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IB Diploma News

02 November 2016

The final submission for the Extended Essay is just around the corner (Monday 7th November). Year 13 students have been working on this for almost a year and in the ‘Explaining the Diploma’ section below I have described the process in more detail.

  • IB HK University Visit

Student will be marking the occasion with a costume day, dressing up in a way that represents their essay.

Also coming up next week, on November 8th, is the performance of the Collaborative Piece for Theatre. Our students have created an original piece of theatre based upon a starting point selected by their group. This work is assessed and is part of their final grade. Recently, I have had the opportunity to visit one of their classes to watch them preparing for this and I was hugely impressed by the depth and subtlety of their work.

Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing parents of Year 12 students at the Student Parent Teacher Conference coming up next Monday.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy


Creativity, Activity, Service

This week, Megan Edwards in Year 13 answers some questions about her CAS programme.

Of your three CAS activities, cooking, yoga and assisting with the primary ICT club, which one do you find the most enjoyable?

I would say that yoga is the most enjoyable because it’s relaxing and allows me to distract myself from my schoolwork, which gives me that time to de-stress. It is also a very sociable activity, which makes it more enjoyable as I can meet new people and get to know them. Although it is my active part of CAS, it is not, in my opinion, a very strenuous activity. It has improved my flexibility and has taught me many calming techniques.

What skills have you gained from your cooking experience?

It has prepared me, more than I expected, for a time when I will be living on my own.  I have cooked previously but through this regular experience of cooking and following recipes I learn to know what I like and what I love.  I experiment with recipes a lot and I note down ones I do love so that I can recreate them in the future. Overall it’s just a really pleasing activity and, similarly to yoga, it does calm me and distracts me when I need a break.

Why did you choose to help out with the primary ICT club?

Because I like working with kids. I like teaching them things that I was taught when I was young and enjoy seeing their excitement about learning something new. It’s a productive way to spend my service experience as I really do see the difference in the children’s knowledge and knowing that I have helped them makes me feel encouraged and confident.


Higher Education

Medical, Biomedical Science and Health Science Summer Schools

St George’s, University of London

Any year 12 students interested in attending the St. George’s International Summer School (for those interested in Medicine, Biomedical Science or Health 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:

Premed Projects Summer School

Students join in from all over the world to spend 2-weeks in London visiting medical schools and hospitals to learn all about their future careers.

All supervision, meals and accommodation are included as is all airport transfers in London.

All of the details & dates are available on the following website: and places are strictly limited.

University Application Deadlines by the end of Term

All applications due to be submitted before the start or middle of January should be completed by the end of this term, and with Year 13 Mock Examinations fast approaching, time is of the essence.  It’s important that Year 13 students who need to meet deadlines this term complete personal statements/college essays in good time and submit them to the HE Office for review. Deadlines for different universities across the world vary greatly – it is essential that students keep the HE team aware of their plans (which sometimes change) so that references, recommendation letters and other accompanying documentation is ready to send in good time. Advice and guidance is available from the HE team, and lots of information can also be found in the HE section of Moodle.

University Visits

Last week, students welcomed a visitor from HKUST (ranked # University in Hong Kong), and found out about courses on offer and how to make the best application. Last year 7 BISS Puxi students received offers from this prestigious world Top 50 university. Please see Mr Weston for up-to-date information and prospectuses.

Mark Weston, Head of Higher Education Guidance


Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

The first registration deadline for students’ IB exams in May 2017 is 15th November. Although changes can be made to students’ choices after this date there will be a charge applicable. We have handed out forms to students to show what they have been registered for so anything that is incorrect about their personal details or subject choices they must let us know before this date.

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

All deadlines for year 13 students are accessible through their Managebac account and by looking at the calendar. We encourage parents to ask students in year 13 to show them this calendar so they can help their children to plan their work. Year 12 deadlines will feature in this section after the Winter holiday – be prepared!

The Year 13 deadlines for this week and the week following the October holiday are below:

Date Due


Work Due


German A

Written task 3 1st draft


Extended Essay

Final submission uploaded to managebac



Collaborative piece performance


German A

Written task 3 2nd draft

IB Learner Profile

With students in year 13 handing in their Extended Essay now is a good time for students in year 12 to ‘think’ about where their interests lie and what they want to explore for their own Extended Essay. The majority of subjects let students choose their own area to study for their written/oral assignments. It is important that students start to ponder what they are interested in exploring further and  talking to their teachers about it early. Ask yourself, what am I curious about?

Thomas Housham, DP Coordinator


Pastoral News

In my article two weeks ago I discussed the importance of having good sleeping patterns and the negative impacts of having lack of sleep. Just as important is your diet and how students are fuelling themselves for their day at school. Similar to sleep, if we don't get enough food or at the right time this could be stopping students from focusing as well as they could. Not having anything for breakfast and waiting until break or lunchtime to eat your first meal of the day is definitely not recommended. Students should be eating in the morning before school so that their sugar levels do not get too low and therefore they can focus more on their lessons. Furthermore, making sure you don't skip meals or opportunities for snacks can help you stay on track during the day and after school. 

Angela Sharrock, Key Stage 5 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 Extended Essay.

The Extended Essay is a research based work and can be written in any one of a student’s Diploma Programme subjects. It is also possible to write an interdisciplinary essay in two or more subjects based on applying a global issue to a local context – this is known as a World Studies essay.

Each student is allocated a supervisor who mentors them throughout the process. Initially, the student will identify a focus for their essay and do some preliminary research to investigate the breadth and availability of appropriate source material. They will refine their topic into a tightly defined Research Question which will then be the focus of their essay.

With the guidance of their supervisor, students will start to plan their essay structure and their main body of research. Once this is complete, they will write a first draft of the essay which is given detailed feedback by their supervisor. Based on this feedback, and with further support from the supervisor, the student will refine the essay into the final piece of work.

At the end of the process, each student will do a Viva Voce – a short interview with their supervisor in which they discuss the process of writing the essay and the findings of their research. Essays are then sent to the IBO for assessment.

Writing the Extended Essay gives students a valuable insight into the style of work that they may be writing in a university context. They learn skills such as research, essay planning and formal presentation which they will need in higher education.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy