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Posted 10.05.19

Plymouth College of Art awarded IB World School status

By Phillip Buchan
Our Palace Court campus for 16 to 19-year-olds
Plymouth College of Art has been awarded International Baccalaureate (IB) World School status, becoming the first non-private education provider in the South West to offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), which will be taught in conjunction with its existing A-Level-equivalent UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas. This means that for the first time, from September 2019, 16 to 19-year-olds in the region will have access to this world-class framework of education, combining vocational skills with academic excellence.

The IBCP is an internationally-recognised framework of career-related education for post-16 students that seeks to develop confident, critical thinkers who are prepared for modern life and equipped with the cross-cultural skills needed to succeed in their future careers, within the UK and across the world.

A global community of schools

As an IB World School offering the Career-related Programme, our Palace Court campus for 16 to 19-year-olds joins a global community of schools including Auckland in New Zealand, Hiroshima in Japan, and Washington, USA, all committed to developing knowledgeable, caring young people who will be ready to negotiate their futures successfully and make contributions resulting in a more harmonious and peaceful world.

The International Baccalaureate Organisation is a global not-for-profit organisation founded in 1968 that is active in 147 countries and has had 1.3 million graduates to date, from an international network of over 4,700 schools and education providers. As an IB World School we are currently the only education provider in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset or Dorset offering the IBCP. After Plymouth the current closest IBCP provider within the UK is a private school based in Wiltshire.

Matias Shortcook, Dean for Pre-Degree at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Our Extended Diplomas already offer excellent preparation for a career in the creative industries, which is something that we believe in passionately at Plymouth College of Art, but we also want to provide students with the opportunity to pursue the academic diversity that can be achieved by combining our Extended Diplomas with the IBCP.”

“21st century life places complex demands on graduates looking for work. The IBCP empowers students to become self-confident, skilled learners, ready to pursue careers on an international stage. And that’s one of the things that will have the biggest impact on students who choose this route. In these times of global uncertainty, the IBCP will give them the personal skills and international perspective to work in any country around the world.”

Success in a rapidly-changing world

Our new IBCP incorporates our acclaimed creative UAL Level 3 Extended Diplomas into a framework that also includes two International Baccalaureate Diploma subjects and core IBCP skills and competencies that help develop students with integrity and the communication and personal skills necessary for success in a rapidly-changing world.

In addition to the high number of UCAS points available on completion of the programme, the IBCP gives students a competitive advantage when entering Higher Education or moving directly into their chosen professional industry – research has shown that IBCP students “enroll and persist in university at higher rates than the national average” and more than half go on to attend very competitive or better higher education institutions, demonstrating that the IBCP prepares students to attain some of the most selective university places in the world.

What does the IBCP look like for students?

Each IBCP student will still continue to work towards an Extended Diploma of their chosen specialism, from filmmaking and animation to fashion and textile design, or from a new creative Extended Diploma in performing and production arts starting in 2019.

Alongside the Extended Diploma, IBCP students will complete two IB Diploma subjects, choosing from subjects such as English Literature, Mathematics, Environmental Systems & Societies, and Psychology.

They will also will also learn core IBCP skills of Language Development, Service Learning, Personal and Professional Skills, and a final Reflective Project. These core modules are designed to create incredibly well-rounded learners with an international perspective on the world.

Tim Dickinson, International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Plymouth College of Art, said: “One of the reasons that we’re so excited about becoming an IB World School is that learners will still be able to achieve our world-class creative diplomas, but within a framework that offers so much more. For example, the Language Development module helps to create international learners by exposing students to a programme that helps them to communicate in more than one language and furthers their understanding of the wider world, which is more important for UK students now than ever before.

“More than just language skills, the IBCP will prepare you to understand other cultures, to understand how people from other cultures might view you, and how to adopt the best working practices to fit in and thrive in any working environment around the world.”

To find out more about the IBCP, how it differs from other qualifications and how it can prepare students for competitive degree-level education, visit the Pre-Degree Open Day at our Palace Court campus on Saturday 15 June from 12pm to 4pm or drop in on results day to discuss options, Thursday 22 August.

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