Blogs and Interviews

Why are more pupils choosing the IB Diploma?
18th April 2023
Sixth Form and IB student at CLC


CLC Sixth Former, Prefect and IB Student

The International Baccalaureate (IB) promises to develop lifelong learners who will make a difference in the world.

We spoke to Maia, a Sixth Form student, about her experience of taking the IB instead of A Levels…

Why did you choose the IB?

CLC encourages the soft skills the IB instils in its students. It makes you reflect on the kind of learner you are and person you’ll become, including being principled, open-minded, balanced, reflective and caring risk-takers.

What IB subjects are you studying?

You have to take maths, English, a language, a science and a humanity, so I loved the breadth. I thought it was valuable to maintain my maths, English and language skills past GCSE, where I may not have taken these as standalone A Levels.

I take higher level Spanish, history and biology; and standard level maths (AI), English and philosophy. You have to take three subjects at higher level and three at standard level to provide depth and breadth in the diploma.

How does the IB differ from A Levels?

As well as six subjects, the core of the programme includes a 4000-word Extended Essay on one of your subject areas; Theory of Knowledge (TOK), a study into what we know and how we know it; and Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS).

With CAS, every student participates in activities outside the classroom. For example, for creativity, I took up crochet and I am a prefect; for activity, I represent my school at netball and started roller-skating; and for service, I volunteer at a local primary school. It’s really the core components that set the IB apart from A Levels.

What advice would you give to students considering the IB?

The thought of studying six subjects and the core programme means the IB tends to sound overwhelming. However, stay positive, be organised and meet deadlines as they come, and you will fly through the two years. If you want an all-round and diverse education, rather than a deep dive into a few select subjects, it may be perfect for you.

1st February 2023

NB: This blog was first published in London Life Magazine.