IB score and School Evaluation

Due to our very specific programme, with its available dual accreditation, there are a choice of five possible routes; any one of which will achieve that final graduation from Open Gate:

  • The Czech State Maturita; in its present form this comprises two sections, the State, and the Profile. The State part requires the candidate to choose a minimum of two subjects, (Czech Language in combination with either English Language or Mathematics), which are then examined objectively with all schools being provided with the same set of subject-specific standardized questions at the same time. The language examinations comprise three sections; the didactic test, the written essay paper and the listening/oral part. Taken together the results from these three sections are graded with a percentile which is in turn then converted to the standard Czech traditional 1 through 5 grading system. The Profile, or School section of the Maturita is made up of a minimum of three subjects as chosen by the individual student – these subjects can be the same as those chosen for the State section. In theory therefore the following situation could obtain; Czech Language with English in the State section, and Czech Language with English in the Profile/School section plus any one of another subject choices. Or perhaps: Czech Language and English in the State section, with Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry in the Profile/School section. This is the situation as it is found in the vast majority of schools throughout the Czech Republic.
  • International Baccalaureate IB – this demanding package of education requires the student to study six academic subjects: The English Language, Czech Language, Mathematics, one Humanities subject, one Science, and one further of the individual student’s choice. Added to those six there are these requirements: CAS (Community work), EE – the Extended Essay which is a research essay of 4,000 words devoted to the subject of student choice, and TOK or Theory of Knowledge dealing with a combination of Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy demanding two research essays being presented for external moderation. The assessment of each individual subject is as follows: two basic parts – Internal assessment by the school itself making up between 20 to 30% of the total grade, and External assessment making for the balance up to 100%. All exam papers and written work required by External assessment are sent to the examinations and assessment centre located in Cardiff, Wales. There accredited teams of markers address themselves to the task of awarding final grades to each piece of written work. Incidentally, Open Gate can boast four accredited such markers employed by the IB to so mark and grade students’ exam papers and essay work from around the globe. Naturally all in total anonymity. The Internal Assessment results are sent for external moderation in April, with examination papers being sat in May – these are then externally marked in June with the results being delivered to the school in July. The results are represented on a points system – the highest number of points possible for each individual subject being 7.Thus for 6 subjects a maximum of 42 points is possible which can then be augmented by a further 3 (one point each for successful completion of each of CAS, the EE and TOK) making for a total maximum of 42 + 3 = 45! Last year a total of 67,492 students from 2,211 schools sat for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Of these students only 4.6% managed more than 40 points, a paltry 0.3% reached that magic 45 points proving that to scale these heights requires the greatest of exceptional talents. And the minimum required to scrape a “Pass” is 24points.
  • The Czech Maturita + IB Certificate Combination: the IB provides for those candidates not wishing to sit for the whole Diploma package to opt for taking individual subjects which on successful completion are awarded individual subject-specific certificates rather like the traditional British A Level examination. However, only a minority of universities will accept individual IB certificates as means of entry. But in a combination of Czech State Maturita enhanced with a threesome of individual subject specific certificates the student has a most powerful tool with which to storm those ivory towers of academe. Universities worldwide look upon this combination favourably and a candidate with this will have distinct advantage over a candidate simply holding State qualification.
  • The International Baccalaureate with The State Examination from Czech Language; due to the fact that Czech legislature does not recognize the IB an exception was granted to Open Gate by the Ministry of Education, and that: in order for the Czech authorities to grant the IB the same status as the State Maturita the candidate must sit for the IB in combination with successfully passing the Czech Language requirements of the Maturita.
  • The total International Baccalaureate Diploma package plus the whole Czech Maturita; well, this brutal combination is the one chosen by the majority of Open Gate students. Unbelievable. The reasons? It depends upon what the students want for themselves. Let’s look at some examples:

I’m going to study abroad so I want the whole IB Diploma, (some 70% of OG students fall into this category). I won’t use the exception granted by MSMT, instead I’ll also do the whole State Maturita, (it’s traditional, family expect it, and why not - it’s a piece of cake).

I’m going to study abroad so I want the complete IB package. I’m going to take advantage of the MSMT exception and so I’ll just sit for the Czech Language bit of the State Maturita. Over the last five years only five students chose this option of whom three were from this year’s cohort.

I’m going to study abroad so I want the entire IB Diploma, I’m not going to bother with the Czech State Maturita. Over the past five years only three students opted for this.

I’m going to study in the Czech Republic so I don’t need the whole IB Diploma. I’ll do a few IB certificates, mainly languages, and top it all up with the State Maturita. Depending upon the year between 30 to 50% OG students have taken advantage of this option.

Since the introduction of the IB at Open Gate the option of just sitting for the Czech State Maturita package has so far not been taken up by anyone.

The month of May therefore is that grueling period of exams plus exams. The dates of the exam sessions – both IB and State are set in stone and cannot be moved by the school which inevitably leads to some days being overladen with IB and State exams together. Almost all of our students have a menu of assessments made up of both IB and State so this month is a real monster for them. One must also bear in mind the fact that the pressures upon them are not just of the physical or time management nature, but also pressures and stresses of applying the correct tactics at the correct time. The two exam systems are so different in their expectations – the IB expects essay work, the State yet again something different. To switch from one set to another is exhausting.

Current news

The Czech School Inspection Report from 22 July 2010

The Czech School Inspection control took place at Open Gate from 4-7 July, 2010. The inspection primarily centred on mathematical skills and environmental education provided at Open Gate. Furthermore, the control concerned the compatibility of the school's own and the state educational programs.

The final report concerning Open Gate states: "... legal entity administering the school receives an over-all exceptional evaluation."

The complete School Inspection Report (in Czech Language) can be downloaded here.