J onathan Eason, 16, left his local secondary school after GCSEs and now travels 20 miles to Impington Village College, a state school near Cambridge, to study for the International Baccalaureate, rather than A- levels.
"I thought it would give me something more to offer when it comes to applying to universities," he says. "A-levels have been getting such a bad press, with people saying standards are falling, and I didn't want to end up with a qualification that nobody valued."
The International Baccalaureate, which has its headquarters in Geneva, was pioneered in the Sixties by Alec Peterson, Professor of Education at Oxford, with the main aim of catering for the children of roving diplomats. Now on offer in 33 schools in this country, including seven state schools, the IB was introduced at Impington eight years ago. After a modest start with 11 students, the course is now taken by 70 out of a sixth form of about 200, including a good proportion of international students (who board with local families). "Young people today will move into a world very different from ours in terms of employment, where they will have to be more flexible, and not rely on one career for the whole of their working lives," says Sandra Morton, the course co-ordinator. "We believe the International Baccalaureate is a very good way of helping to prepare them." All IB students must take subjects from six "domains of study": their native language, which includes their own and "world" literature (Impington studies Russian literature); maths; a science (chemistry, physics, biology or "environmental systems"); a humanities subject (history, geography, social anthropology, psychology, economics or business studies); a foreign language (French, German or ab initio Russian); and, for the sixth domain, a second science, a second language, or, as Impington encourages, art, music or theatre arts. Students choose three of these at higher level (easily comparable, staff …
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Publication information: Article title: Added Value. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: June 26, 1997. Page number: E9. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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