Plymouth College is one of only two schools in the UK and one of 11 in the world to be given accreditation that allows its national-level athletes to study the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) over up to four years. The school has a global reputation for high-performance sports programmes with swimmers, modern pentathletes, fencers and divers amongst its ranks.
With IB normally run over two years and one set of exams at the end of the Upper Sixth in May, the World Academy of Sport status gives greater flexibility to IB students trying to balance their studies with heavy training and competition schedules. As well as a longer period in which to study the diploma, students have three opportunities to sit their exams, including the southern hemisphere sitting in November – there are often lots of sports competitions in the summer so November could be better option for some than May.
Plymouth College has been an IB World School since 2008 and is currently the only school in East Cornwall and West Devon to offer the qualification, which runs alongside an extensive range of traditional A levels. Diploma students have their own lessons, but all other elements of Sixth Form life such as the tutor group system, assemblies, games and extra-curricular activities are fully integrated.
IB offers an enriching, breadth of education that allows students to gain a qualification that possesses the ultimate level of portability. IB is recognised by universities around the world, giving students access to the top institutions on a global scale.
“I am delighted that Plymouth College has been awarded World Academy of Sport status,” said Plymouth College Headmaster, Jonathan Standen. “We have been able to offer bespoke learning to our A Level sports scholars for a few years and it is great news that this level of flexibility is now available across our Sixth Form courses.
“The pressures on our top sportsmen and women can be incredibly intense, particularly in competition season, so this will really help us to work with them to put together a timetable that will allow them to do the very best they can in the classroom as well as in the sports arena.”