Reflecting on last week’s excellent IB results, I am delighted for all the students who have met their university offers and have proved to everyone, as well as themselves that they are more than ready to take their education to the next level. There are one or two who will have to wait a few more weeks until they know if they are accepted, but if past experience is to go by, most will get there in the end, such is the very strong reputation of the IB. Every year I receive feedback from IB students that left Taunton School in previous years which is unfailingly positive about how their Sixth Form IB Diploma programme has prepared them so well. – and often in unexpected ways.
So why don’t more students take IB? For a start, taking the IB Diploma in the Sixth Form is not the easy route. From the point of few of a 16 year old just taking GCSE exams, it can seem like a daunting challenge, compared with other qualifications that focus more on what you already know you are good at. Why study maths or a foreign language in the Sixth Form if you have found it quite hard at GCSE? Also IB students have to get themselves organised to cope with a diverse workload, and I suspect that some worry that they will not find this easy. However year on year, it has been incredible to see students, not necessarily the top achievers, rise to this challenge. They have been prepared to take the risk, and have grown hugely as a result. This is why they do so well at university – particularly in the first couple of years.
So good luck to all this year’s leavers, whether you are going on to Oxford, Imperial, LSE, UCL, Manchester, Exeter, the USA, Canada, or a gap year full of new experiences, I know that you will also do yourself proud … and do come back and tell us how you are getting on.
Martin Bluemel, IB Coordinator