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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
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Location: Birmingham
Interesting article in the Independent today (Sat 21st Jan) that King's College school in Wimbledon is reintroducing A Levels alongside IB in 2013 having previously ditched A levels 5 years ago. (The article is incorrect in stating that the school is jettisoning IB)

I wonder how many Independent IB schools will be forced to reintroduce A levels alongside IB?

King Edwards School in B/Ham has just ditched A Levels in favout of IB but I know that some boys did leave after GCSEs because they were uncomfortable about the IB route.

Interestingly KE 5-Ways Grammar in B/Ham (state grammar) has just introduced IB into the 6th form but alongside A Levels (they have a big 6th form so can probably manage this)

Would be interested in parents view from the coal face. Do you think UK teachers and pupils can really cope with IB?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:38 pm 
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my DD's school offers both - IB has only been available for a couple of years. They believe that both have their place and suit different sorts of students


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:42 pm 
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I think "big sixth form is the key here. The new KCS head has introduced girls at 6th form so by 2013 he will have 200 in each sixth form year as opposed to 150 in the senior school, they can afford to run both options on those numbers.

DS has an offer from KCS, its his 1st choice and he absolutely loves the school, the only reservation I had was the amount of work the IB requires and do you get the credit for it? so introducing A levels as an alternative is re-assuring for me, particularly now they have intoduced the A* (which snotty education commentators say is till only a B in old money) although IB may still suit DS better.
WHat will happen with the pre-u brigade now the A* has been introduced and the number of modules etc reduced?

I think ideally all schools would like to be sitting the same exams, Tony Blair threw a lot of money at state schools to introduce the IB but that was stopped, its just too expensive in teaching time. If they hadn't dumbed down A levels none of this would have happened.
It'll be interesting to see what happens at Wellington, which has also introduces IB middle years instead of GCSEs. Its hugley popular at the moment, but who knows...


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:40 pm 
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my daughter did the IB & it does involve a lot of work & would not suit the faint-hearted, lazy or unorganised students. It's like doing 6 A levels with the amount of work involved so be prepared for all the extra work load.

But it is a good choice for someone who is capable. Universities can still set a high points offer so some students can be disappointed. For. eg - some girls had an offer of 7,7,7 higher levels compared to A*, A, A offers for similar courses at the same uni


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:23 am 
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Three 7s compared to A*AA!!!!!! they must be kidding. I'll tell DS to sit A levels.

Which uni was that? Some are supposed to be more IB friendly than others. I am told by KCS that the average points offer for Oxford is 38-40 and Cambridge is 39-41, is that right in your experience?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:52 am 
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Location: England
what dles 38-40 IB points equate to in terms of A level grades please?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:23 pm 
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IB at 40 is equivalent to 611 points, the top mark of 45 marks is worth 720 but only about 70 pupils in the world achieve this each year. A* a levels are worth 140 UCAS and an A is worth 120.
You sit 6 subjects for IB, 3 at a higher level for which the top mark is 7, there are other units as well as your 6 subjects which make up the total 45. If a uni asked for 3 7s that is in excess of 3 A*s, which is why I'm a bit surprised.
Having said that KCS have received over 40 offers for Oxbridge this year so some unis/colleges must understand the system better than others.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:04 pm 
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Location: England
So 3A* is still less than 38-40 IB points???


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Yes, thats why IB schools sit so high up the league tables on points per pupil. I'm not sure what the scores are but Pre-u are also rated above an A* A level.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:20 am 
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Introducing IB must be a huge learning curve, on both sides. It doesn't suit all students, nor all teachers.

DCs' school has been doing IB for over 20 years, and dropped A levels completely in 1999.
The great majority of pupils stay on to sixth form (just over 440 students total in years 12 and 13)
2011: 16 students scored maximum points, 125 in total scored over 40, with the average score 39.9
It is hard work, but there is little that's worthwhile that isn't :)

I'm sure there are similar results out there from schools who are 'wholly' dedicated to IB at sixth form.
Yes, a few students do move following GCSE, to do A levels elsewhere.

It would seem more difficult, IMHO, to 'split' the style of teaching...I''m sure it's a huge commitment on the school's part to undertake this sort of change.


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