1 ASHCROFT TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY IBDP Prospectus atacademy.org.uk
2 Our Mission Ashcroft Technology Academy Sixth Form prepares young people for living, learning and working in the future.
The IBDP at ATA Studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) at Ashcroft Technology Academy is an exceptional opportunity to participate in an intensely rewarding educational experience. We are proud of our superb results, which reflect the ongoing commitment of both our IBDP teachers and students. More than this though, we have sought to create a highly supportive and stimulating environment at the Academy that nurtures a genuinely global perspective. Our Academy truly embraces the international nature of the IBDP. From the very first day, our students become part of a far-reaching global network. Our ethos, whether within IBDP lessons or as part of our Creativity, Activity and Service programme, is to develop within our students a deeper understanding of the issues facing our society and provide them with the knowledge and skills that will equip them to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. With small classes, excellent pastoral support, and fully trained IBDP teachers, the Academy provides the perfect setting for success on the IBDP. We are very proud of our IBDP graduates and their exceptional exam results. Students at the Academy achieve exceptional results, with students going on to study at Russell Group universities around the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge. Some students embrace their love of international education and the liberal arts and choose to study abroad. Ashcroft is an exceptional place to learn, and the IBDP is an exceptional course. Students who enrol on the IBDP leave the Academy not just with excellent results, but as confident, well-rounded thinkers who are well prepared to make a positive contribution to our world. Joseph Anson IBDP Coordinator & Examinations Manager
What is the IBDP? The IBDP, which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2018, is a programme of study designed to promote intercultural understanding and respect as an essential part of life in the 21st century. Its curriculum is carefully planned, with links between subjects clearly defined – students are taught not to think of their subjects as discreet units, but to embrace the interconnectivity between them. In addition, all aspects of the IBDP are designed to help students develop the 10 personal qualities of the IB learner profile. IB students are: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, openminded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. Development of these qualities is embedded in all areas of the curriculum and is a fundamental part of the IBDP. The curriculum requires students to study English, maths, science, a foreign language, and a humanities subject. As a sixth subject, students can opt to study a second science or humanities subject or an arts subject. Students have a wide range of choices and are able to design their own personal, challenging and enjoyable curriculum. Students take three of their subjects at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. The specifications focus on problem solving, critical thinking, application and analysis. In addition to the student’s six subjects, the IBDP has three core elements which students must complete. Creativity, Activity and Service allows the IBDP students to ‘live the Learner Profile’ through extra-curricular activities, volunteering, sports or the arts. The Extended Essay teaches key university essay writing and research skills, whilst Theory of Knowledge teaches students how and why to question information and allows them to more effectively argue their own opinions and ideas. These curriculum features are unique to the IBDP and are concerned with developing the ‘whole student’, something universities are very keen to see.
The studen t perspective I decided to progress into Ashcroft’s Sixth Form after doing my GCSES at the school and chose to study the International Baccalaureate. The IB appealed to me mainly because of the multifaceted nature of the programme. The academic experience is diverse and well-rounded, due to the range of subjects students are required to take, and I felt that the international perspective of the course is important, interesting and reflects the realities of the modern world. Furthermore, the ‘Core’ of the IB is an attractive proposition for any student: undertaking independent study in the form of the EE and engaging in extra-curricular activities, such as public speaking, were incredible opportunities. On paper the IB can seem daunting, but in reality my friends doing A-levels were working just as hard as I was. I am glad that I picked a challenging course which pushed me out of my comfort zone; I found it immensely rewarding and would certainly recommend it to any prospective student. During my time at Ashcroft’s Sixth Form, I was able to pursue my studies in an environment which enabled me to succeed. The school provides quiet areas of study (specifically the libraries and sixth form study room) and ample resources such as textbooks and computers. This meant that during both my lessons and free periods I was able to get plenty of work done. As well as this, there are a plethora of extra-curricular activities which enabled me to grow and learn in alternative ways. For example, I took part in the school choir and the Wizard of Oz production, as well as entering competitions such as the Bake Off and ARTiculation. One of the main things that I will take away from my time at the Sixth Form is the support I received from those around me. In relation to both my IB studies and university applications my teachers gave me invaluable advice and encouragement to aim high. For example, I received practice for interviews and help with my personal statement. Also, my IB cohort evolved over the two years into a close-knit friendship group. Being surrounded by these people was both reassuring and inspiring, and why I will look back on my two years in Sixth Form fondly. Freya Lewis Freya achieved a maximum score of 45 points in her IB diploma. During her examination year, only 208 students globally achieved the maximum point score of 45. She is now reading History at Cambridge University.
Student achievements and destinations Emilly Santos Maths AA HL - 7 Physics HL - 7 Psychology HL - 7 Diploma score - 45 Now studying at Princeton University Louise Barnett History HL - 7 Geography HL - 7 English Literature HL - 7 Diploma score - 42 Now reading History at the University of Oxford Stella Mortarotti Maths AA HL - 7 Biology HL - 7 Chemistry HL - 7 Diploma score - 45 Now reading Mathematics at the University of St Andrews Nathan Solomon Maths AA HL - 7 Economics HL- 7 Physics HL - 7 Diploma score - 43 Now reading Mathematics and Physics at the University of Warwick Lalou Laredo Economics HL - 7 English Literature HL - 6 Geography HL - 7 Diploma score - 44 Now reading Geography at the University of Oxford Amina Riamah Maths AA HL - 6 Physics HL - 7 English Literature HL - 7 Diploma score - 44 Now reading Materials Science and Engineering at Imperial College London Lisa Crookham Geography HL - 7 Biology HL - 7 Psychology HL - 7 Diploma score - 44 Now reading International Relations at the University of Edinburgh Jay Ayliffe Maths AA HL - 5 History HL - 7 English Literature HL - 7 Diploma score - 42 Jay has completed his degree in History and Politics at the University of Cambridge The IBDP offers the perfect preparation for university study, both in the UK and abroad. Educators recognise the range of skills which are taught on the IBDP, as well as the depth and breadth of knowledge taught in the curriculum. Students have enjoyed exceptional examination results at ATA since teaching began here in 2012, which has ensured that our students have access to some of the top universities in the world, such as UK Russell Group universities, Oxford and Cambridge and top overseas destinations. Students' excellent examination outcomes are a result of ATA's approach to teaching and learning, with fully trained staff and experienced departments delivering courses in collaboration with each other. In addition, ATA's small class sizes, excellent resources and expert pastoral support ensures that students are given the best chance to succeed on the IBDP and beyond. Here is just a small sample of the superb achievements of IBDP students at ATA.
Life After the Diploma The vast majority of IBDP students choose to continue their education at university after receiving their Diploma. Unlike A Levels, achieving the very top grades in the IBDP is unusual and is not required to secure a place at a top university. However at Ashcroft it would certainly not be uncommon for students to achieve more than one Level 7. For example, only around 200-500 students across the globe achieve 45/45 points each year and this is reflected by university offers. As a guide, the top UK universities (the Russell Group), tend to offer university places to IBDP students predicted 32-38 points. Oxford and Cambridge offers are generally between 39 and 41 points. King’s College London has produced this table to demonstrate how its IB offers compare to A Level, for all degree courses: IB students tend to be very successful in securing places at top universities, and subsequently achieving the highest classifications for their degrees, as shown by the two charts below: A level IB A* A A 35 points including 7 6 6 HL A A A 35 points including 6 6 6 HL A A B 35 points including 6 6 5 HL Furthermore, IBDP students are typically more successful when applying for universities outside of the UK due to the international nature of the qualification. The IBDP is taught in 150 countries and is therefore widely recognized by institutions around the world. The Academy offers one-to-one support for students who wish to apply abroad and has had excellent success in supporting students to accept places across Europe and North America, including fully-funded scholarships in US universities such as Princeton.
Where have our students received offers from? International Baccalaureate students at Ashcroft receive excellent guidance and support whether they are applying to either UK or international universities. Students often comment that this is one of the best features of the IB programme at Ashcroft and, as a result, our IB students are highly successful at securing places at top universities. International Baccalaureate students who received their Diplomas in 2018 are currently studying at Washington University in St Louis, Cambridge, Nottingham, Durham, King’s, Manchester and UCL to name just a few places. Below are a selection of typical university offer our students receive each year. The offers below can be viewed in context of our average point score 38.3 Course: Neuroscience Student predicted grade: 36 Edinburgh: offer 37 Manchester: offer 36 Nottingham: offer 34 King’s College London: offer 35 St Andrews: offer 36 Course: International Relations Student predicted grade: 35 Queen Mary University, London: offer 34 Southampton: offer 32 King’s College London: offer 35 Birmingham: offer 32 Surrey: offer 35 Course: Economics Student predicted grade: 43 Warwick: offer 38 St Andrews: offer 36 Exeter: offer 38 Leeds: offer 35 Course: History & Politics Student predicted grade: 41 University College London: offer 39 King’s College London: offer 35 London School of Economics: offer 38 Queen Mary University, London: offer 34 Course: History Student predicted grade: 44 Cambridge: offer 40 (HL: 776) Durham: offer 38 York: offer 36 Exeter: offer 38 Nottingham: offer 36 Course: Geography Student predicted grade: 36 Manchester: offer 35 Newcastle: offer 35 King’s College London: offer 35 Exeter: offer 36 Birmingham: offer 32
Inspiring Choice The IBDP is a world class, worldwide pre-university curriculum. Following extensive consultation with several ‘World Schools’ and a highly successful visit from IB representatives to the Academy, we are convinced that the IBDP provides an excellent alternative to A levels and BTEC as a pathway to higher education. The IDPB however offers a breadth unrivalled by any other qualifications. By offering the IBDP, as part of an enhanced sixth form curriculum and in the context of our outstanding resources, Ashcroft Academy Sixth Form becomes a real alternative to fee paying as well as state schools. IBDP students will take six subjects; three at standard level and three at higher level over two years. For comparative purposes the IBDP higher levels are similar to A level. In addition to six subjects, students follow a core programme that lies at the heart of the IBDP. There is no doubt that the IBDP will enrich your lives, the Academy and the community we serve. The core is made up of 3 elements: Creativity, Activity, Service: CAS is an exciting, challenging and rewarding series of IB extra-curricular activities. Central themes of the CAS programme are providing support to other groups in the community, reflection and review. We have a comprehensive range of CAS activities in place at the Academy and look forward to student leadership in this area. Theory of Knowledge: ToK is designed to provide an understanding of different aspects of knowledge and ways of knowing. It encourages and develops enquiring minds and in particular an appreciation of other cultural perspectives. Extended Essay: The Extended Essay provides students with an opportunity to research an IB related subject topic of your choice. The Extended Essay can provide an ideal focus for discussion at university interview or feature on personal statements on your UCAS form. To achieve the IB Diploma, you will need to achieve good pass grades in all six subjects (equivalent to approximately grade C at A level), compile a CAS portfolio of evidence, and pass both ToK and the Extended Essay. We anticipate a 100% success rate on our IB course and therefore students will need careful induction to ensure that they are taking the right combination of subjects to meet their future needs and aspirations. The nature of the IB requires a progressive style of teaching that places the learner firmly at the heart of all classroom activity. IB teachers aim to create opportunities and experiences in the classroom that allow students to become genuine inquirers and develop independent learning strategies that will enable life-long learning. Students can expect a greater emphasis on group work and opportunities to discuss the ethical issues that arise in each subject. How will you know if the IB is for you? The IB Programme will suit highly motivated students. Typical IB students will have enquiring minds, a genuine desire to learn and will want to develop critical thinking skills and a global perspective to their education. IB subjects are arranged in six groupings. All subjects are available at both higher and standard level apart from Languages ab initio (beginners). All IB subjects contain a coursework element.
The following section provides an outline of IB subjects in respective groups. As with A levels, student choice may be governed by higher education plans particularly if you are considering medicine, dentistry, veterinary science or engineering. Your subject choice provides a key topic for discussion at interview to ensure you are on an appropriate programme of study to meet your ability, needs and aspirations. Group 1 – Studies in Language and Literature English Literature A Students will gain a personal appreciation of literature and develop an understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism. You will be introduced to a range of literature from different periods, genres, styles and contexts with a specific focus on works from other cultures and languages. Students may additionally take the school supported selftaught literature course. Group 2 – Language Acquisition Language B French or Spanish The course is for students with a GCSE in French or Spanish and includes a focus on cultural and international aspects. Students learn to communicate effectively in the target language they are studying, and aim for fluency by the end of the course. Language Ab Initio Spanish This is a beginners’ course for students to reach a level of competency in Spanish significantly beyond GCSE level with an emphasis on language. Group 3 – Individuals and Societies Economics Economics is the study of how individuals and groups in society make decisions with limited resources to best satisfy their needs and desires. You will study the production, distribution and consumption of wealth in human society. You will investigate the actions of players in individual markets as well as the actions of the Economy as a whole throughout the syllabus. Geography Geography is an important subject in our world of globalisation and pressures upon cultures and resources. Geography provides you with the opportunity to understand the patterns and interactions that occur at the earth’s surface and how humans interact with the environment to define the character of different places around the world. History The aims of the course are to encourage students to actively question the interpretations of past events, evaluating the impact of them on societies at all levels and to draw conclusions from their findings. Historical themes are covered on a global scale and you are encouraged to debate current perspectives on historical events. Psychology Psychology provides students with opportunities to develop an awareness of psychological research and the influence that it can have on the understanding of human behaviour. You will gain knowledge of biological, cognitive andsocio-cultural levelsof analysisofbehaviourwhile developing critical thinking and analytical ability throughout.
Group 4 – Sciences Biology Biology is the study of living organisms and their adaptations, structures and interactions with biotic and abiotic factors. Students will gain an appreciation of the ecological world and how human impacts can disrupt the stability of ecosystems. You will study cells, statistical analysis, molecular biology, genetics, ecology and evolution at both micro and macro level. Students studying higher level Biology will not only learn all the standard level topics in much greater detail but they will also study plant biology. One option module of animal physiology will also be taught to gain a greater understanding of the autonomic systems of the body suchas thestructureand necessityof essential nutrients, the appetite control centre, electrical conductance of the heart, hormones, metabolism, the liver and causes of jaundice and the tightly regulated pH of the blood during and after exercise. Chemistry Chemistry is the study of our understanding of the properties and behaviour of matter at the atomic level and how this gives rise to what we observe in the world around us. Studentswill gain a deeper knowledge of why and how this information is important and applicable. Chemistryisa scienceofchangeandstudentswilldeveloptheir understanding of how experimental evidence and modelling has influenced our interpretation of both the non-living and living molecular world around us, examining topics including chemical bonding, energy and kinetics of chemical reactions and organic synthesis. Physics Physics is the study of matter and you will have a chance to deepen your understanding of natural phenomena and consider how the universe evolved and what its future may hold. You study topics including physical measurement, mechanics, thermal physics, oscillation and waves, electric current fields and forces and atomic and nuclear physics. Students also study astrophysics as part of their course. Biology, Physics and Chemistry involve a Group 4 project. The Group 4 project may be based around a field trip. The project aims to allow students to think more about science in the work place, work in teams, understand the links between the sciences and appreciate the global connections in science. Group 5 – Mathematics Mathematics: Analysis and approaches This coursewill beofferedat bothSLandHL. It isdesigned for students who enjoy developing their mathematics to become fluent in the construction of mathematical arguments and develop strong skills in mathematical thinking. They will explore real and abstract applications, sometimes with technology, and will enjoy the thrill of mathematical problem solving and generalization. Mathematics: Applications and interpretation. This course will be offered at both SL for students who are interested in developing their mathematics for describing our world, modelling and solving practical problems using the power of technology. Students who take Mathematics: Applications and interpretation will be those who enjoy mathematics best when seen in a practical context.
Group 6 – The Arts Visual Arts Visual Arts enables you to investigate, produce, appreciate and evaluate forms of visual art. You will develop an understanding of the visual arts from a local, national and international perspective. The course requires active and individual involvement in practical exploration, artistic production and theoretical studies in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation. School Supported Self-Taught Literature Students have the option of following the literature A course in their home language. This course will be support by a member of staff with knowledge of the Language A curriculum. This course is suitable only for students who have not studied French and are already fluent in Spanish. How should you choose your course combination? Choosing the right course combination may seem like a daunting prospect. However, staff at ATA will be on hand to ensure that you make the most well informed decisions. All students will be invited to a consultation meeting following the satisfactory completion of the application form and reference. During the consultation meeting, you will discuss with your advisor you personal interests, ambitions and ability as well as you current preferences for higher education. Here, our advisor will ensure that you opt for the most suitable combination of courses for you, to enable access to your preferred university course or career destination.
Typical subject combinations: For a student wishing to study medicine at university: Group 1 English Literature SL or HL Group 2 Any language SL or HL Group 3 Psychology, History or Geography SL or HL Group 4 Chemistry HL Group 5 Maths SL Group 6 Biology HL EE Topic Based on either Chemistry or Biology, with strong links to medicine CAS activities Work experience at hospitals; Volunteering at care homes; Work at university or industry laboratories; Any sporting activities For a student wishing to study history at university: Group 1 English Literature HL Group 2 Any language SL or HL Group 3 History HL Group 4 Any science SL or HL Group 5 Maths Applications & Interpretations SL Group 6 Any Group 6 or an additional Group 3 subject SL or HL EE Topic Based on any area of History that is of particular interest to the student CAS activities Debating Society; Model United Nations; Work experience at museums or libraries; Blogging or writing about historical topics; Essay competitions; Any sporting activities For a student wishing to study art or design based subject at university: Group 1 English Literature HL Group 2 Any language SL or HL Group 3 Any Group 3 subject HL Group 4 Any Group 4 subject SL Group 5 Maths Applications and Interpretations SL Group 6 Visual Arts, Music or Film Studies HL EE Topic Based on the area of THE arts that interests the student CAS activities Photography; Art competitions; The ‘ARTiculate’ competition; Stage design for school productions; Teaching music or art to other students; Composition of music or artistic pieces; Courses on different artistic skills; Any sporting activities
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