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星期四 2016年8月25號

【SCMP Education Post:Boarding Insider】Three tempting British independent IB schools to blow your mind

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma has stood strong and rarely had its feathers ruffled over the years. It is, indeed, a timeless classic with an outlook of the global, analytical and visionary about it. With universities taking note of the alluring features of the IB, the qualification is also a genuine box-ticker for those who wish to excel in the modern era and get ahead in life. Here, we look at five British independent schools which offer the IB Diploma - and much more ...


Since its foundation in 1968, the IB has endeavoured to put education over a country’s politics and inevitable lust for reform. Offering breadth, through a curriculum which comprises six subject groups from which students must choose one subject and three core components, and in-built international elements, namely through the “Theory of Knowledge” (TOK), the IB now has universities taking heed of its appeal.


Universities do recognise the rewards which the IB Diploma brings. Firstly, only the most determined, creative and imaginative students can cope with the demanding structure of the IB, and therefore they would be at an advantage when it comes to meeting deadlines and organising their time when at university. A second point concerns the final component of the IB diploma – the extended essay – which is particularly welcomed by universities because it provides students with a realistic idea of the assessment conditions they will incur at college. Namely, research skills and independent learning should be embraced to complete a 4000-word assignment on the student’s nominated area of interest.

Let us then consider five British independent schools which have become established IB providers:

Oakham School

Oakham School, situated in the market town of Rutland in the heart of England, lies tantalisingly close to the attractive Rutland Water Nature Reserve while also finding itself a short journey away from the multicultural city of Leicester. Oakham is a co-educational school for pupils aged 10-18 years old.


Oakham offers all the facilities and activities one might expect of a top-class boarding school. A range of boarding options, a fondness for the arts and a Voluntary Action programme are just a few of the school’s most respected features.


On July 6, 2016, Oakham celebrated its fifteenth year in offering the IB Diploma to over 800 students. Clearly, Oakham’s experience with the IB Diploma enables its students to excel, the average point score this year being 36.9 - significantly above the international average of 30.2. Even more impressive is the fact that half of all students gained 38 or more points - the equivalent to 5 As at A-level.


Oakham also offers A-levels and is realistic in its approach to the IB Diploma, maintaining that the qualification is neither easier nor idea than taking A-levels but is simply ‘very different, both in subject contents and skills’.


Sevenoaks School

The highly selective Sevenoaks School, located in the small town of Sevenoaks in Kent, sits in 200 acres of its own campus.


With over 1000 pupils and over 300 staff, Sevenoaks revels in providing individual support and its renowned pastoral care system.


Convinced that the IB is the “gold standard” in International Sixth Form education, Sevenoaks was the first school to completely transform its curriculum from A-levels to the IB.


In fact, the full force of the IB can be felt right down to Middle School, where the Sevenoaks School Diploma was introduced to embody the school’s educational vision and belief in breadth, deep knowledge of particular subject areas and a spirit of independent curiosity - all key essentials of the 16+ IB Diploma.


Malvern College

Malvern College is a co-educational boarding school set in the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire, England. It was originally founded in 1865, and is a member of the prestigious Rugby group.


Malvern College has a global reputation for excellence, and has produced two Nobel Laureates, two Prime Ministers, and was the school of C.S Lewis, novelist and author of The Chronicles of Narnia.


The school is no stranger being a true innovator in education, initiating the first language laboratory in an independent school as well as pioneering Nuffield Physics in the 1960s. Ever since 1992, the IB has been available in the Sixth Form at Malvern, one of the first schools in Britain to offer the programme and further confirmation that the school is at the forefront of all things innovative.


Malvern offers a wide range of IB subjects and is one of the limited number of schools in the world to offer the Further Mathematics course. All three of the Visual Arts, Sport and Education Science and Societies are other noteworthy choices.


Original article:


1 寄宿百科 2 英國大學
3 談英國 4 赴英須知
5 赴英遊學 6 選校攻略
7 留英所得 8 親子關係
9 英名校大比拼 10 留英專家分享

陳思銘(Samuel Chan) 並非如一般外界人所認為的「富二代留學生」,家人數代都在流浮山經營海鮮買賣,父母學歷程度雖然不高,但努力工作賺錢把Samuel從小(9歲)就供養到英國寄宿學校格雷舍姆學院 (Gresham College)讀書,才能讓他早早就體會到英式教育優越全世界的原因。
Samuel Chan在留英之前亦都曾苦於在香港的教育體系中掙扎求存,但是香港朝令夕改的教育制度卻令他的成續止步不前,甚至感到老師也對自己失去興趣。直到接受英式教育後,他深深感受到兩地學制的差異:在英國,永遠是先發掘學生的興趣,再透過「興趣」作為推動其學習的原動力,釋放潛能。在英國,他獲得了使自己能夠表達自己並嘗試新事物的信心,最終以優秀的成續升讀英國頂尖的學府。
Samuel Chan留英長達15年,在諾定咸大學(University of Nottingham)獲得經濟學學士後,在華威大學(The University of Warwick)攻讀完政治經濟系碩士後回流香港。回流香港的Samuel鑑有感於香港教育制度無法充分釋放學生潛力,於是回流英國的他創辦了英識教育,以幫助更多有志留學英國的同學提供各類支援及顧問服務。
白手興手固然辛苦,但奮鬥數年英識教育終獲香港品牌發展局頒發「香港服務名牌」的升學教育中心,亦是同業首間獲此認證的品牌。後來,Samuel於2017年奪得「英國傑出校友獎」,該獎是英國文化協會及多家英國高等院校的共同構思,並由英國文化協舉辦,評選活動獲不少名人及王室人員支持及參與。可見,讓身為香港人的「陳思銘」的名字深深烙印在英國學術界傑出人仕的陳列櫃中。雖然事業受到肯定,但Samuel並不安於現狀,後來在2020年更創立Britannia Gateway 的學術培訓平台,提供更多元化的課程以幫助客戶適應英國課程。

論名氣,Oundle 未追得上 Eton、Wycombe Abbey 等頂級名校,但學校的學術成績在英國依然名列前茅。作為傳統名校,Oundle 非常重視全人發展,為學生提供多元課餘活動選擇。學校奉行英國碩果僅存的 House Dining System,或是令香港家長趨之若鶩的一大原因。
Bromsgrove 的師生比例是一比八,比一般的寄宿學校低。此外,綜合我曾到訪的學校,此校硬件設施之完善,可入選全英設備最佳的三大校園。校方不惜工本為學生提供舒適環境,甚至收購附近的酒店改建成宿舍,令宿生有名符其實的「五星級享受」。此校極具前瞻性,是國際化的英國宿校。
Brighton College 是英國首屈一指的私校,是香港家長最愛的寄宿學校之一。 看一間學校,除了教育宗旨、多元化活動、成績之外,更要看校長的魄力。十年前,校長 Mr. Richard Cairns 成為 Brighton College 校長後,把學校由全英國接近 150 名推至首 20 名。除了在教育方針上大力推動改革之外,也為了保持學生的求知慾而非常努力,是難得的好校長。
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