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A Week of New Challenges

09 June 2016

After a week of exams, our students have taken on a series of new challenges during this week.

  • Sports Day

For many, the first part of the week has involved feedback on performance in the exams. Whilst it is always natural to look at the grade or percentage achieved, we do focus in lessons at reviewing exam performance, so that students can see where their strengths lie and where they have room for further improvement. It is also a good barometer for how well their revision strategies have worked and I encourage them to reflect upon where they have achieved well and see if they spot any links between high performance and revision techniques. They can then take these ones forward with them in the next test that they take.

This week has seen a number of different events take place in the school that have challenged the students in a different way. Our Year 10 students have participated in their very own Dragons’ Den.  For those of you unfamiliar with this programme, it’s all about students collaborating in business teams to design a new product and present to the ‘Dragons’ in a short pitch at the end of the project. They have been given a series of challenges to complete that would be familiar to the business world – they began with market research; questioning parents, students and staff around a proposed product. This was followed by creating their actual designs, as well as a pricing strategy. They also needed to demonstrate that their business was environmentally aware through designing their own environmental policy.  In terms of advertising, students imaginatively made their own short films, animations and flyers to show us all just how good their products were. Finally, they entered the ‘Dragons’ Den’ itself to make their pitch to the ‘Dragons’ and be judged on each group’s performance in different categories. The winners will be announced in our blog next week, but well done to all of the students for their excellent levels of commitment and participation in this very special Year 10 event.

On Wednesday, our Year 7-10 students enjoyed a glorious Sports Day. On a rain-threatened day, it was a relief in the morning to be able to start and enjoy the atmosphere of celebration and support as all of our students participated in events throughout the morning or afternoon.  There were some tremendous personal achievements in both field and track events and all of the students were cheered on by an appreciative crowd, including students, parents and teachers. The relay teams were well drilled and smooth baton handovers meant thrilling races to spectate and to cheer on friends. We also enjoyed a number of games of ‘Tug of War’, which were great fun for all to take part in or watch.  A lively commentary and music from Mr Lewis and Mr Rickford, energy boosting melons and bananas from the PTA, and the late appearance of a vuvuzela in the Huang He house ensured that all within the community had an enjoyable day. Thank you to all of the Year 11 and 12 student leaders for helping in the organisation of the event and for all of the pupils taking part in the day – they should be proud of themselves.

Elsewhere in the school, students in Year 12 have been preparing for their Science Internal Assessments.  This forms part of their final exam grade in Biology, Chemistry or Physics within the IB Diploma Programme. They spent Tuesday creating and testing hypotheses in the science laboratories and are busy preparing their findings for our Group 4 Presentation event on Thursday 16 June, from 1700-1830. 

Year 12 students were further challenged on Wednesday as Geography students prepared for their upcoming residential trip to Phnom Penh. This involved practising different urban fieldwork techniques in downtown Shanghai, to ensure that when they are in Cambodia itself, they will be confident in carrying out their research.

I do hope as families you have enjoyed a brief respite this week with the Dragon Boat Festival yesterday. We have our Activities Week approaching and there are lots more activities taking place in the next three weeks, so please check the calendar carefully for details.

Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary