Marist Brothers International School

Marist Brothers International School

IB Diploma Programme

The IB DP is recognized around the world as a demanding, highly rewarding course of study that not only offers an outstanding curriculum, but also serves as an excellent preparation for college and beyond.

All subjects are taught in English, with the exception of Japanese. With a growing number of students choosing to follow post-graduation pathways here in Japan, we are committed to maintaining an excellent level of language instruction. A significant percentage of our students have undertaken the IB Bilingual DP.

MBIS has been an IB world school since 2017; we are happy to have completed the 5-year self-evaluation in the IB Diploma Programme. We are enthusiastic about becoming an IB continuum school, which will contribute to our goal of raising international-minded young people who will help create a better and more peaceful world.

An International Baccalaureate (IB) education is an international education that provides students with the knowledge and skills to succeed not only in their higher education paths but also in their future careers. One of the main goals of the IB education is to develop an intercultural understanding that will constitute the basis for a better and more peaceful world.

The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous pre-university course of study that is designed to educate the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional, and social growth.

IB mission

The IB develops inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect.

IB learner profile

The aim of all B programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

Benefits of the IB for students (defined by the IB) – IB learners are:

  • encouraged to think critically and solve complex problems
  • drive their own learning
  • a core part in educational programmes that can lead them to some of the highest-ranking universities around the world
  • more culturally aware through the development of a second language
  • able to engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world.


The IB Curriculum

The uniqueness of the programme is due to the design of the curriculum; the subjects are not taught in isolation, and the diploma programme offers a broad, balanced, conceptual, and connected curriculum.The teaching of the courses (approaches to teaching and approaches to learning) provides the students with skills to understand the world around them and the complex nature of humanity. Moreover, the students are encouraged to develop an understanding of not only their local context but also the global context.

Another unique feature of the IB programmes is the breadth and depth of the learning experiences provided through a balanced curriculum. The IB curriculum promotes conceptual learning; the way the courses are designed enables students to transfer knowledge, analyze and evaluate issues, develop creative ideas, and apply new perspectives.

In the Diploma Programme, the students are to study six subjects – one from each of the six subject groups. The six subject groups are:

  • Group 1: Studies in language and literature
  • Group 2: Language acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The arts (or one subject from one of the other 5 groups)


The Diploma Programme requires the students to take at least three (but not more than four) subjects at a higher level (HL), and the rest of the three subjects at a standard level (SL). Standard level subjects are not the simplified versions of the subjects; the higher level subjects consist of a greater body of knowledge and usually have more assessment components.

In addition to the 6 subjects, all IB Diploma students must complete an extended essay (EE), follow a theory of knowledge (TOK) course, and participate in the creativity, activity, & service (CAS) program.

Diploma pathways at Marist Brothers International School

  • MBIS Diploma + IB Subject Certificate(s): the student takes 1-6 IB subjects of their own choice at either HL or SL.
  • MBIS Diploma + IB Diploma: the student takes 6 subjects, 3 at HL & 3 at SL, and fulfills the requirements of the core (TOK, EE, CAS)
  • MBIS Diploma + IB Bilingual Diploma: the student takes 6 subjects, 3 at HL & 3 at SL, and fulfills the requirements of the core (TOK, EE, CAS); the student takes 2 subjects from Group 1 (English A & Japanese A)


School-Supported Self-Taught Languages & DP online courses offered through Pamoja are also options at MBIS.

The core


The students at Marist Brothers International School are offered a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. All activities, ranging from performance arts to sports, from MUN to service activities, take place after school, and all of them contribute to the students’ CAS program. In addition, service activities such as helping feed the homeless of Kobe and working at the Kobe Global Charity Festival are organized on the weekends.

The students are encouraged to undertake CAS activities at school, some of which could be proposed by them; also, students can choose to take part in activities outside the school, provided that a qualified supervisor is monitoring the activity.


Theory of Knowledge is a course that offers students the opportunity to reflect on the nature of knowledge. The course is designed around the question of how we know what to know, and the students are introduced to different ways of knowing and different kinds of knowledge.


Extended Essay is one of the three core elements; it is an independent research-based essay of approximately 4,000 words. It promotes high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity. During this process, the student is guided by a supervisor who is a teacher at the school.




The education offered in the IB Diploma Programme goes beyond academics. The IB education provides the students with opportunities to develop skills of critical thinking and problem solving. Through studies of the core elements, the students develop a love of life-long learning.

According to a study at a university in the United States, the students who wrote an extended essay in the Diploma Programme felt prepared for university coursework involving research and wrote research papers at the university smoothly. Some other survey results indicated that IB students had significantly higher levels of critical thinking than their non-IB peers.

TOK teachers from different parts of the world claimed that the TOK students benefited from the course in developing critical thinking skills and evaluating information.

Research out of Argentina, Canada, and the United States informed that participation in CAS activities helps students develop an ethic of service and self-confidence and become more caring, open-minded and reflective (

The subject offerings at Marist Brothers International School:

Group 1

Studies in language and literature



Group 2

Language acquisition


Group 3

Individuals and societies




Group 4





Group 5




Group 6

The Arts (Electives)




School-Supported Self-Taught Languages & DP online courses offered through Pamoja are also options at MBIS.

English Language Acquisition

Highly supportive language learning environments

With a truly international student body, encompassing children from many countries, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds, the MBIS English as an Additional Language (EAL) Department is an integral part of the MBIS academic program. Our qualified, well-experienced teachers work closely with students at both the Elementary and Upper School levels, with a primary mission to support student development of academic English, so that they can successfully access the mainstream curriculum at MBIS. EAL support classes are offered for students in grades 1-6 and Grade 8. (There is no Grade 7 EAL class in the 2021-2022 school year).
Our EAL program includes:

  • Highly supportive, small class environments.
  • Co-teaching model in Grades 2-5.
  • A focus on developing all four language domains: speaking, reading writing, and listening.