First published in ACCESS Summer 2015 e-zine
Providing students with the best possible springboard into higher education and employment has always been one of the highest priorities at The British School in The Netherlands (BSN).
The introduction of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in 2008 – to run alongside the well-established A Level Programme - was a demonstration of the school’s commitment to offering a wider choice and opportunity for students in the Sixth Form (age 16-18). This academic year saw the BSN adding another qualification into the offering.
The IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) offers a very practical approach to post 16 study. Combined with the Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualification, it provides an interesting alternative for students and is accepted as an entry requirement into university.
Michelle Cooke joined the BSN as IBCP Co-ordinator and has a background in both teaching and business management, and says: “...the real value of the IBCP is that students tackle a specifically career-focused study which will help to strengthen their position and enhance their employability and project management skills in the future.”
Students taking the two-year IBCP course have their studies broken down into three components:
- At least two IB Diploma Programme courses at standard or higher level
- An IBCP ‘Core’ that includes approaches to learning, community and service, language development and a reflective project
- An approved vocational professional qualification, in the case of the BSN, this is theBTEC National Level 3 Diploma in Business. Over the two-year course, students will study a variety of business topics but will have four compulsory units: the business environment, business resources, introduction to marketing and business communication.
The students are taught alongside IB Diploma students, whilst other components take the form of tutorial sessions and practical working groups. This is complemented by real workplace case studies and project work with organisations such as Ikea, Shell and Asics. These aspects, combined with the high student to teacher ratio is something the students really value, as Sixth Form student Billy Price explains: “Our group is quite small, which means that we can really get a lot out of each lesson – spending time going over things in detail.”
The British School in The Netherlands is an independent British international school with three Junior School campuses in The Hague and a Senior School in Voorschoten. With around 2,000 students, the BSN is the largest provider of International education in the Netherlands for children aged 3 to 18.
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