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IB co-founder continues to lead the way 50 years on

UWC Atlantic College recognised for education 'beyond academic development'

Posted by Stephanie Broad | August 19, 2016 | International

A co-founding college of the International Baccalaureate (IB) has been lauded by the global organisation for its enduring academic and extra-curricular success, as its exam results continue to rise above the global average.

In a new five-year evaluation report, the IB praised UWC Atlantic College in South Wales for the breadth of its curriculum, as well its provision of “education that goes beyond academic development”.

The report findings are backed up by the release of the college’s 2015/2016 academic results, where the average score was 35 out of 45 for a second year running – five points above the global average.

In the annual results, 86% of UWC Atlantic College students awarded the IB Diploma scored 30 points or above, with more than 20% achieving 40 points or higher.

Students at the college split their week equally between their IB studies and co-curricular activities. These are divided among four faculties – Environmental, Global, Social Justice and Outdoor – with each holding special conferences and events throughout the year that “enrich the curriculum” according to IB’s report.

The college’s student-led initiatives and community outreach programmes were praised for encouraging “awareness beyond the individual and his or her immediate community”. These activities range from volunteering with local sustainability projects, to providing music therapy for those with mental health difficulties, and teaching English to refugees.

The college was also commended for its “exemplary” CAS [Creativity, Activity and Service] programme which ensures “all members of the community are involved in a wide variety of local and global projects”.

UWC Atlantic College’s association with the IB goes back to the programme’s inception. Founded by German philosopher and creator of the Outward Bound movement Kurt Hahn to be a global college that would make education a force for peace in the world, UWC Atlantic College was a natural place to help shape and establish the radically international curriculum of the IB.

In 1971, the College became the first school in the UK to discontinue A-levels in favour of the IB, and the first college in the world to adopt the IB as its sole examination qualification. It continues to provide innovative education today with its co-curricular model, where students divide their time between their IB studies and wider activities on campus and in the community.

The college’s Academic Director, Kate Vincze, said of the report: “The history of the IB is intertwined with the history of UWC Atlantic College.  We are extremely proud of this connection, and want to continue building upon it 50 years on by remaining a pioneering force within the programme.

“We are also proud of the results of yet another strong year group and would like to congratulate everyone in the class of 2016.  We look forward to seeing how they go on to apply the education they have experienced here to make a difference in the world.”

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