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International School of London

Theory of Knowledge

Students consider how they as individuals – as knowers – form knowledge of the world, and consider the part played by their interactions with others in communities of knowers.  

This exploration has two principal dimensions. Firstly, they explore how their knowledge might be influences by different real-world contexts or ‘themes.’ Then they explore the way knowledge is made in different academic disciplines (‘Areas of Knowledge’). 

What is Beauty?

When an artist describes a sculpture as ‘beautiful,’ and a mathematician describes a proof the same way, are they talking about the same thing? Is it ever possible to translate the meaning of poetry from one language to another? Questions are at the heart of TOK and students are encouraged to explore knowledge questions through assessed activities. 

At the end of grade 11, students produce an exhibition to illustrate their work on the themes. They must curate an exhibit which uses artefacts to present questions about how we know. The exhibits are graded and a sample submitted to IB examiners. 

In grade 12, students develop and apply their understanding of knowledge questions to the subjects they study as Areas of Knowledge. They develop the skills to write about knowing and knowers through an essay. The final essay is submitted to IB examiners. 

TOK is a taught course and is a core requirement of the IB Diploma. With the Extended Essay, TOK contributes to the three core points available. 


What do you see here?

What determines how we organise our world? 


Diploma College students organise dry food monthly collections for Ealing Food Bank

Community Engagement

Students at ISL are active contributors to local and international causes and communities. 

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Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) provides an enriching aside, whilst remaining parallel, from academic learning through extracurricular activities and community service.