In the absence of exams, IB made the decision to award final grades to students based on the grades predicted by our teachers and the students’ internal work, which was submitted to IBO and marked by their examiners. In addition, the school’s historical data was to be taken into consideration. The use of this historical data has been at the centre of our discussions during summer weeks.
After initial disappointment, both at our school and globally, IBO introduced a review system that allowed schools to challenge what was perceived as an inconsistent and unfair approach. The British School Warsaw filed over 100 review requests, in some cases for specific subjects but mainly for individual candidates. Review requests focused on demonstrating that, in many cases, historical data did not apply and that students’ final grades were unfairly calculated. Many of these cases were positively reviewed by IBO, who additionally introduced a restructured method of grade calculation. The new grade calculation formula placed more emphasis on the students’ internal assessment and resulted in positive grade changes for our students
School’s efforts were strongly supported by Nord Anglia Education’s educational leadership, who continued to meet with IBO’s management in order to ensure clarity and fairness. I have personally continued my dialogue with IBO’s leadership on behalf of our school as well as on behalf of the Polish Association of IB schools.
In summary, our relentless pursuit of various opportunities to increase student’s grades has resulted in an improved overall average and subject grade average (5.1 to 5.4) as well as an increased pass rate of 93% from 87%, securing an IB Diploma for 4 more students.
Various models have been adapted this year by educational institutions to calculate students’ grades in the absence of exams, none of which have proved to be ideal. However, many lessons can be learned from this year’s experience. One of them is that no formula or magic algorithm can replace actual exam writing by a student. Let’s hope that the exams of May 2021 will take place as scheduled and that our IB results will continue to improve next year at the same rate as they have during the long summer of 2020.
The British School Warsaw has been committed to the IB programme since 2001 when the first group of students enrolled. Our first IB graduation took place two years later in 2003 and in 2021, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of IB Diploma Programme at the school. We are proud to continue running the programme as we believe that its mission, philosophy and IB Learner Profile are an integral part of our students’ development not only in Years 12 and 13 but across all age levels. Everything we do at TBS aims for our students to become inquiring and reflective problem solvers who are open-minded and caring communicators. These attributes will benefit students not only now, but also during the various stages of their academic and professional careers.
Dr Jacek Łatkowski