I’m pleased to report that both the Group 4 project preparation day and the TOK presentation preparation day were successful. The Group 4 presentations will have taken place by the time you read this while the final TOK presentations take place on the last two days of term.
Also, by the time you read this we shall have also celebrated our students’ achievements throughout the year in the Year 10 and 12 awards ceremonies. Awards were presented for each academic subject for Achievement and Progress. I know that making decisions about the award winners was a challenging undertaking for teachers, given the number of students who have reached such high standards throughout the year. There were also some special awards to recognise some of the outstanding learning that has taken place through the Creativity, Activity, Service programme.
As we approach the summer vacations, students will soon have an opportunity to recharge batteries after a busy year (and a particularly busy third term). One of the IB Learner Profile attributes is Balanced and we encourage students to strike a suitable balance between recreation and study during that time. There will be some work to do during that time (particularly, Extended Essay first drafts and important preparation for university applications) though this should also leave plenty of time for other activities.
Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy
Creativity, Activity, Service
This week, Katharina Stierhof in Year 12 reflects on the upcoming trip to Cambodia.
Year 12 have now almost completed their first academic year of the IB course and with that their CAS programme. Exams have ended and many students now are able to relax a bit, but also are able to look ahead and think of what is coming. This may be planning further experiences for the new school year, but maybe some of their thoughts are revolving about an event that will take place in the very near future. In two days to be exact, and that is their CAS trip to Cambodia. While students may be hoping to relax and enjoy staying away from home and school for a little bit more than a week, they are also looking forward to what this experience may offer them in terms of learning about their role as a global citizen and about how they may impact the lives of others. The students will not only be visiting places of cultural interest, but also will be working directly with the children currently being helped by the Indochina Starfish Foundation and will use a hands-on approach to possibly learn and help others as well. While some students may still lack in enthusiasm about living in a campsite, away from the benefits of a larger city and hotel rooms, at the same time they hope they personally can grow to meet the challenge of adjusting to other living conditions than they may be used to and finding ways to communicate with people they may not share a language with. Some have also mentioned that trip may present itself as an opportunity to be able to learn to be more appreciative of what they have in life such as a high-quality education. While throughout their CAS programme, students had to incorporate a service to others, whether direct or indirect, these experiences have been spread out over several long months, possibly even several terms. They will now have the opportunity to intensively work with new people, other students and a foreign surrounding for a consecutive amount of time, as well as try to achieve all their learning outcomes to make this trip worthwhile in terms of personal development and learning their place in society and how their actions may affect the lives of others.
Year 12 Cambodia Trip update
We are all now set for the Year 12 CAS trip to Cambodia, with both groups leaving this Saturday. A few reminders to students and parents:
- Please make sure that students bring the passport that was used to book the flights, with a valid Chinese visa
- If students have ID cards which they are bringing along with their passports, please have them in wallets so that the card is safe and there is no potential for it to fall out
- I will print out eVisas for all students
- The full itinerary of the trip is now available for students on ManageBac
- Students must be punctual to meet either at school for the bus or at Pudong, Terminal 1, by the China Eastern Departure desks
- Group 1
- Students getting the bus should meet Ms Rickford and Mrs Housham outside Secondary at 3pm
- Students meeting at the airport should meet Mr Gale, Ms Kernaghan and Mr Tilley at 5pm
- Group 2
- Students getting the bus should meet Ms Graham and Mr Mager outside Secondary at 1.40pm
- Students meeting at the airport should meet Ms Coong, Mr Grocott and Mr Weston at 3.40pm
- If you need to contact us whilst we are away, here are the contact numbers for Cambodia:
- Group 1
- Ms Rickford +855 17881230
- Ms Kernaghan +855 17882540
- Group 2
- Ms Coong +855 17882510
- Mr Grocott +855 17882520
Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator
As summer approaches students will be making plans to either see family and friends back home or rest here in Shanghai, as well as organise their time to complete important summer academic tasks such as the Extended Essay first draft. During this time students would benefit from spending some time reflecting on their first year of the IB Diploma Programme, highlighting successes and creating a short term plan for the next year. Although students are given time to reflect on exam results at the end of the year, a time for reflection over the summer doesn’t necessarily need to focus on exam results, but more on the whole picture of where students have come from over the course of the year and looking towards their goals. Having time to carry out this reflection process will hopefully help students have a clearer vision for their Year 13 studies. We often talk about reflection with students but unless they set aside time to do this and make it a useful process it is not effective. So for the summer time, a little piece of advice for our students, give yourself a moment to reflect and write down a recipe for success for your year 13 studies! Good luck!
Angela Sharrock, Key Stage 5 Coordinator
Making the most of the Summer Holidays
As well as giving Year 12 students the time to have a well-earned rest, the summer holidays are a perfect opportunity to develop your subject knowledge, volunteer, do some work experience, prepare for admissions tests and complete draft personal statements/common app essays.
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?! Visit the HE section of Moodle and click on the section called ‘Extending Your Subject Knowledge’ for more ideas.
For Year 13 students about to embark on their first term at university, have a look at the ‘Preparing for University Life’ section on Moodle. Additionally, some recommended books to look at before you go are:
A Guide to Uni Life by Lucy Tobin (for students studying in the UK)
The Stress Free Guide to Studying in the States by Toni Summers Hargis (for students going to the USA)
Studying Abroad 2017 by Cerys Evans (for students going anywhere else in the world!)
Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance
Coursework and examinations
IB Diploma Programme Exams
I hope that students have been sharing their results, of internal exams, with parents this week as well as talking through what they need to do differently for the mock exams and the final exams. The internal exams are a good practice for the real thing. As I have been telling my mathematics class, there is a definite strategy to taking exams. In order to be successful we need to not only put effort into lessons but also put effort into our preparations for the exams. This includes being in the right frame of mind; relaxed and calm. Being in this state is affected by the amount of preparation done – the right amount of preparation means you will be calm and confident. A lack of preparation is where nerves will appear.
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 12 Deadlines for this week are below (next week is activities week so there are no deadlines)
End of Year 12 Group film Final Cut
Extended Essay (not including group 4)
Research and essay outline
IB Learner Profile
As students embark on their CAS trip to Cambodia it is important to recognise the reason for their journey. They are there to make a positive difference to those less fortunate than themselves. They are there to contribute to a charity that has been working with disadvantaged children in Pnom Penh for many years. This model of a sustainable charity is extremely important and the students should feel proud to be a part of this. In short the IB Diploma Programme describes this as being caring. I look forward to hearing all the stories of great work done by our students when they come back.
Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator