ASTANA – Haileybury Astana introduced the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme March 1 designed to incorporate a more holistic approach to students’ academic and personal development and prepare them to study at the world’s top universities.
“Top universities in the U.K., for example, prefer IB qualification to others since it focuses not only on the academic performance of a student, but also on personal development. Our graduates apply to leading universities, such as Oxford and Harvard, and some already study at Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College,” said Headmaster Jonathan Ullmer in an interview with informburo.kz.
The programme was developed and first adopted in Switzerland in 1968 for the children of diplomats travelling from country to country. The IB founders wanted to create a system providing high quality education regardless of the school’s location. The qualification is currently recognised in more than 1,300 universities around the world.
Approximately 4,500 IB schools are available in 150 countries. To become an IB World School, institutions must complete the authorisation process with the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO). IBO, in turn, provides a ready-to-use curriculum and teaching materials, staff training, student examinations and annual checks for compliance with IB standards.
Haileybury Astana has a two-year diploma programme for students aged 16-19. The language of instruction is English and the curriculum includes four modules: six subjects chosen by students themselves; theory of knowledge; creativity, action and service (CAS) and a research essay.
Theory of knowledge teaches students to think critically and be autonomous learners. Since top universities not only evaluate the applicant’s academic performance but also consider his or her social life, CAS was designed to ensure each IB student dedicates at least 50 hours each to charity, arts and sports.
“Leading higher education institutions want to evaluate the potential contribution an applicant can make to student life and society, in general. Therefore, we provide opportunities for personal development and leadership in terms of various extracurricular activities,” noted Ullmer.
IB students also take interim and final exams evaluated by certified examiners across the world. This ensures assessment objectivity and quality and allows the IB diploma to be recognised internationally.
“It is important to note our experience in the IB Diploma Programme since Haileybury was the first in Great Britain to implement it 26 years ago. We have preserved that experience and now successfully apply it in Kazakhstan. Haileybury is a brand, backed by time and leaders we have already nurtured,” he added.