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Year 11 News - 22nd April 2016

21 April 2016

As I write this, I cannot quite believe that it is my final newsletter before our wonderful Year 11 students go on study leave to prepare for the most important exams of their educational career so far. The year has absolutely flown by. Little did I know, when I arrived in August excited to be their Year Leader, that I would have the privilege of working with such a fantastic group of students. As the year has progressed, I have continually been amazed and touched by their strong work ethic; their sense of comradeship and camaraderie; the maturity and confidence they have shown and by their friendly and positive way of interacting with their teachers. Their behavior has been impeccable and I have been proud of them at every step of the way. I wish them all the very best of luck with their exams, and look forward to seeing them move into their IB studies and become an equally amazing group of Year 12s!

I thought I would take this opportunity to look back over the year and to reflect on some of the moments that have made it a great one. I have attached some photos of these moments. Some highlights include:

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Fundraising for Project Week, including bake sales with Fernanda’s amazing cupcakes, and most notably the very popular Pumpkin Competition. Who can forget the enthusiasm with which the students tackled this challenge- not to mention the distinctive odour of pumpkin that permeated my classroom for days?!

Project Week itself. I cannot emphasise enough how impressed I was with the students during this week: with their determination to complete the water pipe project, working incredibly hard; with their cheerful attitude in the face of very gloomy weather conditions; with their teamwork and support for each other throughout the week. Special mention goes to Michelle and Duncan, who both ‘faced their fears and did it anyway’ during the week; to Arseniy for his amazing ability to carry two full buckets of cement up a hill without apparent effort; and to Ben, who very sadly was unable to join us due to injury, but who remained remarkably philosophical about it and did not complain once.

The Christmas Assembly. One of my most enjoyable moments so far at NAIS Pudong was watching the Year 11 students (notably MK, Bryan and Eric, as I recall!)  getting enthusiastically involved in the singalong. As I have mentioned before this year, it is so refreshing to find a group of older students engaging in whole-school activities such as this with as much verve as the younger ones.

Beauty and the Beast. What a fantastic show this was, and how proud I was to see so many Year 11 students involved. Massive congratulations to Michelle, Aurora, Gabrielle, Eunice, Chloe D and Louise F for their stunning performances on stage; to Charlie, MK and Matej for their talented contributions to the orchestra; and perhaps most of all, to Frances and Nicola for their amazing achievements as Assistant Directors. This is a show that will be talked about for years to come.

Sports achievements throughout the year. It always impresses me how many Year 11 students are able to successfully juggle academic achievement with being incredibly active and dedicated to the school teams. Well done to all those who have been involved in at least one (and often several!) sports teams throughout the year: Efe, Fernanda, Filippo, Eric, Amanda, Louise F, Sterre, Giselle, Olivia, MK, Gabrielle, Gauthier, AhRa, Matej, Shreya, Jeongwoo, Eunice, Charlie, Ben Lara N, Teo, Louise R, Joaquin, Valerie, Jule, Jasmine and Bryan.

The Form Group Assemblies given by each of the Year 11 forms. Year 11A’s assembly on Equality and Diversity, 11B’s assembly on Relationships and 11C’s assembly on Drugs and Alcohol all provided food for thought, as well as being entertaining and well-planned. I would like to thank all the students for their involvement in these, but special mention goes to Olivia and Jule, both of whom went ‘above and beyond’ in leading on their respective assemblies.

I would also like to thank my Form Tutors, Mrs Platt (11A), Mr Mills (11B) and Mr Groark (11C) for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. They have been a great team and it has been an absolute pleasure working with them.

View from the Classroom

The View from the Classroom is a bit different this week, as students have obviously been completing revision activities in every lesson. I have therefore asked three students to contribute to a special interview feature on revision.

How are you organising your revision?

Efe: Overall, I think my revision is going really well, because I am able to break all my subjects into small chunks which are manageable, so that I can have an hour for each subject per day. This allows me to work on multiple subjects every day, so that I can cover different topics every day. In lessons, we are also working on past papers, which is helping me to improve.

What does your typical evening look like during this revision period?

Chloe D: So basically, every evening I come home and I mostly spend at least half an hour with my dog, because I love my dog! I walk her around my compound, which helps me relax. Then after I come home, I spend at least two hours revising by making notes and by completing practice exercises. Then I take a break for food, and then after I’ve eaten I come back to it for about an hour and a half. I find that I am revising more for certain subjects than others - mostly for subjects that I find more challenging.

How are the teachers helping you to revise in lessons?

Rachit: Teachers are helping us revise in class by giving us past papers. For example, Miss Jeffery has been giving us a past paper each Friday in English. We are also completing past papers in maths and science subjects. I actually think it’s pretty helpful, because I have jumped three grades just by doing past papers alone! So I think I’m pretty well on track to get good grades in my IGCSEs.

Talk from Nottingham and Oxford Universities

We were also lucky enough to have a visit from Nottingham and Oxford Universities this week. Several Year 11 students attended and gained valuable information. Here is Louise R’s description of the event:

Louise R: My ambition is to go to Oxford University to study law, so that’s why I was interested in attending the talk about Oxford. In the presentation they talked mainly about the admissions process. Obviously, because Oxford is such a well-regarded university, they did not need to discuss why you would want to go to Oxford, so they focused mainly on what you needed to do to get in.

They spoke about how the deadline to apply to Oxford was earlier than for other universities (15th October), which I thought was really useful, as many people would not have known this. If you want to get work experience onto your Oxford application, you have to have completed it by this deadline, so that was very useful information. They were also talking about the different IB scores that you needed for different subjects, which I thought was really useful, as you can’t always find that information online.

Attending this talk has confirmed my ambition to go to Oxford. They spoke in the presentation about the tutorial style of teaching, which I thought sounded really good, and the score that I need to get in to do Law is the score that I was hoping to aim for anyway. It sounds like a really good thing to try for and I really want to be successful!

Dates for your Diary

Mon 25 April             IGCSE PE Practical Exam

Tues 26 April            IGCSE ICT Practical Exam A

Weds 27 April           IGCSE English Second Language Oral exams

Thurs 28 April          IGCSE ICT Practical Exam B

Thurs 28 April          Sports Awards Evening (Years 9 – 13), 6 – 8pm

Fri 29 April                Last day of classes for Years 11 and 13

                                      Year 11 Awards Assembly, 9.30am in the Auditorium

Mon 2 May               No school except for IB students completing exams

Tues 3 May              IGCSE exams start and continue until Friday 17 June

Thurs 12 May           Stage and Screen Evening

Tues 17 May             IGCSE Art moderation and exhibition

Sat 4 June               Summer Fun Day

Thurs 9 June           Dragon Boat Festival – school closed but IGCSE exams continue

Fri 10 June               CCAs end for Term 3

Fri 17 June              IGCSE exams finish, and Year 11 Celebration Evening

Mon 20 June           IB Induction begins (Year 11) until Weds 22 June

Fri 24 June              School ends 12 noon


Please return the IB Options Form confirmation to your child’s form tutor as soon as possible and certainly before Friday 29th April.

Please also return your payment for the Year 11 Celebration on 17th June to Amber in the Uniform Shop by Monday 25th April.

I would like to welcome all of you to the Year 11 Awards Assembly on Friday 29th April at 9.30am. It promises to be a special event and I would love to see as many of you there as possible.

Thank you for reading and, as ever, do get in touch if you have any concerns or questions. My very best wishes to all of you and a big thank you for your support of Year 11.

Anna Jeffery, Year 11 Leader