In the peaceful town of Kilmore, not far from Melbourne’s northern suburbs, world-class results are achieved year on year. The Kilmore International School is a place of academic excellence that welcomes students from Australia and across the globe. It provides an exceptional learning environment that prepares students not only for top universities but also for the future world of tomorrow.
The Kilmore International School offers a unique education with senior years focussed solely on providing the world renowned International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Many have heard of the IBDP but may be unsure of the exact elements that it is composed of or how it compares to other academic programmes such as the VCE, HSC or the A Levels in preparing students for success in our increasingly integrated global economy.
To learn more about the IBDP and how it prepares students to be world ready, we speak with several members of staff and alumni from The Kilmore International School.
“The IB (International Baccalaureate) reflects an educational philosophy which aims to develop the whole person and promote the individual’s holistic success. IB students are guided by the IB Learner Profile which cultivates the attributes needed for living in the 21st century: they strive to become reflective and open-minded risk-takers; they approach life in a caring and balanced manner; they seek to become knowledgeable by behaving as both inquirers and thinkers; they are communicators; and above all, they are principled and act with integrity. These ‘soft skills’ are increasingly valued by both tertiary institutions and future employers in all industries, and enhance the qualities of our young people venturing out into the wide world,” says Ms Deanna Krilis, IB Coordinator at The Kilmore International School.
Teacher of IB Chemistry and Environmental Science, Ms Cheryl Moulder adds that a diverse mix of subjects is a key advantage of the IBDP. “What makes the IBDP different in the academic sense is the requirement to study subjects from six different groups. All students must study at least two languages, at least one humanities subject and at least one science subject. Maths is compulsory. Music and the Arts are also included in the mix. Students are encouraged to formulate and express their own opinions, and to respond thoughtfully to others,” she says.
According to Mr Paul Szczur, Teacher of IB Maths and Physics, the IB also prepares students to be inquiry learners. “By this, from a mathematical perspective, it means that students are asked to seek deep meaning and understanding in what they are doing. The questions in examinations differ from other programs in that they expect students to be able to think broadly and intuitively, and to respond to difficult problems in time constrained situations. The focus on mathematical induction indicates that the IB also expects students to be able to appreciate the derivation of ideas and abstract concepts. Understanding is the key – not just how to use the knowledge. This prepares them for the real world.”
Ms Elizabeth McCormick, the school’s University Careers Counsellor, explains that as the IBDP is recognised worldwide, university admissions staff readily understand the entry standard and its associated academic skill set. “Therefore it is much easier for students to use the IBDP to gain entry to tertiary courses at many top ranking overseas universities.”
Yesaya Winardi, a graduate at The Kilmore International School comments, “The first steps into university is a life-changing experience and for some it may be a nervous moment in their life. After studying at The Kilmore International School since Year 7, I can confidently say that it has prepared me for the future by motivating me in achieving great academic results whilst also balancing my life with other important things.”
Fellow graduate, Mike Smith, agrees, “For me one of the biggest benefits that came from studying the IBDP course was responsibility, both academically and in life. To achieve the marks that a student desires, they needed to take responsibility for their own learning. This involved asking questions and clarifying when help was needed. This responsibility cut across into my personal life as the natural maturing process meant that I was more willing to take responsibility for my life. From a technical perspective, there are a range of benefits. Researching, writing and report writing all allowed me to approach university with a confidence that I could handle whatever was going to come my way.”
The Kilmore International School Principal, Mr Andrew Taylor concludes, “The International Baccalaureate Diploma develops inquiry based and independent learning, exactly the skills needed to succeed at university. The key to our success and future prosperity is not our facilities but our excellent teachers. Through the International Baccalaureate, the school instils in students the entrepreneurial skills of communication, leadership, empathy and optimism and makes them future ready.”
For the discerning parents of academically adventurous students, The Kilmore International School and the IB Diploma are certainly worthy of consideration. A commitment to excellence, together with the expertise offered at the school ensures students become world ready.
To find out more about the IBDP please click here.