Pioneering pupils score more than double the global average for international qualification
Source: Wellington College
A pioneering group of 16 year olds in England is celebrating world-beating results today in an alternative education programme to GCSEs.
The 67 Wellington College pupils taking the Middle Years Programme (MYP) from the International Baccalaureate Organisation scored more than double the average scored by schools taking the qualification around the world.
They achieved outstanding grades, with 73.3% at grade 7 and 6, the top two grades possible for the qualification, compared with 31% achieving this globally.
Wellington College decided to offer the MYP for those pupils interested in careers in the global workplace or who wanted a different sort of challenge from GCSEs. About a third of the pupil cohort for the year chose to follow the qualification instead of GCSEs. The MYP, which is aimed at 11-16 year olds, is a different approach to curriculum and assessment relative to the incumbent GCSE/iGCSE approach.
The programme encourages students to think for themselves, reflect on their learning, make challenging connections across disciplines, solve problems, actively find solutions rather than passively accepting, memorising and regurgitating information, and to delight in the whole process of learning as they do so.
Schools choose what and how they teach, there are no external exams at the end of Year 11.
Michael Milner, Director of Studies at Wellington College, said: “We have worked closely with the IB over the last four years to ensure that our students have had the most enriching education experience possible: both academically rigorous and stretching.
Teachers have been allowed to design their own courses, free from the constraints of exam board syllabuses.
It gives pupils a holistic approach to learning, allowing them to explore links between subjects, encouraging a 21st Century approach to knowledge rather than the pigeon-holed nature of the current national exam system.
Our pupils will continue to feel the benefit of their choice of qualification through Sixth Form, university and work, as they will have developed a greater understanding of their own strengths as learners.”
Wellington College is regarded as the most progressive IB school in the country, the only major school doing two IB programmes.
The school is extremely positive about its decision to offer the MYP programme and pupils have spoken warmly about the experience of MYP study.
The school’s head, Dr Anthony Seldon, has campaigned for all schools to be free to adopt the MYP.
Undergraduate admissions heads at both Cambridge and Oxford are supportive of the MYP.
Geoff Parks, director of undergraduate admissions at Cambridge, has said that it “provides a much more engaging, stimulating, stretching and generally satisfactory experience”.
Mike Nicholson of Oxford told Wellington that “candidates who wish to be stretched should, in my view, take the MYP. The rigour and work ethic it encourages will assist them strongly if they wish to progress to a degree that will require them to really engage with their subject discipline”.
The Interview Teacher
Only recently did it dawn on me that an interview is more than what it appears to be on the surface: question and answer. I thank all my students, past, present and future, for their help in this realization.
The interview involves an act of imagination – an attempt to “see” the possible paths an interview might take, then guide it gently where you would like it to go.
The interview is an act of sophistication – an attempt to tease out the nuances of meaning, not just the explicit, but also the implicit, that which is unsaid, but there, waiting for the skilled interviewer to tease it out, or the interviewee to make it “come up” in the flow of conversation.
Imagination and sophistication in interviews can be studied in imagined interviews, interview reports, actual interviews, filmed interviews, and interview transcripts, among others.
In this book, all of these avenues will be explored, in the context of real interviews. As this happens, the genre of the interview, what it is, what to look for, what questions achieve what purposes, simplicity and complexity, all of these elements gradually come to light.
Each reader of this book will take away something new each time you read this book, for it is meant to be read several times. You, the reader, will find it useful in preparing for an interview, both as the interviewer and as the interviewee.
The global search for high-quality education, embedded in high-performing education systems, has taken on mythical proportions, almost resembling the alchemists’ quest to turn common metals into gold.
It is my hope that the present day search for global education, equitable and providing equality of opportunity for all, shall not cease until the “gold” we seek, has been found.
I therefore dedicate this book to all the educators, researchers, parents and students the world over, who strive to achieve this elusive goal,high-quality education for all the citizens of the world.
In this endeavour, it is my belief that the International Baccalaureate merits a closer look, based on their more than 40 year history of delivering consistently excellent results.
I add that all of the reflections and views in this book are mine alone, unless otherwise noted, and can not be attributed to my employer or any other organization I am affiliated with, past or present. For any errors or oversights, I bear the complete responsibility.
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Head of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.
He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago.
Thomas is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.
Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty four (44) books overall.
The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.