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International Diploma Programme News

17 February 2016

As Year 13 students get closer and closer (10 and a half weeks now!) to the final examinations, this would be a good time to confirm arrangements for the final few weeks. We believe that revision best takes place in the school, with the support of teachers and on structured revision activities so we will continue teaching up until Wednesday 27 April. 

There will be a short study leave on 28 and 29 April. Please note that this is a public holiday so school buses will not be running and students will need to make their own way to school. The schedules for the examinations have been made available to students through Managebac, though a more detailed printed schedule will be issued nearer the time which contains exact start and finish times as well as other important information.

Next Monday 22 February is the IB Information Evening which is aimed at Year 11 students and parents. It will start at 6:30pm and is preceded by the Year 11 Student Parent Teacher Conference which starts at 4pm. This will be an opportunity to learn about the structure of the Diploma Programme and some of the choices that students will be making.

There are also Student Parent Teacher Conferences coming up for Year 13 on Wednesday 24 February and Year 12 Thursday 7 April.

I would like to also look ahead to what will be a very busy term 3 for Year 12 students. End of year examinations take place in the week starting 30 May. In the week following this, students will be receiving feedback about their tests as well as taking part in a group 4 project day on Tuesday 7 June and a Theory of Knowledge Presentation preparation day on Friday 10 June. The latter event is to make sure that students are ready to deliver their final TOK presentations on 29 and 30 June. The third term also, of course, features the hugely rewarding trip to Cambodia which I know our students are already eagerly anticipating.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines and Exams

For Year 13, this half term will see the end of assessments done inside and out of class. Some of these assignments will be sent off to examiners to moderate or mark with some of them being uploaded by students themselves. Students will be doing this in school time using candidates.ibo.org. This is the same website where students will retrieve their results in July. Students have been given a user guide to help them through this process. For Year 12s a larger proportion of assignments will be uploaded and with this in mind, IB DP online advisors are being ‘employed’ amongst the Year 12s in anticipation of this process next year. Year 12 students have had the opportunity this week to apply for this position which will count towards their CAS experience as they will be learning new skills as well as helping the community around them.

Below are the deadlines for Year 13 this week and the week after the holiday.

Date Due


Work Due



Stage 2 of internal assessment ready for peer marking


Visual Art

Final draft of Curatorial Rational and Individual descriptions for exhibition pieces



Final deadline of 3,000 word report


French B

Oral final practice


German B

Oral final practice


Spanish B

Oral final practice



Internal assessment final draft submission


Chinese B HL

Individual oral


Spanish B

Final deadline for written assignment


English B

Internal assessment final submission


Chinese Language and Literature

Internal assessment final submission


Theory of Knowledge

First draft of essay



Portfolio 2nd draft


English Language and Literature

P3 written task submission


Dutch Language and Literature

Final draft of written task


German Language and Literature

Written task 1 final draft


English Language and Literature

P3 written task feedback


Dutch Language and Literature

1st draft of written task



Stage 2 of internal assessment ready for peer marking

IB Learner Profile

Referring to the upload procedure of assignments by students and the opportunity afforded to Year 12 students in facilitating this procedure, it is important students are caring. This service the Year 12 students will learn will help those around them manage the process smoothly and without stress. Likewise Year 13 students should help each other with any difficulties they have in this process.

Explaining the Diploma Programme

Each week, we shall be focusing on one particular aspect of the Diploma Programme. This week I shall write about how final examinations are assessed.

The vast majority of assessment for the Diploma Programme takes place, of course, with the final examinations in May. Once students have written each paper, these are sent from the school to a scanning centre in the UK who then prepare the work to be e-marked by examiners from around the world.

IBO examiners are experienced Diploma Programme teachers (including several at BISS) and they receive consignments of papers electronically. There are numerous checking processes to ensure the accuracy of the marking including a set of test papers that each examiner must mark to a certain degree of accuracy before they are permitted to assess actual candidates’ scripts. In order to verify that they maintain these high standards, during the process of their marking random seeds are placed in their marking allocation to test whether they are still marking within acceptable bounds of accuracy.

The grade boundaries are determined at a grade award meeting which takes place in Cardiff and involves senior examiners. The boundaries may change slightly from year to year (depending on the difficulty of the paper) so it’s impossible to know with absolute precision how many marks will be needed for a specific grade (though the boundaries from previous years provide a useful guide).

Compared to other examination boards, the IBO has a very quick turnaround between students taking examinations and students receiving results in early July. If a student wishes to query their result, they may request a re-mark through the school.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy





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