Just how much does one’s choice of educational program matter? How will the instruction they will receive equip them with the best skills for their future? And will it make a big difference to enrol a student in an excellent IB Programmes Singapore school as opposed to a school with a different approach to education? Parents—as well as students themselves—may be pondering questions like these as a new school year looms ahead. 

While there’s no right or wrong answer for which type of educational program is the correct one, Singapore-based parents have excellent choices among the schools that offer International Baccalaureate programs. Offered in IB-accredited schools, IB Programmes are best known for their academic rigour and their goal of molding students to be global citizens. The framework has seen a lot of success in Singapore, with  IB schools even earning top honours at the Singapore Education Awards 2021.

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For parents and students who want to know the answers to the questions above, here’s a briefer on how IB Programmes differ from other educational programs and why IB schools are worth considering for a student’s educational advancement. 

IB programmes follow a global educational philosophy

Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic that binds all IB curricula is that they are based on pedagogy with a global perspective. The original IB Programmes, which was first proposed in 1962 by the International Schools Association (ISA) in a conference in Geneva, Switzerland, was conceptualized around student-centred and globally-minded learning experiences. 

Today, almost 60 years later, IB schools still aim to impart globally relevant values like critical thinking, compassion, love for knowledge, innovation, and communicativeness among their students. Parents that want to enrol their children in schools where they can learn to make a difference in the wider world should definitely consider IB programmes.    

IB programmes are known for their depth and exhaustiveness 

Two more answers for what makes IB education different are (1) the scope of knowledge included in each IB curriculum and (2) the high academic standards implemented for each subject. To earn an IB Diploma, a student must take subjects from six distinctive subject groups: Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Mathematics, Experimental Sciences, Individuals and Societies, and The Arts. 

Subjects in these six groups are known to be quite challenging. However, for students who want to cultivate a deep love for learning and who like acquiring specialized and multidisciplinary knowledge, an IB educational program may be a good fit. Moreover, it may be more rewarding and intellectually stimulating for the student to take subjects from such an exhaustive curriculum.   

IB programmes aim to nurture multilingual learners

Those who are unfamiliar with the IB educational framework might assume that only global values will be emphasized in the student’s formation. On the contrary, IB curricula also aim to nurture strong foundations in each international student’s mother tongue, and there are multiple opportunities for students to bring their home culture and traditions to the fore of their learning experience. Some IB schools even offer a bilingual IB diploma option, which is an attractive credential for students. 

In addition, students have the opportunity to take subjects in classical languages like Latin and Greek, foreign languages that they have basic proficiency in, and foreign languages that they will be learning for the first time. For students who would thrive in a language, literature, and culture-oriented educational program, IB is a great bet. 

IB programmes are widely recognized by the world’s top institutions of higher learning

Graduating from a competitive IB school and earning the prestigious IB Diploma will also open doors for a student who wants to study abroad. That’s because the IB Diploma program is widely acknowledged by the world’s top colleges and universities. Many college and university admissions committees are already aware of the high standards that IB education entails. A student who possesses an IB Diploma is typically held in high regard and is expected to have what it takes to excel in their future academic environment. 

Students who desire good chances of admission into the world’s top-ranked institutions of higher learning should consider enrolling in the IB continuum of programmes. On top of earning a valuable credential, they may be able to prepare for an even more challenging environment in their dream tertiary educational institution. 

IB programmes emphasize critical thinking, inquiry, and practical experience

Last but definitely not least, IB Programmes are quite different from other educational programs due to their focus on self-determined, independent, and critical learning. IB curricula are known to motivate students to think outside of the box, to question existing conventions, and to make a place for themselves in the world at an early age. 

IB students are encouraged to seek learning experiences outside of the classroom, for example through sports, the arts, or civic engagement. That means that they acquire a lot of practical experience through the IB and graduate from their home program as well-rounded, inquisitive, and confident learners. 

If this short guide has sated your own curiosity about the IB Programmes, be sure to learn more about them and factor the information you’ll discover when you’re choosing a secondary school in Singapore. Find a school that aligns with your values and that can promise the best that International Baccalaureate education has to offer.