Group 6

The Arts

IB Diploma Programme students have the option of choosing one of the following subjects in lieu of Group 1-5.

Subjects available are

  • Theatre
  • Dance

Theatre is a dynamic, collaborative and live art form. It is a practical subject that encourages discovery through experimentation, the taking of risks and the presentation of ideas to others. It results in the development of both theatre and life skills; the building of confidence, creativity and working collaboratively.

The IB Diploma Programme theatre course is a multifaceted theatre-making course of study. It gives students the opportunity to make theatre as creators, designers, directors and performers. It emphasizes the importance of working both individually and collaboratively as part of an ensemble. It offers the opportunity to engage actively in the creative process, transforming ideas into action as inquisitive and productive artists.

The syllabus clearly indicates a difference between SL and HL. It allows for greater breadth and depth in the teaching and learning at HL through an ad additional assessment task which requires HL students to engage with theatre theorists and their theories.

Curricular Objectives

  • Enjoy lifelong engagement with the arts
  • Become informed, reflective and critical practitioners in the arts
  • Understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts
  • Explore and value the diversity of the arts across time, place and cultures
  • Express ideas with confidence and competence
  • Develop perceptual and analytical skills.
  •  In addition, the aims of the theatre course at SL and HL are to enable students to: explore theatre in a variety of contexts and understand how these contexts inform practice (theatre in context)
  • Understand and engage in the processes of transforming ideas into action (theatre processes)
  • Develop and apply theatre production, presentation and performance skills, working both independently and collaboratively (presenting theatre)

For HL only:

understand and appreciate the relationship between theory and practice (theatre in context, theatre processes, presenting theatre).

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specified content
  • Describe the relationship between theatre and its contexts
  • Identify appropriate and valuable information from research for different specialist theatre roles (creator; designer; director; performer)
  • Present ideas, discoveries and learning, gained through research and practical exploration to others
  • Demonstrate application and analysis of knowledge and understanding
  • Explain the relationship and significance of the integration of production, performance and research elements
  • Explore and demonstrate different ways through which ideas can be presented and transformed into action
  • Explain what has informed, influenced and had impact on their work
  • Demonstrate synthesis and evaluation
  • Evaluate their work and the work of others
  • Discuss and justify choices
  •  Examine the impact their work has had on others
  • Select, use and apply a variety of appropriate skills and techniques
  • Demonstrate appropriate skills and techniques in the creation and presentation of theatre in different specialist theatre roles (creator; designer; director; performer)
  • Demonstrate organization of material including use and attribution of sources
  • Demonstrate the ability to select, edit and present work appropriately

Approaches to the teaching of theatre

The syllabus has been designed to reflect the dynamic nature of theatre and theatre-making. In designing and delivering the curriculum, teachers have a free choice in the selection of plays, playwrights, theorists and theatre practices, which include theatrical forms, movements, styles, genres and traditions. Teachers are encouraged to interpret the syllabus creatively according to local circumstances and the context of the school. No time allocation is given for any individual area of the syllabus because most activities may cover several different parts of the course. Careful planning of class activities and productions, and also, where feasible, of visits to experience external productions and workshops with theatre practitioners, is needed to make the best use of the time and resources available. Teachers in a theatre programme should consider themselves as engineers of experiences. The teacher's role is to create opportunities that allow the students to explore, learn, discover and collaborate to become autonomous, informed and skilled theatre-makers. Students also learn the importance of making theatre with integrity, with an understanding of the impact that theatre can have on the world.

Approaches to learning in theatre

The Diploma Programme theatre course is student-centred and places student explorations at the heart of a holistic learning experience. Students focus on the techniques and methods of making theatre, and present these discoveries in a variety of ways, through performance, presentation, demonstration and written expression. Learning about theatre relies on action and the course must be experienced practically. The collaborative process is essential in theatre and students should experience and reflect on the processes of collaboration, its benefits and its challenges. Organization, self-management and independent study skills are important. Students learn through problem-solving and inquiry. They communicate their learning through action, staging, project planning, workshops, presentations,
physical demonstrations, oral, visual and written expression. The course requires higher order thinking skills, such as analysis and synthesis. Students should also learn what is relevant and useful for their own investigations and how to put their knowledge and understanding into practice, transforming ideas into action.



All dance is expressive movement with intent, purpose and structure, which communicates through the body and gestures of the dancer. It exists over time in many forms and styles and is practised in all traditions and cultures, taking place in a range of contexts for various purposes. 

Dance is always evolving, as innovations develop alongside or from traditional forms and practices. Dance works may be seen as social and historical texts reflecting the cultures from which they emerge. Dance is a unique medium for learning about self and the world. It is one essential component of artistic, aesthetic and cultural education, and develops creative potential through physical expression. In dance, the integration of body, mind and spirit helps participants learn skills that are transferable to other disciplines and to their daily lives.

Consistent with the educational philosophy of the IB, the Diploma Programme dance curriculum aims for a holistic approach to dance, and embraces a variety of dance traditions and dance cultures-past, present and looking towards the future. Performance, creative and analytical skills are mutually developed and valued whether the students are writing papers or creating/performing dances.

The curriculum provides students with a liberal arts orientation to dance. This orientation facilitates the development of students who may become choreographers, dance scholars, performers or those, more broadly, who seek life enrichment through dance.

Learning outcomes

Through studying any of the group 6 subjects-the arts-students become aware of how artists work and communicate. The aims of all subjects in group 6 are to enable students to:

  • Enjoy lifelong engagement with the arts.
  • Become informed, reflective and critical practitioners in the arts.
  • Understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts.
  • Explore and value the diversity of the arts across time, place and cultures.
  • Express ideas with confidence and competence.
  • Develop perceptual and analytical skills.

In addition, the aims of the dance course at SL and HL are to help students to:

Understand dance as a set of practices with their own histories and theories, and to understand that these practices integrate physical, intellectual and emotional knowledge.

Experience dance as an individual and collective exploration of the expressive possibilities of bodily movement. Understand and appreciate mastery in various dance styles, traditions and cultures familiar and unfamiliar. Recognize and use dance to create dialogue among the various traditions and cultures in their school environment, their society and the world at large.

Teaching Methodology

In the teaching of the dance course it should be possible to have groups of students that include both SL and HL students. Through a variety of teaching approaches, all students—whether SL or HL will be encouraged to develop their creative and critical abilities and to enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of dance. The dance course has three components of study, Composition and analysis, World dance studies, Performance. The course has an in-built flexibility, allowing the study of diverse world dance cultures and/or traditions and styles. Students are required and encouraged to explore dance from cultures and/or traditions distant from their areas of familiarity.

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