• GEMS

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    NEWS

Our Winning Formula

Andrew O’Reilly, University Counsellor & History Teacher in collaboration with Sean McAuley Secondary Years Deputy Principal & University Counsellor December 8, 2020
Our Winning Formula

Our students have achieved outstanding results in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme each year. They have a 100% pass rate, an average score of 34 and a top score of 44 out of 45. It is a lot to shout about. Individual achievement is equally outstanding, and we would also like to celebrate our students' exceptional performance. We are proud they have gained placements in institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley and Boston University in the USA, McGill University and Toronto in Canada, University College London and King's College London, Science Po in France, and the University of Sydney.

What gives us the ability to achieve such high standards?

At every step of your child's educational journey, we assist them in gaining above and beyond themselves. For me, it is a combination of being globally connected, offering educational choice, empowerment of students, dedicated teaching staff, and of course, the students who push us to success.

What is our winning formula?

First, we help students find the right destination after guiding them through discussions that only Third Culture Students face: such as where is "home" and their career opportunities based on their passport. Then, we guide them through career exploration, assessments, and personality tests. For some, this has meant summer study programs or internships with doctors or lawyers over the school holidays. For others, this has been attending taster lectures with university professors such as Professor P. Shukla, Head of Digital and Data-driven Marketing at Southampton Business School, or attending online workshops through CIlafo. While this has changed dramatically in the "new normal", we are advertising online university fairs and taster lectures such as these through the University of Manchester. 

Second, we are able to do this at a high level as we have a global reach. Our Career and University Guidance department is part of several networks, including the Council of International Schools, Global University Counsellor Connect, Dutch Higher Education Network, and the International Association of College Admissions Counsellors. Our team has presented with both Oxford and Cambridge this past week; and in previous conferences with Columbia University, UCLA, Yale-NUS, King's College London, the University of Toronto, and many others. These connections help us stay up to date with the most recent trends and factors in university admissions, which we always use to guide students. 

Third, we are proud to offer a wider choice of secondary years educational programs than most other international schools. Through the International Baccalaureate Diploma, the Career-related Programmes, or a GEMS Diploma, we provide educational pathways for every student. Although the options are different, each pathway shares the scaffolding inside it, which builds essential skills and independently minded students. These programs help students focus on careers early, so they are confident in what they want to study after high school.

Furthermore, our dedicated team of guidance counsellors provide students with the support they need. We mentor our students to be self-advocates and partners in identifying their academic, athletic and artistic progress. This is supported by the school leadership team who ensure that every child receives a dedicated university advisor to provide, one-to-one advice on application choices, procedures, as well as scholarship and financial advice.

We must acknowledge that our teachers play an essential role in scaffolding learning, and they are dedicated to assisting our students. I have witnessed several teachers who go above and beyond to help with conducting mock interviews and crafting world-class reference letters. Our teachers provide study skills, time management advice and action plans for their students. 

We, in the GEMS counselling office, recognise their incredible work and congratulate them for this.  The students themselves are clearly motivated to perform at the highest of levels. Our results are just a snapshot that proves their dedication, drive and courage in their learning. What I see every day is our students making choices and collaborating with teachers to organise, prepare and apply for the most outstanding universities in the world. What is behind the results is what really matters at GEMS. For me, it is clear because it can be measured. We work together, and because of this, we have the winning formula that will continue for years to come.

 

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