Why IB Has An Edge Over All Other Curriculums

Sunmarke Blog > Education > Why IB Has An Edge Over All Other Curriculums

While planning for their children’s education, the key question in most parents’ minds is – what system is the best for their child? Does the British curriculum offer the most appropriate programmes or are there other options? While education has been impacted by many factors, most notably technology and the rapidly changing socio-economic scenario, some things have remained constant – like the preference for International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum schools.

Designed in Switzerland in the 1960s, the IB has emerged as the topmost internationally-recognised school system that offers students a unique and comprehensive learning experience.  Here’s all that you need to know about the system, its pros and cons and the answer to that eternal question – are IB curriculum schools better than others?

Understanding IB: What are the programmes offered at an IB Curriculum School?

IB curriculum schools offer four programmes that aim to ensure that children think critically, and become future-ready in a fast-changing world. A quick overview of IB Programmes:

IB Diploma Programme: To earn an IB Diploma, attend an IB curriculum school, fulfill requirements including studying six subject groups, passing the IB exams, and completing three additional core requirements. The IB education framework offers consistency and adaptability to students’ cultural and contextual needs.

Primary Years Programme (PYP): Ages 3-12. Cultivates caring, culturally aware children who engage in their learning journey.

Middle Years Programme (MYP): Ages 11-16. Establishes a strong academic base, ensuring the concepts are clearly understood through self-directed learning in secondary education.

Diploma Programme (DP): Ages 16-19. Nurtures an inquisitive mindset, fostering a passion for learning and equipping students for successful careers.

Career-related Programme (CP): Ages 16-19. Tailored for students in their final school years, integrating academic subjects with personal career interests.

Why  IB curriculum schools Have An Edge Over Other Programmes

Holistic Learning: IB programmes promote a holistic educational framework that nurtures critical thinking, creativity and intercultural understanding from an early age. Academic excellence is key but it is also about personal development and global citizenship.

Academic strength: IB curriculum schools are rather rigorous,  emphasising interdisciplinary learning, oral presentations and original research — skills crucial for success in higher education, regardless of which country a student pursues higher education in..

International outlook: One of the key advantages of this system is that IB programmes are designed to reflect international standards of education and they encourage students to become global citizens with awareness and empathy – a must-needed trait in an interconnected world. While the British Curriculum is equally rigorous and in-depth, the globalised perception of the IB curriculum sets it apart

Future-Readiness: IB programmes equip students with future-ready skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and inquiry-based learning – skills that every top corporate or global organisation looks for.

Academic Performance: Research shows that students who ace IB programmes often outperform their peers in various academic assessments. For instance, studies have indicated higher proficiency in mathematics, reading and writing among IB students compared to those in other programmes. Qualitative data from a 2014 study on the IB Diploma Programme (DP) in the USA said that IB students are more academically adjusted to the rigour and expectations of college than those who followed other systems of education.

Recognition and Mobility: Another huge advantage of IB Programmes is that their credentials are widely recognised and endorsed by universities worldwide, enhancing students’ mobility and acceptance into higher education institutions. The standardised quality benchmarks of IB ensure consistency and excellence across different schools, cultures and countries. This is especially useful for families who are more mobile and may have to change countries. Children can continue their studies without getting interrupted whatever nation they may settle in.

Teacher Training and Support: Effective implementation of the programme at IB curriculum schools relies on well-trained educators. The IB provides robust professional development opportunities for teachers, ensuring they are equipped to deliver inquiry-based learning effectively.

How Do IB Programmes Compare with British Curriculum?

While both IB Programmes and the British Curriculum offer valuable educational experiences, the IB’s emphasis on internationalism, critical thinking and holistic development makes it unique. The British Curriculum is very strong in literacy and numeracy. It allows students to choose their elective subjects and offers more flexibility in terms of course selection. It is also an excellent option for students who want to pursue a career in fields such as medicine, law, or engineering, as it provides a strong foundation in key subjects. However, since it is not internationally focused, students may need to supplement their education with additional language courses or study abroad programmes if they choose to settle or work in other parts of the world. 

 All in all, the edge the IB curriculum schools have over its competitors lies in its comprehensive approach, academic rigour, global perspective and focus on developing well-rounded individuals ready to thrive in a dynamic world.

IB at Sunmarke School  

One of Dubai’s top international schools with the British curriculum at its core, Sunmarke stands out because of the varied options it offers students. It is among the rare institutions in the country to offer both, the IB and A-level curriculum as well as BTECs. Each pathway at Sunmarke fosters different skill sets and the wide subject choices ensure that every child has enough options to take up a career of his or her own interest. 

Following completion of their GCSEs, IGCSEs &/or BTECs (Level 2) in Year 10 and 11, in the post-16 (Year 12 and 13), students can complete their A Levels, International Baccalaureate Diploma, IB Career-related courses or BTEC (Level 3) qualifications in Year 13. The IB Diploma Programme courses offered include English Language & Literature, Environmental Systems and Societies, French, Spanish, Psychology, Business Management, Visual Arts, Economics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Film. 

Powered by the ethos of Positive Education in all its educational and non-educational initiatives, Sunmarke has consistently boasted outstanding IB results. For instance, in the year ‘22-23, 100% students exceeded the world average in IBDP and passed the IBCP –  a result of its futuristic approach to learning and excellent educators. 

Sunmarke’s mission has always been to “nurture the next generation of change-makers for a better tomorrow.” This closely aligns with the values of the IB programme which is to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through education that builds intercultural understanding and respect.”

Schedule a tour to experience the facilities firsthand at Sunmarke, and learn more about the admissions process and all the pathways available for students.  

Note: This article offers general insights into the benefits of a private education and does not serve as an endorsement by Sunmarke School.