Unpacking the IB Section of Oxbridge International School with its Head of School, Ms Kay

unpacking-the-ib-section-of-oxbridge

Question: Could you tell us about the academic programs offered at your school?

Ms. Kay: Absolutely. At the IB section, we offer the renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, which is known for its rigorous standards and emphasis on inquiry-based learning. Across the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme and the Diploma Programme (DP) our students engage in intellectually stimulating coursework that encourages critical thinking, creativity, and global awareness. Our focus on interdisciplinary studies and real-world application equips learners with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s complex society. We offer a wide range of subject areas including standard and extended mathematics, learning English Russian, Uzbek, Spanish, French and Arabic as first language or second language, various sciences, humanities, and performing arts.

We are proud that we offer both the Uzbekistan state curriculum and the IB programmes simultaneously which provides the students with a rare opportunity to receive two diplomas when they graduate. Our programs are aligned with the Uzbekistan state educational standards as well as US Common Core in accordance with the IB requirements and expectations. This ensures that our graduates are prepared vey effectively for continuing their education in the best universities around the world.

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Question: That sounds comprehensive. What about extracurricular activities?

Ms. Kay: We believe in fostering talents beyond the classroom, which is why we offer a vibrant array of after-school activities. From sports clubs and performing arts ensembles to debate and advanced math workshops and community service projects, our students have ample opportunities to explore their passions and develop new skills. Whether it’s mastering a musical instrument or delving into entrepreneurship, our extracurricular offerings empower students to unlock their full potential. Our after-school activities are led by our highly dedicated and professional international and local staff as well as by senior school students. We create the after-school programs based on the student interests and passions and ensure their sustainability and productivity. Twice a year parents are invited to the After-School Activity Fairs and other events to witness our students’ extracurricular learning.

Reporter: How does the IB section support individual learners?

Ms. Kay: Every student is unique, and we’re committed to providing personalized support and guidance to meet their individual needs. Through differentiated instruction, small-group interventions, and dedicated academic counseling, we ensure that each student receives the tailored assistance they need to overcome challenges and achieve success. Our inclusive ethos ensures that students of all backgrounds and abilities feel valued, supported, and empowered to reach their full potential. Namely we have a big learning support department that offers individual and group English support, math support, speech therapy, Special Education Needs and psychological counselling programs to our learners across the school.

Question: That's commendable. Could you speak about the preparation of your learners for higher education?

Ms. Kay: Certainly. In addition to our rigorous academic programs, we prioritize comprehensive university preparation to ensure that our students are well-equipped for success beyond secondary education. Our dedicated university counseling services provide personalized guidance and support in navigating the university application process, including assistance with standardized tests such as IELTS and SAT and researching prospective institutions. We also leverage our extensive network of alumni and partnerships with universities worldwide to provide valuable insights and opportunities for our students. Currently we have students achieving admission offers from a wide range of top universities in the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, Turkey, UAE, and Uzbekistan including with scholarships and stipends.   

Question: It's impressive to see the amazing achievements of your graduates! How do international teachers contribute to the learning environment to help your learners achieve such outcomes?

Ms. Kay: Our team of highly qualified international teachers brings a wealth of expertise, perspectives, and pedagogical approaches to the classroom. Their diverse cultural backgrounds and educational systems enrich our students’ learning experiences and foster a truly global mindset. We are proud to have dedicated educators from all parts of the world including France, Spain, Turkey, India, Philippines, South Africa, Venezuela, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Iran, Sweden, Indonesia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and others. Through cross-cultural exchange and collaboration, our students gain invaluable insights into different worldviews, traditions, and languages, preparing them to thrive in today’s interconnected world.

Question: Language learning and international competitions also seem to play a significant role. Could you elaborate on that?

Ms. Kay: Absolutely. Language learning is not just a practical skill; it’s a gateway to cultural understanding and global citizenship. Our dynamic language curriculum allows students to study multiple languages, fostering proficiency in communication, cross-cultural competence, and appreciation for linguistic diversity. We offer individualized pathways in learning languages to help our students continue improving their first or native languages and introducing and learning second and foreign languages. Students can choose between English, Russian and Uzbek as first language or a second language and choose to study Spanish or French as a second language. Arabic is currently offered in the Diploma Programme as a first language. 

Additionally, participation in international competitions fosters excellence, achievement, and global citizenship, as students collaborate with peers from around the world and gain valuable insights into different cultural perspectives and approaches to learning. Our students have achieved highest results in a wide range of international competitions, such as the International Bulgarian Olympiad “Mathematics without Borders”, Hippo, Sasmo.  A team of Diploma Programme students won 2nd place and 40% scholarship to study at the British Management University in the Sustainable Business Projects competition this year. Our IB students are frequent participants and prize-winners of international debate competitions and student conferences such as Model United Nations and Harvard Model Congress, as well as the World Scholar’s Cup. They are also champions of various sports competitions.

Question: Lastly, how does your school ensure and assess student academic performance?

Ms. Kay: As an authorized IB World School, we adhere to the rigorous standards and assessment practices set forth by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). Our students undergo external IB examinations such as e-Assessment in grade 10 of the Middle Years Program and comprehensive external examination in the Diploma Programme (DP) at the culmination of their studies in grade 12, assessing their mastery of subject content, critical thinking skills, and ability to apply knowledge in real-world contexts. Successfully completing these exams earns students internationally recognized credentials, validating their academic achievements and preparing them for higher education opportunities worldwide.

In order to effectively prepare students for these external IB examinations as well as the state program exams, the school put an effective and comprehensive quality assurance system in place that includes high quality ongoing formative and summative assessment, end-of-semester revision exams, external online mathematics assessment at the end of the year, challenging staff evaluation policies, continuous professional development and many more.

Question: Thank you, Ms. Kay, for sharing valuable insights into the IB section of Oxbridge International School. Lastly, what are you most proud of about your school?

Ms. Kay: My pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity to discuss our school’s commitment to excellence in international education. We’re proud of the transformative impact we have on our students, empowering them to become lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and compassionate global citizens who are well prepared to be successful and competitive in the global higher education and labour markets in the future.

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