The British School of Barcelona is an accredited ‘IB World School‘ and have been offering the International Baccalaureate curriculum at our BSB Nexus Pre-University campus in Castelldefels for many years. With an increasing number of students choosing the International Baccalaureate Diploma, it is clear that the IB is a very attractive educational option for 16-18-year-olds.
Nowadays, young people must face an increasingly interconnected and changing world which presents global challenges that require social commitment, where issues such as sustainability, digitalisation and globalisation are part of this new reality. Academic training must give way to an educational model that prioritises social and emotional development, with a focus on training caring, self-motivated and persevering young people, with a global perspective and an open and critical mentality that drives them to want to create a better world.
Through a flexible and personalised curriculum, complemented by three core components, the IB encourages students to think beyond their immediate environment to make learning an experience that transcends their academic studies. With a clear focus on developing interpersonal skills far beyond exam results, the IB fosters values such as mutual understanding, intercultural respect, and civic responsibility.
The student at the heart: the key to IB success
Maria Kovac, IBDP Administrative Coordinator at BSB, explains that ‘the IBDP places a responsibility on students to think critically in a practical and collaborative approach. This makes students feel highly motivated and more engaged in their studies, which they see as the pathway to becoming successful and well-rounded individuals.’
The results of IB students, higher than those of other programmes according to the International Baccalaureate Organisation, show that this curriculum attracts and motivates young people who are destined to become the future citizens of the world, eager to promote change in society and in the jobs of the future. This is the case at BSB, where last year students achieved well above the international average. ‘The IB puts the student at the heart of their learning,’ says Kate Kelly, IBDP Academic Coordinator at BSB. ‘It gives them the autonomy to choose subjects according to their abilities, encouraging independent work, and helping them to develop a learner profile with a wide range of skills that are essential for future academic and working life.’
IB, an attractive curriculum for 16-18-year-olds
At BSB, we highlight seven distinctive features that make the IB such an attractive programme for students:
- It fosters critical thinking and a curious and open mind. ‘Students learn to research and reflect on local and international issues and are encouraged to debate with tolerance and respect, approaching and to approach complex problems creatively,’ explains Maria Kovac. ‘Monography is a core component that gives them the opportunity to put their acquired knowledge and tools into practice in a university-level research paper. All this prepares them to respond to the challenges they may face in the future, be it on a personal level, at university or in a professional context.’
- Personalised university-style curriculum. IB students can choose from a variety of subjects within the areas of Languages, Mathematics, Science, and Humanities, including Visual Arts as an option. The entire programme fosters the development of 21st century skills such as self-management, research, organisation, collaboration, and communication, likening learning to a university experience. By driving their own learning, students achieve greater maturity and self-confidence.
- Great importance is placed on student progress. ‘Beyond the final exams, students must demonstrate their engagement through projects and continuous assessment work throughout the course,’ explains Kate Kelly. ‘In this model we value our students’ commitment to continuous learning and it is a very effective way of getting them to apply what they have learnt in practice, so that they remain interested in what they are studying.’
- Promoting ethical values. IB students learn to develop their emotional intelligence and participate in projects, debates, presentations, and teamwork that aim to develop their ethical awareness. ‘Students show a greater interest in observing and reflecting on the world around them and are more aware of social and environmental challenges,’ adds Maria Kovac. In this sense, the assessment considers the level of civic engagement of the pupils and their involvement in initiatives related to solidarity, respect, and tolerance.
- Meaningful content with highly qualified teachers. The IB programme draws on best practices from a wide range of international curriculums, and content is constantly updated. Studying at an ‘IB World School’ means that the school has completed a rigorous authorisation process and that all teachers have a culture of continuous improvement to provide stimulating learning experiences for highly motivated students.
- University and professional recognition. According to the International Baccalaureate Organisation, every year 5,000 universities in over 100 countries receive applications from young people who have taken the IB. ‘The IB is recognised by universities both nationally (without the need to take the EBAU) and internationally and is highly regarded by future employers because of the potential of students’ skills, interests, and impact on their community. All these factors make IB students highly valued in the admissions process,’ says Kyra Kellawan, our Careers and Futures Guidance Programme Coordinator at BSB.