98% pass rate for Mendel’s first IB English diploma students

12 juli 2018

Our congratulations to the forty 6TTO pupils who made Mendel history by becoming our first pupils to pass the IB English Language and Literature diploma.
This article from Madelief, one of our newly qualified IB alumni, gives an insight into what following the IB programme at Mendelcollege involves.
In May 2018 we, 6 vwo, did the IB exams. It was exciting and of course nerve-wracking. But what is the IB program actually and what does it entail? The aims of the IB English Language and Literature programme are:
“…to develop in students skills of textual analysis and the understanding that texts, both literary and non-literary, can be seen as autonomous yet simultaneously related to culturally determined reading practices.” (IB Language and Literature Guide, 2013).

But to you as well as to me that might sound a little vague and unclear. Basically it is an English exam program, but unlike Cambridge Advanced English it mainly focusses on language and literature.
Because of this the lessons that we had were very different from the regular English lessons that the non-tto people would have. We spent most of our time reading, analysing literature and having discussing about what we had learned.
Personally, I think this was really interesting because we got to put what we learned into action. It was a lot of hard work to keep up with all of the assignments, to write all the essays and do all of the reading, but it was well worth the effort and I feel like my English has improved immensely.
But it was not only hard work and no fun, we got to have a lot of fun as well. I still remember all of the projects we did. The countless posters that we made, which tended to end up being more like art projects rather than serious English assignments. All of the teamwork we had to do for the presentations and the clips we made. It was really nice to be able to work together with others to create something creative and exciting.
For one of the books we read, Macbeth, we had to adapt a scene and either act it out or make a clip about it. The results were amazing! They were so creative, funny and well-made.
Except from Macbeth we had to read a lot of other books as well such as To kill a Mockingbird, the Handmaidstale, Great Gatsby, Brave New world and many more. Of course I enjoyed some books more than others, but it was very interesting to read books that you might not normally pick out for yourself. After analysing these books and getting more into their meaning I started to see references to them everywhere and you start to think more about the books that you’re reading. Who knew that there were so many references to 1984 in your daily life and that a relatively old book could still be so relevant?
Beforehand I didn’t really know what to expect from the IB program, but it certainly didn’t disappoint. Mr. Hunter taught us well and made IB an interesting, fun and enriching experience that taught us a lot.
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