The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme: Preparing Students for university and beyond at Stonehill International SchoolPosted on 22nd Oct 2020 in School News, India, International Baccalaureate Tweet
The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum prepares students with the crucial skills required for them to flourish long after they leave school. IB students are lifelong learners, developing skills and attitudes toward future learning that will prepare them not just for the university but also beyond.
Preparing students for the future
The IB program explores universally significant ideas and issues, creating sensitive and globally integrated citizens. At Stonehill, learning experiences are connected to students’ lives and the world they have experienced. The everyday interaction within the learning community comprising students and teachers from over 35 different countries are further opportunities for exploration and learning, providing engaging global contexts.
Recognition by elite institutions
According to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the number of higher education institutions recognizing the IB Diploma Programme grew 21 percent in 2011. IB students are at an advantage with elite institutions. They also mentioned that IB graduates are 21.4 percent more likely to be admitted into the world’s most prestigious universities.
This year, 86% of the students who graduated from Stonehill received offers from the world’s top 100 universities like London School of Economics, UK; University College London, UK; King’s College, UK; University of Warwick, UK; University of Bath, UK; University of Toronto, Canada; Berklee College of Music, US; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US; Harvey Mudd College, US; The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The University of Texas at Austin, US, to name a few.
More than just results
The creativity, activity, service (CAS) requirement in the Diploma Programme at Stonehill encourages experiential learning, acquiring knowledge through direct experience. Stonehill ensures that students enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through local experience by getting connected with the community. The students work in old age homes, orphanages, homes for the disabled, animal shelters, government schools, and NGOs to build their self-determination and collaboration with others, fostering a sense of accomplishment and empathy.
It gives them a perspective on the world and the drive to plan their activities and skills that help distinguish them in the university admissions process.
The IB Programme prepares students for college
All IB graduates write an Extended Essay, an immersive research paper of up to 4,000 words that requires independent research and excellent organizational skills. According to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), a 2011 survey of university admissions staff undertaken by Cardiff University, UK found they valued the Extended Essay’s role in developing cognitive, research, writing and communication skills. The topics chosen by the students at Stonehill International School have been varied, from questioning the nature of MC Solaar’s rap critique of French society to explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, or considering the effects of the Asian Tsunami on fish prices in local markets in Sri Lanka or finding possibilities to determine the presence of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, they have demonstrated critical thinking and research skills required for college-readiness and beyond.
The IB encourages critical thinking
The students learn to look beyond the facts: to analyze sources, link one subject to another and question the consensus. Inquisitiveness and interpretation are among the key cognitive properties of an IB education. This year’s valedictorian at Stonehill, Zachary Mathews commented on his experience at Stonehill, “Stonehill allowed me to grow as a person and as a student. I gained new internationally-minded perspectives and I was able to think critically while applying the syllabus to real-life problems. The focus on individual learning allowed me to develop time management skills and study habits that will easily translate to university life.”
IB students develop time management skills
All that rigorous, independent study leads to vital organizational techniques that only become more important when students reach university. Good staff habits create learners who hit the ground running in college. As Kona Brumsickle, a student at Stonehill commented, “The IB has shown me how important time management is, not only for academic success but for mental and emotional health as well.”
Subjects are not taught in isolation
The IB Programme offers academic breadth and depth that explores the interconnectedness of subjects. The Theory of Knowledge (ToK) classes encourage students to make connections between subjects and gain the skills they need to become critical thinkers and more effective learners. Teachers at Stonehill are encouraged to plan interdisciplinary classes. Seeing connections between subjects also helps prepare students for the future, where learning is becoming less compartmentalized. On graduating this year, Stonehill students have opted for diverse areas of study like Computer Science, Medicine, Engineering, Architecture, Psychology, Business Management, Biological Sciences, Theatre and Film, Astronomy, Law, Mechatronics, Music, Food and Nutrition, and History, to name a few.
Major global challenges require global solutions and the IB aims to balance local and national identity with an International mindset as part of its commitment to building a better future. And fittingly, the qualification is internationally benchmarked, allowing graduates to continue their studies anywhere in the world. This year, the graduating class at Stonehill is headed to prestigious universities in the USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
One of Stonehill’s graduating students, Jayati Gupta, Class of 2020, commented, “The IB program has taught me to manage my time, communicate efficiently, and always question everything. I believe this will help me in college and beyond the classroom as well.”