Whole School

New research finds that IB students appear to hold an advantage when it comes to critical thinking

(from IBO.org)

New research finds that IB students appear to hold an advantage when it comes to critical thinking

Evidence from the University of Oxford finds International Baccalaureate (IB) students exhibit significantly stronger critical thinking skills than non-IB peers. In today’s rapidly changing world, schools seek ways to teach students skills needed for success beyond the classroom. Previous studies indicate that critical thinking skills are key determinants of individual and collective success, which is why these skills are sought after by students, parents, schools and universities.

More than 560 students from eight schools in Australia, England and Norway participated in this study that examines the impact of the IB’s Diploma Programme (DP) on students’ critical thinking abilities. No previous research has taken this approach of comparing DP and non-DP students across the globe, using a validated critical thinking assessment.

The year-long IB-commissioned study was conducted by the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA). The quantitative results show that the DP students possess significantly higher levels of critical thinking skills than their non-DP counterparts, an advantage that held even after relevant covariates were controlled for using regression approaches and propensity score-matching. Additionally, as students advanced through the DP, critical thinking skills increased and further distinguished them from their non-DP counterparts.

Following a review of the DP curriculum, OUCEA’s analysis indicated that the IB’s approach to developing critical thinking is in line with evidence-based best practice. Both individual DP courses and unique components of the DP curriculum, such as the theory of knowledge (TOK) course, offer opportunities for developing critical thinking skills.

 “I feel like our students end up maybe more rounded than other students would, just because we, we kind of facilitate both sides and thinking about things from different perspectives and then coming up with their own validated conclusions. And I think that's a very valuable part of the course”, Environment systems and society teacher, England.

In addition to TOK, the extended essay was highlighted by students as shaping critical thinking development in the IB. Students and educators both further commented on the advantage that the DP offers as preparation for further studies when compared to national curriculums.

 “While we can't know for certain whether IB participation improves critical thinking, it is noteworthy that, even after controlling for many pre-existing differences, IB students appear to hold an advantage when it comes to critical thinking. The findings suggest that instructional approaches that focus on teaching critical thinking skills explicitly as well as embedding opportunities for students to think critically within each subject may facilitate the development of critical thinking skills. IB students and teachers have identified many potential avenues by which the IB encourages the development of critical thinking and hopefully, in the future we can build an even clearer picture of how to improve students' critical thinking skills”, commented Dr Therese Hopfenbeck, lead researcher on the project. 

As part of the IB’s continued curriculum innovation strategy, this research precedes a large project in collaboration with OUCEA, the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and the Jacobs Foundation, which aims to identify and share classroom practices that support the development of IB learner profile attributes, skills that foster international-mindedness in young people.


Improving teaching practices at school based on the analysis of learners’ profiles

On Tuesday, 17th November, three representatives of the School’s Learning Support Teams participated as speakers in the Global Assessment International Conference organised by GL Assessment. Cecilia Irazoqui (Junior Learning Support Coordinator), Valentina Fernández (Junior and Senior Learning Support Specialist) and Rosina Grillé (Senior Learning Support Specialist) talked about “Improving teaching practices at school based on the analysis of learners’ profiles”. The three pshycho-pedagogical specialists shared the thorough work done by the Learning Support Department over the 6 six years using the CAT4. They described how the data provided by this assessment tool is combined with other data sources available at school in order to identify each student’s strengths, weaknesses and overall learning profile. They also explained how this information is used to develop suitable teaching strategies to cater for the different needs in the classroom and to inform institutional projects. The international conference session was a complete success, with more than 175 attendees from all over the world watching the session.

Huge congratulations to the representatives of our Learning Support team who presented at the Global Assessment International Conference organised by GLA yesterday.


Their knowledge and expertise, together with the clarity which with they shared this, will enrich the work of many schools around the world and put The British Schools of Montevideo on the map with regard to using data to develop student learning.



On Thursday, 8th October, the School celebrated its 112 anniversary. This is a traditionally joyous day: the School hosts Sports Days, treasure hunts, celebrations all around and there is usually an abundance of cakes. 2020 was a different year. Under the theme of Gratitude we invited families to join us in the creation of customised face masks to bring to School. The result was incredible. 

Using the School´s birthday as a starting point, students reflected on this very traditional celebration that had to be modified in order to fit the current status. Their positive approaches and thinking surprised us all. 


Following our Awareness and Celebrations campaign “Health and Wellbeing”, we celebrated the School´s birthday under the theme of “Gratefulness”.

After working with their teachers during the last couple of weeks, each student took a special picture with their self-tailored face mask to show support to the campaign.

We came together as one School to celebrate and be thankful.

The face masks were displayed in Junior and Senior main corridors to decorate and to be a constant remainder of the things we are grateful for.  

The face masks will be then transformed into Christmas ornaments to share with our school community, so stay tuned. 

Thank you all who participated in this fulfilling School spirit campaign.





On Wednesday, 23rd September, Form 1 and 1YL students promised and pledged the Uruguayan flag. The 4 ceremonies were emotive and students sang the Uruguayan anthem and recited several lines remembering José Artigas in his death aniversary. 


During September, following our Awareness and Celebrations programme, the School will be working on Recycling.

This United Nations Issue will be addressed during Form Periods with our students and we would like to encourage our community to work on this issue at home with your families. To further boost how we approach this relevant topic, we would like to invite you all to bring electronic devices to be recycled. There are boxes placed on both Senior and Junior entrances for you to leave your E-Waste.

Once again the Old Boys & Old Girls Club has joined us in this endeavor. 

The following video was created and produced by some of our Senior Global Perspective students in order to raise awareness on the importance of recycling and to learn what we are currently doing at School. 






We would like to share the huge success of the #knitforothers Campaign with the community. Both students and staff were committed to the task, and the results were wonderful. 

During the winter holidays we encouraged all to knit squares and bring them to school after recess was over.
Both 5YL and 6YL together with the support of staff from different areas of School got together to knit the squares together making blankets for the Fundación Canguro.



On Tuesday 3rd, the Gymnasium was once more the location for a brief Welcome Assembly for our Whole School.  Mr. Rosevear welcomed the students to another School year and commented on the many new improvements in the School buildings. He mentioned other relevant news and closed his speech by emphasising the importance of being kind to one another.

The School´s Head Boy (Felipe Crosa) and Head Girl (Paulina Seré) directed a few words to the audience, urging the students to study hard without forgetting to enjoy the years left at School.



El lunes 25 de Noviembre, se homenajeó a Lilian Sapelli, Tomás Brause, Alfredo Caubarrere, Julieta Leindeker por sus 70 años de egresados del Colegio.

Almorzaron en la Sede del Club Old Boys & Old Girls en donde, Mark Rosevear y Martin Wells les dieron la bienvenida y unas palabras en homenaje. Compartieron un almuerzo con miembros del Club: Marga Mezzera y Santiago Queraltó, en donde anécdotas y recuerdos de esa época del colegio.



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