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IB News - 4 March

03 March 2016

For the IB students the last fortnight has passed in a flurry of IA deadlines, TOK interactions and EE meetings whilst our budding thespians have been treading the boards in preparation for next week’s Beauty and the Beast. Such is the nature of the IB that our students become proficient and skilled at managing conflicting and multiple deadlines with impressive reliability.   




  • Business
  • Business
  • French

Last weekend, some of our Year 12 students were fortunate enough to attend the We Stand Summit in Suzhou.  They joined hundreds of fellow international students in this game-changing experience, discovering how to lead their best lives, uncover their purpose and learn how to lead positive change from exactly where they are.  They heard from renowned leaders including: Tyler Waye and Graeme Watt. Impressively, our very own Year 12 student, Ashley Fung, received the award for Personal Leadership and this will be recognized in the next IB Assembly.  Our students and teachers have returned positive and empowered and we very much hope to attend again next year.

Next week’s Careers and University Fair offers an excellent opportunity for all Secondary Students, especially Years 12 and 13, to be introduced to a wide variety of successful professionals from all walks of life whether it is Automotive Design, Nursing, Dentistry, Law, Finance, Marketing, Landscape Architecture and many more.  There are also fascinating workshops available to attend focusing on Fashion Designing, Finance and the RMB and Automotive Design.  Our final two workshops will be delivered by unbeaten world champion boxer Michele Aboro and there will be a panel interview with four successful and entrepreneurial businesswomen who have created their own opportunities in Shanghai. 

The afternoon will be highly informative and eye-opening and we expect all Year 12 and 13 students to attend.  For Year 12 students, they will also have the opportunity to browse over 35 university stalls and discuss the various programmes on offer. It promises to be an excellent afternoon, so please come along with your children.

Finally, we hope that you all have your tickets for Beauty and the Beast next week whose music can be heard ringing around the corridors of C block throughout the school day.  Our students have worked incredibly hard and we are sure that their dedication and commitment will pay off on the night.

 View from the classroom

Our Year 12 Student reporters have been busy taking notes on what has been happening inside the classrooms over the last fortnight.

At the beginning of this week the focus in our French B classes was on grammar: we discussed the importance of grammatical precision in writing and studied a new tense: the Conditional, and did some exercises on the use and formation of this tense.

This week we were also introduced to a new topic: the environment.

 We started off this topic by learning new vocabulary and definitions and  by doing lexical exercises, as well as having debates and discussions regarding environmental issues and their gravity in our world.  We learnt lots of new words and were given many resources to aid our revision at home.

This week I particularly enjoyed the discussion time we had to debate which environmental problem was the most pressing, as we got a chance to use the new vocabulary we had learnt and to express ourselves in French. I was proud of how easy we found it to carry on a conversation completely in French. I also enjoyed the friendly competition that was created while doing grammar exercises when Ms Malcolm set prizes for anyone who achieved perfect scores.

Meanwhile, as part of the IB Business and Management course we are required to write an IA (internal assessment), this requires us to conduct surveys and collect primary research from a business. In preparation for our IA, we conducted a survey about a chosen topic and went through the process of collating the data in order to learn the appropriate skills. Our class was split into three groups and the chosen topics of survey were: the senior end-of-year trip, an electronic learning journal and a student-lead school shop. All of these topics were unrelated and hypothetical as we focused more on the collecting and analyzing of the data rather than the topic itself. In our groups, we each conducted a 10-question survey then used one sampling method to obtain the results. Once we had the results of our survey, each group created a PowerPoint and presented to the class. 

The most challenging part of this task was collecting all the data and making it into graphs. It took longer than expected to collect all the data, showing us that we need to manage our time efficiently during the IA process. Overall, the project was a lot of fun and everyone had a great time presenting about their chosen topic. My group in particular, looking at the electronic journal, got a lot of useful information out of this project and are looking to follow up our business idea and hopefully turn it into a school App as part of a CAS project!

In the English classroom, we have been learning to analyse small texts from a poem and, not only did we learn how to do so, we also had great fun because we were supposed to go to each table and add to what they had already written about the phrase from the poem. Right now we have just finished analysing three of Wilfred Owen’s poems. It was very interesting, except it was about WAR, WAR AND WAR!! It was good to hear in the beginning that people do not give up and join the army but it started to get very depressing towards the end of the first stanza of the first poem we did! So from the next poem onwards, we kept our expectations towards happiness really low and our expectations towards the hopelessness and depression in the poem increased a lot, which is actually really sad, because if you look at it, the main theme is that war brings not only sadness, but if you come back half-legged after a horrible gas attack, where you once used to be a good football player, no one bothers about you! Also the man who I just described was loved by all and, all of a sudden, was not respected and was left alone! We got into all this so deeply that we could literally tell each other what the army men would be feeling right now and how fortunate we were!

Analysing poems was not really new to most of us but, in due course, we realised that it was not that easy either. And not only that, we had to analyse a book as well!! It was pretty hard because until now all we all have been doing is just reading a book but we never knew that we could analyse a book too!!

Another main thing that we all found difficult was to read the book “The Road” because it was about someone (yes they did not mention the name of the characters of the book until the end!), somewhere and they keep walking and walking and eating and resting but we then realised that it had a lot of meaning to it, this was really fascinating.

Finally, in History, the year is divided into two classes, but this week we only had the one teaching about Japan and its invasion of China. This week we explored the events before and during the attack of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese in 1941, as well as its implications in the war and its effects on foreign relations. Japan’s invasion of China and need for resources to keep going (primarily oil), caused them to turn their attention to the Dutch East Indies for those things. An oil embargo placed by the US led them to think it was meant for them to go to war with the US and ultimately to attack. This caused the US to declare war on Japan, and, as some argue, to Japan’s defeat in 1945.

The events and reasons that caused Japan to attack Pearl Harbor were a mystery to me until I was taught what they were last week. I was also very interested by a source analysis task we were set afterwards, which consisted of comparing and contrasting two sources regarding the attack. I enjoyed this because it gave me an idea of what is debated amongst historians regarding the attack and the reactions of foreign countries towards it.

Many thanks to Kavya, Mathilde, Aimée and Jennifer for allowing us this insight into their lessons.

Global Campus:


  • 21st March - Visual Arts competition launched
  • 21st March - Creative Writing competition winners announced

Dates for the diary

8 – 11 March – Beauty and the Beast performances each evening

10 March – Careers and University Fair

14 – 18 March – Book Week

17/18 March – UK National Space Academy visit

21 – 25 March – International Week

24 March – International Music Evening

25 March -  Tanzania trip departs (year 12)

25 March – Term 2 reports distributed

25 March – end of Term 2 (re-opens Tuesday 5 April)

Mrs K Watson

IB Pastoral and Higher Education