The IB Diploma Programme at Park Lane – How Are We Doing?
In 2023-24, Park Lane’s graduating Class of 2025 becomes the school’s sixth cohort of Year 12 students to begin the two-year IB Diploma Programme, moving up the hill from the Klárov branch to join our new Year 13 students at our bespoke IB Diploma centre in Úvoz street.
At Park Lane International School, all students advancing into Year 12 take on the challenges of the full IB Diploma Programme with no exceptions or alternative academic pathways – thus, by the time of their graduation in June 2025, this year’s IB newcomers will join more than 220 students to have completed the IBDP journey at Park Lane.
Since the early years of the IBDP at Park Lane have been impacted (one way or another) by the COVID-19 pandemic, each of our graduating year groups has faced its own unique challenges and each two-year course of study has been a different experience for our candidates and their teachers. In 2020, there were no exams and all IB students received a second set of results following the IB’s use of a controversial algorithm. In 2021, there were no exams either but our students’ results produced an average score of 37 – a truer reflection of their teachers’ predictions and knowledge of the students’ capabilities. In 2022, a larger group of 38 students achieved an average of just over 37 points with three students achieving the maximum score of 45. Exams were held but there were some reductions to compensate for the pandemic’s impact.
Our forecasted grades for the Class of 2023 were a little lower at 35 points as an average score prediction. This year group was also affected by the pandemic, of course, as it not only influenced both years of their IGCSE studies but also the start of the IB Diploma Programme with partial school closures and quarantine measures still prevalent during the first term of the course. This year, the IBO seemingly made a concerted effort to restore some degree of pre-pandemic ‘normality’, so our Class of 2023 candidates took on the full exams with no special concessions. Unsurprisingly, since this year’s world average dropped to 30.34 from 33.02 in 2021 and 31.98 in 2022, our students’ average score was 34.
This year, Simon I. becomes the latest Park Lane graduate to attain 45/45, which is a truly remarkable achievement given the small number of students to achieve this feat globally in 2023. We should also congratulate our 2023 graduates for exceeding the world average by 4 points – which matches the achievements of our 2020 and 2021 cohorts. We can also report that in the first four years of IBDP at Park Lane, 28% of our candidates have achieved scores of 40 and above with a sizeable number of students scoring 35-39.
Here’s wishing our new (and significantly larger) Year 12 and Year 13 cohorts all the best and ‘smooth sailing’ as they respectively navigate the first and second years of the IBDP. Despite the various obstacles which have affected the Diploma Programme since Park Lane became an IB World School in 2018, we remain 100% committed to this world-class qualification and remain confident that each of our students will attain the results and learning opportunities their efforts and abilities deserve. Finally, the school leadership is very grateful that our hardworking and talented teachers continue to ensure that the IB Diploma Programme is a suitably rigorous, engaging and rewarding experience for each of our students. Long may this continue!
Paul Ingarfield, Principal