By undertaking the IB Diploma, pupils develop at a personal level, both academically and socially. The holistic approach to the programme incorporates broader learning opportunities to support the wider development of pupils working to achieve it.
Many pupils entering the Sixth Form have a longer term goal of studying at university before undertaking their chosen career. As a university entrance programme with 60 years of history, the IB Diploma is welcomed both in the UK and internationally, with IB entrance requirements for individual courses available on all good university admissions web pages.
Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in School.” The IB Diploma experience prepares pupils not only for university entrance but also answers to the need for that broader ‘education’ to be effective.
1. University admission
Three studies by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (2011, 2016 and 2021) have shown that “pupils holding an IB Diploma are more likely than pupils holding an A-level qualification to enrol at a Top 20 higher education provider, after controlling for academic ability” (1).
2. University preparation
When students arrive at university from the Diploma Programme, they bring with them experience in research, inquiry and critical thinking. They will have completed a genuine university-style research exercise under the guidance of a supervising teacher, as well as learning to think critically.
3. 21st Century Society
Current dialogue in the world of education examines the validity of traditional educational programmes for today’s society. With its focus on inquiry and deeper understanding, the IB constantly engages with that dialogue with a focus on the needs of today’s learners. The Diploma is based on principles which ensure pupils not only develop deeper knowledge through their subjects but also the skills to apply that knowledge in real contexts.
4. Time management
IB pupils have competing demands on their time from the various constituent parts of the programme. Time management is something learnt intuitively through the programme, developing in pupils’ independence and resilience in the process. They leave the Diploma Programme with the benefit of this experience, better prepared for future work and study.
All IB Diploma pupils continue their studies in both their first language and a second language. Courses develop collaboration and teamwork, whilst oral and written expression are integral to the programme. Second languages promote an international mindset. The programme also develops employability skills whilst also enhancing personal statements for those applying to UK universities.
‘Growth mindset’ is a term which has been discussed widely in recent years following the work of Carol Dweck. By persevering with subjects they may otherwise not have chosen, IB learners develop resilience and surprise themselves by overcoming obstacles. Consequently, they can open genuine opportunities for the future.
IB learners emerge from the Programme more prepared for our global society. They encounter and engage with multiple perspectives and ambiguities, are able to challenge their own thoughts and pre-conceptions with a critical approach to knowledge, and benefit from a real understanding both of other people’s opinions and different cultural perspectives.
8. Balanced programme
Specialising in some subjects and enhancing skills in others, pupils emerge with greater academic breadth. Additionally, however, pupils develop their interests away from the classroom through a programme of Creativity, Action and Service, ensuring life in the Sixth Form is more than just ‘study’.
Integral to the programme is the expectation for pupils to challenge themselves to overcome difficulties. They emerge from the programme both overcoming barriers and enjoying renewed confidence alongside the skills and knowledge learnt in all their subjects.
All elements of the programme promote personal reflection. Learners develop independence through the experiences inside and outside the classroom. They leave the programme with greater autonomy at a social, emotional, academic and professional level, helping them both now, and with their future lives.
Following a fantastic season winning Gold at the Senior European Cup and Silver in both Boulder and Lead at the Youth World Championships in Dallas in August, Sixth Former Toby has taken his climbing to new heights, winning Bronze at the Senior Lead World Cup in Edinburgh. Remaining calm under pressure, Toby is one of...
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