The International Baccalaureate Programme at Lausanne
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The International Baccalaureate Programme at Lausanne

At the beginning of the school year, Lausanne became a fully accredited International Baccalaureate World School. Lausanne always strives to give its students the best possible education, and incorporating the IB is a stride in the right direction of ensuring this. This article, which is also featured in the fall 2018 Lausanne magazine, gives some background on the IB and summarizes what our students are learning in the program. 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum of international education, designed for ages three to 19, is an internationally recognized curriculum that focuses on challenging students to become compassionate, lifelong learners who excel academically and personally, and lead globally minded lives. 

“Lausanne incorporated the IB into its curriculum because it creates an atmosphere that helps develop versatility and character, so students can embrace a global perspective when facing a challenge,” said Dr. Stephen Campbell ‘91, Lausanne’s Assistant Head of Upper School. Dr. Campbell was instrumental in bringing the IB’s Diploma Programme to Lausanne in 2012. “The IB parallels Lausanne’s culture because it encourages students to be confident in their own identities and to celebrate all of humanity. We believe students who are a part of the IB develop an ethical understanding in decision making and incorporate skills they learn in the classroom into the real world.”

The IB, established in 1968, wanted to create a challenging, but realistic education that would be recognized internationally by universities. However, the IB sought to also promote cultural diversity and respect for others.

All IB programmes are directed towards developing globally-minded people, and each one has its own individuality, based on what is appropriate for the child’s age and developmental stage. The Primary Years Programme is aimed at children in Lausanne’s Lower School, while the Middle Years Programme is geared towards students in 5th through 10th grade. Lausanne received accreditation in both programs earlier this summer after a two-year process.

“An IB education gives students the opportunity to increase their knowledge of languages and cultures outside of their own, and to explore global ideologies and concerns,” shared Lausanne Assistant Head of Middle School Kim Thorpe, our Middle Years Programme Coordinator. “Its broad curriculum offers access to a range of academic studies and learning experiences.”

IB learners are required to study, or to study in, more than one language, and to engage with their community through meaningful service. By doing this, the IB helps students move past awareness and understanding into engagement and action.

Students excel academically and personally, and the depth of their experience gives them an edge when applying to the top universities in the world. The acceptance rate of an IB student into an Ivy League school is up to 18 percent higher than the total population acceptance rate, according to an IBO survey.

“One of the advantages of an IB curriculum is its structure and quality,” said Christoph Guttentag, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University. “It is a coordinated program, well established, well known and respected. We know the quality of IB courses, and we think the IB curriculum is terrific.”

“Through the IB Programme, students are encouraged to become inquirers who realize that an understanding of the world helps creates the opportunity for global engagement and a more peaceful world,” explained Lausanne’s Primary Years Programme Coordinator Erica McBride, our Assistant Head of Lower School. “The IB helps students understand how the subjects they are learning are related to each other, and to see things they are learning from many different points of view.” 

 “Bringing the IB programme to Lausanne will help prepare students for college and life after,” added Headmaster McCathie. “Through the IB, students gain independence, become lifelong learners and recognize the importance of a global perspective. We are excited to incorporate the IB into the school’s curriculum, and we truly feel it aligns with the Lausanne Way.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 issue of the Lausanne Magazine.