The decision to deliver an International Baccalaureate (IB) education to its students in place of the VCE was an obvious one for Preshil. The IB’s alignment with its philosophy (both social and academic) means that it is now able to deliver a world-leading education that meets the expectations the school has for its students to develop into balanced, open- minded learners who relish in their curiosity and courage to question.
Below, Preshil, The Margaret Lyttle Memorial School has listed six reasons an IB Diploma education may be preferable to completing the VCE.
- The VCE is known for its sole focus on academic outcomes. The IB facilitates, promotes and empowers the whole person. Through the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) program specifically, students are genuinely acknowledged and rewarded for their engagement and participation in areas outside academia.
- The VCE is very much controlled by curriculum design; students do not make choices about what they learn. In contrast, the International Baccalaureate requires and promotes student agency and autonomy. Students are expected to make effective and meaningful choices about their education and their learning pathways, and need to take initiative when it comes to their learning within a particular area of study.
- The VCE is a very top-down, curriculum-driven and content-focused curriculum, which tends to reward efficiency over depth of knowledge. Meanwhile, the IB encourages rich and deep learning experiences through inquiry-based approaches to all academic subjects. The program promotes deep inquisitiveness and curiosity, and rewards this genuine interest in areas of study.
- In the VCE, subjects are taught as discrete siloes of knowledge or information, with very little opportunity for interconnectedness between areas of study. Conversely, through Theory of Knowledge, the IB interweaves human knowledge as an intricately woven tapestry, the threads of which extend through all subject areas and ensure a cohesion of understanding in context.
- Where in the VCE, students are ranked against one another and encouraged to see their peers as competition in reaching their own achievements, the International Baccalaureate assessments are non-competitive; it is therefore possible for all IB Diploma students to receive a perfect score in each subject and have this translate favourably to an ATAR (if this is the desired outcome after Year 12). This assessment style within the IB cultivates a thriving collaborative culture.
- Students aren’t penalised for their subject choices in the International Baccalaureate; subjects are not ‘scaled’ up or down depending on their level of ‘difficulty’. With confidence that they won’t be penalised for an interest in ‘soft’ subjects, students are able to select subjects that genuinely reflect their goals and interests, rather than to undertake arbitrarily up-ranked subjects for the sake of getting a higher score or ‘keeping their options open’.