What is the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP)?

The Career-related Programme is the latest in the International Baccalaureate (IB) suite of qualifications. Adrian Kearney, director of IB World Schools, explains the benefits for globally mobile students who have clear career aspirations.

Pathway to career success

International School of London

International Guide 18/19 video
The following article is from Relocate Global's Guide to International Education & Schools 2018/19 which is packed with expert tips and information for those relocating and the professionals supporting them. For co-branded or bespoke editions for your employees, contact Fiona Murchie on +44 (0)1892 891334 or email: fiona@relocatemagazine.com
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For families relocating abroad with children, choosing the right school can be a daunting process. There is no substitute for visiting a school in person, to get a feel for the culture and environment and to see the facilities at first hand – although this may not be practical for those who are many miles away.However, asking probing questions of the school will provide a valuable insight into its ethos, its ambitions for its students, and the opportunities and qualifications children have access to. It will also help parents to decide whether it will be the right school for their child.

What curriculum is right for a relocating child? 

A popular choice for families when relocating with children is to find an international school teaching either a curriculum from their home country or an international curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate (IB).The clear benefit of choosing an internationally recognised programme is that a child will not be at a disadvantage in the future when moving into higher education, drafting a CV, or applying for their first international role.

What if a child already has a specific career in mind? 

At 16, many students already have a clear idea of the career they would like to pursue and are looking for hands-on learning and experience in that field. In this case, choosing an educational offer that caters to this makes sense.Currently, there is only one post-16 qualification that provides a framework allowing students to develop both vocationally and academically. This is the latest IB offering, the Career-related Programme (CP).Taught in more than 140 different schools in 23 different countries across the world, the CP engages students with a programme that genuinely interests them and can help them along the path to their chosen career, while arming them with transferable and lifelong skills, such as the ability to work as part of a team, time management skills, and intercultural understanding.CP students develop rigour through a combination of academic and career-related courses, resulting in a more rounded understanding of the working world through components that develop skills such as communication, problem-solving and responsibility.

What extracurricular activities are available? 

Understanding what additional opportunities a school can offer is essential to maximising their time whilst studying. Allowing children to get involved in extracurricular activities is a wise choice, because it allows them to develop many working and people skills.Parents should look for clubs and after-school activities that nurture yet diversify their children’s interests and enable them to explore new things and identify and hone their talents. Curricula like the CP help children to develop an understanding of, and an interest in, the outside world that leads to extracurricular activities such as volunteering and community work.

How important is the breadth of the curriculum the school is offering? 

A curriculum’s objective is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to be successful in their lives. Ultimate indicators of curriculum success are the quality of learning achieved by the students and whether and how students use that learning for their personal development.What is the school offering alongside the standard subject groups? Students who study the CP benefit from a combination of a career-related study and at least two subjects from the IB Diploma Programme (DP). Along with this blend of academic and vocational study, CP students undertake a well-rounded core consisting of four elements: service learning, personal and professional skills, language development, and a reflective project.In 2014, the CP was shortlisted for the prestigious WISE award, which recognises innovative international education projects that transform society.CP students are encouraged to view aspects of their studies in a broad, global context. They are challenged to become internationally minded and culturally aware. Travelling the world is an education in itself, and the core of the programme complements this lifestyle through the compulsory language development model, where students are exposed to a second language which increases their understanding of the world beyond their current community or home country.

How well recognised is the curriculum the school is offering? 

If you are planning on relocating during your child’s school career, it is advantageous to look for an internationally recognised programme that prepares students to enter the world of work or further study across the globe.Many young people are looking at how they can tailor their education to meet the needs of a rapidly changing workplace. Students are now focusing on a variety of pathways, including apprenticeships, workplace training options and university, when making their post-18 choices.The flexibility of the career-related study allows the CP to offer a unique mix of academic and professional study and makes it accessible and relevant to a broad variety of students. Globally, CP students have progressed to both professional pathways and university in a variety of career options, such as engineering, marketing, hospitality, and finance.Life in the 21st century places complex demands on students. To keep up with the ever-changing needs of industry, parents must think about how best to equip their children with the skills they will require in the future, wherever they are in the world.They should ask as many questions as they wish about a school’s curriculum, ethos and philosophy, and about the extra opportunities it offers to students, to ensure their child has the advantage later on in life, and to ease the process of relocation.
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