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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.
www.qmc.school.nz

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