A grammar school has been named as having the country’s best International Baccalaureate course this decade.
Dartford Grammar School will feature as one of the nation’s top schools in The Sunday Times School’s Guide, which is published this weekend.
The survey carried out by Parent Power ranks DGS at the top of 2,000 high-achieving schools throughout the UK which offer the diploma programme to its pupils.
The school has earned the official title of The Sunday Times International Baccalaureate School of the Decade.
It is the 28th time the survey has been carried out – which DGS has won twice in the last three years – but the 2020 award looked back at the best schools in the past 10 years.
The IB tests pupils as well as running a range of outreach programmes.
The award looks at the schools which have the best exam results, improvements and consistency of their results and examines the activities schools carry out.
The Parent Power survey – which will be published in full in The Sunday Times this weekend – is regarded as one of the most authoritative rankings in the country.
Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “This is our only award to straddle both the state and independent sectors. That the winner of the award is a state school speaks volumes for the achievement of Dartford Grammar School.
“Its pupils ace the tough International Baccalaureate examinations year after year, achieving staggering success without their parents having to wear the cost of school fees.”
He praised the school’s leadership under head teacher John Oakes and recognised pupils had “steadily upped their performance” and the school overall was celebrated for providing “a broad and excellent education for its children”.
Mr Oakes said: “We are delighted to be recognised once again but to top this year’s survey of the last decade is truly special.
“It is testimony to the consistent hard work of our students and staff that we have achieved this accolade, which recognises not only our academic results but the outward-facing international ethos that we strongly foster.”
The school has 630 pupils in Years 12 and 13 taking the IB qualification – an alternative to A-levels – which is 150 more than at the start of the decade.
They study six subjects across the two years together with Theory of Knowledge, an essay in the subject of their choosing and a community service element.
In the past two years, 25 pupils who completed the IB have gone on to study at Oxbridge and 70% attend prestigious Russell Group universities.
The schools average grants in the IB rose from 31.8 to 36.9 (out of a possible 45) during the 10-year period which is significantly higher than the world average which still remains below 30.
In 2020, six pupils achieved the full 45 points including two from non-selective schools who joined the DGS sixth form.
The school’s outreach programme includes being a centre of excellence for teaching modern foreign languages and computer science and works with other schools throughout the Dartford area.
It also part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme and every child joining in Year 7 learns the language or Japanese for their first year before adding a second language in Year 8 before going on to continue studies to GCSE level.
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