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Farewell to Graduating Class of 2017

 

I arrived at Alcanta International School in August 2014. At the same time, the longest serving members of this graduating year group were starting out in their Pre-Diploma year. This has allowed me to see these students grow exponentially, both personally and academically. I have witnessed many of these students develop their IB learner profile attributes across their various roles that they have taken up in school: from being a student councilor organising events and being part of the student voice, to placing many hours in the Art Studio or Science Lab (demonstrating dedication to education); and from being an integral part of the CAS program, to late nights working on personal statements for university applications.

Many of the DP2 students would have come to Alcanta International College only knowing that the IB was a curriculum that can lead to universities worldwide. Well, this graduation day is a testament to that being true. With students getting Top 10, Top 50, Top 100 offers, and most have really met the objective: to find the best suited undergraduate program and institution of study. However, as the students sit at the front of the school on their final day, they know only too well that the IB is so much more. As a teacher who has taught in a number of international curriculums, I believe that these students are very well prepared for their next task: to do their best in a more independent learning situation at university.

An IB education helps student build understanding through inquiry, action and reflection. Students learn by doing, connecting the classroom with the world beyond. IB Programs culminate in exhibitions, projects and independent research that demonstrate not only what students know, but also, what they can do. An IB education spans traditional academic disciplines and pushes students to make connections across many fields of study. IB programs are broad and balanced, conceptual, and connected. By students having a broad base in the number of subjects they study, they can continue to develop essential skills in many disciplines; as well as develop their knowledge and understanding in more depth in their higher level subjects. Additionally, with an effective CAS program, it allows the students to learn leadership skills and develop in other very important areas holistically – developing the person as a whole. Although these graduating students may look back with varrying feelings about their extended essay, it is an assignment that is more in tune with the type of assignments students will face in their undergraduate programmes. Is it any wonder that the IB graduates are well prepared?

I would like to take this opportunity to tell the graduating students that they have their whole lives ahead of them. The decisions they make now are essential in forming the foundation and building blocks for their adult life. They have had all the opportunities to have a good start in life, and now it is their turn to do with that the best they can. But above all, ensure your life decisions are best served to what you believe is best and right for you and your unique set of circumstances. Be true to yourselves, and work hard in life. Don’t stop learning. Good luck out there!

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