There are many reasons why the IB DP is a great choice for high school students:
Year 13 is not, by any means, an ‘extra’ year compared to other educational systems. In terms of age range, ‘Year 13’ in a British / International educational system typically corresponds, for example, to a ‘Grade 12’ in the American system: what changes is the name of the cohort, not the number of years spent in Primary and Secondary Education. Completion of Year 13 or equivalent is normally required by international educational systems.
Students who leave school at the end of Year 12 are not able to access Universities in the UK, in Europe and in many other countries, even if they have AS levels. They are also not able to access leading American Universities; only some Universities in North America will accept students who have only completed Year 12, and typically they will require them to go through a foundation year.
As an IB graduate, you will be in a position to apply to almost any University in the world, including top Universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East.
If you leave school at the end of Year 12 you will not have the opportunity of choosing where you want to go for University. It will also be very difficult to access a postgraduate degree. Even good career-oriented courses, such as Business with work experience and Sports Management, require students to have successfully completed Year 13.
Both programmes are excellent. The IB Diploma Programme is more holistic than A levels, and you get to study more subjects. While A-level students typically study two to four subjects, IB DP students study six. This will require stronger time management skills, which are also cultivated through the IB DP.
IB DP students also write a 4,000 words extended essay and actively take part in CAS activities. However, a good A-levels school will typically require students to participate in extra-curricular activities very similar to the ones experienced in CAS. The main difference lies in the fact that IB students also need to produce written reflections about what they have accomplished in their extra-curricular activities.
While there is statistical evidence that IB DP students are more likely to be accepted in leading Universities around the world, both programmes are excellent preparation for Universities, and University admission officers will value talented, reflective and well rounded students whichever programme they have completed.
Al Bateen requires students who join the IB DP to have at least five I/GCSEs grades A* to C or equivalent (other qualifications are of course also valued). However, other factors play a role, including:
The condition concerning I/GCSE results must be understood as a guideline rather than as an inflexible requirement. If you are a hard worker, you have actively contributed to the life of your previous school, you are passionate about the IB DP and keen to go to a good University, your application may very well be considered even if you don’t meet all the academic entry conditions.
At Al Bateen we want to ensure that each student is in the position to do as well as they can, and enjoys his / her senior school years. For this reason, some students who are keen to join the Senior School but do not meet most of the academic entry conditions may be advised to study a reduced selection of subjects and complete ‘certificates’ rather than the full diploma, at the discretion of the Principal and of the Head of Senior School.
Applications will be accepted from December 2013. You and your family should fill in the Aldar application form that you can find on Aldar Academies’ website (www.aldaracademies.com). Once you have completed and sent this, you will receive an application package. You will have to provide evidence of previous achievement (previous school reports, exam results, etc) and of extra-curricular interests and accomplishments. Meeting with the IB DP Coordinator / Head of Senior School to finalise your subject choices is also an important part of the application process.
Levels in the IB DP range from 1 to 7 in each subject, 7 being the highest and an indicator of outstanding performance. This will be the grading system in the Senior School. Aside from internal tests and timed essays, you will also need to complete internally and externally assessed coursework in Year 12 and in Year 13.
Each subject has an internally assessed component: a long essay, a project or a portfolio that is assessed by the subject teacher and sent to IB examiners for moderation. The internal assessment counts for 20 to 30% of the final IB DP grade, depending on the subject and on the level (higher or standard).
In addition to this, IB DP students need to complete externally assessed tasks in their first and second language, write a TOK essay, and produce an Extended Essay in one of the subjects they study. All externally assessed coursework is sent to IB examiners for marking.
Yes, at Al Bateen Year 12 students will sit an internal end of year exam in June. This is good preparation for the final exams, which take place at the end of Year 13 (in May). The end of year exams also allow students to better understand what they need to focus on to meet their targets, and provide a basis for the University predictions, which are an important part of the University application process in Year 13 (September - December).
You will receive thorough support from all Senior School staff, throughout your IB DP studies. There will be systematic and timely communication with you and your family to make sure that you are aware of your strengths and of what you need to do to meet your targets.
Should you find the IB DP too challenging and decide to switch to ‘certificates’ (which involves studying a reduced selection of subjects without TOK, CAS and the EE) in Year 12 or 13, the school will continue to support you throughout your journey. You will also receive the same amount of support as ‘full’ DP students throughout the University Application process. While we do not recommend or encourage switching to certificates, we appreciate that the full IB DP may prove to be too challenging for some students, and are keen to provide the best possible learning environment to everyone in our Senior School.
In the Senior School you will have more freedom, and more responsibility. You will, for example, have ‘study periods’ timetabled as part of your normal school day, and are responsible for making the best of them.
At Al Bateen we have a senior school centre, where Year 12 and 13 students will be able to work independently and collaboratively. IB students will often supervise this centre themselves, through a rota system, and are responsible for ensuring that it is being used appropriately. A recreational area will also be made available to senior students – again, all privileges come with a higher degree of responsibility, and we expect all our senior students to act as role models for younger students.
Senior students will also be expected to help organise and lead CAS activities, and to contribute actively to the life of the school. They may also be asked to act as school ambassadors in formal occasions.
The uniform for senior students will be different from the rest of the school.
Yes, all staff teaching the IB DP have received specific IB training, delivered by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) or by PD providers who have been authorised to offer training by the IBO. In addition, a number of teachers at Al Bateen already have experience teaching the IB DP, and some of them are even IB examiners!
The IB DP is recognised globally as a prestigious and rigorous pre-‐University programme. Leading Universities explicitly mention entry conditions for IB graduates on their website.
For specific information regarding Government and University recognition in any country, please visit the IBO’s recognition webpage: www.ibo.org/recognition/
All leading Universities in the world, and the majority of all other universities, recognise and value the IB DP. In particular, all Universities in the UK, the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia recognise the IB DP. More information can be found at www.ibo.org/recognition/.
Universities will typically have entry conditions for IB students, just as they have them for students with other qualifications (A-levels, APs, etc). These will vary depending on the University, the subject you want to apply for and, for American Universities only, your SAT scores.
The University application process begins in early September (Year 13). All applications should be completed and sent by December.
During term 3 in Year 12, before applications start, Al Bateen students will be able to benefit from a thorough orientation process, aimed at helping them and their families decide which Universities and subjects they will be applying for.
Yes, all senior students at Al Bateen will receive thorough support from the IB DP Coordinator / Head of Senior School, the Deputy Head of Senior School, the University Adviser and the form tutors.
The orientation process in Year 12 will include:
In Year 13, Al Bateen will provide:
If you are still not sure this is the right choice for you, you and your family are very welcome to come and meet the IB DP Coordinator at Al Bateen, Dr Chiara Tabet (firstname.lastname@example.org), for an informal chat about the programme.
In addition, every Tuesday afternoon, from 4.00 to 5.30 PM, Dr Tabet will be available to answer questions about the programme. These drop-in sessions are held in the cafeteria on the ground floor – no need to make an appointment in advance!
More information about the IB Diploma Programme can also be found on the IB’s official website: www.ibo.org