When universities accept an IB student, they know that they are getting a well-rounded, global young citizen ready to make an impact on the world.
There are currently 60 schools offering the IB Diploma in Germany – but none with results quite like the International School on the Rhine, ISR, located in Neuss.
“The IB programme has such rigorous courses that really challenge me and push me to do my best,” Victoria, a grade 12 student at ISR, told The Local.
Since its first IB graduate walked proudly into the world just four years ago, ISR has grown quickly and achieved remarkable results that surpass the global average.
Students who graduate from the ISR score an average of 34 on their IB exams (out of 45), compared to the nationwide German average of 31 and the worldwide average of 29.8.
Indeed, last year’s high was 41 – a score achieved by only 2.7 percent of exam takers worldwide.
So what exactly is ISR doing right? Just what does it mean for a student to study in an IB programme – particularly at the International School on the Rhine?
The IB Diploma
The IB Diploma programme was developed in 1968 by teachers at the International School in Geneva, and was intended to create a pre-university curriculum and common examination questions for international students.
Now a non-profit organization, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) is based in Geneva and develops educational programs for children, as well as certifying schools to offer the IB Diploma program. They also administer the IB exams.
Many parents in Germany are interested in finding an alternative to the Abitur degree. The IB Diploma is one such alternative. ISR graduates who apply to German universities are awarded the Allgemeine Hochschulreife upon completion of their degrees, and are in no way behind their public school peers.
All European IB exams are graded in Cardiff, England – unlike the Abitur, which is graded locally. This ensures that the students’ exams are graded on a non-biased basis and their IB scores reflect global value.
A global education
The IB programme is a rigorous and multidisciplinary two-year programme, studied from grades 10 to 12. Students must select six subject groups to study, and a minimum of three groups must be studied at Higher Level.
Requirements include learning at least two languages, mathematics, a social science, a science, and an elective course.
“I really like how in-depth the IB classes are,” Lea, another 12-grade student, explained.
“They let me really study a subject deeply and understand it. What’s also neat is to see how the Maths we learned last year are being applied in our Physics classes and Economics this year, you can actually see the connections between all subjects; it’s not theoretical.”
On top of these courses, students must select a research topic for an Extended Essay, an independent research paper of 4,000 words. They are also required to take an intensive two-year course entitled ‘Theory of Knowledge’.
“The IB programme has enabled my child to develop his logical, analytical, and critical thinking skills,” ISR parent Bettina Schumacher said. “The variety of classes allows my child to not only pursue his interests, but also continue studying areas which will l make him a well-rounded adult.”
What students have to say about ISR:
An exceptional school
But the International School on the Rhine is even more than an IB World School.
A non-profit international school located just outside of Düsseldorf, in the city of Neuss, the International School on the Rhine welcomes more than 500 students from 48 countries, including Germany, India, China, Japan, Russia, and many more.
English is the language of instruction, and specialized language teachers assist non-native English-speakers to bring them up to speed.
It is also a member of the SABIS® school system, and thus offers a well-structured curriculum during the lower middle years as well, a programme which prepares for the challenges of the IB diploma programme.
Exam scores are significantly above the global average, and maths and science scores are particularly high. And it’s not luck of the draw.
“Due to our challenging mathematics and science programmes in Grades 5 – 10, students are well-prepared for the High Level Maths and Sciences courses, which are our IB specialty,” the school’s IB coordinator Pamela Adams explained.
Adams said that the challenging curriculum – both of SABIS® and the IB programme – encourages students to mature by juggling schoolwork with various other obligations and activities, preparing them for the demands of university life.
And student creativity is nurtured as well through ISR’s Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) activities, which include art, music, writing, sports, yoga, dance lessons, and community service projects.
Normal IB activities are complimented at ISR by a very active Student Life Organization (SLO), which organizes non-academic activities and provides leadership opportunities for students.
Student Victoria appreciates the team-building and project leadership aspects of the activities.
“I really learned how to organize myself, and our class has really pulled together as a team this year.”
The IB programme at ISR has been in development for more than 11 years, and has truly remarkable results.
ISR students score highly and are prepared to tackle whatever lies ahead. They have impressive rates of acceptance into competitive universities, and have gone on to study in Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Japan Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, and many other countries.
ISR graduates are not only well-rounded, but also responsible, dedicated, and intellectually curious.
The top-notch selection of courses and activities at ISR helps students develop a positive attitude and a global awareness which will them well in today’s rapidly-changing, global world.
Interested parents are encouraged to come visit ISR on October 25th from 11am to 3pm for an Open House. There will be demonstration classes, tours, music and a drawing for free summer school tuition. ISR looks forward to meeting you then.
This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by International School on the Rhine.