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International Diploma Programme News

11 May 2016

As you read this, we will be reaching the end of the second of three final exam weeks for the Year 13 students. 

This week featured Physics, Maths, Spanish and Chemistry. In the final week, we have Geography, French, German, Environmental Systems, Business, Music and Maths Higher Level.

Throughout the next week, we shall have students completing their final examinations and I certainly look forward to seeing some happy and relieved faces at the end of an intensive two years. We then look forward to our two graduation events: the ceremony on Friday 20 May followed by the Graduation Dinner on the 23 May.

Year 12 students will be starting to find the Diploma Programme has become more demanding than in previous terms with Internal Assessment tasks being introduced, preparation for Cambodia, practice TOK presentations and the Extended Essay. They can expect to find that this is how things will be right through until the final examinations in May. This workload is manageable, though it particularly important that students stay on track as problems can arise when tasks pile up which can sometimes lead to them being rushed with a consequent dip in quality.

Right now, I would strongly recommend that Year 12 students don’t delay in conducting their Extended Essay research. The aim is to have completed this by the end of the term (though exceptions can be made for primary research which is best done during vacation time) and to have drafted an essay outline. We shall also be asking students to complete first drafts of their Maths Explorations or Projects during the summer vacation.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Creativity, Activity, Service

The importance of reflection

‘We do not learn from our experience, we learn from processing our experience.’

John Dewey

Being reflective is one of the attributes of the IB Learner Profile: Students give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.   Being reflective is also a key element of CAS, which aims to provide students with an experiential learning experience, getting involved in something by doing it and learning from it.

Why reflect?

Reflection is not only important in CAS, we encourage students to also continue this in their academic subjects as they can gain a deeper understanding of what they learn and improve basic skills and communication. Personal and social development outcomes include a sense of community, open-mindedness, improved self-awareness, improved self-esteem, global engagement and knowledge acquisition. We hope to encourage students to see issues in a new frame, become more engaged in issues in the community and have a greater sense of the need for social justice. Reflection can lead to the growth and development of an individual’s career exploration, leadership skills, global responsibility, intellectual pursuit and personal fulfilment.

What is a reflection?

To put it simply, reflection involves students thinking about their experiences. Reflecting is a major part of experiential learning. By reflecting on what we do, how we do it, and what impact it has on us and on others, our learning and understanding is enhanced.  Reflection can lead to better problem solving abilities, higher cognitive processes and greater depth of understanding. Reflection can lead to change. 

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

Higher Education

  University Application Portal for Year 12 Students on Managebac

A ‘University Application Portal’ has been set up as a class on Managebac for all Year 12 students. This takes the form of a ‘class’ that all Year 12 students are members of, and information will be accessible in the form of messages which can be accessed via Managebac.

   So far, information has been posted on topics such as:

·         Applying to Universities in the UK, the USA, Europe and Asia

·         Choosing Universities and Courses

·         Writing the Personal Statement

·         Applying to Oxford and Cambridge

·         Applying to Medical School in the UK

·         Extending Your Subject Knowledge

·         Focus on Careers,

·         Summer Schools

·         Taking the SAT/ACT Admissions Tests

Mark Weston, Higher Education Advisor

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

As the second week of exams draws to a close, the majority of exams have finished. It is important that students keep on looking forward and remain positive about the exams in the final week. Students need to remain determined and we, as the IB team, are making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible so that they can be as focussed as possible on the exam.

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

Year 12 students have embraced the Mathematics Exploration and Maths Studies Project over the last week and as they are in the final stretch of Year 12, it is important to remember their goal for the summer holidays. They have two goals, one is to be confident in what they will be writing about for their Extended Essay and the other is that they have had their Exploration/project title approved by their Group 5 teacher

The Year 12 deadlines for this week and next are below:

Date Due


Work Due


German Language and Literature

Written task 2 – peer assessed draft



Stage 1 first draft due


Spanish Language and Literature

Written task 4 final submission


Korean Language and Literature

Written task 4 final submission

Week beginning 16th

Mathematics HL, SL and Studies SL

Exploration proposal/Project Proposal


German Language and Literature

Written task 2 first draft

IB Learner Profile

For this week’s learner profile focus I would like to turn it on to teachers in the school. With year 12 students preparing for their work over the summer holiday and end of year exams and year 13 students preparing for their future it is important that we are caring towards students. In order to do that it is important that students allow us to care by sharing any problems or worries they have. This means students must be open to their Extended Essay supervisors and Mathematics teachers and that Year 13 students allow the IB team to make their exam preparation as smooth as possible.

Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator