IB Diploma Programme


Our aim is to support the students’ growth towards internationally minded, caring and reflective builders of sustainable future.
We encourage students to explore knowledge across a range of disciplines in local and global context.
We emphasize communication and cooperation, and respect honesty and open-mindedness.
In our multicultural environment, we foster human and cultural diversity.

IB Sumino cooperation

International applicants 国际学生申请联系方式

Sumino is the only official partner of Turku Normaalikoulu for international students’ admission consultation. Please contact Sumino via the following link.

Webpage: https://sumino.fi/turkuIBschool/

Email: info@sumino.fi






DP, basic information

  • IB Diploma Programme is a challenging pre-university programme of international education offered by the International Baccalaureate Organization (Diploma programme at the IBO website)
  • Founded in 1968, the IBO is a non-profit educational foundation
  • There are more than 2700 schools in about 140 countries offering the IB Diploma Programme. In Finland the number of IB DP schools is 16.
  • The IB Diploma Programme leads to a qualification that is widely recognized and appreciated by universities all over the world.
  • In Finland the IB Diploma is considered equivalent to the Finnish matriculation examination.

IB Diploma Programme in Turun normaalikoulu is preceded by a one-year Pre-DP Programme which follows Finnish national upper secondary school first year curriculum. The language of instruction in Pre-DP is English. Pre-DP is implemented in order to ensure sufficient skills in the language of instruction (English) and to introduce working methods that are typically used in the IB Diploma Programme.

Around 95% of the IB Diploma graduates enter universities in Finland, Britain, other European countries or elsewhere in the world. The most successful graduates often gain admission to prestigious European and North American universities.

DP subjects

The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE).

Through the Diploma Programme (DP) core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

The DP subjects are chosen at the end of the pre-DP year. Students must choose 6 subjects from DP subject groups 1-5, at least one subject from each group (group 6, Arts, is not offered). Three subjects must be chosen at higher level (HL) and three subjects at standard level  (SL). It is possible to choose 4 higher level subjects and an additional 7th subject.

At higher level the number of teaching hours is 240 and at standard level 150.

If a student needs all sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) for medical studies at university he/she does not need to choose a group 3 subject. A specific permission by the IBO is required.

DP subjects

Subject group
Group 1 Language A Language and Literature
English AHL   SL
Group 2 Language Acquisition
English BHL   SL
French B

French ab initio



German B

German ab initio

Spanish B

Spanish ab initio





Finnish BHL  SL
Group 3 Individuals and Societies
Business ManagementSL
EconomicsHL   SL
HistoryHL   SL
PsychologyHL   SL
Group 4 Sciences
BiologyHL  SL
ChemistryHL   SL
PhysicsHL   SL
Group 5 Mathematics

Analysis and approaches

Applications and interpretation



Core components
Theory of Knowledge  (TOK)100 h
CAS programme

Extended essay (EE)

18 months

4000 words

Pre-diploma year

  • The IB Diploma Programme (DP) lasts for two years and is preceded by a pre-diploma year aiming at developing the students’ general knowledge as well as study and language skills.
  • The pre-DP year curriculum is a modified version of the national curriculum and the language of instruction is English.
  • Students complete 25-30 courses in the pre-DP year.
  • All students study either German, Spanish or French. Students with no previous studies in these languages study 4 courses and advanced students study 2 courses. The courses are compulsory.
  • Other language studies must be approved by the DP coordinator.
  • In addition, Turku International School (TIS) students with previous knowledge of the Finnish language  take 2 courses of Finnish B in the pre-DP year.
  • TIS students with little or no knowledge of Finnish take 3 courses of Finnish in the pre-DP year.
  • If a student intends to take some other Language A than English, he/she has to study it with a private teacher during the pre-DP year at his/her own cost.
  • DP coordinator can be consulted on questions regarding other Language A arrangements.

Subjects and Number of Courses


Language A English 3

Language B Finnish 3
Language B (advanced): German, Spanish or French 2
Language B (beginners): German, Spanish or French 4

Mathematics 4 or 5
Natural Sciences: Biology 1-2, Physics 1-2,  Chemistry 1-2, Integrated sciences 1
Humanities: History 2, Psychology 1, Social Studies 1, Academic thinking skills 1, World today 1
Other subjects: Art or Music 1, Physical Education 1, Guidance and counselling 1

Independent studies

  • Due to family or medical reasons a student may have to be absent from school and work independently for some time.
  • The school should be informed of such a case and preferably in advance, if possible.
  • The permission application for absence is made in Wilma.
  • The principal grants permissions to do the required course work independently.

Pre-DP year evaluation

  • Students are assessed  five times a year at the end of each study period. The grade reports are available in Wilma.
  • The courses are evaluated on a scale of 10 (excellent) to 4 (fail).
  • If all course work is not submitted the student is awarded the grade K (= unfinished work). Grade K is automatically replaced by a 4 (fail) after the next study period.
  • Teachers are not required to accept work which is turned in late.
  • Students can try to raise a course grade by signing up for a retake exam via Wilma.
  • A retake exam can be taken only once per course.
  • The dates for the retake exams can be found on the school’s website.


  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed of them in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).
  • If a student has three to four absences the teacher will determine whether he/she can evaluate the course.
  • More than four absences results in the incompletion of the course and the student must study the course independently.
  • The last retake exam is arranged in mid-June.
  • The pre-DP year cannot be repeated.

Conditions for moving on to DP1

  • To choose a higher level (HL) subject the student should have at least a minimum average grade of 7.0, although an average grade of 8.0 or more is recommended
  • For a standard level (SL) subject the minimum recommended grade average is 7.0.
  • Students must meet the requirements below to select six DP year subjects (see section below for eligibility).
  • Students have to choose 3 higher level (HL) subjects (max. 4) and 3 standard level (SL) subjects from DP subject groups 1 – 5.
  • The sixth subject is chosen from groups 2 – 4.
  • Students must have completed all pre-DP year courses with a grade 5 or above by the end of the school year.

Subject Group 1
English A (HL/SL)

Subject Group 2
Finnish B (HL/SL), French B  (HL/SL), French B ab initio (SL), German B (HL/SL), German B ab initio (SL), Spanish B (HL/SL) Spanish ab initio (SL)

Subject Group 3  History (HL/SL), Psychology (HL/SL), Economics (HL/SL), Business Management (SL),

  • To qualify for Business Management SL students should have at least grade 7 in social studies (SOC).
  • To qualify for Economics SL or HL students should have at least grade 7 in social studies (SOC), for Economics HL grade 8 or more in SOC is recommended.

Subject group 4
Biology (HL/SL), Chemistry (HL/SL), Physics (HL/SL)

Subject Group 5

  • Two different mathematical subjects are offered in the DP: Mathematics, Applications and Interpretation (MAI) SL and Mathematics, Analysis and Approaches (MAA) SL and HL 
  • If the student chooses the short version of math (4 courses) in the pre-DP, they must take SL Mathematics Applications and Interpretation (MAI) course during the DP. 
  • If the student chooses the long version of math (5 courses) in the pre-DP, they can take either Mathematics, Applications and Interpretation (MAI) at SL or Mathematics, Analysis and Approaches (MAA) course at SL or HL in DP 
  • For MAA SL an average grade of 7.0 or more is recommended and for MAA HL an average grade of 8.0 or more is recommended 
  • For MAI SL an average grade of 6.0 is required 

N.B. Due to timetable reasons some subjects have to be taught at the same time. The overlapping subjects are physics and history / chemistry and psychology

DP1 subjects and evaluation

DP subject briefs

The link above will take you to the official IBO Dipoloma Programme web pages where you can study the content, syllabus and evaluation of each of the IB subjects. TOK, CAS and EE information is there as well.

Evaluation in DP1 and DP2

  • IB grades range from 7 (highest) to 1 (lowest).
  • Thus 6 subjects give maximum 42 points, TOK and EE max 3 bonus points. So the maximum points in the IB Diploma is 45.
  • Students are given grades after each of the five study periods as a course ends. In DP1, there are 5 HL courses and 3 SL courses and DP2 4 HL courses and 3 SL courses.
  • In DP2 the students have two mock weeks (mid-term exam weeks) to practise time management and test their knowledge and skills.
  • If a student is absent from a mock exam, they must present a doctor’s certificate or the guardian must clear the absence to the form teacher and DP coordinator. This is a requirement for rescheduling the exam.
  • Failure to submit all course work can result in the grade K (= unfinished work). A numerical grade will be awarded once the work has been completed.
  • Teachers are not required to accept or assess work turned in late.

Absence control in the DP

  • All students are expected to attend school regularly. Absences from school must have a legitimate excuse and teachers should be informed in advance, if possible.
  • All absences must be cleared by a parent/guardian or a medical professional (doctor, dentist etc).

DP 2

IB final examinations schedules

The link above will take you to the following two exam sessions. The exams of one subject is usually divided between two days. Sometimes the students have two different subjects tested on the same day.

Conditions for the award of the IB Diploma

  • all six IB subjects are compulsory and have to be taken in the final examinations
  • the students have 3 opportunities to take the examinations, this does not have to take place in consecutive sessions
  • most subjects can be taken in May or November sessions
  • a minimum total of 24 points in six diploma subjects
  • a minimum average grade of 4 in HL subjects (note: 3 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another HL subject)
  • a minimum average grade of 3 in SL subjects (note: 2 is sufficient if have grade 5, 6, or 7 in another SL subject)
  • a minimum of 12 points altogether in 3 HL subjects
  • a minimum of 9 points in 3 SL subjects
  • completion of all IA work,  done at home or at school and is part of the final grade being 25-50 % of the final grade.
  • completion of all TOK components, no grade E
  • completion of all CAS components
  • completion of the Extended Essay, no grade E
  • all pending fees must have been paid, the final exam cost about 600 euros
  • Failing to meet one or more of the criteria above means no diploma awarded.

DP curriculum


Creativity, activity, service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme. Studied throughout the Diploma Programme, CAS involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies.  CAS is not formally assessed. However, students reflect on their CAS experiences as part of the DP, and provide evidence of achieving the seven learning outcomes for CAS.

Creativity – arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.

Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the DP.

Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

Please read more: https://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/creativity-activity-and-service/

Here some examples:

Kalle´s CAS story: 

For my activity strand, my goal is to improve my balancing skills in skateboarding. It is an ongoing activity in which I regularly participate. I wanted to improve my balancing skills because it is one of my weaknesses in skateboarding. In order to achieve my goal, I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and practice intensely to learn more balancing tricks. Often, it is a strenuous process as I try a trick for hours at a time. Usually, I do not learn anything in a single session, but over time my body and board land in the right places and I learn a new trick. As this happens, I reflect on what my body is doing and figure out the techniques required for the trick. This is my favourite part of the learning process as I get a eureka moment. 

The photo above shows me performing a skateboarding trick called “kickflip to regular manual”. This was a significant moment in developing my balancing skills because it was my first flip trick to a balancing position. 


*Kalle DP1 student

Jenny´s CAS story

CAS-project is something you need to do within the CAS program. It is a longer project that must last for over a month and be done in collaboration with others. My friend and I decided to join an organization in Varissuo, Turku, called Together association. Through that association we got to take part in a project called Green Work Hubs. It is an international project that lasts nine months. We had a training course in Krannenburg, Germany, in January and met people from abroad that we will be working in collaboration with. The aim of the project is to bring awareness on climate change and encourage people to take actions for it. Now for the nine months we’re making an E-magazine and keeping that up while doing local activities. It is a very interesting and fun project that me and my friend are both interested in. CAS does not have to be something you force yourself to do. Seek out for opportunities and you might find yourself collaborating with loads of people from different countries.

* Jenny DP1 student

Textbooks and materials


Eeva SaraSEEFinnish A
Eroma MariMERPhysical education
Haavisto EevastiinaEHAMathematics
Hall StevenSHAEconomics
Hiilovaara-Teijo MerviMHTBiology
Hyvärinen JaanaJHYSpecial education
Karhu PäiviPKAMathematics
Kaskenviita RauniRKAFinnish A
Kujanpää EnniEKUSpanish
Laine ReimaRLAChemistry
Lehtilä HannaHLEVisual art
Lintunen PiaPLIFrench, Business management
Mäkinen SusannaSMÄMusic
Nera SusannaSNEFinnish B
Nieminen JoonasJNIFinnish B, Academic thinking skills
Osmo AnneAOSSwedish
Piippo KaisaKPIGerman, Theory of knowledge
Raevuori JohannaJRAPsychology
Raiko LindaLRASwedish A
Rajala RiittaRRAPhysics
Rasmus MirjamMRAHead of TIS
Salonen EliseESAPsychology, Business management
Salminen JennaJSALEnglish B, Theory of knowledge
Sarimo JannikaJSAEnglish A
Sellman KlausKSEPhysical education
Tringham MaariaMTRBiology
Tähtinen HannaHTÄFinnish B
Valtanen JukkaJVLGuidance and counselling
Waltari-Grundström AnuAWAHistory, Social studies, CAS coordinator, Deputy head of school
Vanhatalo MariannaMVAChemistry, DP coordinator
Vartiainen KatrinaKVAHead of TNK upper secondary school
Viiniemi MinnaMVISocial Studies
Vänttinen JuhaJVÄHistory

Schedules of the school year

Autumn term: Thu 10.8. – Fri 22.12.2023

  • Autumn vacation: Mon 16.10. –  Sun 22.10.2023 (week 42)
  • Christmas vacation: Sat 23.12.2023 – Sun 7.1.2024

Spring term: Mon 8.1. – Sat 1.6.2024

  • Winter vacation: Mon 19.2. –  Sun 25.2.2024 (week 8)

Study periods

Period 1 10.8.2023 – 3.10.2023

Period 2 4.10.2023 – 30.11.2023

Period 3 1.12.2023 – 7.2.2024

Period 4 8.2.2024 – 9.4.2024

Period 5 10.4.2024 – 1.6.2024

Assessment periods (pre-DP)

Assessment period 1 27.9.2023 – 3.10.2023

Assessment period 2 23.11.2023 – 30.11.2023

Assessment period 3 31.1.2024 – 7.2.2024

Assessment period 4 2.4.2024 – 9.4.2024

Assessment period 5 23.5.2024 – 30.5.2024

Retake exams (pre-DP)

  1. Tue 15.8.2023 at 16 – 19
  2. Thu 26.10.2023 at 16 – 19
  3. Wed 10.1.2024 at 16 – 19
  4. Mon 29.4.2024 at 16 – 19
  5. Mon 10.6.2024 at 9 – 12 (pre-DP)

Guardians’ and parents’ evenings

  • 5.9. 2023 at 18.00 DP1 guardians’ and parents’ evening
  • 6.9. 2023 at 17.30 DP2 guardians’ and parents’ evening
  • 12.9.2023 at 18.00 Pre-DP  guardians’ and parents’ evening

Other events

  • Penkkarit event Fri 9.2.2024
  • Day of the Eldest Thu 15.2.2024

Daily working hours at school

1. lesson  08.30-09.45
2. lesson  10.00-11.15
3. lesson  11.30-12.45
4. lesson 13.15-14.30
5. lesson  14.45-16.00

Study support and guidance

Study welfare team

Key persons

Office secretary                                          050 3297783
Guidance counsellor  Jukka Valtanen   050 5660932
IB-coordinator  Marianna Vanhatalo    040 5773395
Social worker Milja Nieminen                040 1217139
School psychologist Liisa Ritakallio        044 7109627
Special teacher  Jaana Hyvärinen          050 5327080
School nurse  Vilma Alcenius                 040 1498500

e-mails: first name.surname@utu.fi

Students’ welfare work is the responsibility of everyone working in the school and it is carried out in co-operation with homes. The key persons in the welfare team are listed above. The student whose issue the team is considering can attend the meetings and the same applies to guardians, form and subject teachers.

The main goal of the team is to take care of the students’ physical, mental and social welfare. The team also promotes the safety and welfare of the whole school community.

Guidance counsellor

The guidance counsellor for high school is Mr Jukka Valtanen, whose office is on the 3rd floor. Tel. 050 5660932,  e-mail: jukka.valtanen@utu.fi

The guidance counsellor advises students in matters such as general studies, career choices, further education and work life. The guidance is given in lessons as well as at personal and group meetings. The work is carried out in co-operation with other teachers and the student welfare team. The guidance also includes visits to colleges, universities and further education open days.

School social worker

The school social worker aims at solving the students’ problems in studying. She also works in co-operation with guardians, teachers, the school welfare team and external experts. If needed she also guides families how to contact specialists outside school. Both guardians and students are welcome to discuss even personal matters with the curator.  All discussions with the social worker are confidential.

The curator helps and supports the students in matters such as:

  • problematic situations in studies (absences, lack of study motivation and disability to concentrate on work in class)
  • challenges in social relationships (conflicts at home or elsewhere)
  • clearing bullying cases
  • matters related to life control
  • guidance and advice on study benefits

School psychologist

The school psychologist aims at helping you in matters related to mental welfare, study motivation and coping with stress in particular. The school psychologist is Liisa Ritakallio, tel. 044 7109627, email: liisa.ritakallio@varha.fi.

The responsibilities of the school psychologist:

  • psychological investigations and evaluations related to the students’ study habits and welfare
  • offering consultation for teachers and other staff
  • guiding and advising guardians
  • guiding and advising students
  • analysis of the activities and harmony of student groups and classes
  • co-operation with the principals and other staff; plans for crisis situations, for instance

Special needs teacher

Special needs teacher’s job is to support the students in their studies and when they have learning difficulties at times when the students’ ability to work is decreased abrubtly, temporarily or extensively. The situation may be caused by a physical or mental illness or particularly difficult curcumstances in life.

On the other hand, the development of a student’s study skills, time management, feeling of responsibility, mastery of life skills or motivation may require special support and guidance.
Special needs teacher also organizes dyslexia tests to identify reading and writing difficulties. She is also responsible for writing a document needed in special arrangements in examinations. Students are advised to be active in getting suitable assistance from her and the school.

Student council

The student council of Turun Normaalikoulu is responsible for the organization of events, the voice of the school’s students, good teamwork, and cooperation with our school’s tutors.

The student council work with many important members in the school, such as teachers, principals, school health care, kitchen staff and cleaners.

One can become a member of the student council through elections, which are held once per academic year. The council meet in meetings every month and, if necessary, more often.

The board of the student body has e.g. organized a cultural day, which has already become a tradition, various themed days, and a well-being day planned together with the teachers.