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Academic Honesty

The International Baccalaureate defines Academic Honesty as "a set of values and skills that promote personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment". At ICS we take Academic Honesty very seriously. Please use the links below to find out more about our Academic Honesty policy and strategies to encourage Academic Honesty.

Code of Academic Honesty

A code of Academic Honesty prohibits students from plagiarism, stealing and cheating. The code will have been violated if a student:

  • Uses an author's words or ideas without proper acknowledgement.
  • Directly copies (e.g. cutting and pasting) another's work without using quotation marks.
  • Borrows the structure of another author's phrases or sentences without proper acknowledgement.
  • Borrows all or part of another student's work (with or without permission).
  • Illegally collaborates with others to write detailed outlines or papers and submits an individual paper.
  • Has another person write a paper and submits it as their own.
  • Uses an unauthorised source to help write or correct a paper before submission.
  • Submits one of multiple copies of a paper where individual papers were asked for.
  • Submits the same paper more than once for different assessments.
  • Helps another to cheat in any way.
  • Tampers with or falsifies data or records.
  • Endeavours to access examination papers or questions before the examination.
  • Fails to observe the integrity of the examination room e.g. through use of written or digital text, signalling, talking or receiving help from an unauthorized source during an examination.
  • Shares examination material with others who did not take the examination before 24 hours has elapsed since the end of the examination.


Ethical Practice in the Diploma Programme, © International Baccalaureate Organization 2006

Taught skills to promote Academic Honesty

Key questions for students:

  • What is cheating?
  • Why do people cheat?
  • Is it always wrong to use someone else's work?
  • What are the consequences of cheating?
  • What is ownership of learning?

Key taught skills:

  • The 'Big Six' research skills
  • Selecting sources
  • Extracting the main ideas or facts
  • Summarising and paraphrasing
  • Using quotations
  • Integration of another's words and ideas
  • Guidance to parents about degree and type of acceptable help
  • Train students and their parents to acknowledge help from home
  • Include limited range of permissible sources for younger students
  • In-class work based on referenced notes and sources
  • Teach methods of acknowledging sources
  • Teach referencing, footnotes and bibliographies

More detailed suggestions can be found at:

Strategies to deter and detect academic infringement

Strategies to deter and detect academic infringement and malpractice

  • Students to review and identify material that needs acknowledgement
  • Teachers to be aware of obvious changes in style or use of complex style eg semi-colon
  • Teachers to be aware of use of text book material
  • Less common pieces of literature may be used to avoid Internet answers
  • Summative assessments and shorter assessed tasks in-class are set
  • Requirement to reference sources included in assessment rubrics
  • Teacher-led discussions of work-in-progress
  • Preparatory notes and drafts to be submitted along with completed work
  • Assignments can be changed on an irregular basis
  • Students required to explain portfolio sources
  • Extended essay viva voce used to question sources
  • Use of

Consequences of academic infringement

Consequences of academic infringement or malpractice

Primary School

In the Primary School initial infringements will be treated as learning opportunities. In the case of an infringement the teacher:

  • identifies the infringement and discusses it with the student
  • uses the infringement to model the correct way to acknowledge the source
  • revisits the writing process or assignment guidelines and reviews the steps, e.g. note taking, using key words
  • reviews the assessment criteria with the student
  • will assign some practice activities, if necessary In the case of repeated infringements the student will be asked to resubmit the piece of work and the parents will be informed and asked to reinforce the correct approach at home.

Grades 6 - 10

A) Academic Infringement (= not a deliberate attempt to deceive):

  • Resubmission of work, notification to parents, included in report.

B) Malpractice (=a deliberate attempt to deceive)

  • A zero for all of the criteria and the whole assignment
  • Added to the report comment
  • A formal letter to inform all parties tutor, parents, the Dean; signed by Secondary Principal
  • For repeated malpractice: consequences at the discretion of the administration.

These points are limited to assessed tasks and not homework tasks, which will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the teacher.

Grades 11-12: Diploma Level

At Diploma Level, sanctions are determined by the International Baccalaureate Organisation:

A) Academic Infringement:

  • no marks awarded for that component or part of the component.

B) Malpractice:

  • No grade awarded in that subject; no Diploma awarded; certificate awarded for other subjects; candidate allowed to re-register one year after session.

C) Diploma or certificate can be withdrawn; candidate may not be able to register for future examinations.

ICS Inter-Community School Zurich
Strubenacher 3 | Postfach | 8126 Zumikon | Switzerland
+41 (0)44 919 8300 |
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