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IB Diploma Programme News

03 December 2015

I would like to start by acknowledging the tremendous efforts made by Year 12 students in supporting the Christmas Fair last Saturday. I’m sure that those of you who were at that event will agree with me that it was a big success and the Year 12 students played an important role in staffing and organising activities.

  • Xmas Fair

Meanwhile, Year 13 students are currently getting feedback on their mock examinations.
This feedback is extremely important as it will provide them with information about what they should be working on in order to develop their skills before the final examinations in May. Over the Christmas holiday, students will be asked to complete more past papers in each of their subjects in order to build upon the lessons learned from the mocks.

On Thursday next week, end of term trackers will be issued. These will include comments from subject teachers as well as predicted grades, BISS targets, golden targets and effort grades. These will be the first trackers to include grades and targets for Year 12 students and will therefore give an important indication of their progress. As always, please do get in touch if you have any questions or issues that arise from these trackers.

Andrew Joy Head of IB Academy

Creativity, Activity, Service

This week Ling Coong, our CAS coordinator, asked Jacqueline Shen of Year 12 to reflect upon her experiences as a ‘CAS leader’

CAS Reflection - CAS LEADERS

What the CAS experience is about?

Being a CAS leader involves organizing fundraisers and raising awareness for Indochina Starfish Foundation, which is an international charitable organization that helps some of the poorest, most disadvantaged children in Cambodia. We organize events such as the Back To School Party, the Christmas Fair and the Halloween costume sales, in order to raise as much money as possible to help these children in need. This all takes a lot of time and commitment, as we spend every Wednesday lunch time discussing and planning the upcoming events.

Why you choose this CAS experience?

I chose to join the CAS Leaders group because I wanted to be engaged globally as well as within the community by helping out with creating fun and exciting activities, emailing companies for donations, and coming up with interesting ideas for games.

What do you enjoy about it?

The most enjoyable thing about being a CAS leader is coming up with different fascinating topics and themes by thinking outside the box which helps us to develop our growth mindset.

Also, it’s incredibly satisfying after we’ve completed our tasks, as seeing how successful the event was makes us feel proud of what we’ve done as well as feeling a sense of accomplishment from the amount of time and effort we have put in. Although being a CAS leader takes up a lot of our time, at the end of the day, it’s all worth it because helping others during their toughest times rewards us so much more.

What do you find challenging?

The last event we planned was the Christmas Fair, which was hosted at our primary school campus. It took us around a month just to figure out what activities we wanted to do, to convince companies to donate prices for our raffle baskets, and to recruit volunteers and teachers for our games. The most challenging thing would be when we received a no as an answer from a lot of the companies we had contacted, meaning we had to start all over, emailing even more people and ultimately, extra time and effort had to be put in. However overall, the challenges don’t stop us from having fun as we learn to overcome these little obstacles by working collaboratively as a team.

What have you learnt?

Through this experience, I think I have become more globally engaged, not just within my peers and teachers, but with the whole community. I think I have developed a growth mindset as every time there’s a problem, I tend to think outside my comfort zone with the help of my fellow CAS leaders. Therefore, I have learnt how to collaborate and communicate better in a group by delegating different responsibilities and furthermore, this developed my leadership and communicative skills. Overall, this all contributes to my growth as an IB student as many of the IB learner profile qualities were improved as being a balanced, inquired and open-minded thinker are some of the required skills to become a good CAS Leader.

Thank you for your time Jacqueline.

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

Higher Education

Medical and Veterinary Summer Schools

Any year 12 students interested in attending the St. George’s International Summer School (for those interested in Medicine, Biomedical Science or Health Science), or the Royal Veterinary College Summer School (for those interested in careers in veterinary medicine or biological science), please be aware that applications are now open. Places are offered on a first-come first-served basis, so in order to have the best chance of securing a place, you should try and make an application before January. Please see Mr Weston for more details.

To apply, visit:

St George’s, University of London: www.myin.to/SGULsummer.

Royal Veterinary College: www.rvc.ac.uk/summer16  

University Offers, Interviews and Applications

University offers from around the world are continuing to come in for our Year 13 students, and several students have been invited for interview at a number of institutions including the University of Oxford and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

All applications due to be submitted by the start or middle of January must be completed by the end of this term, and now that mock examinations have been completed, it’s important that Year 13 students who have not yet completed their applications turn their attention to this important task.

Coursework and examinations

With the mock exams now complete, students have been receiving feedback from their teachers on how they can improve. As well as listening to the teachers, students should be reflecting themselves on what went well and what can be improved. This should be in regards to the whole process from the revision done before the exams to their focus when they are sat down doing the exams.

Date Due


Work Due


French B

Written assignment draft 1


English A

Final IOCs


German B

German B 1st draft of written assignment


Spanish B

1st draft of written assignment


Chinese B SL

Written assignment first draft



Final submission of Theatre 15 page Process Portfolio


Dutch Language and Literature



Chinese B HL

Interactive oral


Chinese B SL

Written assignment 1st draft feedback


Chinese Language and Literature

IA second draft


English Language and Lit

Final draft of English Lang and Lit P1,2 and 4


English Literature

Final draft of written task for English Lit


Holiday homework

In the last week of term, students will be set holiday homework for each subject which will come in the form of past papers to practice. In an effort to help all those students who are jetting off to all four corners of the globe, we have put all the papers on moodle to give more room for Christmas gifts in suitcases rather than past papers!

IB Learner Profile

As it is Christmas, now is the perfect time to talk about the learner profile trait of ‘caring’. Students should be looking after one another especially in the subjects they are studying together. This is a team effort and showing care towards each other can help to strengthen some weaknesses as well as offer encouragement and motivation. The mock exam week is a tough week with exams coming thick and fast. Next summer with the exams being more spread out will allow a better environment for success!

‘Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.’

Thomas Housham IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

Explaining the Diploma Programme

Each week, we shall be focusing on one particular aspect of the Diploma Programme. This week I shall write about the Theory of Knowledge presentation, which follows on nicely from last week’s topic: the TOK essay.

The presentation comprises one third of the total TOK grade with the other two thirds coming from the essay. Overall, this results in a final grade from A to E.

Presentations are generally done at the very end of Year 12 and this year we have scheduled them for the final two days of term (29th and 30th June). This, of course, means that it is very important that students are here for those last two days. The presentation is used to apply TOK thinking to a real life situation which they will analyse in depth and from different perspectives.  In the long term, this will encourage students to take a more balanced, reflective and thoughtful approach to social, political, environmental or ethical issues.

Unlike the TOK essay, for which titles are selected from a prescribed list, the presentation gives students a free choice for their topic though TOK teachers advise them about which topics best fit the assessment requirements. The presentation is assessed in school by our TOK teachers using a marking instrument provided by the IBO. Students who are not happy with their initial grade may attempt a second presentation in Year 13.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy


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