THE SUNDAY Times has named Truro and Penwith College in its top five state schools for the International Baccalaureate.
The International Baccalaureate diploma is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to A levels: students focus on six subjects, including a science, a modern language, English and maths. It has been offered at Truro and Penwith College for more than a decade, with 100-plus learners at any one time.
Principal David Walrond said: "The Sunday Times ranking and the students' feedback on their experiences of the IB here say most of what needs to be said. The national recognition is certainly a wonderful boost for the College staff and students who work in such an effective partnership, but what their excellent performance means in terms of student progression to the most selective universities is an even better story."
Recent research has highlighted the particular success that IB students have in higher education with five per cent more students achieving a first-class honours degree and 42 per cent of students gaining places at top 20 UK universities.
IB student Lily Robinson said: "I chose the IB because I didn't really know what I wanted to do and I couldn't narrow down my subjects to just four - I thought it would be a good idea to study the diploma because with the IB you can continue with maths and English as well as choosing a science, humanities and art, so I liked the all roundness of it."
The International Baccalaureate diploma is internationally recognised and offered in more than a hundred countries throughout the world. It is fully recognised by all UK universities.
Entry level is the same as for A Levels; students study three subjects at higher level (H) and three at standard level (S). Candidates will also follow a theory of knowledge course to stimulates critical reflection on the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside college. Students undertake original research and are involved in creativity, action and community-based projects.
Second year student Jay Matyas said: "The IB has the ability to not just teach facts of what's on the curriculum tested for an exam paper, I think it teaches you a lot more. It teaches you values, not what to think but how to think, which I really value. We have the opportunity to access other resources; the college is so grand, on a large scale, that we have access to so many other opportunities, other resources, so I think that it is definitely part of the reason why the college is successful."