Advantages Of An IB School: Why Families Should Choose One



Why Families Should Consider an IB School

Why Families Should Consider An IB School. Image of Admissions Director, Natalie Stark

With just under two million students worldwide, the International Baccalaureate (IB) and IB schools have seen an increased popularity in the UK, with 130 schools now offering the Diploma Programme (IBDP), and an increasing number looking to offer the Middle Years (IBMYP) and Primary Years Programmes (IBPYP). Natalie Stark, Admissions Director at Halcyon London International School explains the advantages of attending an IB school.

Choosing a secondary school in the UK is often a daunting experience, with the seeming pressure to begin research and preparation almost from birth.  In the Central London independent sector alone, there is a vast array of options for families to consider. Increasingly, families are moving away from the British system, with its well known constraints; the extensive Times Education Commission Report concluded that the system is ‘failing on every measure’.  By contrast, the International Baccalaureate Organization has published research suggesting that IB students attain higher levels of critical thinking, global mindedness and academic attainment than their non-IB peers. No wonder IB schools are growing in popularity.

IB Schools and University Admissions

The research compares outcomes of UK IB students to A Level students: IB students are ‘three times more likely to enrol at a top 20 higher education institution and 40% more likely to achieve at least an upper second-class honours degree and 7% more likely to earn a first-class honours degree compared to matched A level students’ (Duxbury et al 2021). This can be attributed to the embedding of critical thinking skills across the curriculum and in the Theory of Knowledge course (reflecting on how to question what we claim to know). Additionally, students undertake a 4000 word Extended Essay and a wider range of subjects, including mathematics and a second language, through to the end of secondary school.

Holistic IB Curriculum Inspires Young Minds

The goals of the IB are not just focused on university entry. It is also a holistic programme aiming to develop 'inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world'. The IBMYP promotes this through Creativity, Activity, Service projects (CAS), encouraging pupils to think creatively, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and give back to their local communities. There is also a focus in the MYP on interdisciplinary units (IDUs). Thanks to our Marylebone location, London became our classroom. Students recently undertook IDU projects exploring the relationship between animal behaviour, mathematical analysis and ethical habitat design at ZSL London Zoo, and investigating societal perspectives on crime and punishment at the Tower of London.

IB Curriculum Develops Student Agency

Activities such as these further embed the learning goals that weave throughout the IB curriculum.  IB students are encouraged to problem solve and take initiative in their own learning with student agency and voice a core value at Halcyon London International School.  An IB school allows students ample space and opportunity to discover their own unique interests and strengths.  Students are given constant opportunities to increase their cultural awareness and, consequently, engage more fully in an increasingly globalised world as part of the IB mission.  For parents and guardians of students considering the next steps of their educational journey, the IB is a fantastic offering for a wide-ranging, high-achieving and well-rounded education.

As an IB school, we are proud of the academic rigour and personal development that we achieve through our approach to the curriculum. We believe in the transformative power of the education we offer. If you haven't yet considered an IB school, we would encourage you to do so. We have several upcoming Open Houses or can arrange a private tour. Follow the link below to find out more.

Book an Open House at Halcyon London International School