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IB Diploma News

29 March 2017

We reach the end of what has been a very busy and successful second term of the school year. Year 13 students have completed their formal coursework requirements, finished off their CAS and TOK programmes, then started the process of revision for final examinations.

  • IB Diploma News
  • IB Diploma News
  • IB Diploma News

Year 12 students are starting to experience many elements of internal assessment as the programme becomes increasingly demanding.

I’m pleased to report that the recent Biology field trip was very successful. Students worked very hard throughout and made real inroads into their coursework in the subject.

As I write, the Year 13 Visual Art exhibition is taking place. Guido, Soo Bin, Frederique and Yuka have produced some spectacular work which they can be very proud of. I know that the feedback from other students and from staff has been very positive.

Tickets are now on sale for the Year 13 Graduation Dinner and parents of Year 13 students should have received a letter about this. We expect that this event will be a fitting tribute to our Year 13 students and the hard work they’ve done throughout the year and invite students, their parents and other guests to purchase tickets

Finally, I would like to wish all our Year 12 students a pleasant break. With examinations looming, pleasure should not feature prominently for Year 13 students, so I wish them instead a productive Easter week!

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy


Higher Education

Higher Education Information Evening

On Wednesday 19th April, we will be holding a Higher Education Information Evening for the parents of students currently in Year 12.

The evening will provide information about what steps current Y12 students need to take before the start of Year 13 in order to make timely and effective university applications, along with an overview of how the University Application process works at the school. It will also provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have for the Higher Education team.

Date: Wednesday 19th April

Time: 18:30-19:30

Venue: Secondary Auditorium

Visit From Yonsei University

On Monday 27th April, the school welcomed two visitors from Yonsei University (Korea), who gave a presentation on applying to the University. Two students from last year’s graduating cohort were successful in their applications to the university last year. Yonsei is Korea’s oldest university, and one of Korea’s most prestigious Higher Education institutions.

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance


Creativity, Activity, Service

With World Water Day just gone, the IB students are still thinking and engaging about the local and global issue of the amount of plastic and plastic bottles we use.  As part of a CAS element to the IB Biology trip, the students were introduced to the issue of plastics.  Plastics take a long time, approximately 450-1000 years to degenerate depending on the type of plastic.  Even then they don’t totally disappear as they undergo photodegradation into microplastics, these are pieces that are smaller than 5mm.  The problem with microplastics is that they mostly end up in the oceans.  Microplastics attract and concentrate background pollutants, for example pesticides.  Studies have shown that invertebrates then eat the microplastics and these toxins can then enter the food chain.  Waste plastic in the oceans has been recognised by the United Nations as a major environmental problem. It is estimated that China is responsible for 30% of plastics that end up in the ocean.  During the fieldtrip, the Biology students were able to come face to face with this problem at a local level and reflect on the global effect that this has.  As they were carrying out their data collection in the rivers they also collected litter, especially plastics.  This litter will ultimately end up in our oceans.  Our students were very diligent with this task and worked tirelessly over the trip with their fieldwork as well as being global citizens.  Well done to Group 8 students, Jade Guglielmi, Abhilasha Yadav, Nicolas Piola Parucker, Elio Mattia Migliaccio who collected the most litter.   

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator


Pastoral News

Recently I was reading an article in The Positive Times ( about positive self-talk. I thought this was very relevant to bring up as our year 13 students journey into the last few formal weeks of their secondary schooling and embark on their IB Diploma exams. Self-talk can have a great impact on our everyday lives, which is why positive self-talk is highly important. Having negative thoughts whilst revising or going into an exam is not going to help reach where we want to go.  Students that actively practice self-talk should have more confidence in their abilities and hopefully reach their goals. A few key steps to having positive self-talk:

- Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.  Saying that you can do it before an exam is much more productive and helpful to build our confidence than telling yourself you can't.

- Make a list of positive encouraging thoughts you can have during the exam so that your mind is well rehearsed before you go in.

- If something doesn't go to plan during an exam, telling yourself you are doing the best you can do and that you are capable of handling the situation is better than becoming frustrated and losing focus.

Angela Sharrock, Head of Year 12


Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

Students in Year 13 have been given forms to complete if they want their IB Diploma results to be sent to any universities they have applied to. The deadline for this is the 1st May, this is a deadline set by the IBO so we cannot accept any requests after this date. Any requests after this will have to be gone directly through the IBO at a cost they will set.

Year 12 end of year exams have been set. Because of the impact of Chinese holidays these will only run for 4 days this year from the 31st May to 5th June.

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

All deadlines for year 12 and year 13 students are accessible through their Managebac account by looking at the calendar. We encourage parents to ask their son/daughter to show them this calendar so they can help their children to plan their work.

Year 13 have now finished their internal assessments and will focus on revision from now on.

Year 12 Deadlines for this week and the week after the holiday are below

Date Due


Work Due         


Extended Essay

Students to have preliminary meeting with supervisor


Extended Essay

Students to submit form time activity on writing style.


English Literature

PLT written task final hand in


Extended Essay

Chosen topic to be uploaded to managebac


Mathematics SL

1st Draft of Exploration


Mathematics HL

Proposal for exploration


English Lang and Lit HL

Final draft of part 2 written task



Task 3 – research presentation


Spanish A

Final submission of written task 2

IB Learner Profile

I would like to stay with the theme of positivity this week as students in Year 12 and 13 have had enough time on their courses or revision to know what is working and what is not. It is important to be honest with yourself and assess what needs to be changed in a revision routine or in organisation in order to improve in what is a vital last stretch for Year 13. Year 12 should also be in the position to think about what they can do to improve their study habits before they go into Year 13 in August.

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 Diploma Programme Evaluation

In order to become an ‘IB World School’ (in other words, to offer one of the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s programmes), schools need to undertake a rigorous authorisation process. This, of course, was something that BISS undertook successfully almost ten years ago.

Every five years after authorisation, all IB schools must undertake a Diploma Programme Evaluation which is a validation that the school continues to meet the high standards required to offer IB programmes in terms of its philosophy, its pedagogy and its resources and structure. This consists of a self-study which involves all stakeholders in the school including students, parents, teachers and school leadership. This self-study needs to be backed up with various pieces of evidence.

Having successfully completed the previous evaluation in the 2011/12 academic year, BISS is currently undergoing an evaluation this year.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy