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IB success for Kent academies

International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme pilot achieves success in Kent

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 03, 2015 | International

A four-year pilot of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP), the newest in IB’s continuum of programmes, has been successfully completed in Kent, resulting in a 96% pass rate and broad-ranging career and further study opportunities for the 79 participating children. 

The CP is specifically designed for students wishing to engage in career-related learning while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement. 

The six state schools involved in the pilot have seen their cohort of students graduate with an average IB grade of 4.3.  Participating schools were: Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, Northfleet Technology College, Skinners Kent Academy, Sandwich Technology College, King Ethelbert School and The Ellington and Hereson School. 

Pete Fidczuk, UK Development and Recognition Manager at International Baccalaureate said: “The pilot has given previously non-IB schools access to the whole continuum of programmes and has raised the aspirations of children from very deprived areas of Kent – some of the cohort are now the first in their families to be entering higher education and go to university. We are thrilled for everyone involved.” 

King Ethelbert School saw the biggest cohort celebrate success on results day, with 25 students passing with flying colours. Sixty percent of the school’s CP cohort is going on to study at the likes of Edinburgh, Bath Spa and Winchester. 

Libbie Gadd, who has recently graduated from the CP and is going to study Biochemistry at Northampton University, said: “During my CP studies I obtained valuable hands-on experience at Kent Science Park, where I synthesised Aspirin and conducted a paternity test using DNA samples and equipment used in the field. Studying the more theoretical elements made me realise that I would love to become a doctor and studying the CP has given me more skills to achieve this than I ever thought possible.” 

Vicki Willis, deputy headteacher at King Ethelbert School, explains: “Our students end up with an incredible academic package but the real beauty of it is probably the Core element which underpins all the individual academic studies the students learn, which gives them an experience in a foreign language and a different culture, in running a community project and experience in doing a reflective project rather similar to what you might do at university. There are a number of different benefits in terms of the additional skills and additional requirements the CP delivers that perhaps a more traditional package doesn’t.”

Dane Court Grammar School has been an IB World School for seven years and completely dropped A Levels in 2009 to offer its students a wider skills base through the IB programmes. Dane Court has acted as ‘the hub’ school for the Kent pilot, providing students from other schools with the opportunity to study CP when it wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. 

Holly Mayhill, who received her CP results on 6 July, has decided to undertake an apprenticeship and will be gaining experience in marketing at a quantity surveyor. Holly said: “The CP opened my eyes to the number of opportunities that are out there and made me realise that university wasn’t my only option. I am a practical learner so an apprenticeship is best suited to me and I am really excited to be able to gain so many more skills.” 

Paul Luxmoore, executive headteacher of King Ethelbert School and Dane Court Grammar School, concluded: “The CP is an invaluable educational offer with a really exciting methodology. The results from our students who would not have even considered higher education before studying the programme have been remarkable.” 

www.ibo.org

Tell us about your experience of running the IB programme in your academy at stephanie.broad@wildfirecomms.co.uk and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @AcademyToday!    

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