DP students will take 6 IB courses, one from each of the subject area groups, during 10th and 11th grades, three at a higher level (HL) and three at standard level (SL).
Eagle Hill offers the following IB courses:
Subject Area Groups
Eagle Hill Offerings
Group 1 Language A
Language and Literature HL
Group 2 Language B
Spanish SL or ab initio
Group 3 Individuals and Societies
History HL
Group 4 Sciences
Biology SL or HL
Group 5 Mathematics
Mathematics SL
Group 6 The Arts
Visual Arts SL or HL, Music SL or HL
These two-year courses entail both internal assessments in the form of classroom projects and external assessments in the form of final exams.
DP students will also complete the three elements of the Diploma Programme core:
  • Theory of knowledge- a course about kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing
  • The Extended Essay- an independent research paper
  • CAS- certain extracurricular activities and a service project
DP students will be very busy but should have time for sports and other pursuits. They must be able to work independently, but they will continue to benefit from small classes and support.


Theory of Knowledge
Theory of knowledge (TOK) is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing, rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. It plays a special role in the DP by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, to make connections between areas of knowledge and to become aware of their own perspectives and those of the various groups whose knowledge they share. It is a core element undertaken by all DP students, and schools are required to devote at least 100 hours of class time to the course. The overall aim of TOK is to encourage students to formulate answers to the question “how do you know?” in a variety of contexts and to see the value of that question. This encourages students to develop an enduring fascination with the richness of knowledge.

The aims of the TOK course are to:
  • make connections between a critical approach to the construction of knowledge, the academic disciplines, and the wider world
  • develop an awareness of how individuals and communities construct knowledge and how this is critically examined
  • develop an interest in the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives and an awareness of personal and ideological assumptions
  • critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives
  • understand that knowledge brings responsibility which leads to commitment and action

Extended Essay

The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved DP subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects, or in World Studies. World Studies provides students the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, utilizing two IB disciplines. Both are intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity, engaging students in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent and appropriate manner.
The extended essay, including the world studies option, is a compulsory, externally assessed piece of independent research/investigation. Presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than 4,000 words, it is the result of approximately 40 hours of student work, and concluded with a short interview, or viva voce, with the supervising teacher (recommended).

The aims of the extended essay, including the World Studies option, are to provide students with the opportunity to:
  • pursue independent research on a focused topic
  • develop research and communication skills
  • develop creativity and critical thinking
  • engage in a systematic process of research
  • experience the excitement of intellectual discovery.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen students’ personal and interpersonal learning.
CAS is organized around the three strands of creativity, activity, and service defined as follows.
  • Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
  • Activity—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need.
CAS aims to develop students who:
  • enjoy and find significance in a range of CAS experiences
  • purposefully reflect upon their experiences
  • identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth
  • explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles
  • actively participate in planned, sustained and collaborative CAS projects
  • understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
A CAS experience is a specific event in which the student engages with one or more of the three CAS strands. It can be a single event or an extended series of events. A CAS project is a collaborative series of sequential CAS experiences lasting at least one month. Typically, a student’s CAS programme combines planned/unplanned singular and ongoing experiences. All are valuable and may lead to personal development. However, a meaningful CAS programme must be more than just a series of unplanned/singular experiences. Students must be involved in at least one CAS project during the programme. A CAS project is a collaborative series of connected, sequential CAS experiences lasting at least one month, which include 5 stages of investigation, preparation, action, reflection and demonstration. A CAS project should be an area of strong interest to the student and ideally, include an element of service learning.

P.O. Box 116
242 Old Petersham Road
Hardwick, MA 01037
Phone: 413.477.6000
Fax: 413.477.6837

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School is the premier college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 8-12 with diverse learning profiles, such as ADHD and Dyslexia.