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Oakham School Archives

Explore the history of the school through the documents and objects that have been left behind...



What is the IB?

The IBO is a “educational, non profit-making, Swiss foundation” with the aim of developing “a shared academic experience, critical thinking and intercultural understanding amongst young people”. It is a programme, equivalent to UK’s A Levels, for pupils aged 16—18.  In the year 2000, the programme was already being taught in over 90 countries.

When did the programme begin at Oakham?

In the late 1990s, Oakham School partnered with hundreds of companies and industries in the UK in order to see what skills pupils would need in the current workplace and a workplace in 2020. The project aimed to “define a new school curriculum, based around the needs of the workplace”.

The first 50 IB students began their course in September 2001 and the first director of the programme was Dr. Jill Rutherford.

Jill came to the school in September 2000 specifically to direct the IB programme. She helped to lay the strong foundations of the IB at Oakham School by training and persuading students, and staff of the benefits of the programme. Jill is widely praised as being the person whose knowledge, drive and experience helped to make the IB a success. Rutherford was also a biology teacher as well as an IB teacher for Ecosystems and societies. Furthermore, Jill was a tutor, sailing coach, sixth form admissions mentor and member of the senior management team.