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DP Core

DP Core

In addition to the subjects studied from each of the six groups, every IB student also completes three core requirements. These are: the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and Creativity, action, service (CAS).

The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The theory of knowledge course is in part intended to encourage students to reflect on the huge cultural shifts worldwide around the digital revolution and the information economy.

The extent and impact of the changes vary greatly in different parts of the world, but everywhere their implications for knowledge are profound. Theory of knowledge encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of the knowledge issues they encounter.

Creativity, action, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programe. With its holistic approach CAS is designed to strengthen students’ personal and interpersonal learning.

The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the DP and continues regularly for at least 18 months. CAS requires student participation in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work, either within the school community or outside of it. This involvement fosters an awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic area. CAS aims to develop students who identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth and explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles. Students will learn to understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.

Sample CAS projects:

Creativity: A student group plans, designs and creates a mural.
Activity: Students organize and participate in a sports team including training sessions and matches against other teams.
Service: Students set up and conduct tutoring for people in need.
Service and activity: Students plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community.
Creativity, activity and service: Students rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home.

The extended essay offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student’s six DP subjects, and acquaints them with the independent, high-level research and writing skills expected at university. At SYK this is accomplished through a process of intellectual discovery and creativity which begins in the spring of IB1 and ends in September in IB2. This process includes continuous personal interaction with a teacher-supervisor. The excellence of our students’ extended essays has often attained broader recognition, as, for example, shown by the regular prizes they earn in the TuKoKe competition. Moreover, mention of such rigorous research in student applications and teacher recommendations clearly provides our students with an advantage in being accepted to the best universities.

Examples of Extended Essay topics:

  • Finnish A: Dystopia – pirstaloitunut kuva tulevaisuudesta. Millaisia yhteiskunnallisia epäkohtia romaanien Teemestarin kirja ja Taivas dystopiat heijastavat?
  • Philosophy: What is the extent of the commonalities and differences of the characteristics and end goals of mindfulness in Stoicism and Buddhism?
  • Biology: Effects of NSAIDs on the Small Intestine – How does the concentration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) affect the clonogenic growth and mitochondrial membrane potential of intestinal organoids from the house mouse (Mus musculus)?
  • Economics: Price Discrimination in Train Industry – To What extent does VR benefit from third-degree price discrimination on the route ”Helsinki – Saint Petersburg?”
  • World Studies: What is the best environmentally friendly, affordable and accessible menstrual hygiene product for girls and women in Mongolia, China and Azerbaijan? A World Studies study in chemistry and global politics on the design and implication of a menstrual hygiene product to three regions in Asia
  • History: What conclusions can we draw about power structures of the Henrician political system in the 1530s by analysing the downfall of Anne Boleyn?

CAS Clubs at SYK

At SYK you can join several clubs for CAS. Many of the clubs are student-led, and IB students are encouraged to start clubs of their own. This school year (2023–2024) you can join the following clubs:

Debate club, On Wednesdays at 16–18 in room 2C

Economics and Finance Club / On Thursdays at 16–18, room 3B

Football club On Tuesdays at 16–18 in the school yard

Math Club / On Thursdays at 16–18, room 3C

Medic Club / On Tuesdays at 16–18 in room 3B

MEP club / On Fridays at 14.30–16 in room 26