See the parent letter here. We will be holding Information Evenings for students in the International Baccalaureate Programme and for their parents. We invite you to attend the appropriate evening so you can receive clear information. These final years in high school are critical years, often establishing a curricular and work ethic foundation for success in post-secondary education. Hear about the IB programme, its implications on scheduling, its curricular demands and its payoffs. If you’re sure the IB is the right fit for you, then please come because you’ll get a meaningful picture of what’s coming up for the next academic year. If you’re not sure whether IB is the right fit, then come and learn more about the programme before making your decision. Please note the dates below on your calendar. All presentations will take place in the school theatre:
- Thursday, January 29th – Students entering Gr. 10: 6:15-7:15 PM
- Thursday, January 29th – Students entering Gr. 11 or 12: 7:30 PM
It’s one thing to know what the International Baccalaureate (IB) might involve, but anyone enrolled on a programme or investigating the qualification for the first time may well be daunted by the prospect. The good news is that they won’t be alone in those fears, as many students share them. They may also turn out to be largely unfounded. “Before starting the IB I felt extremely intimidated,” admits Josh Hammond, a student at St Clare’s school, Oxford. “I had heard countless complaints about the difficulties of the IB. But, once you get going, you become more efficient at time management and the work seems less daunting.” There’s plenty to think about when it comes to the day-to-day reality of following an IB programme and, like Hammond, many students and teachers highlight the importance of good time-management from the outset. “Your IB experience can become quite gruelling if you don’t get on top of it,” says Alex Bird, head of the theory of knowledge and world religions faculty at UWC Atlantic College. “If you’ve got a deadline in six months, don’t wait until it’s upon you. Chip away at it.” Although students need to sharpen their organisational and study skills, they needn’t do it silently – or without support. “IB students are expected to be risk-takers and communicators,” says Sarah Jinks, a biology teacher at St Clare’s. “But the tasks we set are designed to help them develop those skills. You’re not expected to have them when you arrive.” Read more at International Baccalaureate – ‘It teaches you not to give up’ – Schools – Education – The Independent.
This public elementary school has taken the idea of global education and run with it. All students take some classes in either Japanese or Spanish. Other subjects are taught in English, but the content has an international flavor. The school pulls its 393 students from the surrounding highly diverse neighborhood and by lottery from other parts of the city. Generally, its scores on state tests are at or above average, although those exams barely scratch the surface of what Stanford students learn. Before opening the school seven years ago, principal Karen Kodama surveyed 1,500 business leaders on which languages to teach (plans for Mandarin were dropped for lack of classroom space) and which skills and disciplines. “No. 1 was technology,” she recalls. Even first-graders at Stanford begin to use PowerPoint and Internet tools. “Exposure to world cultures was also an important trait cited by the executives,” says Kodama, so that instead of circling back to the Pilgrims and Indians every autumn, children at Stanford do social-studies units on Asia, Africa, Australia, Mexico and South America. Students actively apply the lessons in foreign language and culture by video-conferencing with sister schools in Japan, Africa and Mexico, by exchanging messages, gifts and joining in charity projects. Stanford International shows what’s possible for a public elementary school, although it has the rare advantage of support from corporations like Nintendo and Starbucks, which contribute to its $1.7 million-a-year budget. Still, dozens of U.S. school districts have found ways to orient some of their students toward the global economy. Many have opened schools that offer the international baccalaureate (I.B.) program, a rigorous, off-the-shelf curriculum recognized by universities around the world and first introduced in 1968–well before globalization became a buzzword. To earn an I.B. diploma, students must prove written and spoken proficiency in a second language, write a 4,000-word college-level research paper, complete a real-world service project and pass rigorous oral and written subject exams. Courses offer an international perspective, so even a lesson on the American Revolution will interweave sources from Britain and France with views from the Founding Fathers. “We try to build something we call international mindedness,” says Jeffrey Beard, director general of the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. “These are students who can grasp issues across national borders. They have an understanding of nuances and complexity and a balanced approach to problem solving.” Despite stringent certification requirements, I.B. schools are growing in the U.S.–from about 350 in 2000 to 682 today. The U.S. Department of Education has a pilot effort to bring the program to more low-income students. Read more at How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century – TIME.