Our First Graduating IB Cohort

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The 2019 Year 12 class was a small one; the 2020 Year 12 class is considerably larger and the Year 11 larger again. We are very confident that our numbers will continue to increase as students and families become aware of the benefits of undertaking the IB. This is in line with the worldwide trend of tertiary institutions and employers recognising and respecting graduates of the IB because of the skills and capacities it fosters.

The Diploma rewards hard work; it is not a programme only suited to an academic elite. Students at Preshil they have the enormous advantage of already having completed the four years of the IB Middle Years Programme, giving them thorough preparation and a seamless transition into the senior years.

I do want to acknowledge the unfailing support our students have received from all of their teachers, who delight in every element of their success at whatever level that may be. In particular, Dan Symons and Bronte Howell have been available and very well equipped to guide, advise, re-evaluate and, above all, celebrate with each student.

The third year of our Diploma is going to be informed by all of the experiences we have gathered over the last several years of training, practice and now the rich feedback provided to us by the IB. We can’t wait!

I am very eager to let the community know that our first ever IB Diploma results were very pleasing indeed.  82% of our students received a first round offer and of those the majority was their first or second preference – over 60%. Our top ATAR was 98.05, with over 50% of our students receiving an ATAR over 80.

Our graduating students have taken up places in the following courses:

  • Science
  • Science/Law
  • Science/Data Science
  • Information Technology
  • Business Information Systems
  • Music
  • Fine Arts
  • Psychology
  • Legal Services
  • Design
  • Arts
  • Arts/Business

Swinburne University of Technology was, this year, the most popular choice with the University of Melbourne and Monash as the second most favoured destinations; with RMIT, Latrobe University and Deakin University offering excellent alternative pathways to degrees for a number of students.

Students who achieved less than 24 for their Diploma Programme were all offered places, regardless of their not having received an ATAR. The fear cultivated around the spectre of ‘failing’ the IB was immaterial in the process of tertiary selection.

The increased flexibility of tertiary pathways, entry points and transferability between courses and even institutions aligns perfectly with Preshil’s approach to preparing students for a much more diverse and rapidly changing career landscape, and the IB is the perfect vehicle for this journey.

Ever since our decision in 2012 to transition to an IB only program at the Secondary School we have been cautiously optimistic that this would be a better option for Preshil students as we prepare them for their lives beyond school. Preshil has never seen the ATAR as the finishing post, the defining achievement for our students or the major success indicator for the School.

Importantly, we now find that tertiary institutions are actively supporting the view that the ATAR is an inadequate measure as a determinant of success at the tertiary level. They want more information about secondary graduates than a ranked score based on a student’s four best VCE subject results; subjects so often selected as the most beneficial in calculating the score rather than indications of a student’s interests and talents.

An IB result includes the whole of the course a student undertakes, with no subject being more highly regarded than any other; students can achieve equally, regardless of their preferences. The core, including their individual Extended Essay and their Creativity, Activity and Service project, are not only valued by the IB, but of immense interest to tertiary institutions in considering the suitability of a student for a specific course.

We are now, more than ever, confident that the IB offers a broad, flexible and inclusive secondary school certificate, and the view of the IB as an elite academic program suitable only for the most able few really is a myth. 

If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the IB pudding makes for very good eating indeed!

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