Why we value the IB above all else


At Southlands International School we champion the power of the IB Diploma to allow our students to pursue personal and academic passions with rigor and autonomy. For our Italian and international student community there is no better preparation for a successful academic career in Further Education.

By undertaking the IB Diploma, our students develop a breadth of skills and knowledge without compromising on depth of understanding. The high-level knowledge acquired is diverse enough to allow students the freedom to select from a multitude of future pathways; releasing them from the constraints of alternative educational programmes. The IB emphasis on a comprehensive education is best observed through the compulsory requirement of study in the following subject groups: mother tongue/first languages; modern/secondary languages; natural sciences; mathematics and human sciences, as well as three core components: Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity and Service.

IB graduates are 57% more likely to gain access to the top 20 universities in the UK than A-Level students

Areas of strength and student interests are likely to be pursued as one of the three 'Higher Level' subjects, with further opportunity to develop broader curriculum awareness through their Extended Essay - a 4000 word research project. This is a significant undertaking and provides insight into the world of Further Education by exemplifying the exacting academic standards expected in the first few years of University. It is this increased expectation of what students are capable of that allows our students to join other IB graduates in being 57% more likely to attend the top 20 UK universities over A-Level graduates (HESA report 2016).

Here at Southlands, students are often proficient in at least two languages by the time they reach IB Diploma level and our Language Acquisition subjects receive incredible results every year. The flexibility of the Diploma fosters the value our community places on succeeding in an increasingly global context, and it is common that students are able to pick English or Italian as their first language subject regardless of nationality.

Theory of Knowledge is unique to the International Baccalaureate. This course is a truly special opportunity to enhance every student's ability to critically appraise and reflect on their personal and shared understanding of the world. Our students leave us independent in their thoughts and opinions ready to actively engage and contribute to the important discussions our society faces. This is perhaps why the IBSCA Report (2015) found that university admissions officers believed the IB better developed global awareness and connectivity over other programmes.

Away from the academic demands of the Diploma, CAS acknowledges that important educational experiences also take place outside the classroom; the will to act in the service of the community is an important complement to intellectual and moral development. All of our students plan, implement and evaluate independent and group projects designed to support local communities. Southlands have built strong links with local charities over the past five years as a result of students being driven to improve the experiences of those less fortunate through action and empathy.

Our students have gained admission to some of the best universities in the world, including Università Bocconi, New York University and Trinity College Dublin

Whilst education is not all about examination results, Southlands grade average for 2020 was 35 points out of a possible 45. This score places us as one of the highest performing international schools not only in Rome, but in the global education field - the IBDP world average is 29 points - and our students have gained access to the best universities in Italy and across the world as a result, including Università Bocconi, New York University and Trinity college Dublin. The IB Diploma's rigor and worldwide recognition will continue to provide limitless options for our next cohort of Year 13 students.

If you are interested in finding out more about how your child can benefit from such an exceptional programme in the south of Rome, please contact info@southlands.it to arrange an appointment with me.

- Mr. Paul Johnson
Head of Senior School