International Baccalaureate (IB)

The I.B Diploma is a qualification accepted by universities throughout the world. It is popular because of its flexibility, emphasis on critical thinking and the acquisition of skills rather than in content for its own sake.

We began our I.B program with 9 candidates in 1982; it has since grown up to a hundred students a year and is now a popular 2 year pre University course. Our I.B Diploma program is taken after the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) or International General Certificate of Secondary Education.

While our school is a boys’ school from Standard one up to Form four, the IB programme is also offered to girls, who make about half the intake. Some of the best students from local private and public schools take up places each year in the program. We continue to have students from other parts of the world, including the East, Central and West African regions.

About IB

The IB is a nonprofit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. Their three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

Founded in 1968, they currently work with 2,634 schools in 135 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 718,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.

The International Baccalaureate (I.B.) diploma course is a comprehensive and rigorous two-year curriculum for students aged between 16 – 20/1 years.  Based on the pattern of no single country, it is a deliberate blend of specialization and breadth of study.

The General Objectives of The IB Program include:

  • To provide students with a balanced education
  • To facilitate geographical and cultural mobility
  • To promote international understanding through a shared academic experience

Diploma programs

1. Studies in Language and Literature : English A: Literature (HL) and English A: Language and Literature

2. Language Acquisition: French B or Swahili B or French Ab.initio or Spanish Ab. initio

3. Individual and Societies: Environmental Systems (SL) or History or Geography or Business Management (SL)or Economics or ITGS (HL)

4 Sciences: Chemistry or Biology or Physics or Environmental Systems & Societies (SL)

5 Mathematics: Maths Higher Level or Maths Standard Level or Mathematical studies

6 Arts: Visual Arts or Theatre Art


  • 2022 (33 POINTS)
  • 2021 (41 POINTS)
  • 2020 (33 POINTS)
  • 2019 (38 POINTS)
  • 2018 (36 POINTS)
  • 2017 (36 POINTS)
  • 2016 (34 POINTS)
  • 2015 (36 POINTS)
  • 2014 (36 POINTS)
  • 2013 (33 POINTS)

The International Baccalaureate (I.B.) Diploma program is a two-year  pre-university diploma course administered from Geneva, Switzerland and   Cardiff, Wales.  The International Baccalaureate Organization is affiliated to UNESCO and its regional offices are in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.  There are now over 3,787 I.B. Schools in about 147 countries all over the world, offering the programme to over 1,184,000 students. St. Mary’s is a day school that offers the K.C.P.E, K.C.S.E and Cambridge I.G.C.S.E ‘O’ Level courses and thereafter this internationally recognized course to students of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.


We accept applications from both boys and girls, who are about to complete their K.C.S.E., I.G.C.S.E. or G.C.E. examinations.

We have had excellent students from schools such as Alliance Boys and Girls, Braeside, Buruburu Girls, Consolata, Kenya High, Kianda, Lenana, Light Academy, Loreto Convent –Msongari, Loreto Convent – Valley Road, Lukenya, Makini, Mangu, Moi Girls, Mt. Kenya Academy, Nairobi Academy, Nairobi International School, Nairobi Jeffery, Precious Blood, Rusinga, Shree Gutchi,  Strathmore, Starehe, and    St. Nicholas.

i)     In the K.C.S.E., applicants should score at east B- in each of their Higher Level    subjects and a C+ in each of their Standard Level subjects. 

ii)     B’s grades are required for all ‘GCE’ and ‘IGCSE’ subjects at all levels.

iii) For those intending to do Mathematics HL or Physics HL they must have   attained an (A*) in their IGCSE or an(A) in their KCSE ‘O’ Level examinations.


1. Applications for places on the IBDP course should reach the IB Office by 31st JULY prior to the year of entry but late entries will be considered.

2. Students from St. Mary’s will be selected after consultations with their Dean.

3. Applicants from outside St. Mary’s will be interviewed in AUGUST prior to the year of entry.  The Principal and the IBDP Coordinator have the final decision on whom to accept for the programme.

4.    A fee of Kshs. 1,000/= is charged for the Application Form


The Diploma candidate must select one subject from each of the six subject groups.

GROUP                                             SUBJECTS

1     Studies in Language                English A: Literature (HL)
and Literature                         English A: Language and Literature

2   Language Acquisition:                French B or Swahili B or French Ab.initio or Spanish Ab. initio

3    Individual and Societies:            Environmental Systems (SL) or  History or  Geography or Business Management (SL)or Economics or ITGS (HL)

4     Sciences:                                Chemistry or Biology or Physics or Environmental Systems & Societies (SL)
5      Mathematics:                          Maths Higher Level or Maths Standard Level or  Mathematical studies

6      Arts:                                        Visual Arts or Theatre Art

(HL) Diploma candidates must study three of these subjects at Higher Level and three at Standard Level, depending on their ability and career choices.

Environmental Systems and Business & Management are only available at Standard Level.

Literature, Theatre Arts and ITGS are only available at Higher Level only.

 Some subject combinations may be difficult to accommodate on the timetable.

See the subject selection form for the teaching sets currently available.

In addition to the six subjects selected, the candidate must also:

i. Follow a course in the Theory of Knowledge. The course unifies academic disciplines and focuses on critical thinking, inquiry into the nature of knowing and deepens students understanding of knowledge as a human construction. TOK encourages the free and clear expression of ideas through discussion and written work.

ii.   In writing the Extended Essay, students engage in independent research through an in depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects that a student is studying.
iii.    By being involved in C.A.S. (i.e. Creativity, Action and Service) students  engage in other activities beside their   academic studies. Creativity engages them in the arts and creative activities; Action enables development of a healthy lifestyle and Service offers students new learning with academic value within the communities they   interact with thus development through experiential learning and journeys of self-discovery.


i. IB results have shown that while challenging, the IB Diploma programme is well within the capability of average but hardworking students

ii. The IB course has gained its international repute from the range of  Intellectual skills as it enables students develop the opportunity offered bypersonal research and involvement in CAS.  It has proved to be the only  pre-university course that adequately prepares student for university   programs anywhere in the world.

iii.    Parents have appreciated the contribution of the IB Diploma programme towards their children’s intellectual development and maturity.


The setting and examining process is administered by the IB Curriculum and Assessment Centre.  Most subject syllabuses require that the teachers  themselves assess part of the work.  This internal assessment is in turn moderated by examiners spread all over the world.· The final grade awarded in each subject is based on a scale of 1-7, ranging from very poor (1), satisfactory (4) to excellent (7).  A bonus mark of up to 3 is awarded for very good work in Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.· An overall point total of 24 is required for the award of the IB Diploma although there are certain disqualifying conditions which are explained to the students once they have started the DP course.