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Stephen Perse Sixth Form announces outstanding IB Results; once again amongst the best in the UK

Published on 07/07/21

Students who take the International Baccalaureate (IB) at the Stephen Perse Sixth Form have achieved an average score of 41 points this year which is the highest average since 2013. These results again place the school in the top group of IB schools both in the UK and worldwide.  

In a year when the pandemic has presented significant challenges for all in education resulting in public examinations being cancelled in the UK, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has developed two parallel routes to mitigate the global impact of COVID on young people. Unlike 2020, when the IB used an algorithm to determine the final grade, this year the results are based on a combination of a student’s coursework, marked by the IBO, and their teacher predicted grades. As submitting predicted grades is part of the normal routine for IB teachers, the process of assessing students has been straightforward at the Stephen Perse Sixth Form.  

Jacqueline Paris, Head of the IB Programme at Stephen Perse commented: “We have been confident in our grade predictions as the IBO has a record of our accuracy dating back to 2010 when the IB was first introduced in the Stephen Perse Sixth Form. Our reputation for making accurate predictions, which are always shared with the students as a matter of routine, has certainly helped to reduce some of the inevitable anxiety in a difficult year.” 

Ms Paris continues: “The 2021 cohort is an exceptional group of students. This is not just evidenced by the grades they have achieved but also by the fortitude and commitment they have shown to their IB studies and to the school. Since the cancellation of their exams, they have completed coursework delayed by the lockdown, worked together on a variety of projects such as producing information boards on the core elements of the IB, and have led assemblies for Year 10 students. They have produced a Theory of Knowledge walking tour and audio guide of Cambridge, completed MOOCs (Massive Online Open Classes) and commenced the preparation of skills needed at university such as cooking lessons.”

IB subjects are graded on a 1-7 scale with 7 being the highest score; 89% of all SPF students’ grades were Level 6 or 7 and 67% of Stephen Perse students achieved a total of 40 points, with 1 student achieving a perfect score of 45 points. These results will allow Stephen Perse Sixth Form students to embark on a wide range of university courses including this year Modern Languages at Newcastle University; Geography at Durham University; Medicine at the University of Nottingham; Law at the University of Oxford; Medicine at the University of Cambridge.

Sixth Formers are offered the choice of taking A Levels or the IB. Last year the IB Diploma was offered in over 2900 schools across 144 countries and this number continues to grow as there is broad recognition by universities worldwide that IB programmes develop academic independence, giving a breadth of skills and knowledge fit for the 21st century. Stephen Perse students choose to take the IB for its inquiring and critical thinking approach in a global context. 

Richard Girvan, Principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation said: “Our IB students can be hugely proud of their outstanding achievements in a year that has thrown more challenges at young people than any other in recent times. The results represent the culmination of years of hard work by the students and their teachers at the Stephen Perse Foundation and I am delighted that their efforts have been rewarded. We are particularly impressed that, as well as their outstanding academic performance, our students have also demonstrated their tenacity, resilience and well-roundedness throughout their time in our Sixth Form. We wish all of our students a wonderful summer and every success in the future as they prepare to take up university places next term.”