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IB Diploma Programme News

14 January 2016

I would like to begin by highlighting the dates for our Student, Parent, Teacher Conferences (SPTC) for this term. 

  • IB Academy

The Year 13 SPTC will take place on February 24 and will be a good opportunity to discuss how your son or daughter can use the best revision strategies in the lead up to the final examinations. The Year 12 SPTC takes place on April 7.

This week, we shall be issuing Personal Revision Planners to our Year 13 students as a tool to organise their preparation for the final examinations in May. It will include sections to draw up revision timetables, mark completed past papers and to organise topics for revision.

Year 12 received their first introduction to the Extended Essay during our assembly on Wednesday. They will now start considering which subject they may wish to take their essay in and start thinking about possible topics. We will ask for a final choice of subject in March and that is the point at which we allocate supervisors and the process of working on the essay begins in earnest.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the achievement of Erika Larrea-Barquin who has been selected as one of the best entrants in the City Weekend Painting and Photography Competition.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Creativity, Activity, Service

This term, our Year 12 students will be embarking on the investigation, planning and implementation of their CAS Project. A CAS project is a collaborative, well-considered series of sequential CAS experiences, engaging students in one or more of the CAS strands of creativity, activity, and service. CAS students must be involved in at least one CAS project during their CAS programme. (Source: CAS Guide 2015). The project should be for at least one month in duration but is usually longer as it usually is a highlight of a student’s CAS programme.

The main aim of the CAS Project is for students to collaborate with others to initiate a project of their choice.  It challenges students to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance, develop problem solving and decision making skills and to develop the attributes of the IB Learner Profile. Some examples of CAS projects are Environmental campaigns, Art exhibitions, Dance-a-thons – the possibilities are endless and I look forward to seeing what Year 12’s will come up with.      

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

Higher Education

Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University

Year 12 students are invited to learn more about City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Columbia University, and the Joint Bachelor’s Degree Program jointly offered by the two universities at their upcoming information session in Shanghai on January 29 at the Marriott Hotel.

Students enrolled on the four year programme would study in Hong Kong for Years 1 & 2 and in the USA for Years 3 & 4. The joint programme allows students to earn two Bachelor’s degrees; one awarded by City University and one by Columbia University.

Representatives from both universities will take part in the information session, and be available to answer questions.

Date:  January 29 2016

Time:  6:30pm to 8:30pm

Location: W Marriott Hotel Shanghai, Tomorrow Square, 399 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai, China.

If students would like to be involved, they can register for this session here

University Offers

University offers from around the world are continuing to come in for our Year 13 students, including recent offers from University College London, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Parsons School of Design (New York) and the University of Pittsburgh.

Students with more than one university offer are advised to consult with the HE team before replying to or accepting offers of places, and UK applicants are also advised to follow this link in order to read more about their next steps:

Mark Weston, Higher Education Adviser

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines and Exams

A welcome back to the first full week of school of 2016 for everyone! This week has seen holiday homework due in as well as a culmination in the Mathematics Exploration. With the handing in of holiday homework, it is essential that students don’t think of this as job done but reflect and assess how their progress is in each of their six subjects. Year 13 Students had past papers to complete over the holiday so should have found there are some topics they need to strengthen and should incorporate these into the personal revision plan they have been given at the end of this week.

For Year 12, this week has seen the introduction of the Extended Essay which will result in deadlines later on this term. This will introduce to Year 12 the idea of time management and the importance of planning out their time. As Year 13 students (and indeed past students) will testify to, getting ahead and keeping on track with deadlines is extremely important.

Date Due

Subject

Work due

11/01/2016

Mathematics

Final draft of Exploration uploaded to Managebac

11/01/2016

Dutch Language and Literature

IOC

11/01/2016

Mandarin ab initio

Written assignment 1st draft

11/01/2016

Mathematical Studies

Final submission of project uploaded to managebac

15/01/2016

German Language and Literature

Final written draft

15/01/2016

Chinese B HL

Written assignment final submission

18/01/2016

English Language and Literature

Feedback for written tasks

18/01/2016

English Literature

Feedback for written task

18/01/2016

French B

Final deadline for written task

18/01/2016

German B

Final deadline for written task

18/01/2016

Mandarin ab initio

Feedback for written assignment

20/01/2016

Economics

3rd Internal assessment first draft

21/01/2016

Theatre

Solo performance as part of Monologue Festival

22/01/2016

Chinese Language and Literature

IOC

IB Learner Profile

For this week’s IB learner, I would like to share with you the idea of Inquiry. The reason I have chosen this is because the IB Organisation defines one form of Inquiry as  ‘We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life’. Year 12 students should remember this as they embark on their Extended Essay. Past students often like to be dramatic and highlight the Extended Essay as an incredibly scary piece of work but if you embrace it and be motivated for it then you will find it extremely rewarding.

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 difference between the full IB Diploma and Courses.

The majority of our students are registered for the full IB Diploma which consists of six subjects and the Diploma Core (TOK, Extended Essay and CAS). The six subjects must come from the six IB subject groups (although group 6 allows the flexibility of choosing a second subject from one of the other groups) and must include three Higher Level subjects. This, of course, is a qualification that is very highly valued by higher education institutions and contains all the elements which make the DP such an excellent preparation for university and future life.

It is also possible to be registered as a Courses candidate which essentially means that the student is doing elements of the Diploma Programme but not the full Diploma Programme. There is a great deal of flexibility here with the option to take more subjects and standard level or to take only five subjects rather than six. TOK, Extended Essay and CAS are optional elements for Courses students who can choose to take as many or as few of these as they wish.

For most students, full Diploma is the preferred choice in order to get the most from the rigorous DP and to open up opportunities for higher education. However, there are two categories of student who may sometimes benefit from taking Courses. In the first instance, students who are struggling to meet the minimum points requirement of 24 to pass their Diploma may sometimes get stronger results by taking Courses. This is because they can take more subjects and Standard Level and because with a reduced programme, they can have more time to focus on doing well in the elements they do take. The second situation occurs when students are using another qualification to access higher education (such as admission tests to Korean universities) which means the flexibility of Courses allows them to get the benefits of IB learning while giving them enough time to work on their other study at the same time.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

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