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IB Diploma News

12 April 2017

As we return from our Easter break, students and staff are taking a collective deep breath in readiness for the most intensive term of the school year.

For Year 13 students, of course, the final examinations are just three weeks away, running from April 28 to May 19. This is followed by our two graduation events – the graduation ceremony on May 19 and the graduation dinner on May 21. The ceremony will be held at our school with parents and other family members warmly invited to attend. Tickets for the graduation dinner are already on sale and once again, we strongly encourage parents, family and guests to celebrate this occasion with the Year 13 students and their teachers.

Year 12 students have by far the most intensive term so far in their programme, featuring end of year tests, Group 4 presentations, the CAS trip to Cambodia and TOK presentations. They are also beginning the process of writing their Extended Essay with topic choices already made and meetings taking place with their supervisors. Over the summer vacation, they will need to work on the first draft of their essay which means that some time will need to be set aside for this.

Meanwhile, it was good to see so many parents of Year 12 students at our Student Parent Teacher Conference on Thursday.

Finally, we would like to get some of your feedback on how we communicate to you about the Diploma Programme. If you would be willing to complete a short online survey for us, then please follow this link.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

 

Creativity, Activity, Service

The start of term 3, our Year 13 students are finishing off their CAS programmes and our Year 12 students are beginning new CAS experiences.  During assembly this week, I urged our Year 12 students to approach selecting their new CAS experiences with Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ approach.    This approach encourages us all to ‘Start with Why’.  Why do it, this should be driven by purpose, passion and beliefs.  Then move on to ‘How’, investigate how to do it, what is the process and specific actions that need to be taken to realise the ‘Why’.   Finally, ‘What’, the proof of what you believe and the result of ‘Why’, what do you do?   So I encourage students, to ‘Start with Why’’ when selecting new challenging CAS experiences and actively engage in these experiences to learn and get the most out of them. 

Year 12 students have also started or have already completed their CAS projects.  This year, there has been an impressive range of different projects, which have all stemmed from students own interests. Projects range from, last terms Youth Run which raised a substantial amount of money for Huaxin Rehabilitation Centre to building a drone, organising a swim-a-thon, starting different ECA clubs and many, many more.  Some students have chosen to take more of a lead role in the upcoming CAS trip to Cambodia by leading the youth club activities at the Indochina Starfish Foundation School in Phnom Penh and also to lead a needs analysis of the rural community that we will visit.  I look forward to all the other exciting projects!  

The start of term 3, our Year 13 students are finishing off their CAS programmes and our Year 12 students are beginning new CAS experiences.  During assembly this week, I urged our Year 12 students to approach selecting their new CAS experiences with Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ approach.    This approach encourages us all to ‘Start with Why’.  Why do it, this should be driven by purpose, passion and beliefs.  Then move on to ‘How’, investigate how to do it, what is the process and specific actions that need to be taken to realise the ‘Why’.   Finally, ‘What’, the proof of what you believe and the result of ‘Why’, what do you do?   So I encourage students, to ‘Start with Why’’ when selecting new challenging CAS experiences and actively engage in these experiences to learn and get the most out of them. 

Year 12 students have also started or have already completed their CAS projects.  This year, there has been an impressive range of different projects, which have all stemmed from students own interests. Projects range from, last terms Youth Run which raised a substantial amount of money for Huaxin Rehabilitation Centre to building a drone, organising a swim-a-thon, starting different ECA clubs and many, many more.  Some students have chosen to take more of a lead role in the upcoming CAS trip to Cambodia by leading the youth club activities at the Indochina Starfish Foundation School in Phnom Penh and also to lead a needs analysis of the rural community that we will visit.  I look forward to all the other exciting projects!  

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

 

Higher Education

Higher Education Information Evening

On Wednesday 19 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 19 April

Time: 18:30-19:30

Venue: Secondary Auditorium

Extending your subject knowledge/Developing your Interests

Universities are looking for students who demonstrate an independent interest in their proposed subject of study or intended major, as well as students who can take on board new ideas and run with them. The Extended Essay is an excellent way to extend your subject knowledge in an area that interests you, but what else can you do?!

  • Read around your subject
  • Visit museums, galleries exhibitions
  • Find relevant work experience
  • Online Courses – resources such as FutureLearn, iTunes University and Coursera have hundreds of free courses that may either ignite your interest in a subject area, or develop an existing interest. A quick look at the ‘Futurelearn’website (www.futurelearn.com) reveals free online courses delivered by universities all over the world on a huge range of topics in the areas of Business and Management, Creative Arts & Media, Health & Psychology, Law, Literature, Politics, and many more. iTunes U, and the Coursera website have free courses from Universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Duke and Johns Hopkins which you can dip into and see what grabs your attention.  Khan Academy websiteKhan Academy website As well as providing free online classes and resources for a number of subject areas including Maths, Science, Economics, Humanities and Computing, the site also contains content from Institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and NASA. How To Academy
  • Read newspapers and relevant journals, many of which are available in the Library!
  • Watch TED Talks or look up your subject area on YouTube (although, be warned, you might end up watching a video of a kitten playing with a textbook on your chosen subject area).
  • Listen to Podcasts  - on every subject under the sun … a search for ‘mathematics’ on the itunes store reveals a free BBC series called ‘A Brief History of Mathematics’, a lecture from the LSE, and podcasts from the University of Warwick. If you’re interested in Science, ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’ combines science and comedy. Give it a go and see whether you enjoy it! From Oxford University.
  • The School Library – you have an amazing library here at school… make use of it! During a quick visit before writing this post I discovered books that l’m surprised are still on the shelves! Maths students can take out ‘The Man Who Loved only Numbers’ or ‘The Golden Ratio: The story of Pi’; science students can borrow ‘It Must Be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science’. English Students studying Edgar Allen Poe this year can take out ‘The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction’or ‘The Literature of Terror’ … those of you interested in studying English Literature at UCL – why not read John Mullen’s ‘How Novels Work’? John Mullen is likely to be the one interviewing you if you apply for the course and get to that stage!
  • Websites –  a host of websites are available to students to help further their interests/keep them up to date. For example: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry – www.rsc.org ; www.icheme.org, Computing, Drama & Theatre Studies , Economics(Royal Economic Society)
  • Visit The Khan Academy website - As well as providing free online classes and resources for a number of subject areas including Maths, Science, Economics, Humanities and Computing, the site also contains content from Institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and NASA.

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance

 

Pastoral News

Over the next two weeks during form time the year 12 students will be involved in a series of activities delivered by Mr Joy, Mr Weston, Ms Coong and myself.  Mr Joy will be focusing on coursework, Mr Weston will discuss Higher Education, Ms Coong will talk about CAS and I will be discussing sleeping habits.  We will rotate through the forms over four registration sessions.  This is a great opportunity for students to have more time to ask important questions on the different topics and to reflect on their current study and life habits as well as thoughts about their future aspirations. 

Angela Sharrock, Head of Year 12

 

Khan Academy

Following on from the last newsletter item about ideas to develop subject knowledge, I thought I would highlight the Khan Academy website.

As well as providing free online classes and resources for a number of subject areas including Maths, Science, Economics, Humanities and Computing, the site also contains content from Institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum and NASA.

For students applying to Universities in the USA, the Khan Academy is the College Board’s official partner, providing free online test preparation for the new SAT. It also has a course on College Admissions, providing advice and guidance on Exploring College Options and Applying to College.

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance

 

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

Students in Year 13 this week have been given the IB’s code of conduct for exams. A few of the key aspects of these guidelines are below:

  • Water can be brought into exams in clear water bottles without labels
  • Digital watches are not allowed in the exam hall
  • Students must know their session number
  • No food is allowed
  • Simple translation dictionaries are allowed

One thing that students in Year 13 and Year 12 need to plan for in their examinations is the 5 minutes reading time. During this time, students are not allowed to write anything and must use this time to plan how they are going to approach the paper and what order they will do the questions in. This is a very important time and students should seek advice from teachers on how to spend this time in each subject. This is the first time Year 12 students will have the experience of this in their internal exams.

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

Subject

Work Due         

11/04/2017

Mathematics HL

Proposal for exploration

12/04/2017

English Lang and Lit HL

Final draft of part 2 written task

14/04/217

Theatre

Task 3 – research presentation

15/04/2017

Spanish A

Final submission of written task 2

18/04/2017

Theatre

Task 3 – Research Presentation

IB Learner Profile

In the build-up to exams, it is important to complete past papers in order to get used to the types of questions that will come up in May. However, it is still important to constantly challenge ourselves from other sources to develop our thinking skills. It is important to be flexible when approaching questions and not always looking for a one size fits all method.

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 IBO mission statement.

One of the many reasons that the school follow’s the IB Diploma Programme is that the IBO has a philosophy which has much in common with our own objectives as a school. We share the ambition to help students develop so they can make a positive impact in the world and the belief in the importance of developing the right attitude and mindset to do so.

Here is the IBO’s mission statement:

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

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