First IBDP verification visit seems optimistic

The school had its very first IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) verification visit on Feb. 25 and 26. The school was examined by two IB trained educators, Mr. Sarewal and Mr. Nandan.

Mr. Sarewal works for IB Career-related Programme, which is one of the four programmes that IB offers. He is also the associate DP (Diploma Programme) coordinator at the Gandhi Memorial International School, Jakarta.

IB has an educational network which appoints educators from around the globe. Mr. Sarewal and Mr. Nandan work with the team to train teachers through workshops for various subjects by instructing them about the approaches of teaching and learning, along with school visits.  

In order to gain the DP authorization, Woodstock had to start by filling out an information form, often referred to as the Consideration Phase. Then, it had to request for candidacy, which according to official IB documents, shows that the school has carried out a preliminary analysis of the programme and the consequences of its implementation, and that, as a result, an action plan has been developed reflecting the commitment of the school to make the necessary adjustments to become an IB World School.”

The third stage of the process is the Candidate Phase, emphasizing “the implementation of the professional development.” This phase is meant to ensure that the staff in the school will be trained for IB while acknowledging all the requirements.

Before the verification visit had been confirmed, the school had a chance to prove its understanding of the IB philosophy, objectives and requirements. The verification visit is put in place by the IB to confirm this as the process evaluates the curriculum, assessments, communication, reporting, and management skills of the school.

“IB sends us to do these visits so that we know how prepared the school is for these practices,” Mr. Sarewal said. “My role is to hold discussions and see whatever is happening in the school so that I can release a report which will be assessed by IB.” 

In a discussion with students from the Class of 2021, which will be the first graduating class to have received an IB diploma from Woodstock, Mr. Sarewal said, “IB is multiculturalism: it talks about international education, various types of opportunities for all, and toughness. What I like about you when you were introducing yourselves is that there is IB in all of you. You are connected to each other, so you have already reached the first step, what is needed is rigorous work. IB is more demanding than what you have today, but it will give you more chances to enjoy and have fun while learning.”  

Mr. Sarewal in discussion with the Class of 2021.

He assured them that IB was meant for enthusiastic students like them by stating, “IB’s toughness can easily be achieved because the assessment types are various. It gives every student an opportunity. Some for good communicators, some for naughty students, and some for focused kids.”

As the students spoke about their concern towards the academic burden and examinations, Mr. Sarewal suggested that if Woodstock gets the IB authorization, they must ask the school for the IBDP calendar. This consists of deadlines for every single assessment throughout the year and is a resource which must be accessible to all the students.  

When asked if there was a possibility for Woodstock’s authorization to be denied, Mr. Sarewal said, “Obviously there is a chance that the authorization might not be approved. But you have already reached the last stage. This is a two-year process. Within three weeks I have to submit the report. After three weeks IB has to give you a report. This means that after six weeks your school will have an idea if it is IB authorized or not. If not, they have to submit certain other documents because they already completed the process. The authorization can be delayed for a bit, but not for two years.”

Lastly, Mr. Sarewal said, “Most likely [the school] will get authorized.”


Archita Aggarwal is a staff reporter for The Woodstocker

Photo by Archita Aggarwal

Edited by Aarti Malhotra

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