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Wellington College - stance over IB vs A Levels

(6 Posts)
Touchlinedad Sun 23-Jun-13 14:42:57

Dear Mumsnetters

I'm after a simple answer over Wellington's current stance on the IB or A levels. The school website says it offers both but the language they have chosen suggests they favour the IB.

My perception was that the school was / is very proud of its IB programme but some of the parents at DS' prep have returned from open days saying that WC is now more in favour of A levels. We haven't got to an Open Day yet (school fixture clashes not laziness!) so I'm confused.

On the school website it states that the IB "offers pupils a world class education as preparation for university and the rapidly changing world beyond." Whereas the A level offering is described as offering "a reputation of academic strength, the opportunity to choose a focused range of subjects for specialist study." Tell me I'm reading too much into the language (ex English student) used but a seemingly unchallengeable classification of being "world class" vs only having a reputation for academic strength makes it seem as if the school has a clear preference.

This is not intended to be an entree for opinions on Seldon as a Headmaster. DW and I have already decided we like the school because of its increasingly academic outlook and DS would love the rugby (especially the Sevens) and (when it gets built) the new athletics track. We had originally ruled it out because DS is very much into his science and DW (the scientist in the family) is dubious of the suitability of the IB as preparation for a science degree at Oxbridge or equivalent.

Again I don't want to start off an IB vs A levels debate or a chance for the Seldon lovers / haters to go into battle.

A simple answer from a current WC 6th form parent or a prospective parent who has asked a similar question and remembers the answer would be truly appreciated.

bico Sun 23-Jun-13 14:47:35

My reply from your other thread smile

I would also contact the school and ask your question. Unless you are doing a small group tour it is hard to ask detailed questions of relevant personnel at a general open day. I would expect the school to put you in touch with the head of science who should be able to address your concerns.

You also need to remember that the website is peppered with Seldon's PR puff, which is all very well but not always clear in explainations.

Fwiw WC isn't as academic as it likes to make out and they will happily accept dcs below their published CE levels if they have something to offer, eg sports or music. That isn't the case with the more academic schools.

Touchlinedad Thu 27-Jun-13 13:20:39

Thanks for reply - told by WC it's both but more did the IB.

For the record it now makes no difference as the most important decision maker (DS) has plumped for Brighton and Tonbridge as his boarding choices.

AnnaBBB Thu 27-Jun-13 16:07:15

We are also looking at Wellington...heard it's considerably oversubscribed and also attracts certain affluent types so less mixed ...also got the impression from the tour they favour IB...but my concerns are I am not sure that Oxbridge favour IB...Wellington's Oxbridge succcess are not that high compared to others ...and I wondered about that and whether it was to do with it not being as academically selective as it claims, to do with the number taking IB vs A levels (which may offer more depth in a given subject) or perhaps IB is tougher all round I don't know. Seldon himself has complalned about being prejudiced against by Oxbridge because his pupils are from independent sector ...but there are other independent schools that have higher Oxbridge success and are much more under the radar on the PR perspective- like Canford or Hampton or RGS Guildford - different ethos I know but still.

AnnaBBB Thu 27-Jun-13 16:12:42

You should directly ask - how many and what percentage do you have each year going to (and not just offered) Oxbridge or Ivy League each year to do the sciences...

Some academic schools have this info on their websites ...I couldn't readily find it ...also Oxbridge offers would be one thing ...acceptances another ...

happygardening Fri 28-Jun-13 09:30:58

"heard it's considerably oversubscribed and also attracts certain affluent types so less mixed"
All claim to be "over subscribed" but I would take that with a pinch of salt.
Re: "less mixed" Winchester has about 15% which is high on bursaries but that still means the other 85% are paying just shy of £34 000 PA, Wellington like most others will literally only have a handful on bursaries. The sort of parents who have that kind of money and remember many will have at least one other in the same school or a similar school are not going to be a social worker and a nurse living in a tiny terraced house in Penge! All are going to be "affluent" in some way.

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