Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


The IB Difference

News Release: Monday 3 January 2012

The IB Difference

Over 400 entrants and just one overall winner Year 13 Queen Margaret College (QMC) student, Lydia Hingston. At this year’s NIWA Wellington Science Fair it would be reasonable to say that the seniors’ of QMC excelled, receiving the largest number of prizes of any one College.

Along with Lydia being awarded first overall she received first in Class 5 (Year 11-13), while classmate Kate Bielby was placed second and won the coveted Victoria University Innovation Prize. Both were also nominated for Genesis Energy Realise the Dream. Sarah Novak coming in third, ensured that QMC took a clean sweep of Class 5, plus Thalia Babbage, Ameshka Perera and Paris Watson all received highly recommends in this section.

These excellent results are an example of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma difference. All QMC senior science fair entrants are IB Diploma students. The diploma requires all students to take Science, a course which along with Mathematics is not compulsory for Level 2 and 3 NCEA.

Science within the diploma involves taking intellectual initiative with experimental science. This coupled with the extended essay, a core diploma requirement where students complete a significant piece of independent research of particular interest to themselves, is the work that was presented at the science fair.

Lydia Hingston’s project “Antibiotics versus Probiotics” was an experiment to determine the best probiotic to take after being on a course of various antibiotics, while Kate’s exhibit “Jet Laaaag” investigated how long it takes to recover from jet lag.

For their teachers Michelle Tewksbury, HOD of Science, and Dr Alison Stevens, “it has been very rewarding to see their growth as young scientists, as they dealt with the challenges of these projects. The girls have developed critical thinking, design, data processing and evaluation skills fundamental to science investigations.”

Principal, Carol Craymer, formerly an English teacher, champions the importance of Science and Mathematics in schools, is thrilled with the results.

“We are very proud of what these Year 13 girls have achieved. The majority of our students take science and mathematics to Year 13. Young women who have a strong background in Science and Mathematics are equipped for so many rewarding career pathways.”

What is the IB Diploma?

A two-year qualification, widely regarded as the gold standard of global educational qualifications providing entry to universities in this country and all round the world.

The IB Diploma programme is known for its breadth and width. All students study six subjects, including their first language, a second language, a science, mathematics and a social science. Marks are also allocated for the 4,000 word Extended Essay which has them engage in independent research and Theory of Knowledge course designed to encourage critical thinking. In addition students undertake an extra-curricular programme (CAS) where they participate in sports, arts and community service. This is a refreshing counterbalance to academic studies.

The IB Diploma is marked on a worldwide scale, where each subject is graded from one (lowest) to seven (highest possible score) for all six subjects. Students must achieve a total of 24 points and fulfil other criteria in order to receive the IB Diploma. The marks are internationally moderated so the same standards apply throughout the world.

Background Information:
Queen Margaret College is a leading independent Presbyterian Girls College. It offers holistic education from Pre-School through to Year 13 and the choice of the qualification pathways of IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma and NCEA. QMC is a College with an international perspective that delivers a high-quality, globally-relevant curriculum within a family atmosphere.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland