What is the International Baccalaureate?

IB stands for International Baccalaureate. It is a Diploma qualification that is designed to deliver a broad, balanced education, with an emphasis on critical thinking. Students study six courses, five of which must be chosen from different subject groups, ensuring a range of experience in languages, social studies, mathematics and the sciences. The sixth course could be an arts subject or a topic chosen from one of the other five subject groups. In this way students have some opportunity to concentrate on areas in which they are particularly interested, although they do not have the same level of choice as they would in an A level programme.

IB is intended to encourage independent learning. An important component of the course is ‘The Extended Essay’, a 4000-word, in-depth study of a question related to a subject that the student is studying. The intellectual content of the IB is further strengthened by the course on ‘Theory of Knowledge’, which runs parallel to the other courses, and encourages students to reflect critically on the nature of knowledge and learning.

As well as pursuing their academic studies, students are also obliged to undertake creative or socially useful activities beyond the classroom, grouped under the term ‘Creativity, Action and Service’. Visit IB Diploma for further information.

A levels or IB?

The IB is a very stimulating course, delivering a broad education and encouraging creative, independent thought. It also has certain components, such as ‘Creativity, Action and Service’, which do not have any equivalent in other qualifications.

While the IB undoubtedly appeals to certain students, those who have a passionate interest in particular subjects will be able to pursue them in greater depth through A levels, which also offer a wider range of subject choices. Students at Ashbourne can choose from a wide range of subjects without restriction as part of the College’s commitment to offering the educational experience that is best suited to the individual needs and abilities of each student.

Why Choose Ashbourne College?
StudentsParentsTeachers
I loved the casualness between teacher and student and also I loved the fact that I was essentially, the one responsible for myself and parents were not frequently contacted for any reason i.e to sign up for clubs etc. The responsibility- to turn up on time, to hand in homework on time, to revise effectively- all being left to me, really spurred on me to be productive and hard working. I hope to eventually be working in the city as a trader for a large bank, after doing this in the short term I hope to take money I have saved and open a fashion retail store that stocks up and coming brands in London somewhere. I genuinely feel like Ashbourne has given me the confidence i once lacked to be able to do this
MilunPhilosophy, Politics and Economics at University of Leeds
My child has benefited from the amazing opportunities Ashbourne offers. He is respected as an individual and his education has been tailored to suit him. He has had brilliant tutors and the small class sizes ensures he is receiving personalised support in all his classes
Ashbourne is a wonderful place to teach and an even better place to study. The staff treat the students as adults and the mutual respect results in a relaxed university approach to study. Teaching classes that only have a max of 10 allows for individual tuition and greater differentiation within the groups helping the students grow in confidence and develop a love for their subjects. I really like the fact that students are encouraged to refer to their tutors by their first name and feel that this breaks down tutor/student boundaries and means that the students are confident in asking for help. Brilliant students, brilliant tutors, great place to work
Rachel TeasdaleFormer Head of GCSE and Biology Teacher
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