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Norfolk's only IB 6th Form celebrates a decade of success

229 pupils have completed International Baccalaureate since Gresham's launched it 10 years ago

Posted by Hannah Vickers | August 10, 2017 | Teaching

Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk has this month seen its 229th student complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, a decade after first introducing it. Gresham’s is the only Sixth Form in the county to offer the programme.

Mark Seldon, Director of Studies at Gresham’s, said: “We wanted to offer the IB Diploma to broaden our choices for students at 16 plus, and so we give our students an opportunity to pursue the Diploma or A Levels at Sixth Form. Benefits of the Diploma include increased academic rigour and an enhanced expectation of students to manage their time effectively within a demanding schedule.

“One major advantage of the Diploma is that the underlying principles, processes and practice of the IB are very well established and, unlike other curricula, do not regularly change. This gives students, parents and teachers ample opportunity to recognise the calibre of the course and to have confidence, when choosing the IB, about what the experience will be like. We have seen many benefits of the programme over the 10 years – not only for our Diploma students but also our A Level students, who experience elements of the unique Diploma Programme core.”

The IB Diploma was founded in 1968, the same year as the IB organisation itself. There are now more than 1.5 million IB graduates from 147 countries; over the years the Diploma has gained popularity among UK schools and students.

Research this month reveals that UK university admissions officers favour the IB Diploma over other curricula available in the UK, and believe that it provides young people with the best preparation for university. Gresham’s DP alumni have progressed to top UK and overseas universities, such as the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, UC Berkeley and the University of Munich to study subjects such as Medicine, Liberal Arts, Biochemistry, Economics and Physics.

The breadth of aspiration and ambition that the IB imbues in our students is a powerful tool, which has motivated them to broaden their horizons when considering university and career options - Douglas Robb, Headmaster at Gresham’s

Douglas Robb, Headmaster at Gresham’s, said: “The breadth of aspiration and ambition that the IB imbues in our students is a powerful tool, which has motivated them to broaden their horizons when considering university and career options. The Diploma provides a very well-rounded education that equips young people to do well in life, beyond education; it is about life skills as much as it is about academic learning and, through the IB, Gresham’s students become engaged in the wider community.

“It is testament to the school’s foresight and the decision taken a decade ago – to fly the flag for the IB and by so doing offer our students genuine choice about their futures – that we are now celebrating this milestone. We are very proud to see our 10th IB cohort graduate this summer and, through offering an internationally-recognised gold standard education, our students are prepared for life – we can’t wait to see what they will do next.”

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