My First Week in The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) | School Update

October 15, 2017

Hello lovelies,

So today I want to share about school a little bit, and I am hoping that I can continue with I regular updates about school.
So I started this year doing A Levels, (I might talk more about this in a later post) but basically, I made the decision at the start of October to move schools and take the International Baccalaureate instead of A-Levels.

So I just completed my first full week of doing the International Baccalaureate, and I wanted to share my experiences so far doing so.

So I wasn't just doing the IB, but at the same time, I was adjusting to a new school, making new friends and trying to get my head used to the change of atmospheres.

What is the IB?

So many people don't know what the IB is. To be brief, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (what I am doing) is a 2 year programme for 16-19 year olds, which encompasses a range of subjects.
So that I don't get it wrong, I thought that I would share their mission statement;
"The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right."

The IB has 4 programmes, the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme (KS3 and GCSE in the UK) the Careers Programme and the Diploma Programme (That is the one that I am doing)

How Am I Finding It?

I have never been much of a person who enjoys school that much, but I really enjoy my new school. I am happy overall with the choice that I made and I don't regret that at all. I regret that I didn't move schools earlier in the year, or perhaps at the start of the year but I am happy that I am here now.

So I have actually been at my school a week and a half, because I moved midway through the week. I could have moved a day earlier, but I needed the time to say goodbye to my friends and teachers at my previous school. I must say that was bittersweet, I did shed a tear or two, and considering that I am not much of a crier, that was a lot for me. It was very surreal finally leaving the school that I have been going to for so many years, as well as leaving people that I have known for several years and some only several weeks.

The next day, I moved to my new school and I got kitted out with all the fancy stuff you typically get when you start the school year, e.g. the school email, the school planner (which I stopped using years ago). As a sixth form student, I also got my own ID card so that I can come in and out of school as a please (with some restrictions of course).
They also buddied me up with people to take me from class to class on the first day. Unfortunately, I still got really lost. After a week though, I can actually get my way around the school pretty well. My classes are in a range of school buildings and I am always having to go and visit different teachers, so I have had to adapt pretty quickly.

What is School/Classes Like?

So in the IB, you have to take 7 subjects (this is when everyone starts gasping and telling me that it is really difficult). You take 3 at Higher Level, which is like an A-Level, and 3 at Standard Level, which is like an AS. Some people take 4 Higher Levels and 2 Standard Levels, but it isn't advised. The subjects that I take are;

HL: English Literature, French, DT
SL: Maths, Biology, Economics

I didn't really want to take Biology, but due to the timetable I had to take it instead of German or Psychology, which were my preferred options. Surprisingly, although Biology is really hard, I am really enjoying it.
What I am really struggling with is French. I have always been taught French is a relatively large class and the teacher predominantly spoke in English. Now, my teachers both speak only in French and I struggle keeping up with the pace of the class. I also came into the class 4 weeks later than everyone else, so I missed out on a lot of vocabulary and grammar that has already been learnt.
As well as that, I am actually the only person doing HL French. My classes are mainly SL and HL combined and then I have 3 extra lessons a week with just me and the teacher. That was really hard to adjust to, but I am dealing with it okay now, and I actually like it, because I get to ask any questions I want without feeling judged when I am in class by myself. Unfortunately, I can't just bluff my way through it.

This post was really long, but I hope that it was relatable and that you enjoyed it. Please update me on how school is going for you in the comments.

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  1. Really interesting to read what you are doing education wise. I've heard of the IBDP but wasn't sure what it was.

    Abby x

    1. I hope that this blog post informed you a little bit! Thanks for commenting.

      Rachel x

  2. good luck !! I'm having way too much fun at uni and need to start studying a lot more .November will be the month of hell for me so I'm getting prepared .


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