IB Core and Philosophy

The IB Core - CAS, Extended Essay and TOK

ESS has a lot to offer the core of the IB Diploma. In these pages we will explore links to CAS, TOK and provide more in depth advice of supervising Extended Essays in ESS and World Studies which lends itself very well to ESS. There are also links on the topic pages and in the activities for learning to various core ideas, e.g.  1.4 Environmental Indicators or  1.1 Cultural Attitudes  and  8.4 Investigating Ecological Footprints 


Creativity, Activity and Service, CAS has many opportunities that arise from ESS. With the new guide for CAS, in fact, it is now highly recommended that opportunities for CAS are highlighted in subjects. I will explore opportunities for this.


In the new Theory of Knowledge guide we are fortunate to have some great guiding questions that can be used in ESS from a TOK perspective. I will provide an overview of how TOK works and provide some examples for linking TOK into your subject teaching (a requirement of the Diploma Standards and Practices).

Extended Essays

There are some wonderful opportunities for extended essays in ESS and I have been lucky to supervise some really interesting ideas. I will provide some resources to help guide students and tips I have developed along the way with some examples of essays of varying quality.

Learner Profile

It is easy to see the links to the learner profile in ESS and I will provide some examples and a framework to help you make your own links.

International Mindedness

One of the true joys of ESS and the IB Diploma is how it helps students to become more interculturally aware. The IB calls it internationally minded but I prefer interculturally aware. I will provide some examples and teaching strategies to help with this.

Creativity Activity and Service (CAS)

CAS opportunities and ideas jump out from all over the syllabus but it will depend on your teaching style and school culture. One of the most important ideas for me is that you lead by example. Show the...

Extended Essay

ESS isn't always a popular subject for extended essays because students may be advised to write an essay in their HL subjects or in a specific course that they are applying to study at university. However...

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

Theory of Knowledge is required to be linked to while teaching ESS. Luckily ESS lends itself to TOK rather easily. The idea is to help students question what is knowledge, why do people think the way...

Selected Pages


ESS and International Mindedness 7 April 2019

International mindedness is a key concept underpinning an IB Education however in the most recent publication of "What is...


ESS and the Learner Profile 7 April 2019

It's not difficult to make the links between the IB Learner Profile and ESS. If you are planning units...


Assessment of the Extended Essay 15 February 2019

From May 2018 new assessment criteria and a new emphasis was implemented for the Extended Essay. On this page we will look...


Sample Extended Essay - World Studies - ESS & DT 27 August 2018

This was an interesting first for me. The student is a passionate advocate for sustainable design and wanted to combine...


Extended Essay 13 November 2017

ESS isn't always a popular subject for extended essays because students may be advised to write an essay in their HL subjects...

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) from 2020 29 August 2021

The Theory of Knowledge CourseThe Theory of Knowledge Course provides students with an opportunity to explore and reflect...

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