Status, Faculty Preparation, Program Direction – An Update
Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Consistent with International Baccalaureate Organization policy to provide equal opportunity to all students in IB diploma schools, the IB Diploma Program at Brent International School, Manila is open to all students in Grades 11 and 12. This philosophy has enabled students from the entire range of the Grade 12 academic rank to access the diploma and in many cases gain entrance to colleges and universities in Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, the U.K., and other countries where earning the diploma is essential for admissions. Earning the diploma also adds value and credibility to those students applying to colleges and universities in the United States.

Over the past seven school years, Brent Upper School graduates of the classes of 2001 to 2007 who took the full diploma program represented 43.1%, 38.6%, 42.1%, 39.4%, 40.7%, 47.5% and 44.7% respectively of their Grade 12 classes, or an average of 42.4% of all Grade 12 students during those years. What’s more, an additional 234 Brent students over those seven years took at least one IB course for certificate. Overall then, 79.1% of all Brent School graduates from 2001 to 2007 were involved in some way with the IB Program, either as full diploma candidates or as certificate awardees. Clearly our emphasis is on inclusion and not elitism.

Even with this inclusive philosophy, the average pass rate for Brent diploma candidates for the classes of 2001 to 2007 was 87.3%, well above the world mean of 81.4% for all diploma candidates during the same period. In fact, the last five years the average pass rate was 91.2%! Further, the mean score for Brent IB Diploma awardees over those seven years was 32.7 points, likewise significantly above the 30.1 world mean for the same years. In addition, Brent students have an average high score of 40.0 points out of a maximum of 45 and an average low score of 24.6 with 24 points as the minimum needed to earn the diploma. We believe our small class sizes also contribute to this success. This year in Grade 11, for example, the average size of an IB class is 11.4 students per teacher. In Grade 12 that number drops to 10.1 students per teacher. For many positive reasons, then, Brent students have registered very respectable results and admirable scores.

Of equal concern to all parents are the quality of and turnover rates for our faculty teaching our Upper School courses, but most especially the IB courses. We have been fortunate and are pleased to note that, as evidenced by a low rate of turnover, our teachers are apparently satisfied with the working conditions in our Upper School, the quality of their students, the rigor and challenge of our academic program, and the support given them here at Brent. Since the beginning of the 2003–2004 school year, and including our staff for 2007–2008 school year, twenty–nine new teachers from outside Brent have joined the Upper School which is an average of just under six new teachers in each of those years. Six new teachers per year for an Upper School with fifty-seven or so professional educators represent a turnover rate of approximately ten percent. Compared to other international schools in the region, this turnover is low, and low turnover is essential to maintaining continuity and consistency in the delivery of the two–year IB curriculum.

Brent Upper School is fortunate to be able to offer a very rich and wide range of IB courses taught by a group of talented and dedicated professionals. This year we are conducting no less than 130 sections of 52 different IB courses! Thirty-eight of our fifty-four Brent Upper School faculty teach at least one course in the IB Program. In fact, eight of those professionals have been or currently are recognized by the IB as Assistant Examiners in their subjects. Over the past four years, sixty–eight Upper School teachers have participated in a total of fifty–one IB workshops in thirty-two different discipline areas. Most of those workshops have been here in the Asia Pacific Region with a few happening in the United States. In addition, every Brent teacher with students moving towards IB examinations this coming May 2008 has been recently to an IB workshop. Also of significance is the fact that these thirty-eight faculty currently teaching our IB courses hold a total of three doctorate degrees, twenty–eight master’s or degrees beyond a bachelor’s degree, and forty-nine bachelor’s degrees.

We firmly believe that the preparation, training and retention of our faculty have contributed directly to the successes of the students in our IB program. Small class size within a wealth of subject choices certainly adds to that success. We are confident that the positive trends realized over the past seven years within our inclusive philosophy here at Brent International School, Manila will continue to pay dividends in the form of high school graduates who are well–prepared to tackle the rigors of the most demanding tertiary institutions.