VFIS’ progress towards being an International Baccalaureate (IB) school
We are heading towards the end of an exciting period of preparation for IB accreditation and receiving our first IB cohort in August 2021. This has been a fulfilling, but challenging journey which has involved designing world class facilities, offering professional development for all teachers in IB methods and creating quality curriculum.
The IB Diploma programme is a two-year university entrance qualification that is recognised worldwide. The programme is both holistic and rigorous and prepares the whole student for life beyond school. Students have the opportunity to take two or three language courses, one or two science courses, one or two humanities courses, mathematics and visual arts. In addition they study a Theory of Knowledge course, write a 4000-word research paper and complete a creativity, action and service programme.
The IB programme requires that school facilities are of a high standard. Over the last year we have upgraded our facilities to ensure this. We now have four science labs equipped with the latest materials from Finland and a state of the art secondary school library. The library has texts in five languages, research databases; copying, printing and scanning facilities; quiet study, comfortable reading and group work areas; and an AV workspace.
This summer nine teachers completed month-long IB training workshops within their specific subject disciplines and they are now preparing course outlines for the coming school year. These teachers will also join regional collaborative sessions with other IB teachers within their subject discipline. In addition, primary and secondary teachers have participated in school based IB professional development sessions. Teachers and other staff have also worked in groups to create seven policies that enable IB, Finnish and MoET requirements to be met.
All students will fully benefit from our brand new facilities and schoolwide IB approaches, as well as having the opportunity to engage with students from other international schools. We are now looking forward to our IB Consultation visit at the end of October.
Ms. Catherine Symes-Matheus
IB Diploma Programme Coordinator