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IB News - 20th January 2017

20 January 2017

Find out what's been happening in the IB Academy

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CAS Update

The main CAS focus for many of our Y12 students has been the final preparation for the Tanzania expedition, departing next week. After months of work, the full amount of fund-raising of $300 per person has not only been reached but exceeded! This represents a huge achievement for the students before they embark on the journey. Students have also been preparing for the experience by reflecting on the nature of sustainable development, beginning to learn some basic KiSwahili and using the Global; Classroom to make early connections with the students from the US and Poland with whom we will share the experience. I look forward to sharing our experience when we return to Shanghai after Chinese New Year.

Student reporter – Jasmine Tang

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in China. In Chinese culture, the importance of Chinese New Year is equivalent to that of Christmas to western culture. It symbolises “a new start” as the Chinese word “Guo nian” means to pass the old year. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first lunar month till the 15th. The gathering of relatives and friends on Chinese New Year’s Eve is one of the most important days for China as they exchange greetings and wishes for the upcoming year. Usually in this meal they eat 汤圆 (tang yuan) as it symbolises the idea of a reunion. Greetings include many four word idioms such as “万事如意” (wan shi ru yi) which means “all the best” and “恭喜发财“ (gong xi fa cai) which means “May you be prosperous”. On the 15th they will celebrate the lantern festival by putting their wishes in the lantern and letting them go. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is calculated by the sun’s longitude and moon phases and compared to the normal calendar we use, it is delayed 2 months.

This week many Secondary students have been preparing for the Chinese New Year assembly on Friday the 20th January, in this assembly there will be some cultural performances like the lion dance, Chinese musical instruments being played and singing. In addition to this, there are also quizzes about Chinese food and Chinese culture as a whole. The lion dance is one of the key traditions that happen during Chinese New Year as it is intended to scare away evil spirits and bring luck to the audience. People usually mistaken the dragon dance as being the lion dance but it is different, dragon dancers usually use poles to hold the dragon, it usually requires more people and poles are used to lift the dragon whereas the lion dance is usually danced by 2 people.

On Sunday the 22nd there will be a Chinese Temple fair that will take place in school that will have many cultural products such as paper cutting, lantern making, Chinese calligraphy, handcraft sugar art that is for free (caramel) and much more.

Next week on Wednesday the 25th during lunch time 12:35 - 13:15 , there will be a charity sale that will take place in C block that will sell Chinese products such as Bubble tea, candy floss, dumplings, friend rice, xiao long bao and much more food. There are fliers across the Secondary building that has more information about this.


We would like to congratulate April Baird for successfully passing, with merit, the Grade 7 ABRSM violin examination. April is a talented musician who has also recently performed a movement of the four seasons with the Shanghai Baroque Chamber Orchestras at the Oriental Art Centre.

Year 13

The year 13s have had a busy start to the year and have been writing their mock examinations. It has been fantastic to observe the diligence and focus demonstrated by the cohort during this stressful period.  We would like to wish our year 13s all the very best for the results. After Chinese New year, the year 13s will be completing and submitting all internal assessment as well as writing their Theory of Knowledge essays. On Tuesday 17th January we were very fortunate to have secured a full day to support the students in the planning phase of the TOK essay. The students worked hard to unpack the prescribed titles and plan a cogent and critical response. The TOK essay requires students to submit a 1600 word reflective essay demonstrating their critical faculties in response to one of the six prescribed titles:

  1. “It is only knowledge produced with difficulty that we truly value.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  2. “Facts are needed to establish theories but theories are needed to make sense of facts.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  3. Should key events in the historical development of areas of knowledge always be judged by the standards of their time?
  1. “In the production of knowledge, traditions of areas of knowledge offer correctives for ways of knowing.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
  2. Given access to the same facts, how is it possible that there can be disagreement between experts in a discipline? Develop your answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  3. “Humans are pattern-seeking animals and we are adept at finding patterns whether they exist or not” (adapted from Michael Shermer). Discuss knowledge questions raised by this idea in two areas of knowledge.

Alumni Connect

It is always a pleasure when our alumni visit and share their success with us. Last year, Keisha Marie Chong graduated with an IB diploma in May 2016 and went on to attend Hawai’i Pacific University. The IB Diploma is widely accepted as the best preparation for tertiary education. As a result of Keisha-Marie’s distinguished academic achievement in the first semester she was admitted to Dean’s List.  The Dean’s List recognises the academic achievements of undergraduate students who have earned grade point averages of 3.5 or better.  The award of this honour and we would like to offer our congratulations on to Keisha Marie for this achievement. 

“Just as Hawai’i Pacific University has assumed a position of leadership in the academic community, you have proven yourself to be one of our most excellent students.” (Matthew Liao-Troth, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs).

In addition to being admitted to the Dean’s List, Keisha-Marie’s academic performance qualifies her for acceptance into an honour society. 

We done Keisha-Marie!

Higher Education

Save the date for this year’s Careers and Higher Education Fair which will take place on Wednesday 15th March from 13.30-16.00 in Sports Hall B.  We have over fifty universities from around the world registered to attend and there will be some interesting professions to inform and inspire the students.   Parents are welcome to join at any point between those times and browse the stalls, talking to both professions and university representatives.  We encourage all IB students to take part regardless of the decisions they may have already made about their futures.  The more information gained, the better!

With many of our Year 13s already finished with their university applications, our attention now turns to the Year 12s.  Those planning to study at universities requiring an interview such as Oxbridge, leading US and Korean universities, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary will be assigned a mentor after Chinese New Year who will help them prepare and guide them in their reading.

All Year 12 students will soon be assigned a BridgeU account which offers suggestions for the best-fit universities for them.  Parents are also able to gain access to this information and if you would like to be added to the account, please email me at to let me know. 

The University Trip to London is now booked and studentsaho have signed up will leave on Sunday 18th June with myself and Mr Tsui, returning on Saturday 24th June.  We plan to visit UCL, KCL, Imperial and SOAS followed by meetings with admissions staff at Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick universities.

Please remember that the summer holidays are the ideal time for enrichment opportunities such as work experience, service projects or summer camps.  These can help develop the key characteristics looked for by universities and provide valuable material for the student’s personal statement.  I would hope that all Year 12 students are embarking upon an opportunity of this nature over the summer holiday. 

Finally, it is also important that Year 12 students are reading a good quality newspaper on a daily basis and regularly reading journals in their chosen future subject such as The Economist or The National Geographic to demonstrate an interest and awareness of the latest developments within their field.  Please ask your sons and daughters what they are reading and maybe even discuss articles of particular interest with them.

Unsupervised access to the school premises

It has come to our attention that students are making use of the IB Academy and the school library in the evenings. Unfortunately, students cannot be allowed to remain on site without the appropriate adult supervision, as this can pose a Health and Safety risk. Therefore students will be allowed to use the IB Academy in the afternoons until no later than 5:30pm. After this time students will be asked to leave the site by teaching and security staff. Students will only be allowed to remain on site after this time with the express permission and under the direct supervision of a member of staff.

This also applies to weekends. Students will only be allowed on site for revision, extra lessons, sporting fixtures and the like, under direct appropriate supervision. To this end the security staff will be made aware of who is allowed on site outside of regular school hours.

We would very much appreciate your support in this matter.

Uniform Reminder

Thank you for your support. The uniform is improving however at times our students do not always arrive at school in attire that we would expect from our IB learners.

Dress Code

We believe that the NAIS Pudong dress code is very important for the whole school community. Excellent standards of dress reflect excellent standards in all areas of school life. We expect students to take pride in their appearance. In IB students are permitted to dress as adults would in a professional environment that is smart business attire. Please refer to the table below for specific examples of acceptable dress.



Top: Long or short sleeved collared shirt with tie

Top:  A blouse or shirt

Trousers:  Smart, tailored trousers (black, navy or grey)

Trousers:  Smart (black, navy or grey) No denim or leggings

Shoes:  Black or dark coloured

Skirt/dress:  Smart, of an appropriate knee length (black, navy or grey)

Flat shoes: Black or dark coloured

Standards of Dress:

  • Jewellery – Allowed: stud earrings, rings and bracelets. All jewellery must however be discreet and suitable for a professional environment. The school cannot accept responsibility for the loss of valuable jewellery.
  • Not allowed: facial piercings
  • Makeup - Allowed: subtle blusher and subtle eye liner. Nail polish is allowed if it is a subdued and subtle natural colour. Shellac and false nails are not allowed.

Not allowed: lipstick, heavy eye liner,

  • Hair – Not allowed: Mohicans, extravagant hair styles or multi coloured dye.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • January 25 Full Plan Essay Plan for written and verbal feedback

The IB Team would like to wish all our students and parents all the very best for the Chinese New Year.


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