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International Diploma Programme News

28 April 2016

We have now reached the point where Year 13 students have finished their normal lessons and are on examination leave. 

The papers themselves start on Monday May 2. It is traditional for our students to celebrate their last day with an amusing costume theme and this year they arrived in military uniforms!

Even though formal lessons have now finished for Year 13, their teachers will continue to work hard to support them right up until their final examinations. Individual teachers are offering a number of revision sessions during the examination period, while students will always be able to come in to school to study. Teachers will often be available during the normal lesson time slots, though given that they will be doing some exam invigilation, we advise students to check in advance for specific times they would be available.

Meanwhile, Year 12 students are also starting to think about examinations with around four weeks to go to until their end of year tests, which begin on 30 May. From that point on, the remainder of Year 12 will be very intensive with Group 4 projects, TOK Presentations and, of course, the Cambodia trip. We strongly advise students to spend the next four weeks making sure they are generally on top of other elements of their Diploma Programme such as the Extended Essay, CAS reflections and assignments in all of their subjects.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Creativity, Activity, Service

Year 13 students have recently conducted their final CAS interview to reflect on their overall programme and all the learning outcomes of CAS. Throughout their two year CAS programme our students have completed a wide variety of CAS experiences, ranging from sailing to setting up an ECA for students interested in Medicine.  It was a pleasure to speak to them about their experiences and what they have learnt throughout the process, reflecting on what they had enjoyed, what was challenging and what was their most memorable experience.  Many mentioned the CAS trip to Cambodia as one of their most memorable experiences as they were able to engage with people from a different culture and engage in the global issues of education and poverty first hand.  The aim of CAS is develop young adults who demonstrate the attributes of the IB learner profile and  to grow as unique individuals.  As they complete their CAS programme, I am proud to say that they all have reached that aim and have recognised the merit of their hard work.  Well done and good luck to all our Year 13 students in their examinations.      

We would like to share one more CAS reflection with you – from Eelinn Vanquaethem

CAS has really helped me to develop personally, understand my skills and values and benefit others in the process. All activities: creativity, action and service have helped me to recognise my qualities and become a better person.

Most of my activities that focussed on service have made me aware of ethical and global values. I saw how underprivileged people were living and how our school and community could help them in improving their lifestyle. Giving tree committee is a charity that collects bag with Christmas gifts for different migrant schools that are based in Shanghai. In Cambodia, we decorated schools, taught children, started a tree nursery, and build part of a house and a dam. During Year 12, I also went to Qing Pu Xiulong Migrant School and taught children fun games. During all of my activities I also learned that teamwork and collaboration is key to success. Everyone brings a unique quality to a task and therefore it is important that the task is carried out in team to get the best result. When acting in the Christmas pantomime, this was especially important. Due to the interactions of dialogue and movement, the story became clear to the audience and turned out to be a success.

By taking on a range of different activities, I recognised my skills. I noticed that I was good at creative thinking, planning and organising activities. I mainly used these skills when planning activities that we could potentially teach the children in migrant school. I thus broadened these skills and others I still needed to improve on, such as my collaboration with others. I needed to develop this as I noticed it’s importance and realised that I often want to do things on my own, rather than involving others. I also developed skills I had yet to acquire, such as tennis. Acquiring these was important in order to become more competent and further challenge myself. However, in order to truly become better and skilful, I needed to stay committed. I needed to continue any activities or similar activities in order to maintain my skills. Otherwise, I might end up forgetting what I’ve learned and needed to start over.

While doing my activities, especially service, others have benefitted as well. During many activities, I have helped various groups who were underprivileged. An example of this was ‘Giving tree committee’. During this ECA, we all tried to come up with ways to encourage people to buy giving tree bags. These were then given to migrant children as a Christmas gift. This is because their parents often can’t afford to buy a gift. As a group, we were able to sell more than 600 bags. These types of activities showed global value and ethics, as it shouldn’t be necessary for some people to migrate to a different city in order to make a living. I remained committed to these services as I made a commitment to people and did not want to disappoint them. Not only during services have others benefitted from me, but also during creativity and action. Some people may have learned from my skills, just like I learned from theirs.

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

Higher Education

   Lunchtime University Information Sessions

Mr Weston and Mrs Rickford will be running a number of Lunchtime University Information sessions for Year 12 students over the next few weeks.

The sessions will take place at 1.15pm in room 350.

  Tuesday 4 May – Applying to Medical School

  Thursday 5 May –   European (Non-UK) University Information Session

  Thursday 12 May – Asian University Information Session (including Korea and HK)

  Replying to University offers from the UK

  Students with offers from UK universities must make sure that they are replying by the relevant     deadlines. If students have received all offers by 31 March, then they must reply by 4 May (if             their postal address is in the EU). For all other students, if they have received all offers by 5              May, then their reply deadline is 8June.  Students should log in to UCAS Track to check the date     by which they must respond.

  If students are not sure which choices to make, they should contact Mr Weston. Any students         still deciding between the UK and elsewhere in the world should still reply to their UK offers,           and can inform universities at a later date if they decide not to enroll.

  Year 13 Students – Pending University Applications

  Any students planning on making applications to universities before the end of term (or during     the holidays) should let Mr Weston know in advance which universities they are planning on           sending applications to, and what information, if any, the school will be required to provide           (e.g.  letters of recommendation, proof of attendance), to enable the HE team or School Office       to provide this information to the universities in good time. Mr Weston and Mrs Rickford will be     available to help with personal statements, resumes and so on, as required, until the end of           term.

  For applicants with conditional offers from around the world, it is important that they make           sure  in advance how and when their offer of a place will be confirmed as processes will differ         from  country to country.

   The University of Melbourne – The University of Melbourne is holding a China Information day    in Shanghai on Sunday 8 May 13:30 - 17:00.   The event will take place at : Chun Shen Room, 9    Floor, Peace Hotel,  20 Nanjing East Road, Shanghai.

   Students and parents will be given the opportunity to meet professors, staff and alumni and          learn more about the university’s undergraduate courses, entry requirements, scholarships,          accommodation and the unique Melbourne experience. All of the University’s faculties and              graduate schools will join the Information Day: Business and Economics; Engineering and IT;          Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences; Architecture, Building and Planning; Science; Arts,            Humanities and Social Sciences; Fine Arts and Music; Education and Foundation Studies at            Trinity College.

   To register, visit here

                   Mark Weston, Higher Education Advisor

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

With only a few days remaining until the official IB exams begin I am confident that all Year 13 students are fully prepared for the three weeks ahead and are ready to show us all just how hard they have worked in the past two years. Both myself and Mr Joy will be available if you have any questions about the exam process, please don’t sit at home worrying; we will be happy to help to settle any nerves. I know I speak for the whole of the IB team when I say good luck.

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

For Year 12 students it is about the importance of recognising the work that goes in before final exams. The Year 12 deadlines for this week and next are below:

Date Due


Work Due



First Internal assessment final submission


English Literature

Final IOPs


Chinese B SL

First interactive oral assessment


Dutch A

Final submission for written task 1

IB Learner Profile

With the Year 13 students preparing for the final exams, this week I would like to focus on the diploma core as a whole rather than individual aspects of the learner profile. I am confident in the Year 13s preparation for the exams but I believe each student has already achieved success even before the exams begin next week. This is due to the progress they have made throughout the two years in their ability as a learner. From time management to independent learning, students have persevered to learn skills that will last with them throughout their further education and beyond.

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 ‘Request for Results Service’.

The IBO has a process for getting final examination results to universities in July – this is known as the ‘Request for Results Service’. This involves us putting information into an online system (known as IBIS) about which universities students would like their results sent to. This results in emails going out to the universities from the IBO to confirm final results.

The deadline for us to put in this information is May 1 (for most university systems) or July 1 (for Canada and the United States) and we have therefore already been collecting and inputting this data. The IBO limits the number of requests to six institutions worldwide with a maximum of one from the US and one from Canada. Centralised admissions systems (such as UCAS in the UK) count as just one request.

After these deadlines, there is still a process where official IBO transcripts can be sent to universities at the request of the student themselves using the IBO public website. However, since this has a cost attached, we recommend that students take advantage of the free Request for Results Service via the school

Andrew Joy Head of IB Academy