Parents in the Sutherland Shire will have the option of sending their child to a local school offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme from 2018.
Sydney International Secondary School will offer the IB programme for Year 7 students in 2018, on the site of Sydney Montessori School in Gymea.
The IB programme was originally launched in Switzerland to offer children of diplomats, working overseas, the highest level of education to help them gain access into top universities.
It is now offered in more than 4500 schools across the world including a select number of schools across Sydney. However, it is not currently offered in any high schools in the shire.
Sydney International Secondary School principal Raquel Charet said it was exciting for the region.
“It is incredibly exciting for us. It is something we have been working towards for several years now and is something that the research has shown shire families want.”
The school will operate as an IB candidate school during 2018 and hopes to become an IB world school in 2019, following a review of its inaugural year.
Mrs Charet said they were capping student numbers at 20 for 2018 exclusively in Year 7. She said the plan was to add a year level each year after 2018.
Mrs Charet said they had approached a marketing company to research what parents in the shire wanted from a secondary school. She said some children were travelling long distances to study at IB schools.
“Across the board, parents told us they want a high school to develop resilience, creativity, co-operation, compassion, leadership and academic excellence in their child,” she said.
“Based on this feedback, we decided to offer the International Baccalaureate from Year 7 as we believe the IB learning framework better prepares young people for life in these fast-changing times.
“The focus of the IB is on understanding and critical thinking rather than relying on memory.
“The IB learning framework encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers with a global perspective. Students are not only academically challenged but also personally nurtured.”
She said they were capping students numbers at 20 next year for the sake of the children.
“We want that small number so the teachers and students have a good relationship. It is hard to teach students according to their strengths and interests when you don’t know their strengths and interests.”
She said while it was being held on the site of the Montessori school, it was completely separate and would not be run as a Montessori programme.
School fees for next year will be $14,400 per student.
- The school is holding information sessions on Friday September 15 at 10am and Saturday September 16 at 10am and 2pm at the school. Click here to register for a session.