Year 13 students celebrated in style as they received their results in early July. This year’s results build on the success of previous years and in the autumn we will have our first student begin his studies at St Peter’s College, Oxford! Alex Beddall gained 39 points in his International Baccalaureate Diploma course, exactly what was needed. This included an A for his Extended Essay. 39 points are equivalent to 4 A* at A Level.
Our top score, a brilliant 41, was achieved by Andrew Watts. Andrew will be heading to Birmingham City University in the autumn to study Media and Communications; Jenna Langford achieved 38 points and will be reading English and History at Birmingham University.
This is just a flavour of the success achieved by the Academy students this year. As well as the IB Diploma Programme we also run the International Baccalaureate Career related Certificate (IBCC). This course blends the rigour of IB Diploma courses with a vocational element. Bhavneet Kudhail followed this pathway, with engineering as his vocational course, and his success means that he will be studying Architecture at the University of Nottingham in the autumn.
A third pathway is available for students at the RSA Academy and that can also lead straight into university. Nikita Goddard will be studying Music Technology at the University of Huddersfield. Two girls, Lucy Gould and Sian Myrie gained the maximum scores (Level 7) in Dance this year.
The IB Diploma has, we believe, many advantages over the more traditional A Levels – students study a wider range of subjects, including English, maths and a language. They also study Theory of Knowledge and complete an Extended Essay. The final part of the Diploma is the Community Action and Service element. This combination means that the IB students have learned advanced research skills, they have learned how to reason and argue within Theory of Knowledge and as many of our Alumni attest, they go to university extremely well prepared for the rigours of their degree courses.
The IB is an international qualification which has successfully shielded itself from any of the ‘dumbing down’ comments that have attached themselves to A Levels over the last few years. The IB has never been accused of dumbing anything down! As a result, universities across the world welcome IB students, as do employers.
The RSA Academy’s average points score per student this year is 30. This equals the average worldwide – achieved mainly by students at independent and international schools as these are the schools which study the IB. Academy students can certainly hold their heads very high. They are in very good company!
In September, the RSA Academy will be launching a new course – the Football Academy. This is a unique course, run in collaboration with the Football Association (FA) which will blend football coaching and fitness qualifications with practical football skills coaching. The small number of students admitted to this course will hone their football skills and will gain experience running football tournaments and mini-leagues, working in many cases with our local primary schools. They will graduate from the RSA Academy in 2 years’ time with a suite of professional qualifications and experience that should help them to gain entry to high quality employment in the fitness and sports industries. We are looking to develop this pattern of academic and professional experience in a couple of other areas over the next twelve months, ready for launch in September 2015.
As the students celebrated earlier this week, the Academy Principal Daulton Redmond, reflected on the year’s successes: “We are extremely proud of all our students who have got their results. The success at IB this year means that the academy’s average point score once again increased putting us among the best IB academies around the world. We are especially proud of Alex – he is the first to earn a place at Oxford and a great example to our younger students.”