Østerbro International School embraces full IB transition

City establishment to become one of only two schools in Denmark to offer all three IB programmes

Just over five years ago, the Østerbro International School in Copenhagen opened its doors for the first time to 60 students. Now the school has 280 students and recently announced that it is opening a high school that will enable the school to offer the entire International Baccalaureate (IB) education, from kindergarten to graduation.

The Weekly Post sat down with the head of the school, Nedzat Asanovski (NA), and the IB Diploma Programme co-ordinator, Allison White (AW), to discuss the school’s progress.

How is the transition to becoming a full IB school progressing?
NA: At the moment we are considered a candidate school for all three programs of the IB: the Primary Years Programme (PYP – kindergarten to grade 5), the Middle Years Programme (MYP – grades 6 to 10) and the Diploma Programme (DP – grades 11 and 12).

AW: We have a grade ten class right now who are starting their final year of the MYP and will be transitioning into the diploma courses next year.

How important is it for the students to be able to complete the full IB course at ØIS?
NA: In the past, our students had to go to other IB schools to finish off their IB studies after the ninth grade, but then the parents expressed an interest for the school to open a high school as well because it wasn’t optimal that our students had to transfer to other schools after the ninth grade.

The school is quite new, having opened its doors as recently as 2009. How far have you come?
AW: We’ve made a lot of progress in a very, very short amount of time with the implementation of two IB programmes along with a third starting this year. Our school is almost completely full at the moment, and we are looking at possibly expanding in the future.

NA: Yes, and we just opened our new library and media centre and embrace the use of technology. All of our 10th grade students have Apple MacBook Airs, while the middle-year students have iPads.

What are the benefits of being able to offering a full IB education?
AW: It’s very important to us. We will be one of only two schools in the whole of Denmark to offer all three IB programmes. So this will solidify our position as being one of the best options for international students in this country. And it’s very positive that the students have a group of teachers that move up with them through the years because you have continuity and develop close relations between the students and teachers.

What makes the IB such a valuable education platform?
AW: The IB education is designed to be globally mobile. So you know it will be the same or close to the same in other cities. Students who do well in their IB Diploma exams can often take those results and skip the first year of university in those subject areas.