I have had a number of parents ask about the reason for the change in the timetable and the school day in the Secondary school.
Having been authorised to offer the IB Programmes school are required to host a quality assurance visit once every five years to ensure that standards are being maintained and that every aspect of the school’s academic standards, curriculum, leadership and management, health and safety and governance comply with the IB’s requirements. Our visit (a euphemism for inspection) took place in February of this year. The visit is conducted by a team from the IB and, in our case, was synchronised with the CIS and NEASC accreditation process. The process was a very rigorous one and evidence was gathered from a variety of sources and systematically triangulated.
The final report gives commendations and recommendations and ‘matters to be addressed’. The latter are more serious matters that must be rectified if the school is to maintain its status as an authorised school. We had only one, which concerns our Diploma Programme timetable. The recommended number of instructional hours in Grades 11 and 12 is 240 hours for each Higher Level subject and 150 hours for each Standard Level subject. Last academic year we taught too many hours, particularly for the SL subjects: HL subjects received 276 hours of instruction, and SL received 236 hours over both years of the programme. In order to comply we have adjusted the timetable so that we now teach 178 hours for the Standard Level subjects over the two years of the course and 240 hours for Higher Level.
To be quite honest I thought that teaching too many hours was a good thing for which we would be commended, but it seems not so. We continue to monitor the Diploma Programme curriculum delivery closely to ensure that the content, skills and assessments are being covered in good time.
Greenfield Community School