The IB Diploma and the New National Curriculum of Secondary Education

During this past year, the enactment of the new National Curriculum of Secondary Education has generated much debate regarding the changes that will take place with the new curriculum. Here at ESB Rio de Janeiro, the planning of the new High School has started early on. As an IB World School, we realized that many of the features that lie at the core of the new high school program are not novelties for our students, and many of the proposed actions had already been in place in the school for quite some time. 

One of the main aspects of the new curriculum is the flexibility it gives to students in order to choose their own path through the curriculum. Instead of a fixed one-fits-all curriculum, the new model provides the opportunity for students to select areas to deepen their studies, in which they intend to pursue their academic and professional goals. This possibility of curriculum customization is already part of the IB Diploma, where students may choose to take Standard or Higher Level classes. The increasing number of IB subject options, in addition to classes focused on the Brazilian National Curriculum, offers our students the diversified curriculum that the new Brazilian Secondary Education is aiming to provide. 

The Life Project (Projeto de Vida) is another key element that is introduced with the new Secondary Education curriculum. Here, students are meant to develop skills that will enable them to reflect on their role and identity in society, in order to foster a more creative, participative and active attitude of students in their own learning and in the path they wish to take. Beginning with the MYP 5th year Personal Project, students at ESB Rio de Janeiro already start their Life Project, developing the necessary skill set that the new Brazilian curriculum intends to introduce. This is continued in the IB Diploma with the CAS projects (Creativity, Activity and Service). Through specific classes and extracurricular activities, our students further develop those abilities through collective and individual projects.

Recently, it has been determined that implementation of the new high school curriculum will only begin in Rio de Janeiro in 2024. Even though its enactment has been postponed, much of the core ideals of the new Brazilian National Curriculum of Secondary Education are already in place at our school. Those fundamental principles are in alignment with international trends in education that compose an important feature of the IB Diploma, an integral part of the curriculum at our school.

Maurício Drumond, IB Diploma Coordinator