What does a worthwhile, purposeful and relevant education in the 2020s really look like? And what are the features of its success? In light of recent exam grading difficulties, the effect of the pandemic on the wellbeing of young people and the current discussion around future proofing education, it has been refreshing to see so many fellow schools considering their perspectives, their options and the opportunities they offer to our young people.

At St Leonards, we have proudly delivered the inspiring and globally-recognised International Baccalau-reate (IB) curriculum for more than 13 years, and we are the only school in the UK with pupils enrolled on all four IB programmes, from the primary years programme starting, for us, at age five, through the middle years programme, to the diploma and career-related programmes in the sixth form.

For those unfamiliar with the IB, its ethos and approach to teaching and learning, it was established in 1968 with a vision to equip young people with a lifelong love of learning; who will embrace all the opportunities offered to them, and seek new ones; young people who can direct much of their own learning and who actively want to enrich not only themselves but the lives of others in their communities.

And for us, here at St Leonards where diversity and inclusivity top our agenda, we are fully invested in an IB education, celebrating it, growing and developing it, and embracing it every step of the way.

Our school motto is “Ad Vitam”, and we have seen over the years that the International Baccalaureate curriculum, complemented – indeed completed – by our rich co-curriculum, prepares pupils for all that lies ahead of them in life. They develop the skills of thinker, inquirer, communicator, listener, problem-solver and self-manager in all their subject areas.

IB pupils are risk-takers, they are principled, open-minded, balanced, reflective and caring. They complete their school years with not only an unrivalled global qualification, but with the best foundation a young person could hope for, ready for success in today’s ever-changing world: deeper learning, wider options, richer minds.