bonus points toward the IB Diploma.
IB courses are given final, cumulative scores on a scale of 0-7. Diploma candidates must earn a minimum score of 24 points for six courses to earn the IB Diploma. IB Diploma candidates must take at least three Higher Level courses and no more than three Standard Level courses. Typically, internal assessments will count between 20 percent and 30 percent of a final subject score.
LAS and IB Grading
Leysin American School recognizes that scores provided by the IBO represent external standards that, although representative of the values we seek in students, do not always reflect a student’s work in the classroom. To that end, LAS provides its students with percentage grades rooted in IB standards but based on performance and effort in the classroom.
Although there is no formal admission process to the IB Diploma Programme, students will be expected to have earned good grades in all subjects and to have shown active engagement in the learning process that marks the successful IB Diploma candidate. Non-native English speakers will need to show sufficient mastery of the English language to be admitted to IB studies.
LAS students have many opportunities to take IB courses, even if they do not wish to pursue the IB Diploma. Students who take IB-level classes will be expected to complete all IBO assessments relevant to each course.