For the second successive year, Windermere School students have broken school records with their IB results. The mean score of 35.03 is the highest average score the school has obtained since the IB was introduced ten years ago, while the points awarded for the core also saw a new benchmark set, with an average of 1.97 out of a maximum of three.
The core is an additional element to the main subjects which students following the IB curriculum have chosen, and is made up of an extended essay of around 4,000 words, which offers students the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest; the theory of knowledge, which encourages critical thinking and aims to help young people make sense of what they encounter; and the third aspect of the core is creativity, action, service. Creativity, action, service is at the very heart of the Diploma Programme, encouraging students to be involved in a range of activities which take place alongside their academic studies. Put into context, this is an outstanding set of results. The IB Diploma mean world average for students taking their exams in May 2016 was 30 points, and the world average for the core in the same year was 1.29.
This year, thirty-four students sat the IB, of which thirty were IB Diploma Candidates and four were IB Career Related candidates. Of the thirty sitting the IB Diploma, six students will take their place on the School Honours Board with a score of 40 points or more. A score of 40 points of more puts these students in the top 7% in the world – Julia Sojka (44), Kate Kuian and Wilfred Lau (41) and Ruben Pohle, Maria Swietlinska and Marc Ungeheuer (40). The International Baccalaureate Career Related Certificate has been designed for career orientated students, offering them the opportunity to gain a certificate which combines practical and academic skills. All four of the students following this programme of study passed, with three students gaining Merit/Distinction and the other student achieving Distinction/Distinction.
Headmaster, Ian Lavender, was delighted with the results, saying, “There was a wonderful atmosphere in school this morning as the students arrived to collect their results. To set new standards for the second year in a row is a real success story, all the more so given that the school is non-selective, and one of which the students and the staff should be very proud. The average score of just over 35 is a fantastic achievement and with a number of students just one point off the next grade boundary, we anticipate that our 2017 results might be even stronger following re-marks.”
On the strength of these results, many students have secured places at prestigious universities worldwide, including Wilfred Lau, Ruben Pohle and Maria Swietlinska, who will be continuing their studies at University College, London; Julia Sojka, who will be reading Jewish Studies at Oxford University; Carol Chi and Almaz Khabibullin, who are going to the University of Edinburgh; and Francois Husson, who will be studying at St Andrews. Bristol, Durham and Lancaster are among some of the other choices.
Ian Lavender added, “In 2014, three students from the school secured places at Oxford and Cambridge, all of whom have gone on to achieve great things as their courses come to an end. Stanislav Biber has just obtained a 1st class in his third year dissertation and has one year left at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, where he is reading Mathematics; Rosie Hoggmascall has achieved a double 1st from Cambridge, where she was reading Geography; and Edward Lavender, who read Biological Sciences at Brasenose College, Oxford, has won the top 1st in the university finals this year, winning the exceptionally coveted Gibbs Prize.
I highlight these three pupils because I have often thought that the measure of a school is not how successful it is in getting students to university, but how successful a school is in preparing students for life beyond school. The International Baccalaureate encourages students to become independent learners and this is what we constantly strive for at the school.
The staff at Windermere School gives exceptional levels of support to the students and could not do more in trying to instil a sense of wonder and a desire to keep striving for excellence, whatever their chosen field.”
The school would like to wish this year’s leavers the very best in all that they do.
The first time my daughter and I visited the school she said to me “that is a happy school no question.” The scholastic achievements of the school are evident and an easy measure for a school to demonstrate. What is hard to quantify is the holistic development of a pupil at which, in my experience, Windermere School excels.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.