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IB Academy News

15 January 2016

2016 has got off to a flying start in the IB Academy and it was good to welcome our students back from the Christmas holidays into this month’s Global Engage theme:  Sustainable Energy for All.  In Guidance lessons students will be looking at effective energy, universal energy provision and renewable energy sources and thinking of how they can make a difference to the world we in which we live.  To that end, the Student Leaders have initiated a Blue Thursday where all IB students can wear something blue such a wristband or tie that keeps the idea of sustainable energy for all at the forefront of our thoughts.

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We welcome new girl Hyun A Kim from Korea and it was our pleasure to get all the Year 12s and 13s together on Tuesday for the first of this term’s IB Assemblies in which Mr Parrish gave a very thought-provoking lecture on Mathematics:  Invented or Discovered.  With TOK embedded throughout the IB curriculum, this allowed the students the opportunity to consider the origins of Maths and its purpose.

All students are also being encouraged to think about how they can use the Global Engage theme to initiate further CAS activities as we move into Term 2, whether it is joining the Environment Group, participating in a club outside of school or initiating their own investigations.    There are also plenty of opportunities to develop CAS portfolios through this month’s Temple Fair for which the IB Choir are already practicing their repertoire and we look forward to their performance on the 31st January.  

In addition to this, the Year 13s have been completing their Viva Voces this week which signals the end of their impressive Extended Essay journey and the start for Year 12 students.   Tackling the challenges of the IB diploma, the Year 13 students have now turned their attention to the TOK Essay for which all the deadlines are on Managebac.

Whilst the deadline for UCAS entries is now closed, applications are still being processed for some US Colleges, European and Korean universities.  It is encouraging to see the Year 12s looking closely at the work experience and additional course options open to them so that they can bolster their personal statements to come. One student, Ashley Fung, took the opportunity to gain insight into life in the world of Media  and she reflects, “Even though I wasn't able to participate in the final project, Carol from ICS invited me for a tour of the studio. It was an amazing experience to see where news broadcasts are filmed and edited, and all the different pieces of equipment that are used for the production of a single broadcast. All the young journalists then brainstormed ideas that our one and a half minute news could be based on, such as the 12.12 shopping spree on Taobao, as well as international school competitions; events that we are familiar with and can formulate interview questions from. We all had a good time sharing ideas and hopefully another opportunity can arise similar to this one, so I am able to participate and get involved with the whole production and filming process.”  

View from the classroom

As ever, exciting things have been going on in the classroom, and, so far Year 12 Business Management students have started a new topic and their current unit explores the role of marketing, including its relationship with other business functions; the differences between marketing goods and marketing services; and the difference between commercial marketing and social marketing. Students are learning to identify the characteristics of a market and the importance of market share and market leadership. Throughout, the unit, students consider how the concepts of change, globalization, ethics, innovation and culture impact marketing activities. 

Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch artist, once said: "Great things are not done by impulse, but by series of small things brought together." Year 13 Business Management students are currently looking at features of lean production and quality management, exploring methods largely conceived by Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota to help streamline operations and processes to reduce all forms of waste and achieve greater efficiency. The unit ties in well with this month's global engagement theme of 'sustainability' as students consider the features of cradle to cradle as well as cradle to grave design and manufacturing, seeing how the industries such as fast fashion and food production are developing cultures of hyper consumption and waste. The big drive in business today is to seek innovative ways to develop a sustainable model of design and production based on natural processes where there is minimal waste, making it sustainable for future generations.

The Year 13 Music students have started exploring the Romantic style. They have furthermore started refining the musical links investigations. HL students are now aiming at completing their second composition submission. The final recital will take place in March 2016 and students have to finalise their repertoire so that they can submit the best possible performances."

Finally, in Science, Year 12 Physics students started their Astrophysics option unit this week and have been exploring the solar system and are measuring distances using parallax - a form of geometry which lets us calculate the distances to distant stars.  Year 12 Biology students have been using statistical analysis techniques to determine if the variation they observed in a population is due to chance or another factor and Year 13 have been looking at how species evolve and modelled this using the example of furry and furless rabbits in the Scottish countryside.

Global Campus and other competitions

There continues to be a steady stream of excellent opportunities for students to extend themselves beyond the classroom with this Term’s Global Campus competitions.


Week commencing 11th January -  First round of the Global Debate League

11th January – William Shakespeare Global Theatre Challenge Launch

18th January – Launch of the Global Challenge

25th January -  Be Ambitious Challenge 1 winners announced

25th January – Launch of the World Languages challenge 2

In addition, this weekend Six IB and one IGCSE student will represent the school in one of the biggest Model United Nations conferences in China, the Concordia International Model United Nations (CISSMUN). This will take place from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th January 2016. CISSMUN is a congregation of more than 800 high school students drawn from across the world and follows the rules of procedure of the famous THIMUN (The Hague Model United Nations) conference. Various topics of global interest will be under discussion and our delegates will represent Mexico and Kenya in the Human Rights Commission, Environment Committee and the General Assembly. The delegates have been working hard in preparation for this conference and we wish them all the best in their various committees. The delegations will be accompanied by Mr. Watson and Mr. Gichana.  We wish them all the very best of luck.

Dates for the diary

11 Jan – CCAs start term 2

15 Jan – Mock results distributed (Years 11 and 13)

15/16/17 Jan – Global Young Leaders conference

19 Jan – Academic Review Evening Year 13, 5 – 8pm

20 – 23 Jan – ACAMIS Basketball @ BIS Beijing

27 Jan - Academic Review Evening Year 11, 5 – 8pm

28 – 31 Jan – FOBISIA Swim Meet @ BIS Phuket

31 Jan – Chinese Temple Fair, 11am – 3pm

2 Feb – Yr 10 – 13 Art Gallery Visit

4 – 6 Feb – U19 Football & Basketball @ Regents Pattaya

5 Feb – Dress up day for Chinese New Year and half term break starts (to 15 Feb)

Mr Bevan Graham

Head of IB Academy