Dartford and Cobham schools A-level switch could give students a headstart

PUBLISHED: 10:03 22 July 2011

Dartford Sixth Form pupils celebrate their IB results

Dartford Sixth Form pupils celebrate their IB results


»Students at two schools that ditched A-levels in favour of the International Baccalaureate could hold a major advantage when it comes to securing university places.

Dartford Grammar School and Cobham School for Girls both saw students celebrating top exam results last week, more than a month before their counterparts will discover how they fared in their A-levels – and with university clearing opening at the start of July, they have first pick of the remaining spaces.

Steven Holdcroft, head of recruitment at the University of Kent, said: “We have had a steady trickle of students calling with their results and they are being offered slots.

“The university holds the IB in very high regard as we have found it prepares students well for university life.”

Unlike A-Levels, IB students must take six subjects, including core topics mathematics, science and English, plus a foreign language and humanity.

They must also study The Theory of Knowledge, looking at how people learn, and complete 150 hours of community- based work.

Dartford Grammar School, whose students secured an average of 34 points – the equivalent of four As at A-level – began offering the IB alongside A-levels for 15 years but now is solely IB.


Robert Tibbott, deputy head and head of sixth form, said: “We left the choice to the students but found more and more were taking the IB option.

“They work longer hours and it is definitely harder but they know they will come out with a top qualification.”

Paul Mitchell is head at Cobham, where almost 20 per cent of their students received 40 points or more, placing them in the top five per cent of students in the world.

He said: “This is the first year of results for us in the IB. It was not a decision we took lightly but we felt the course fits our ethos and offers a more rounded education.”

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