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Seoul Foreign School celebrates 40 years of IB education in Korea

Seoul Foreign School is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its International Baccalaureate (IB) program this year. 

The school introduced the IB program in 1981, recognizing the program’s potential as the premiere international curriculum and one that would provide opportunities for graduates as they transitioned to university and beyond. 

After several decades of success with the IB Diploma Program (IBDP) for High School students, SFS adopted the Primary Years and Middle Years Program to establish itself as an IB continuum school for students of all ages. 

“The DP is the end goal for students. It helps guide how we educate in the earlier years so students can successfully transition into the DP,” said Dr. Nancy Le Nezet, who has been serving as the high school principal at SFS since August. 

According to the school, Le Nezet’s extensive experience influenced her strategic vision for the future of the IBDP at SFS. Le Nezet, a French native, has spent more than 24 years abroad in eight countries. 

Her career as an educator has spanned classroom teaching, work for the IB organization, leading IB workshops, and authoring the IB Philosophy textbook, widely used by educators internationally. 

As the culminating project of the student experience, IBDP gives a clear endpoint for the entire educational program, and dictates a student’s development in order to reach that endpoint. At SFS, 94 percent of students participate in and complete the IBDP. 

An integral part of the IBDP is the community service element.
“It’s what makes the IB an absolute gem,” she says. The Creativity, Activity, Service project engages students in purposeful activities with significant outcomes, and the focus is self-selected. 

Many students elect to take on projects with a significant element of service to others. These higher goals and aspirations are intended to foster young people who will change the world for the better throughout their lifetimes.
 
Seoul Foreign School’s high school Principal Dr. Nancy Le Nezet (second from left) participates in a science class. (Seoul Foreign School)
Seoul Foreign School’s high school Principal Dr. Nancy Le Nezet (second from left) participates in a science class. (Seoul Foreign School)

An increased focus on developing “the whole person” is part of a strategic effort by Le Nezet and the DP Coordinator at SFS, Piotr Kocyk.

With 40 years of the IBDP experience, SFS has a significant advantage in the DP program.
“We have an inspiring group of educators who are expert and passionate about what they’re doing,” Le Nezet said. 

“We did the math, and we have 63 years of IB leadership experience in the leadership team alone,” she said, adding that the school and parents become partners in making sure students are successful in their studies and go to universities that are the right fit for them.

(khnews@heraldcorp.com)


By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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