The answer is: Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong.
Education Advisers, a UK company, every year compiles the IB League Tables, and here are the results for the 2021-22 Academic Year for private schools in the Chinese mainland:
As you can see, we did pretty well.
Topping the League Table is certainly nice, but it’s not what we aim for. Our goal is quite simply to support every single one of our IB learners to achieve all that they are capable of. We believe that when we get that right, the scores will take care of themselves.
Before we tell you how we do that, first let’s take a detour: what is the IB program, and why is it so important?
“It’s like doing your first year of university, but in high school”
The IB Diploma Program’s mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better, more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
The IB aims to develop learners who are:
Together, these attributes form the IB Learner Profile.
The IB is widely recognized as the most challenging curriculum for high school students. It’s holistic, it’s demanding, and it’s the single best preparation you can get for university life; it’s like doing your first year of university, but in high school.
The IB also is great preparation for universities around the world, no matter where you’re headed. Over the last five years, for example, 25% of our graduates have matriculated to US universities; this year over 50% of the offers received by our Class of 2023 graduates come from US universities.
In fact, the acceptance rate of IB students into Ivy League institutions is between three and 13 percentage points higher compared to the total pool of applicants.
In short, IB puts students in the best possible position to turn their aspirations and dreams into reality.
“An IB experience like none other”
Here are 7 reasons why the Dulwich Pudong IB program is unique.
1. Whole-school Commitment to Wellbeing
If you come down to our campus, you won’t find our IB scores plastered all over the walls. It’s no oversight, it’s deliberate.
The last thing IB students want to see before sitting the examinations is a reminder of the scores of the students the year before. That only feeds the worry.
In our Senior School, just like everywhere else at the College, student wellbeing, health and safety, happiness and social emotional care come first.
Each IB student has a whole team behind them consisting of their tutor, Head of Year, the IB Coordinator as well as other specialists, such as learning support or a social-emotional counselor, as needed.
Wellbeing is part of our Senior School Holistic Development curriculum, and every Senior School year group receives age-appropriate lessons.
In the IB years, the focus is on supporting students with transition planning whilst our unique Science of Learning program supports cognitive wellbeing by demystifying the neuroscience behind how people learn, which helps students develop healthy habits and aspire to the IB Learner Profile trait of Balanced.
2. IB Teachers Who Go Above and Beyond
Our IB teachers are some of the most experienced in the world. They are fully trained in their respective subjects; some have even published textbooks. A number of them are also IB examiners and workshop facilitators.
Most important, though, our IB teachers go above and beyond to support students throughout the program. What does that mean in practice? It means being available to help students when students need help, not just when class is in session. It means going the extra mile to ensure that each IB learner is on track.
3. Unparalleled IB Core Support
The IB Core consists of the Extended Essay (EE), Creativity Activity Service (CAS) and the Theory of Knowledge (ToK). We have dedicated coordinators for each in addition to an experienced IB Coordinator.
CAS (Creativity Activity Service)
CAS is supported by our Co-curricular Activity (CCA) programme, which features a diverse range of offerings that encourage them to find what they are truly passionate about. In Senior School alone, we offer 120+ CCAs, including over 20 which are service related.
There are also dedicated CAS lessons in which students are given time to reflect on their progress in relation to the 7 Learning Outcomes. Students showcase their progress at the annual CAS Exhibition.
EE (Extended Essay)
The Extended Essay is often cited as the most direct preparation there is for the academic demands of university. Our students choose fascinating and innovative topics for the EE that wouldn’t be out of place at a graduate student conference.
Here are a few recent examples:
ToK (Theory of Knowledge)
Students are taught in small ToK classes, and they also have the opportunity to collaborate as a year group. In June 2021, we inaugurated the first ToK Exhibition where our ToK students presented objects to staff and parents and were challenged to discuss how they demonstrate how ToK is manifested in the world.
4. World Class Facilities
Sure, we could talk about the Physics lab, the Chemistry lab, the Biology lab, the art studios and maker spaces, or the film studio that are available to our IB students, but we’d rather point your attention to the view from the IB Common Room.
With pride of place underneath our iconic clock tower and commanding the best view of the DCS Big Field below, the IB Common Room is a dedicated space just for our Year 12 and 13s.
Part lounge, part coffee shop, part mahjong room, the IB Common Room is custom-designed for our IB learners to let off steam and build that all-important sense of solidarity.
Adjacent to the Common Room is a dedicated Quiet Study Room where they hit the books in peace. There are also boardrooms for collaboration containing large displays so students can discuss their projects via a big screen as well as have video calls with external collaborators.
Opening off the IB Common Room are the offices of our University and Career Counselors as well as our IB Coordinator, making sure these key resources are always nearby.
5. Wide Range of IB Subjects
Students thrive when they are able to pursue the subjects they are truly interested in, not just the subjects that are convenient for the school to offer.
Annually graduating one of the largest IB cohorts in the city allows us at Dulwich Pudong to offer numerous subjects at both Higher Level and Standard Levels, including subjects such as Film, Computer Science and Visual Art. Of the Individuals & Society subjects we offer are: History, Geography, Psychology, Economics, and Business Management.
Students who pursue the IB at Dulwich Pudong have the flexibility to create their own personalized learning pathway.
6. Peer Support for the Win
One of the biggest resources for any IB learner is their fellow learners. Peer to peer support plays a huge part in our IB program.
Numerous events take place throughout the year that build strong bonds. The IB Cup, for example, is a series of creative, knowledge-based, and sporting activities designed to enhance the cohesion between Year 12 and Year 13 students.
Not only do students in the same class help each other, their crowdsourced knowledge and aggregated experience is shared with future classes via the IB transition booklet. This publication brings together on-the-ground, in-the-trenches experience and builds a deep repository of institutional wisdom.
7. Onboarding Newcomers
When you have the best IB program in town, you get lots of applicants looking to switch in. We have a great track record of successfully supporting and integrating mid-course joiners, even those who come from a non-British school background.
We have a unique support structure in place for them – which we call Wraparound Care – in which Senior School senior staff work with new joiners on an individual basis to co-create a personalized map leading to successful completion of the program.
In the words of Head of Senior School Alison Derbyshire: “From the quality and care of our teachers to the facilities our students enjoy, studying the IB at Dulwich Pudong really is an experience like none other.”
“A life-changing experience”
Enough of us talking, what do our alumni have to say? In this video, four alumni from the Class of 2019 reminisce about their IB experience at Dulwich Pudong. This unscripted and wide-ranging conversation speaks volumes both about the value of the IB itself, but also of the support that our IB learners enjoy.
Excellence Year after Year
We graduated our first IB class in 2009. For us, the hard work does not stop with announcing our IB results; in fact it is just the beginning.
Each year we conduct a deep, detailed analysis of the results which helps us to improve how we support students across the board. That is the process we have used since we graduated our first IB class in 2009 and is what continues to drive our success today.
What makes us most proud is not topping the tables once, but of the track record we’ve established over the last 15 years. Consistent results from year to year speaks to the program we’ve built and the culture of excellence we’ve nurtured.
IB results, after all, are just one step on the path to university and a rewarding career beyond.
Our graduates’ university destinations speak for themselves.
READ MORE: 2023 University Offers – The Big Update!
Our dynamic Worldwise alumni are found all over the world, from China to Europe to India to the US, blazing careers in a wide range of professions from law to music to medicine to government, at all levels: from start-ups to the Fortune 500.
Seeing them hit the big time equipped with the skills and motivation to make a difference in the world, to Live Worldwise, that’s what it’s all about for us.
That’s what really makes us proud.
(But topping the chart is cool too.)
[All images courtesy of Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong]