World-beating scores yet again for Varndean College IB Students

July 10, 2019


Varndean College is once again celebrating outstanding International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma results, with this year’s cohort of students bound for leading universities including Durham, Bristol, UCL, Warwick, York, Sheffield and Leeds. Waiting for decisions from: Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, Imperial College, Edinburgh, King’s College London, St Andrews

Star performers include Anya Rehman-Wood (ex Downlands School), whose near-perfect score of 44 points out of 45 - comparable to five A*s at A Level - placed her in the top 1% of 169,000 IB students worldwide. Anya will study Medicine at University College London. Dylan Ponsford (ex Lewes Priory), with 42 points, will read Mathematics at the University of Warwick, while the 41 points achieved by Cardinal Newman’s Sophia Stamoulis and ex-Dorothy Stringer duo Freya Clarke and Ella Remande-Guyarde put all three of them in the top 2.5% of students worldwide. Ella will read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of York.

Nearly half of the 50 students achieved 36 or more Diploma points, regarded by universities as equivalent to AAA at A level; with nine gaining an impressive 40 points or more, equivalent of A*A*A* and placing them in the top 3% of students worldwide. This included Elsa Polo Laube (ex Hove Park) who has a place at Bristol to read Mathematics and Computer Science and Rebecca Harrison (ex Worthing High School) who will study English Literature at Leeds University.

Congratulations also go to all our IB students who secured places on Medicine degree courses. As well as Anya Rehman-Wood already mentioned above, this includes Daisy Beddall, Amalia Coburn, Louie Garnett, Ella Shepherd and Jessica Simpson.

These results come at the end of another successful academic year for the IB Diploma at Varndean College, praised recently by Ofsted who commended the “exceptional quality” of IB students’ work at the College, adding, “Students on the IB course make outstanding progress. Their achievement is exceptionally high and well above the international average.”

ib group

Varndean College is the only local state-run provider of the IB Diploma in the local area, which it has offered since 2008. This prestigious Diploma is one of the world’s most highly-regarded and academically rigorous educational programmes, requiring students to succeed in six subjects at advanced level - including English Literature, Mathematics, a Science, a Foreign Language and a Humanities subject - as well as completing a 4000-word extended essay on a subject of their choice and undertaking community work.

Lee Finlay-Gray, IB Diploma Coordinator, commented: “The IB Diploma is a demanding course, which yet again has inspired our students and teachers to excel. Our learners leave us as confident and articulate young people, independent, questioning and knowledgeable about the world around them. They are a credit to the College and the IB community.”

Dr Phil Harland, Varndean College Principal, added: “Congratulations to each and every one of our IB students, who have demonstrated not only intellectual prowess, but commitment and resilience. I am proud that our programme continues to go from strength to strength and now attracts a growing number of students from overseas, increasing the diversity of our inclusive and exciting learning community.”

Ex-IB student Ella Cohen-Haddon, who graduated last week from Oxford University with a degree in Oriental Studies (Persian with Urdu and Hindi) and who studied at Varndean College from 2013-15, said: “My enthusiasm for languages was really cultivated by the wonderful French and German teachers I had during my time on the IB at Varndean and more broadly I think that the IB encouraged me to think beyond the UK and Europe in terms of education and possibilities.”

Siva Kumari, IB Director General said: “Higher Education institutions and employers alike are telling us we need young people who can collaborate, communicate and think critically while creating new knowledge. Research suggests that an IB diploma prepares students with these skills. Our alumni are addressing the challenges humanity faces with open-minds and creativity.”

For further information, please contact:

Lee Finlay-Gray, IB Coordinator, 01273 508011,
Jackie Francis, Marketing Manager, 01273 546611,