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IB Diploma Programme News

08 December 2015

We have now reached the end of a busy and successful term for both Year 12 and Year 13 students. 

Year 13 students have completed large sections of their coursework, finished their Extended Essays, performed Theory of Knowledge presentations and completed their mock exams. This puts them in a very strong position heading into term 2 and will allow them to focus on revision at an early stage.

Over the Christmas holiday, it is important that students strike a balance between recharging batteries and doing the work necessary to build upon the mock exams. We are asking Year 13 students to do past papers in most of their subjects and these can be found on the school moodle pages.

Year 12 students have completed the important first term of the programme and I would strongly recommend that some time is spent over the vacation reviewing some of the learning and reading ahead in readiness for the second term. This would also be a good moment to ensure that CAS reflections are up to date.

By the time you read this, end of term trackers will have been issued. Please do spend some time discussing targets with your sons or daughters and helping them to use the feedback from teachers to guide their learning. If you have any questions or issues about the trackers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Creativity, Activity, Service

During Activity Week this year, all Year 12 students will be going to Cambodia as part of the Creativity Activity Service element of their IB course. This trip will give an insight into the poverty of rural and urban communities in Cambodia, showing the day-to-day struggle for amenities and facilities, which we take for granted. We will be undergoing two different service activities whilst in Cambodia. Visiting the Indochina Starfish Foundation Schools which BISS Puxi has had a long working relationship with, the whole of Year 12 did a fantastic job at raising money for Starfish Foundation during the Christmas Fair – raising over 95,000 RMB! 

As we are taking a big group of students this year, we will be splitting the students into two groups.

In order to assist your planning, the dates of the trip will be:

Group 1: Friday 17 June – Sunday 26 June (arriving back in Shanghai early morning)

Group 2A: Saturday 18 June – Monday 27 June (arriving back in Shanghai early morning)

Group 2B: Saturday 18 June – Wednesday 29 June (Arriving back in Shanghai early morning)

Students that study Geography will be in group 2B as they will be staying in Phnom Penh longer to carry out their Geography fieldtrip. All other students will be assigned to a group in January next year.  A letter with more details will be sent home in April.  

In order to enter Cambodia, students will need at least six months validity in their passport from the date of entry.  Please take this opportunity to renew passports if needed.     

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ling Coong CAS Coordinator

Higher Education

Well done to all students who have completed University applications this term.

Students should be aware of the deadlines that are approaching both in the holidays and at the start of term. For applications needing to be sent after 5 January, students should ensure that any Personal Statements, Common App or College essays should be sent to the HE team in good time so they can be checked.

January 1 – deadline for many Common App Applications to the USA

January 3 – deadline for HKUST

January 5 – deadline for Chinese University of Hong Kong

January 15 – UCAS deadline for equal consideration for UK applicants

January 31 – deadline for many Canadian Universities

Have a good holiday!

Mark Weston Higher Education Adviser

Coursework and examinations

Welcome to the holidays! With the three week vacation almost upon us, many students in the school are looking forward to going home and getting away from school. However, that might not be the case with Year 13 in particular as they have holiday homework as well as Internal Assessments to be working on. While we want students to stay on top of their work, it is also important for them to recharge their batteries and have some time to reenergise themselves. This will help with their motivation in the next important term. We hope that the Year 13 group can plan their holiday well to include both work and rest.

For Year 12 students, they may not see this time as demanding like the Year 13 students, however they can still reflect on what has gone well this term and what can be improved. Their tracker will aid them in this and we encourage them to set themselves some targets for this term to help them with their growth mind-set.

IB Learner Profile

With all that I have mentioned above it is important for students to be balanced this Christmas. Please don’t leave all work to the last weekend as this will make the first few weeks of the holiday less enjoyable as you become more stressed about the work you haven’t done. Plan ahead and spread the work out allowing you time to enjoy time with family and recharge your batteries.

Below are the deadlines for Year 13 students for just after the holiday. Remember you will enjoy your holidays much more if you plan ahead and spread the work out across the three weeks.



Work Due


Korean Literature

Written task 1 final draft


Business and Management

Internal assessment progress check and informal feedback



2nd cut screening


French B

Final draft for written task


German B

Final draft of written assignment


Spanish B

Final draft of written assignment

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 Interdisciplinary Subjects.

The vast majority of subjects belong to one of the six subject groups. Students who take the full Diploma are required to take one subject from each group, although it is permitted to take a second subject from groups 1 to 5 as an alternative to a subject in group 6 (the arts).

Interdisciplinary subjects are those which belong to more than one subject group and which therefore can be used to meet the requirements more flexibly. BISS offers one such subject in Environmental Systems and Societies which can be included in the Diploma Programme as either a Group 3 or a Group 4 subject. We choose to offer this in an option bloc with Science subjects which gives students with a humanities leaning an opportunity to take this subject which has elements of both humanities and science.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy


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