Theory of Knowledge Experience

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme offers a wide range of unique experiences and opportunities that further develop students’ knowledge. One experience that is exclusive to the program is the Theory of Knowledge, or TOK, course. With a focus on cultivating and fostering one’s critical thinking skills, IB students explore the nature of knowledge, how it is acquired, and how it is applied to a wider-world context. This subject is extremely unique to IB as it promotes not only intellectual growth but personal growth.

The museum trip to Auckland War Memorial in May was an opportunity for students to engage with the TOK aspect of our unique IB curriculum. One of the ways TOK is assessed is through an exhibition, where students must respond to a prompt about knowledge, choosing three specific objects to support their ideas. Students benefited from this trip as they were inspired by the wide range of objects available at the museum, many of which hold great significance to Māori culture, and could potentially be used for their TOK exhibitions.


Extended Essay Cafe 

Another unique experience is the Extended Essay, or EE. The EE is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word academic essay. The extended essay provides students with a fantastic opportunity to investigate a topic of great personal interest within a school subject they are taking, learning valuable skills for undergraduate research. Students benefit from participating in this process, developing the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.

Early in Term 2, the Year 12 IB students began to develop their initial ideas for an Extended Essay. The favoured idea produced by the student was then presented to a panel of teachers, including a potential supervisor for the essay, at the EE Cafe. For students, this was a daunting yet exciting challenge to demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to their proposal. 


CAS Experiences

Another unique part of the IB curriculum is CAS, or Creativity/Activity/Service. These three components are essential to the healthy development of productive teenagers, and IB places emphasis on them by having students add and update their experiences in ManageBac (a learning platform), explaining their goals, and writing reflections.

Creativity can range from painting to singing or playing instruments, and we have a wide variety within IB, such as students building model aeroplanes and performing traditional Chinese lion dances. 

Activity involves sports and any type of healthy fitness. IB has badminton, tennis, and netball players, as well as swimmers and dancers. 

Finally, Service is anything unpaid that gives back to the community. This can be in school, where many IB students lead clubs such as competitive math, coding, or physics clubs, as well as out of school, such as Auckland and New Zealand MUN, environmental clean-ups, or volunteering within many local communities.



The MERC outdoor education day in Long Bay in April was one of the three full-school day CAS trips IB students participate in. The MERC trip fulfils the Activity strand of CAS. It was a great opportunity for students to engage with their peers and get to know them, while stepping out of their comfort zones in some activities, such as raft-building, kayaking, and tree-climbing. This also helped students to develop communication skills that they can implement in the classroom to further their learning.


Parliament Debating

New Zealand Schools Debating Championships were held in Wellington in May. Year 13 IB student Lucas Liu represented Rangitoto College in the Auckland team. Competing in seven debates, Lucas and his team addressed important and relevant issues such as youth mental health and education systems. Two debates that Lucas won were arguing against the House abolishing NCEA, and the House regretting the effects of the app TikTok on mental health awareness, specifically ADHD and depression. We look forward to seeing further excellent results from our own IB students and NCEA students in debating!


Year 13 Biology Trip

The Year 13 IB students recently enjoyed a trip to Auckland Zoo. This included a chance to walk around the grounds as well as receive an educational talk on the topic of human evolution. This was of particular interest to the students, as human evolution is not specifically covered within the IB Biology curriculum. The zoo trip allowed them to see the application of their topic, Evolution and Biodiversity, within the real world. 


CAS Creativity Day

CAS creativity day is an upcoming day within the IB program designated to explore and celebrate students’ creativity. This can be through various activities that the students themselves choose such as knitting, drawing, writing, and many more. Some of our cohort are working together as a team and building collaborative skills and some are producing their own unique projects, focusing on their individual creative pursuits. We have students exercising their musical talents in our school’s jazz bands and others practising their artistic skills in graphic design and creative writing.