We Asked Some of the Best International IB Schools in the World About What Makes The IB International Baccalaureate Stand Out! Let’s See What They Had To Say.
One of the most well-known and longest-running systems of international education is the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Founded in 1968 in Switzerland, the IB programme is now taught at more than 3,000 schools across more than 140 countries worldwide. The International Baccalaureate system is based on a student-centered approach to learning that is guided by experts and emphasizes both creativity and critical thinking skills.
The International Baccalaureate curriculum is one of the most popular education systems globally and is based on well-defined standards and holds students accountable for their work. The IB programme is highly transferable across countries and is recognized by top universities across the globe.
Schools from Madrid to Manila choose the International Baccalaureate Curriculum because they see it as the best choice for providing their students with a first-class education. Parents from around the world seek out IB schools to prepare their children for success at universities and beyond.
But for many parents trying to find the best school for their children, understanding the details of the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and what sets it apart from the other excellent international curricula can be a challenge.
This is why we brought together experts from some of the top international schools who use the International Baccalaureate Curriculum to help you understand what makes this curriculum unique and whether it may be the perfect fit for your child.
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What Is the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and How Does It Work?
One of the first steps in selecting a great school for your family is understanding the curriculum they follow. There are several great options to choose from and each has amazing benefits for the students who study under that system.
Let’s take a look at what the International Baccalaureate curriculum looks like and how it works:
The International Baccalaureate Program is a curriculum framework that consists of four programmes of education, offered in schools all around the world to children from 3-19 years old.
With a rigorous, balanced approach, IB programmes aim to prepare students for the social, emotional, and intellectual challenges of a college education. Therefore, schools following the IB curriculum not only deliver content, but they also focus on developing vital skills in areas such as critical thinking and problem solving in order to make students successful learners and well-rounded people who are prepared for today and the future.
The International Baccalaureate curriculum is made up of three educational programmes:
- The Primary Years Programme: ( PYP – Kindergarten to Class 5)
- The Middle Years Programme: (MYP – Class 6 to Class 10)
- The Diploma Programme: ( DP – Class 11 to Class 12)
The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an international, transferable, common framework focussed on inquiry and driven by skills. The IB programmes develop students who are well-rounded by placing equal emphasis on development of the academic and personal.
The IB Curriculum offers a continuum of international education for students aged 3 to 19. It is taught in thousands of international schools in popular relocation destinations worldwide, including many independent and international schools and some state schools. The IB Curriculum is probably best known for its two-year Diploma Programme (DP), which is studied internationally by students between the ages of 16 and 19. More than 5,000 schools so far have chosen to teach International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is one of the world’s most innovative educational courses. It focuses on personal, professional and academic development and is globally recognized by universities for the holistic and rigorous education it provides.
What Are the Benefits of The International Baccalaureate?
There are many benefits of the International Baccalaureate Program for students, here are a few of the key benefits:
Focus Beyond the Classroom to Real-world situations
Holistic Approach to Education
Highly Recognized Credentials Accepted at Universities Around the World
In an article featured in The Telegraph, John Claugthon, retiring Chief Master of King Edward’s School, sheds light on some of the reasons why schools all around the world choose to offer the IB Diploma Programme. He points to the breadth of the programme as one of the key motivations: “IB schools believe that the old dispensation to the narrow world of specialisation won’t do any more.” Many universities world-wide follow this line of thought, and an increasing number of them are revising their admissions criteria to attract more IB graduates.
Among other examples, Claugthon mentions King’s College, London, and points to the fact that 20 percent of the university’s new undergraduates are IB students. If you are looking for an education that stimulates and challenges you but also requires hard work, then the IB is the perfect place for you.
We at BEPS International School believe that a major difference between the IB Curriculum and other international curricula lies in the way you apply the IB curriculum. In our approach, our attention is heavily focused on offering meaningful and authentic learning to students. We place great emphasis on making sure students understand the importance of what they are learning and that they can link it and apply it to the outside world, into which they will eventually integrate.
The IB Programmes have been developed for and by international schools, and it is very important to us that the curriculum we adopted for our Secondary school was in line with our vision to develop students into global citizens.
Is the International Baccalaureate Curriculum Recognized Globally and Is It Transferable?
The International Baccalaureate curriculum is now taught in more than 3,000 schools across more than 140 countries worldwide. This global reach means that credentials earned at an IB school can be easily transferred to another school and are highly recognizable to universities around the globe.
The IB curriculum places a high importance on developing skills and attitudes. When students are regularly transferring from one school to another, the content (even within the same curriculum) may not always be the same, but the ability to think critically, to learn independently, to work together with others, to analyse research, to solve problems, and to take responsibility for their own learning are all transferable and allow easy transition from an IB school into any other school.
For example, here at BEPS we have had students arrive from locations as diverse as Gabon, Hong Kong, and Colombia and have had leaving students successfully join IB schools in other countries. We also see students reintegrating into local schools in their home country. Our IB coordinator has worked with students who have gone on to higher education locally in Belgium, in the UK, and across Europe, Australia and Asia.
Which Schools Can Offer the International Baccalaureate Curriculum?
Only school who are authorised are eligible to deliver any of the programmes. Candidate PYP and MYP schools can use the framework before authorisation but are not considered IB world schools and their students are not eligible to take part in external assessments. Schools must be authorised before offering the DP or CP.
What to Look for In A Great International Baccalaureate School?
There are 3 Important Things to Consider When Looking for an IB School:
Effective IB school are well resourced and offer many options to meet the diverse needs and interests of their students.
3. Global ranking
When looking for any school it is important to identify what you consider to be most important in education. Are you focussed on results, on holistic development, a content focus, or skill development? You will find IB schools which range from the traditional to the innovative. Look around and find something that fits with you.
Often when we plan a particular learning experience, there are multiple levels on which the students learn. One aim of BEPS Secondary School is to develop transferable skills through ‘hidden curriculum’ like collaboration and time management and make them explicit. We aim to create environments where learning is visible on multiple levels and for multiple goals; academic, personal, social, and emotional.
Is the International Baccalaureate Curriculum Right for Your Child?
The International Baccalaureate Curriculum is a fantastic choice for many students; however, the choice of which school and which curriculum is the best is a very personal one. In general, if your family is looking for a globally-focused education that will prepare your child for university and beyond, the International Baccalaureate Curriculum is a great choice.
This is a highly subjective question but given that the IB curriculum prides itself on being inclusive and broad as well as holistic in nature we believe that all students will benefit from an IB education.
IB students develop strong academic, social, and emotional characteristics. They are also likely to perform well academically – often better than students on other curricula.