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IB Diploma News

31 August 2016

The term is very much in full swing now with Year 13 students back in their routine after the summer break and Year 12 students settled in to their new courses.

Last week, of course, one of the highlights for the Year 12 students was to receive the final instalment of their IGCSE results including the results from subjects examined by Edexcel or OCR. It was pleasing to see some really outstanding performances and we are looking forward to more high achievement throughout the Diploma Programme.

Getting to Know You: Meet the Head of the IB Academy.


Meanwhile, the focus for Year 13 students is very much on their Extended Essay. Having completed first drafts they will be receiving feedback from their supervisors based upon the assessment criteria. Final submission is on November 7th.

We are looking forward to welcoming parents of Year 12 students to the Succeeding at IB evening on September 8th. This will be a valuable opportunity to look at some things that students and parents can do in order to get the most out of the Diploma programme.

As noted last week, we have the Year 13 Student Parent Teacher Conference on 13th September with the Year 12 event later in the term on 7th November.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy


Higher Education

University Offers Update

The outcome of applications to Korean Universities are beginning to be received by some of our students. Congratulations to the following students who received offers to study Medicine (x 2) and Chemical Engineering (x 1) at the following institutions:

Hyun Jin Kim – Medicine - Medical college of the Yonsei University, South Korea (45 IB Points)

Yu Ri Lee– Chemical Engineering, Yonsei University, South Korea (44 IB points)

Sung Joon – Medicine, Medical College of the Catholic University of Korea (44 IB points)

Upcoming University Visits

We are very pleased to be welcoming a number of universities to the school this year. Students interested in finding out more about studying in the relevant countries are strongly advised to attend.

  • Tuesday 6th September - University of Bristol - 1pm in Room 342 (Year 13 only, as Year 12 have TOK classes)
  • Friday 23rd September - University of Nottingham - 1pm in Room 350
  • Friday 30th September - UCLA - 1pm in Room 350            

Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Northwestern and Princeton Universities Information Evening

On 29th August, students and Parents from BISS Puxi attended an Information Evening for Columbia, Duke, Georgetown, Northwestern and Princeton Universities, where they were able to find out more information about the different character of each university and the factors that go in to making a successful application. It was a very useful session that helped clarify students ideas as they embark on the university application process.

Mark Weston, Head of Higher Education Guidance


Creativity, Activity, Service

As our Year 12 IB Students embark on the start of their CAS journey, I would like to share some final reflections of one of our former Year 13 students on their overall CAS programme.  CAS or creativity, activity, service plays a key role in the IB Diploma, it forms part of the Core along with the EE and TOK.  It is what makes the IB Diploma unique and different from other qualifications.   As it aims to develop young adults not just academically but also as a whole by experiential learning.  By taking part in meaningful activities, setting goals, challenging yourself and most importantly reflecting on those experiences   


Recognition of Me, Myself and I

Eelinn Vanquaethem


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

Most of my experiences 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. The Giving tree 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 built 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 experiences, 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 experiences, 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 experiences, especially service, others have benefitted as well. During these opportunities, I have helped various ethnic 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 activity. Some people may have learned from my skills, just like I learned from theirs.


Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

Now we are into the second week of term all students have settled back into their routine of hard work. Deadlines are coming up thick and fast for year 13 students and even year 12 students have opportunities to show their enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge; all year 12 students have submitted, via Managebac, a document on marginal gains which highlights what they will do in each subject to get ahead without being asked to by the teachers. This is a great way to gain confidence in your studies and something parents can get involved in too. Activities range from listening to podcasts to watching TV programmes to improve a group 2 language. is also a great tool this year as they have just introduced an IB section with lessons and homeworks to go through.

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

All deadlines for year 13 students are accessible through their Managebac account and by looking at the calendar. For year 12, this term will be focussed around settling in to the Diploma Programme with a deadline calendar coming in the second term.

The Year 13 deadlines for this week and next week are below:

Date Due


Work Due


Mathematics HL and SL

Peer Marking in class


Mathematical Studies SL

Data analysis completed and brought to class


Chinese B SL

First Interactive Oral assessment


English Literature

Written assignment 2nd draft


English Language and Literature

Written task part 4


IB Learner Profile

As mentioned at the beginning, year 12 students have come up with ways of improving their subject knowledge independently. I would like to challenge them to follow through on this. It can be easy to get home and convince yourself that once homework is done then it is time for a rest but try to do one thing a night for half an hour and treat it as a positive experience. Easier said than done but if we embrace our subjects and enjoy what we are learning then this won’t be a chore. The key thing is to be an inquirer; this is the learner profile part.

Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Coordinator


Pastoral News

Next week our year 12 students will have the opportunity to experience a yoga and wellbeing class run by Just Yoga.  This taster yoga class will be a great way for students to experience something a little different from their everyday classes and for many this may be their first time trying yoga.  If students are interested, they can sign up for further yoga classes through BISSCAP. Some of the benefits of yoga are to help relaxation and improve focus.  This is of course very beneficial for our IB Diploma students as they strive to succeed during their two year course. We hope they enjoy this class and take up the challenge.

Angela Sharrock,  Key Stage 5 coordinator