The other day I was speaking with a prospective parent. She asked me a question that I am often asked, "Why should my child study at an International Baccalaureate school when she's likely to stay in the Waterloo Region?" This parent focused on the word 'international' and made the assumption that the IB is only for children interested in studying abroad. In my answer, I focused on five key reasons, which I thought I would also share with you.
1. IB students perform better – Recent studies on IB Diploma Programme graduates in university confirm that they perform well and have significantly higher grade point averages and graduation rates than students who did not complete the IB Diploma Programme. Scores on IB assessments are also a significant predictor of performance in university.
2. IB students are more engaged learners – In 2009, the High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE) by Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy surveyed some 40,000 high school students across three broad dimensions of student engagement: academic, social/behavioural and emotional. Responding to questions about the amount of time spent studying, engagement in classroom discussions and the types of academic tasks they do inside and outside of the classroom, IB students showed significantly higher levels of academic engagement compared to students within the same school and to those in the larger survey population.
3. IB students learn how to learn – Through IB programmes, students are encouraged to think independently and critically, try different approaches to learning and to take responsibility for their own educational progress. IB students learn to ask challenging questions, develop research skills proven to help them in higher education, and are encouraged to be active in their communities.
4. IB students are globally-minded – The IB aims to do more than other curricula by developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. We expect that our students will help to build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect.
5. IB is based on best practice in education – Unlike a national curriculum, IB programmes reflect the best practice of a range of different educational frameworks and curricula. It is based in research on how children learn best.
SJK School is the only institution in the region with all three IB programmes—what is known as a "Continuum School". Students from Junior Kindergarten all the way through to Grade 12 are challenged through the IB to excel in their studies and in their personal development.
As our Upper School students enter their January exam period, I know that they are owning their educational journey as they prepare for these assessments. I wish our students the best of luck in studying for and writing exams over the next week.
Have a wonderful weekend,Ms. Cheryl BoughtonHead of School