Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Local girl achieves one of world’s highest scores

A TEENAGE girl from Harpsden has achieved one of the highest scores in the world in

A TEENAGE girl from Harpsden has achieved one of the highest scores in the world in her International Baccalaureate.

Ciara Buckley, 18, scored 44 out of a possible 45, putting her in the top 0.6 per cent of people who took the two-year diploma course.

She could still achieve a perfect mark if she goes ahead with plans to ask for a remark of her maths paper, which was two per cent short of the grade required for the full seven points instead of the six she was awarded.

Ciara said: “I’m thinking about getting it remarked. I’m waiting to get the paper back to see how I did on the questions.

“The maths exam is known for being particularly difficult. I was only expecting to get six points but I feel like getting it checked just for my personal pride.”



Ciara studied for the IB at the Abbey School in Reading as an alternative to A-levels. It is split into six subject areas, worth seven points each, plus a “theory of knowledge” presentation and a 4,000-word essay worth three points. The six subject areas are separated into three higher level exams and three standard level exams.

Ciara, who achieved 11 A* grades at GCSE, said: “IB let me fit everything in that I was interested in. It was less restrictive with the way it was structured. I liked the fact it looked at different cultures and that was built into the curriculum.

“I’d been on holidays to different places and looked at different ways of life and that interested me.

“I did higher exams in maths, English and economics. My three standard exams were biology, chemistry and French.

“My presentation was on the history, development and organisation of money. My essay was, ‘Is there is such thing as a neutral question?’

“All the IB courses would have a cultural element, so I wrote about youth unemployment in Spain for economics.”

Ciara splits her home life between her father Dan Buckley in Caversham and her mother Eileen and stepfather Duncan McClure Fisher in Harpsden. She has five siblings, Rory and Daniel, 27, Darragh, 25, Niamh, 22 and Saoirse, 13.

Last month, she started a year-long placement scheme with technology giant IBM at Bedfont in Hounslow. Only 20 people are selected for the scheme and she secured her place before her exams.

She has deferred a place to study for a BSc in economics at the University of Warwick.

Ciara is not sure what career path she wants to take but has her eye on financial journalism.

“I’ve grown to love English after the IB,” she said. “I really enjoyed it but then I loved all my courses.”



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