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IB Diploma Programme News

05 november 2015

I would like to begin by thanking parents who attended Wednesday’s Student Parent Teacher Conference for Year 12. The next conferences are on 24 February (for Year 13) and 7 April (for Year 12). 

  • IB News
  • IB News

The final submission for the Extended Essay is just around the corner (Monday 9 November). Year 13 students have been working on this for almost a year and in the ‘Explaining the Diploma’ section below I have described the process in more detail. Students will be marking the occasion with a costume day, dressing up in a way that represents their essay.

Also coming up next week is the performance of the Collaborative Piece for Theatre. Our students have created an original piece of theatre based upon a starting point selected by their group. This work is assessed and is part of their final grade.

Meanwhile, Year 12 students are beginning to work on organising elements of the Christmas Fair with the aim being to raise as much money as possible for the Indo-China Starfish Foundation. They will be organising games and activities which pupils can participate in by purchasing wristbands. I would urge you all to support their excellent work.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB                       

Creativity, Activity, Service

Joon Woo Bae considers global issues and ethical implications in his Model United Nations CAS experience. 

Model United Nations: Should European countries take in Syrian refugees or not?

When debating this issue, two separate opinions were suggested. 

We should not: Taking in Syrian refugees will make Europe unstable, and will cause many problems. Therefore, there should be an effort to provide an isolated island for these Syrian refugees. 

We should: Thinking about humanity, European countries should accept Syrian refugees, and provide jobs and shelter for them to start a new life.  Within these two opinions, there were students arguing each opinion. I myself stood for the 2nd opinion.

The new skills that I was able to obtain from this activity were to gain more opportunities to speak English, which will be beneficial for my own future. I gained more awareness of global issues that I wasn't aware of, and gained more insight/perspective into global ethical choices and actions.  It was also a great opportunity to undertake the challenge of debating - contradicting one another's opinion in English. 

Joon Woo Bae, IB Student

Higher Education

China Education Expo and University Visits

Following very successful and well-attended visits last week from Leiden University, King’s College London, St. George’s Medical School, the Royal Veterinary College and the School of Oriental and African Studies, students from BISS Puxi this week welcomed visitors from Erasmus University and the University of Warwick.

Last weekend, Shanghai hosted the China Education Expo. Year 12 and Year 13 students and their parents (as well as the BISS Puxi HE team!), were given the opportunity to meet and talk to university representatives from around the world

University Application Deadlines

All applications due to be submitted before the start or middle of January should be completed by the end of this term, and with Year 13 Mock Examinations fast approaching, time is of the essence!  It’s important that Year 13 students who need to meet deadlines this term complete personal statements/college essays in good time and submit them to the HE Office for review. Deadlines for different universities across the world vary greatly – it is essential that students keep the HE team aware of their plans (which sometimes change) so that references, recommendation letters and other accompanying documentation is ready to send in good time.

Below is a selection of important dates … if the deadline for a particular country or university is not on the list below this does not mean that students don’t have to meet it!

·         31 October – all UK applicants should have completed all sections of their application, including personal statement and choices.

·         1 November – Deadline for some EA/ED Applications to USA

·         14 -15 November – Deadline for ‘Fast Track’ applicants to HKU and HKUST

·         30 November – University of California Application Deadline.

·         7 December – deadline for completion of all Regular Decision applications to USA, KAIST and HKUST/HKU regular applications.

Mark Weston, Higher Education Adviser

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

Below is a list of deadlines for year 13 students. We have also begun to develop a calendar for year 12 students which will include information about their own deadlines. This will be shared with students when it is ready. As it has been a huge success in instilling a good work ethic into year 13 students, we want to develop this further across both year groups.

Due Date

Subject

Work due

02/11/2015

Economics

2nd Internal assessment final deadline

05/11/2015

Korean Literature

Final IOC

06/11/2015

German Language and Literature

Written task 2, first draft

09/11/2015

Extended Essay

Final submission and costume day

10/11/2015

Theatre

Collaborative piece performance (evening)

10/11/2015

Chinese B SL

3rd interactive oral

12/11/2015

German Language and Literature

Written task 2 final draft

13/11/2015

Mathematics

1st draft of Exploration uploaded to Managebac

November Mock exams

With students having been issued their timetables for the mock exams, students should now be setting themselves a study timetable working up to the mock exams. These will be run as close to the real thing as possible so students have a good idea of where they are at and what they need to work on for the real exams. This reflection includes their preparation for the exams so it is important they take this seriously so they know how to improve.

‘Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.’

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 Extended Essay.

The Extended Essay is a research based work and can be written in any one of a student’s Diploma Programme subjects. It is also possible to write an interdisciplinary essay in two or more subjects based on applying a global issue to a local context – this is known as a World Studies essay.

Each student is allocated a supervisor who mentors them throughout the process. Initially, the student will identify a focus for their essay and do some preliminary research to investigate the breadth and availability of appropriate source material. They will refine their topic into a tightly defined Research Question which will then be the focus of their essay.

With the guidance of their supervisor, students will start to plan their essay structure and their main body of research. Once this is complete, they will write a first draft of the essay which is given detailed feedback by their supervisor. Based on this feedback, and with further support from the supervisor, the student will refine the essay into the final piece of work.

At the end of the process, each student will do a Viva Voce – a short interview with their supervisor in which they discuss the process of writing the essay and the findings of their research. Essays are then sent to the IBO for assessment.

Writing the Extended Essay gives students a valuable insight into the style of work that they may be writing in a university context. They learn skills such as research, essay planning and formal presentation which they will need in higher education.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB

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