International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit educational organisation based in Geneva, with three regional offices around the world. Spojená škola Novohradská, which offers IBD study as part of its secondary education sector (Gymnázium Jura Hronca), is under the supervision of the branch office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries, based in Stockholm.
IB was born in 1968 in response to the necessity of geographical mobility of diplomats, salesmen, scientists with their families and other people, for whom change of dwelling is a part of lifestyle. In the era of rapid advancing international relations and communication possibilities, whole families with children of secondary-school age, the age of preparing for the university and further careers, began to move. Therefore, IB, supported by various foundations, universities, but also by the governments of various countries founded a network of schools, offering a standardized two-year secondary study. Today, IB offers four programmes: PYP (Primary Years Programme), MYP (Middle Years Programme), DP (Diploma Programme) and most recently also CP (Career-related Programme). At the moment, there are approximately 4400 schools which offer IB programmes around the world, 3000 of them offering IBD programme. Schools offering IB programmes are among the best-ranked schools in their home countries.
Spojená škola Novohradská is the only state-funded school offering IB diploma in Slovakia and the only school in Slovakia offering all three IB programmes; PYP, MYP and DP. Thanks to our school, in 1994, Slovakia joined the group of countries that support geographic mobility by IBD programme – the possibility of moving to another country during studies, where students can continue in the same programme. Many take advantage of this, Slovaks as well as students from abroad. Students who do not live in Bratislava stay at dormitories in most cases.
IBD programme at our school, like elsewhere in the world, is based on a balanced compromise between the model of very narrow and specialised secondary study (typical mainly in the US) and the model that is common Central and Eastern Europe, characterised by less deep, broadly-focused syllabi of many subjects. The programme is designed for the last two years of high school, with focus on students aged primarily 16 to 19. Around the world, the official languages of IBDP are English, French and Spanish. In our school, the IBD programme is being taught in English.