The first Year 12 students commenced their final two years of schooling at Dover Court International School (DCIS) in August this year. We spoke to Heather Rinaldi, Head of Secondary, about the three learning pathways on offer at the school.
After 45 years in Singapore, DCIS now offers students an education all the way through to Sixth Form. Can you explain the “three pathways”?
Pathway 1 is the full International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) – students choose six academic subjects to go along with the three core requirements of Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, and Creativity, Action, Service. Pathway 2 consists of IB courses but fewer subjects – students choose a minimum of four subjects and are examined in the same way as IBDP. Pathway 3 students focus on key functional and life skills through English National Curriculum subjects, and they follow courses from the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) curriculum.
What would you say are the benefits for those who choose one of the IBDP options?
IB students are valued for their high academic standards. In addition, the IB learner profile guides students to become critical thinkers who are open-minded, resilient and reflective and have a greater understanding of the wider world.
How does the IBDP prepare students for university entrance?
Originally created in the 1960s, the IBDP gives access to over 2,000 of the world’s leading universities. Each tertiary system and university has different entrance criteria, so it’s critical for our students to work closely with our Guidance Counsellor on identifying the individual subject requirements for their chosen course of study, wherever in the world they may wish to apply to.
The IBDP has a reputation among students as being a challenging two years with a significant workload. How does the school prepare them for these challenges?
The IBDP does have a higher workload than preceding studies but our school subscribes to the idea that being prepared is half the victory. We ask students, and parents, to research the courses they are interested in taking and we offer information and guidance sessions and meetings to help everyone prepare for the IBDP journey. This in turn helps students understand the workload they’ll experience through the IBDP.
The Community, Action and Service (CAS) programme encourages students to get involved in interesting projects, which ensures a balance of academic studies and extracurricular opportunities.
What subjects are on offer at DCIS?
There are the traditional academic subjects including English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, along with subjects that students may not have studied before such as Environment System and Societies, Languages, Psychology and Visual Arts. More subject options will be added as the programme grows, as it has at other Nord Anglia Education schools across the globe.
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