“You have got to know your onions!”
These words spoken by our history teacher (British accent, each single word stressed) still ring in our heads some twenty years later.
Back then we had found this expression a little peculiar, yet in hindsight this was probably the most basic and useful advice our teacher preparing us for our IB exams could give us. It meant we had to know the facts, know the basics inside and out. Only with these building blocks could we strive to become the original thinkers, the unrelenting enquirers that the IB wanted us to become.
We took this advice seriously. In other words, we put in some real hard work. In fact, the IB exams were probably the most stressful period of our lives – never before nor after, not even at university, did we have so many exams, all at the same time. To say that it was tough would be a gross understatement!
And yet, miraculously, we had still managed to have fun during our two years of IB (well, ok, maybe not so much towards the end, with the revisions and the exams;-). We genuinely enjoyed designing our own experiments, following our interests and conducting individual research, problem-solving, doing the written assignments, simply learning and growing.
Plus, the whole idea of attending an international school – wow! All the great people we met and friends we made… We were encouraged to express our individuality and creativity, to be unique. Nonetheless, we were a close-knit community with similar experiences – all thrown into the same boat by the IB programme we were following. IB – the great equalizer.
Unfortunately, IB does not go smoothly for every student and that is a shame. The IB syllabi are demanding and it is easy to fall behind. If a student misses a lesson or two, or simply does not grasp a concept, his ability to learn, gain further knowledge and apply it critically might be undermined. Sometimes the support the students receive at school is simply not enough to get them back on track. The dream of the enjoyable last two years in school and great exam results can come tumbling down like a house of cards.
In order to prevent this catastrophe from happening a lot of extra effort has to be made. And this is where we come in. Because we want our students to have a great IB experience like we did, we want them to some day think of their schooldays as of good old days, not “that time I barely just survived”. That is why we have designed several courses that address the most pressing needs of IB students – maths and writing skills – and we also provide year round individual support, in a one-on-one setting or in small groups, face-to-face or online.
After all, YOIBO!
You know that saying, YOLO? “You only live once!” Well, one of our students modified it to YOIBO. While you might think that this implies that LIFE is replaced by IB, that there is no life during IB (and, yes, some students really do feel this way), we like to think of it as meaning: For these two years your life is mostly revolving around the IB (yay!), so try and enjoy it as much as you can! And if you don’t know how, we can show you. We’ll make sure you know your onions and we’ll show you that you don’t need to stress out – except during the exams, then it’s ok to be stressed. What is more, you can enjoy your life while managing your IB courses and preparing for the exams!
No tears. Just onions. Go 4 IB!