2018 IB DIPLOMA RESULTS – We did it again!

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ICS Head of School, Rose Threlfall, was delighted to today announce this year’s IB Diploma results.

The Class of 2018 achieved a 100% pass rate with a mean score of 33 points, maintaining the schools’ 34-point average over four years, a result well above the international norm.

Speaking of the results, Rose said, “It is impossible to thank the faculty enough for their outstanding contribution to the success of our students and the students themselves who now move confidently on to competitive universities around the world including the UK, knowing that they have successfully navigated what is perhaps the most rigorous and all-encompassing pre-university qualification that exists”.

Rose, who meets all prospective Diploma parents and students who apply to the School, noted that within the last couple of years, she has begun to meet more and more Diploma graduates who are now bringing their own children back to ICS to experience an international education.

Commenting on the trend, Rose said, “There is no better validation than sitting opposite a parent who themselves has completed the Diploma and wants their own child to experience the same. I am often absolutely captivated by the journey of these parents’ post-Diploma and the value they place on it as a formative and life changing experience’.

The results were published on the 6th July 2018, some 5 weeks ahead of A-level results.

2018 marks the 50th birthday of the IB Diploma programme and this year, 165,752 students around the world received their results. They join 1.7 million Diploma graduates who hold this cherished qualification.

Congratulations to all of our wonderful students, we wish you well with your future studies!

ICS IB Diploma 2018 graduation held

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On Friday the 18th May, the annual ICS Diploma graduation was held. This is always a very special evening, where the ICS community is given the opportunity to reflect and celebrate all that the Diploma 2 students have achieved over the past two years.

Once again, it was a joyous gathering of celebration and enjoyment, where the hard work and dedication the Diploma 2 students have shown was recognised.

The students received their ICS graduation certificates from their Diploma tutors and speeches were given by Miss Rose, Miss Brenda and Miss Joanna. However, the final speech of the evening was given by Diploma 2 student Cayla Bilyeu, who paid tribute to the strong bonds of friendship and camaraderie that had been formed by the DP 2 classmates, which was evident to all present.

What a fitting ending to an exceptional evening!

IB Diploma Class of 2018: Are you a Milkshake Duck or part of the Youthquake Momentum?



This year's ceremony was held in our historic hall, opened in 1897 by Princess Christian, who was one of Queen Victoria's daughters. 

Graduation is an opportunity to celebrate the success of the School's Diploma 2 students. It is also a rite of passage as our now young adults leave their school days behind them and move off to university destinations around the world.

This year, we also bade farewell to our Secondary School Principal, Brenda Murray. After 22 years’ service to the School, Brenda is retiring to her homes in Kent and Ireland as well as an array of exciting projects and travel opportunities.

Thanks were expressed for the major contribution that she has made to the success and well-being of this year’s graduating class and to the hundreds of other students who have been lucky enough to benefit from her knowledge over the years. 


Delivering her speech, Rose Threlfall commented, "Working with young people is a fantastic privilege. I’d go as far to say, it is critical for all of us to keep young people in our lives. It keeps us literally ‘alive; with ideas, new music, apps, fashion, perspectives and pure youthful joy. We are all better people by having young people in our lives". 


Rose continued her speech by referring to the 'Word of the Year' for 2017 as identified annually by the Oxford English Dictionary for subsequent addition to future editions of the dictionary. This is typically a word or expression that Oxford Dictionaries deems has "attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date" and is drawn from newspapers, books, blogs and transcripts of spoken English".

"In 2016, the word, "post-truth", was chosen largely because of its rampant use during the 2016 Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election".

Rose then outlined the definition of post truth for the assembled audience, defining it as "Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than, appeals to, emotion and personal belief".

Rose continued, speaking about the era of "post-truth politics, (where) it's easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’ and many commentators observed, that we are now ‘living in a post-truth age".

Rose spoke of the short list of 10 words for 'Word of the Year' 2017 and their definitions. The short list included: 

Broflake - a man who is readily upset by progressive attitudes

Unicorn - adding rainbow colours to things - especially food

Newsjacking - The practice of taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote or advertise your own product or brand

She next spoke of her own personal favourite, Milkshake Duck

Rose elaborated on the meaning of the term, telling the audience:

"A Milkshake Duck is a person or character on social media that gains sudden fame for what appears to be endearing behaviour at first, but only too soon after is revealed as a deeply flawed character with terrible opinions and/or a shady past, which quickly tarnishes their fame". 

"However, Milkshake Duck, was not the winner. Instead, and quite rightly, the word of the year for 2017 was YOUTHQUAKE".

"Oxford Dictionaries selected this word, as it reflected what it called a "political awakening" among millennial voters and defined it as:

"A significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of the young".

"Use of the word in everyday speech increased five-fold in 2017. Around the globe, the talk was of the power of the young to effect lasting political change and the term looks set to be stirring things up for some time to come".

"So what of our youthful graduates? My hope is that they will indeed continue the youthquake surge: I hope they will do this and be inspired by our very own ICS vision statement, demonstrating that we are all leaders and learners inspiring leaders and learners – never think you’ve done enough, or that you have learnt and/or know everything – keep an open mind and heart and have the courage to challenge any force that tries to limit your perspective and your international outlook".

"Second, remember and live the great founding statement of the IB Diploma programme – it is an inspiring sentiment, and encourages you to develop an optimistic, open minded world view.

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect". 

Rose concluded her speech with a quote by Blake Beattie, which she felt "summons all of the youthful courage" of the graduates: 

Sail beyond the horizon;
fly higher than you ever thought possible;    
magnify your existence by helping others;
be kind to people and animals of all shapes and sizes;
be true to what you value most;
shine your light on the world;
and be the person you were born to be.

How 'Globally competent' are your children?


I stopped writing over 20 years ago about the advantages for children’s futures and well-being that an International Baccalaureate (IB) education fosters versus national educational systems such as the English National Curriculum. In this twenty-year period, maybe about a million young people around the world have graduated with IB qualifications. I wish it had been many millions.

The ‘magical thinking’ that gave birth to the IB Diploma programme in 1968, followed by the MYP (1994) and PYP (1997) is staggering in how forward thinking it was then and how it remains so far ahead of the educational curve today.



Take ‘international mindedness’ as an example. The IB, more than any other curricula, goes far beyond just developing knowledgeable young people. IB schools strive to develop students who will build a better world through intercultural understanding and respect. This notion of ‘international mindedness’ has been at the heart of an IB education since 1969 and involves the development of attitudes, values and skills that train students to navigate rigorous academic, collaborative and inter-disciplinary challenges. By embedding learning within international and local contexts, purposely developing children’s’ capacities to think critically and to have the self-belief to challenge assumptions, students in IB schools, have an edge, a ‘learning agility’ that is befitting of the age in which we live.



It is no surprise therefore, to learn, that one of the central pillars of an IB education, global competency, is now deemed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), essential for the success of our children in the twenty-first century. Alongside maths, science and English, students will, from 2018, as part of the tri-annual PISA testing schedule, be tested on their level of global competence.

In a paper released in December 2017, entitled ‘OECD PISA Global Competence Framework’, this skill-set is defined and its importance endorsed. It makes for compelling reading for anyone trying to make sense of our world, so aptly described by Thomas L Friedman as the ‘age of accelerations’ (2016).



The OECD describes global competence as:

“The capacity to examine local, global and intercultural issues, to understand and appreciate the perspectives and world views of others, to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different cultures, and to act for collective well-being and sustainable development”

As the OECD writes, schools must play a crucial role in helping young learners develop global competence by:

  • providing opportunities to learn about global developments;
  • teaching students how they can develop a fact-based and critical worldview;
  • equipping students with the means to analyse a broad range of cultural practices and meanings;
  • engaging students in experiences that facilitate intercultural relations;
  • and by promoting the value of diversity

Without hesitation, I can walk into any of our primary and secondary classrooms at ICS and observe our students from Nursery to Diploma being coached in these critical global competences. Our students need core skills to be ready for the new world of work. However, more importantly, in a world where globalisation is a powerful economic, political and cultural force, our children must also develop the capacity to analyse, and understand global and intercultural issues in order to thrive.


Rose Threlfall, Head of School




We are delighted to announce the news that ICS has been integrated into the NACE Schools group.

The School’s faculty and parents were joined by Sergio Gonzalez Andion (NACE CEO) and Daniel Jones (NACE Educational Director) for the announcement of the news.

As Sergio shared, NACE owns and operates 29 private schools in Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Andorra and India and is one of the four largest private school groups in the world with international presence, and the largest of its type in the European continent. The schools in NACE cover all educational phases, i.e. EYFS, primary, secondary and sixth form. The group also offers vocational training. 

Furthermore, NACE Schools’ mission is to prepare each student to live successfully in a globalized world. This educational mission is offered to more than 14.000 students in the six countries where the schools operate.

As Rose Threlfall, Head of ICS stated, ‘Becoming part of NACE Schools will be of great value to our students and faculty. Students will benefit as they already do from the family atmosphere of our small school, but will now have access to the advantages that only big schools can offer’. In practice this translates, among other things, to participation in NACE events organized for all the group’s schools. NACE’s presence in different countries allows for ‘celebrations of learning’ at multicultural events with the participation of all schools. Currently five events take place every year: International Music Week, NACE Model United Nations, Academic Olympics, NACE Sports Olympics and the Virtual Arts Competition. In addition, students participate in several International exchange programs during the year and have access to the Stonar school (an independent school with a specialist and renowned equestrian centre) in the UK.


In addition, being part of a school network like NACE, will allow ICS to share best practice and generate and implement innovative ideas. The School will have the opportunity to speak openly with other schools about things that work well and others that do not, and the possibility of testing new methodologies and technologies knowing the advantages and risks in advance. ICS will also benefit from a stronger capacity to design and implement teaching

and learning programs that work best thanks to the support and counselling of worldwide specialists with relevant experience in all educational areas.


Belonging to a network of schools will also help ICS understand and improve its performance both in the academic and non-academic realms. The School will have access to detailed academic results from other schools with which to compare and define both its strengths and the improvement opportunities. ICS will also benefit professionally from collaboration with NACE’s Educational Director, Daniel Jones, an experienced international professional and his team.


Lastly, ICS will benefit from the support of NACE’s Corporate centre that include central services for Human Resources, Admissions & Marketing, Organization and Systems and Finance. Under this model the School can fully dedicate itself to what is really important, the quality of teaching and learning.


The School’s integration into the NACE Schools group will be done in a way that guarantees ICS’ continuity. The School will not change its philosophy nor its educational programmes.


Rose Threlfall concluded that ‘Today ICS starts a new stage in its history. I am convinced that being part of the NACE Schools group will have tremendous value for our students and teachers. I look to the future full of enthusiasm and confidence’.


Rose Threlfall

Head of School