Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
November 19, 2021

What’s Happening in the IB Years Now?

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What’s Happening in the IB Years Now? IB Coordinator Catherine Yates shares details about the current events in the IB programme.

Dear BISW Families,

It is a busy time in the IB Office, as Year 12 and 13 students have their programs together and have been sending out college and university applications. Some of the first internal assessments (IAs) for each subject have begun for students, who are putting final submissions together. Every piece of coursework—including the Extended Essay; the Theory of Knowledge; and the Creativity, Activity and Service—must be completed for students to be entered as a diploma candidate for IB requirements. In short, a lot is happening quickly.
Teachers and students are supporting one another through the process. Students are reaching out across different subject areas to ask for help with college essays, and there is collaboration in study groups and a ‘buzz’ around the IB Lounge.
At this time of year, it isn’t unusual to see many teachers around or to find IB students looking intently at their screens as they get everything in order. That is because so much of the college applications process, for which we at BISW use a system called UniFrog, is now done online. Years ago, there was a physical form to fill out and mail. Today, it seems everything is done online. For example, many interviews are now on Skype, Zoom, or other online platforms. There can be a steep learning curve for the adults involved in the process.
Lessons are gearing up towards content completion for Year 13 students, and we have a significant number of opportunities available to contribute to our well-rounded learning experiences for students. These lessons include practicals/experiments in Science, essay technique in English, the data-gathering field trip for Geography students, the TOK exhibitions and essays, and the giant role-on-the-wall revision posters in History that display the events and contents of key figures like Stalin and the Tzars.
Meanwhile, Year 12 students have their work cut out for them as well. There are Maths and Model United Nations competitions to be enjoyed—or perhaps endured, depending on the outcome. There are novel experiences in new classes such as ESS and Psychology, which we offer to enrich student learning. Then, Visual Arts students are beginning their final pieces already, as one will take hundreds of hours to crochet. Students can see that the IB is demanding but incredibly satisfying. They can run Chess Club or Cycle Club, be part of a sports team, learn 6 subjects, and volunteer outside of school to help one of our partner charities, such as Bread for the City. All these activities create a rich and impressive college application package. It is a year in the making, but it is diligence that pays off.
We continue to be proud of the students who receive offers from colleges and universities worldwide. But, perhaps what is even more satisfying is hearing from alumni who are using their IB knowledge and skills from day one of their undergraduate studies. The feedback tells us that BISW students value the IB learning journey, especially once they are through it and can see how many worthwhile experiences the two-year program gave them.

Catherine Yates

BISW IB Coordinator