Looking beyond IB: Wellington's leaving pupils prepare for the next step #2
23 May 2017
This year Wellington International College Shanghai will see its first group of year 13 pupils complete the International Baccalaureate diploma programme (IBDP). This will be a genuinely happy occasion for the school, only slightly tinged with sadness, saying goodbye to its first leavers; a group of talented young men and women, many of whom were present during its inaugural year and every step taken since then. The year 13 leavers are now eagerly looking forward, towards the next stage of their academic career. As a year group, they have already performed exceptionally well, securing offers and unconditional placements from a range of highly prestigious universities and colleges right across the UK, US, Asia and Europe. Now, with college or university life looming large before them, five of our IB pupils have shared their perspectives on how Wellington has prepared them to take this hugely exciting next step in their lives. Joseph I think the IB was great for allowing me to pick and choose the most engaging and relevant elements in most of my subjects, especially English. Obviously, maths has a lot of essential topics to cover but even so it still felt tailor-made for me and the other members of my maths class. The internal assessments (IAs) were particularly good for allowing independent and personalised learning, as you have to research an entire topic of your choice, on your own. The same goes for the extended essay. As for the applications process itself, the support has always been there whenever I’ve needed it. I originally applied to study engineering and I received an offer from Imperial College in London, among others. However, I then changed my mind and decided that I want to study maths, so I’m going to apply again for maths courses. Our director of higher education was always free to discuss any element of the process, and when I decided to change courses I was well informed about all of the options that are open to me. I feel that whatever courses I apply for, I’ve got the support on hand to guide me through what I need to do in order to have the best chance of success. Vanessa Wellington’s small class sizes and the availability of individual attention really helped a lot. It can feel a little bit daunting at first because you’re one of only two or three pupils in the class, so there’s nowhere to hide! But, this really helps overall because you get all the help you need both during class and afterwards. I’ve had lots of individual meetings with my teachers where we have talked at length about how I’m doing and what I need to focus on next. Obviously, that’s become even more helpful and important during the process of preparing college applications. Hands down, we have the absolute best teachers! The applications process was quite complicated for me, because I was applying to colleges in the US as well as UK-based universities. One of the key things was the recommendation letters that our teachers wrote about us. We didn’t get to read them, of course, but I heard that they were really detailed and showcased us in the best possible way. They were also done very quickly and efficiently, which is really important given that lots of colleges have rolling admissions, so pupils want to complete the applications quickly in order to secure an offer in good time. The teachers also gave great advice about the non-academic side of things too, such as the visa situation, administration requirements, living situations, all of those important details! I’m going to the US next year, to Syracuse University where I will be studying sociology and possibly visual arts.