Somerset Times

Somerset IB Diploma Graduates – Ready for the World

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 1,
Term One, 2017

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Last year, 13 Somerset students were amongst the 16,100 students worldwide to complete their International Baccalaureate Diploma as a culmination of their secondary schooling studies.

These students have completed an internationally-recognised course that can be studied instead of the regional qualification (in our case the Queensland system, sometimes known as the “OP”, which ranks students in order to facilitate university admissions).

Generic - Diploma Programme

For Somerset students, undertaking the International Baccalaureate Diploma is not an unusual decision, as Somerset students have already experienced the International Baccalaureate (IB) philosophy and approach through the Primary Years Learning and Middle Years Learning Programmes. For them, undertaking the IB Diploma for their Senior studies simply meant a continuation within those educational philosophies. Our IB Diploma graduates from last year are all planning to study this year, and those studies are being undertaken all over the world – this is perhaps reflective of one element of the IB Diploma: its focus on international-mindedness. Of course, the IB Diploma is also a qualification that is recognised at universities throughout the world.

The IB Diploma’s emphasis on critical thinking and independent study will most certainly be of benefit to those students – many former students of the Diploma here at Somerset have contacted me over the years to tell me this very thing.

IB Diploma graduates are genuine “all-rounders”. They study six subjects including a rich and literary English course, a second language, at least one Science, Mathematics, Humanities, and the option of subjects in the Visual and Performing Arts. They also undertake a detailed independent essay, as well as reflect upon their commitments to Creativity, Action and Service. A critical thinking (or metacognition) course completes their study. As you can see, what the IB Diploma offers is a truly interdisciplinary appeal. I have seen this curriculum take students beyond their expectations and beyond their perceived limits: a student who once considered himself a “Maths guy” becomes a life-long reader of literature; an “artsy girl” discovered a love of Chemistry; and another student who discovered a passion for Languages.

In the post-results discussions that inevitably happen at schools, it is well to remember that some of our new Alumni have begun their first steps into the outside world without necessarily having achieved an OP score.

If you have any questions about the IB Diploma Programme, please feel free to contact me at swalther@somerset.qld.edu.au.

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