Frequently asked questions
How is IB examined and administered?
The Headquarters of the IBO are in Geneva but examinations for UK candidates are set and marked by the International Baccalaureate Curriculum and Assessment Division which is based in Cardiff. The whole programme is classified by the UK government as a Level 3 qualification by the DCSF. However, it is entirely free of government control in terms of curriculum and marking.
How do universities regard it?
IB is now accepted and understood by all universities. Indeed, there is evidence that universities are increasingly supportive of IB candidates: the points system of IB offers universities a better way of differentiating between good candidates and pupils who have studied IB do well at university because of the breadth of their education and the emphasis in IB on independent learning.
Is IB harder than A levels? Will all KES boys be able to cope?
There is no doubt that IB demands more organisation than A levels, but the content is no harder. King Edward's is one of the strongest academic schools in the country and there are many schools taking IB with a pupil body substantially less able than our own. IB is not an elitist course, nor is it the preserve of independent schools. We would not have gone down the road to IB if we were not clear that all King Edward's boys would be able to cope with the demands of the course.
What is different for boys doing IB?
The key difference is the shape of the timetable. Under IB, boys are likely to spend six periods per week on each of their three Higher Level subjects and four periods per week on each of their Standard Level subjects plus time allocated to Theory of Knowledge. However, there is no change to the provision of games or Friday afternoon activities. Indeed, these activities take on an even greater relevance in the CAS programme.
Why not offer A levels and IB?
We firmly believe that the IB Diploma is the right path for this school and all of its pupils for all of the reasons outlined above. Every element of the school is dedicated to the IB Diploma. It isn't a side-show or a minority provision. It is what every pupil is studying, what every teacher is teaching.
Further details about the International Baccalaureate Organisation and about the IB Diploma are available at: www.ibo.org