Recently, St. John’s conducted its International Baccalaureate (IB) self-study for both the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in the fall. Last month, a team of visitors conducted the visit that is part of this 5-year evaluation of both programmes. We have now received the report from the visiting teams and the results are outstanding!
First of all, the visiting team noted that the school’s Self-Study process in preparation for the visit took place well within the IB’s expectation in terms of duration, involvement of all stakeholders, evidence gathering protocols, collaboration and reflection.
Here are some of the commendations that were included the report. The IB commends:
- “the school community for its commitment to IB education, which is considered closely aligned with the student centered and value-driven philosophy the school has adopted and which the new ownership of the school closely endorses”
- “the school for establishing a culture of open communication and respectful interaction across the community”
- “the school for using the evaluation process as an opportunity to engage the whole community in reflection on programme implementation and for using different channels to ensure many voices are heard”
- “the guidance team for developing a system that ensures that students are well supported in their post-secondary choices”
- “the school for implementing and continuously improving the CAS programme to allow for meaningful student action”
The only issue that requires attention for both the DP and PYP, according to the report, is on a subject that we had already identified in our Self-Study, namely: “The school must ensure that dedicated meeting time is provided for teachers’ collaborative planning.” There were many more commendations and some recommendations which we will now implement to further strengthen our DP and PYP programmes.
This report gives us a very strong basis for the implementation of the Middle Years Programme (MYP). St. John’s has been an IB school since 1978 and will now be the only school in Belgium running the IB programmes throughout the school, with the PYP, MYP as well as the DP.
We thank all the parents, students and staff who were involved in both the self-study process and the visit by the IB evaluation team. We would like to congratulate the entire faculty on this excellent report. We look forward to addressing the recommendations made in the report.