The International Baccalaureate Programme (IB Programme) is a set of alternative education programs developed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) in Switzerland. The IB Programme has been widely adopted by international schools all over the world and has received much attention, thanks to ongoing trends in globalization.
Singapore, with its status as a global trade and innovation hub, is home to a number of IB-accredited schools. These schools mostly serve the expatriate community, which comprises a significant minority of Singapore’s population. Some of the best IB schools in Singapore also primarily serve nationals of specific countries.
However, a growing number of local parents are also choosing IB schools over mainstream education options for their children. While Singapore’s public education system is among the very best in the world, parents are now more aware of issues in pedagogy and child development that may make the IB Programme a better fit for their child.
Below are a few signs that your child may be a candidate for the IB Programme.
1.) Your Child Likes to Be Challenged
If your child is gifted and is perpetually bored with school, moving them to an IB school may give them the kind of challenge they need to thrive and succeed. Many students that have tried both IB and GCE A-Level schooling tend to report the IB Programme as being much tougher and more rigorous. The IB curriculum also offers a wider variety of educational opportunities compared to other systems, ensuring that even the most gifted children are challenged and flourishing.
2.) They Are Academically Inclined
If your child enjoys learning, the IB Programme may be a good fit for them. Under the IB Programme, students generally have a wide berth to choose the topics they want to study. In a sense, the program is closer to the style of education one might encounter at the tertiary level, rather than what you’d see in most mainstream elementary and high schools. This system may even help your child get used to the rigors of serious academics that would be found in the world’s best universities.
3.) They Have Trouble with Soft Skills
The IB Programme diverges from many other school curricula in the way that it emphasizes the teaching of “soft skills.” Recently, a lot of evidence has surfaced indicating that soft skills such as communication aptitude, entrepreneurship, creativity, and empathy are more reliable predictors of professional success than technical skills or academics. If your child has trouble relating to others, being in the IB Programme may help them develop the soft skills needed to succeed in their future endeavors.
4.) Your Child Is Open-Minded
Children who want to learn about different viewpoints can benefit from being in an IB school. The IB Programme inculcates principles of shared citizenship and ethics, both of which have become even more relevant in the fast-changing and highly globalized world. Additionally, IB-accredited institutions are almost always international schools, which means that your child will meet students from a variety of different cultures.
5.) They Get into Trouble for Being Critical Thinkers
Gifted children who get in trouble for asking too many questions at school are likely to be a good fit for the IB Programme. Students at IB schools are expected to be constantly asking meaningful questions and testing the status quo. Entering your child into the program may help them harness their curiosity in a much more productive and personally satisfying way.
6.) They Are Self-Starters
If your child shows signs of independence and leadership among their peers, being in the IB Programme may help them reach their true potential. The challenging yet open curricula will keep their decision-making skills engaged. This can be critical for helping them build their confidence and shaping them into future leaders and innovators.
7.) They Have a Strong Interest In Learning Foreign Languages
Since the IB’s inception, its programs have always included a strong language learning element that is more robust than those in most other mainstream schools. In an IB school, your child will have a pick of foreign languages that they could study further. This may open up a whole world of opportunities that they may enjoy for the rest of their life.
Should Your Child Be in the IB Programme?
The IB Programme is not just for children of expatriates. Enrolling your gifted child in one of the best IB schools in Singapore may be the best way to keep them challenged and growing holistically throughout their early years. The benefits of the IB system make it worth considering for any child that does not fit the template commonly found in mainstream education. The program should offer them a depth of education that would be otherwise unattainable in most other schools.