There are many schools in Singapore that offer the International Baccalaureate Program – here’s how Overseas Family School sets its offering apart.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is a popular choice among families in Singapore. The good news is that there are many schools that offer the IB as an academic pathway for students. The not so great news? How do you go about choosing the best one for your child from so many excellent choices?
As one of the first international schools in Singapore to offer the IB, Overseas Family School (OFS) is naturally one of the top choices for many families. However, being a pioneer isn’t the only reason that makes this school stand out. We take a look at all the aspects that make OFS’ IB Program unique.
1. OFS offers an inclusive IB Diploma Program
“OFS is one of the few schools in Singapore and globally that doesn’t preselect its students for the IB Diploma Program (IB DP),” said OFS High School Principal Adam Ashton. This means that all students are allowed to take the full diploma, even if it means that the school doesn’t achieve a 100% pass rate in the IB DP. This is because OFS believes that every child should be given the opportunity to shine and achieve their full potential. Students are allowed to take the full two-year IB DP, or selectively choose IB courses that suit their passion while earning an OFS High School Diploma (accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges).
2. The school has a team of educators who are highly experienced with the IB
Being one of the first schools in Singapore to offer the IB, it’s no surprise that many of OFS’ faculty are prominent members within the IB community. Some of its educators have served as examiners, IB Workshop leaders, and curriculum developers. In fact, some of the school’s faculty members have even been invited by the IB to create explanatory videos as teaching resources. Parents can rest assured that their children will be well supported by the school in pursuing the IB.
3. Students’ interest take centre stage at OFS
OFS continuously evaluates its IB Program and course offerings to honour students’ interests. For example, the school has recently introduced DP Psychology and DP Sports Science to cater to students’ interests.
On top of that, students have the ability to conduct their mandatory IB DP Extended Essay (EE) in World Studies – something not found at other schools. “This is an enriching opportunity for students as World Studies EE focuses on global issues and topics that cut across multiple subjects. It allows students to investigate challenging issues that cannot be adequately investigated within the confines of a single subject,” explained Trapti Trivedi, OFS’ IB DP Coordinator. There’s also the school’s unique EE Exhibition, where students get to research and showcase their passion to the entire school community.
4. The school has dedicated support and programmes for tertiary education planning
The strong support OFS offers isn’t confined to academic offerings, but for university applications as well. High school students at OFS have access to its Academic School Support and High School Peer Tutoring programmes. They are paired with academic advisors who can help them through the university application process. Those who are interested in applying to the likes of Oxbridge and Ivy League universities can seek support through the school’s Prestigious University Program as well. “This Program provides students with additional support and guidance from as early as Grade 8 to prepare them for such applications,” Trivedi said.
5. OFS regards parents as ‘partners’ in their children’s education
“Parent partnership is crucial for student success,” Principal Ashton shared. As such, OFS organises regular Curriculum Nights and workshops for parents to explain key attributes of the IB DP. This is so that parents are aware and prepared to provide the necessary support to their children who are pursuing, or considering to pursue the IB DP. The aforementioned EE Exhibition is also a good way for parents and Grade 11 students to understand important components of the IB Program.
It’s no surprise that OFS’ IB candidates score well above world averages
All these unique aspects of OFS’ IB Program help its students achieve impressive results. The recent May 2023 IB DP examinations saw 32.8% of the school’s IB cohort being rewarded with the prestigious IB Bilingual Diplomas – against a world average of 26.7%!
Ananya Gopal Iyer, from OFS Class of 2022, attributes her impressive result of 44 points in the IB to various aspects of the OFS IB Program. The OFS IB DP provided her with ‘tools’ to excel in the IB components. “For example, I was very interested in the ethics of vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Scientific and Technical Innovation’ global context guiding questions in Biology encouraged me to further explore this concept and hear my classmates’ perspectives. Working with these tools greatly prepared me for my IB Internal Assessments and Theory of Knowledge class.”
This post is in partnership with Overseas Family School.