An Interview with an IB student

Sixth Form

From my IB journey I have developed independence in research, analysis and synthesis of ideas from my subjects and through Theory of Knowledge lessons.”
Marigold Whitaker, RHS alumna 2021
Rhs sf ib results marigold whittaker
Above Marigold Whitaker, RHS alumna 2021

Marigold, RHS alumna 2021, achieved a total point score of 45 out of 45 and goes on to study Mandarin at Oxford University. We asked her about her experience studying IB at RHS.

Why did you decide to choose the IB Diploma over A levels?

It was a tough choice between IB or A levels for me, but in the end I was swayed by the built-in opportunities for physical activity, critical thinking and independence which I saw offered in the IB diploma program. I also really liked the idea of cross-discipline links, and studying an issue from a range of viewpoints which seemed an interesting and real way that topics are managed in the world. From a subject viewpoint, I wasn’t sure if I could drastically reduce my subjects without wishing I had continued to study some. Therefore, I was persuaded by the idea of higher level and standard level subjects, meaning that I can continue to have a broad set of options and wasn’t as constricted by the number of subjects I could choose.

How did you find the IB Diploma programme?

The IB course comes with a lot of challenges and lessons to be learnt. At the start of the course it seemed difficult to believe I would be able to undertake all manners of coursework pieces, essays, extended projects and activities without becoming overworked and overwhelmed. However, I believe the IB does a very good job of pushing students and encouraging good habits in time management, efficiency and independent research, which can at times seem tiring and intimidating, but is immensely rewarding and important for the overall growth of you as a student. I have really enjoyed how the IB has built in time for non-academic work (included in CAS), as with a rigorous diploma program like the IB it might be easy to withdraw from previous activities and hobbies to ensure you are focussing on academics. The IB encourages students to become well-rounded, well-developed learners and thinkers, and has taught me skills and lessons about myself that I can carry with me throughout my life.

What skills for the future have you learnt thanks to your IB Diploma programme?

From my IB journey I have developed independence in research, analysis and synthesis of ideas from my subjects and through Theory of Knowledge lessons. From writing and discussing my extended essay, I have gained skills in structuring a cohesive discussion and fluently presenting my ideas in the most succinct way possible. Reflection is a word that often appears in the IB, as in CAS we write reflections on our own actions in projects and activities, often finding that mistakes help us draw a clearer template for how we can better complete a task again, so through this I have gained skills in self-awareness and understanding. The IB encourages students to think as individuals and as part of a larger collective, whether this be whilst working in group projects or when considering solutions to world issues, and so develops a student’s capacity to consider many perspectives and rationally propose ideas.