Higher Education Review of the Year

Outstanding and international: from Sevenoaks to the world

With their May exams cancelled, the Class of 2020 were denied the usual rite of passage to finish their school career. In such unprecedented circumstances, exam systems around the world encountered challenges, but the strong grades were a reflection of the hard work of students throughout their time in the Sixth Form.

At 214, they were one of the largest IB cohorts in the world and they were awarded a remarkable average IB Diploma score of 40.1 points. Eighteen students achieved the maximum 45 points, 24 secured 44 points, 23 secured 43 points, and 63 per cent (135 students) achieved 40 points or more – another truly excellent result.

By the autumn Sennockians were flying around the world to their new universities: 21 per cent of our students went international and began their studies at top universities in the United States, Asia and Europe. The average for other ISC schools is just five per cent.

The UK

At 92 per cent the overwhelming majority of Sennockians are starting their studies at their first choice of university. In the UK that means that 83 per cent of them are at elite Russell Group universities, including 20 students at University College London, 19 at Durham, 17 at Oxford, 18 at Exeter, 12 at Imperial College, 12 at Cambridge, 10 at King’s College London and eight at Edinburgh.

The world

Across the Atlantic, 37 of our students are making themselves at home in top North American colleges; four each to University of Chicago and UCLA; three each to Stanford, Dartmouth and the William and Mary/St Andrews joint degree; and two each to McGill, UC Berkeley and the Columbia/Sciences Po joint course. We also have students going to Yale, Harvard, UPenn, NYU, Carnegie Mellon and Brown, among others. A further nine of our students are entering prestigious universities in Hong Kong and Europe, with one taking up a place on the World Business Degree joint course between the University of Southern California, Bocconi University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

What are they studying?

This astonishing range of universities is matched by the range of subjects that Sennockians are studying. A Sevenoaks education and the IB prepares students for a wide range of vocational and interdisciplinary subjects. Fourteen Sennockians are on the road to becoming doctors, vets and dentists while a full 38 of them are taking Combined Degrees or Liberal Arts Programmes in the UK or the US. Fifty-three per cent will study subjects in the arts and humanities and 30 per cent will take STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Looking to the future

Exams were cancelled for Year 11 as well, but their impressive results bode well for the Class of 2022: 94.9 per cent of all examinations were graded A/A* or 9/8/7; 27 students gained 11 or 12 A*/A +9/8/7 grades, and 106 students gained 10 A*/A +9/8/7 grades. They are joined in the Lower Sixth by talented students from around the world, and the Higher Education department looks forward to helping them as they embark on their next steps.

Wendy Heydorn
Director, Institute of Higher Education and Professional Insight


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