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International Diploma Programme News

24 februari 2016

This week featured both the Year 11 information evening and Year 13 Student Parent Teacher Conference.

Year 11 final subject choices will be made between March 25 and April 8 and we shall be sending details of how to make those selections in early March. In the meantime, I would like to invite parents of Year 11 students to make an appointment with me if you would like to discuss your son or daughter’s choice of subjects.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Year 13 Student Parent Teacher Conference as I was away at a course. If you had hoped to speak to me, I would be more than happy to arrange a separate meeting.

Year 13 students should now be underway with a well-planned revision programme and we recommend that they use their Personal Revision Planner to help organise themselves. Over the next few weeks, Year 13 assemblies will focus on revision techniques.

Meanwhile, Year 12 students continue to work on building up the skills required for the Extended Essay. We shall be asking them to choose their Extended Essay subjects in March and they can then start working with their supervisors on refining their topic and research question.

Explaining the Diploma Programme

Each week, we shall be focusing on one particular aspect of the Diploma Programme. This week I shall write about our calendar of deadlines.

Throughout the two years of the Diploma Programme, students will have large amounts of work (Including Internal Assessment, CAS reflections, TOK assessments, Extended Essay) which needs to be completed. In the IB Academy, we create a schedule to ensure this is as spread out as it can possibly be to avoid too many of these tasks happening at the same time.

This schedule includes internal deadlines throughout Year 12 and Year 13. It is very important that our students stick to those deadlines as falling behind can cause knock-on effects for their work in other subjects. Some pieces of work will have deadlines for several stages of completion such as outlines and first drafts. Adhering to these deadlines ensures that teachers have enough time to give important feedback which can guide the student as they complete the work.

Occasionally people ask us why we need to have internal deadlines which are different from the IBO’s own deadlines. There are essentially two reasons for this. Firstly, the IBO deadlines are for them to receive the work from us so we need to build in time to check the work, complete documentation and to upload it. Secondly, the IBO deadlines are all towards the end of the course and we need to make sure that the work is spread much more evenly over the two years so students aren’t overloaded when it is getting close to final examinations.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines and Exams

Students have begun to upload their assignments this week and last, as well as completing their Viva Voce’s with their Extended Essay supervisor. Coming to the end of assignments means that the extra time freed up should be replaced with revision. Students in Year 13 have been given revision planners to record completed past papers, and also provide a space for students to plan their week and identify times when they can revise.

Year 12 students should also have their mind on end of year exams as they will soon have more to do with regard to the Extended Essay process; this means that, for the first time, Year 12 students will have to balance commitments to exam revision and deadlines at the same time.

Below are the deadlines for year 13 this week and the week after the holiday.

Date Due

Subject

Work Due

22/02/2016

Film

Portfolio 2nd draft

22/02/2016

English Language and Literature

P3 written task submission

22/02/2016

Dutch Language and Literature

Final draft of written task

22/02/2016

German Language and Literature

Written task 1 final draft

26/02/2016

English Language and Literature

P3 written task feedback

04/03/2016

Visual Art

All studio work complete

04/03/2016

English Language and Literature

Final internal assessment submission

04/03/2016

English Literature

Final internal assessment submission

04/03/2016

Theory of Knowledge

Essay final submission

IB Learner Profile

‘We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life’. This is the definition of being an ‘Inquirer’ from the IB. It is important that we remember both parts of this definition when we are working hard. Firstly we work as a team and there are many people supporting Year 12 and 13 students in their studies and who want to help. Secondly we must remember that we are working hard because of our enjoyment for the subject and also because our studies can help lead us on to new, exciting paths in the future. We can sometimes lose sight of these things through pressure from exams. It is important to remain positive, by referring to these, to help energise ourselves.

Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

Creativity, Activity, Service

Interview with Soobin Shin 12P, by Jenny Tang 12P

What is this CAS experience about?

This CAS experience is an ongoing project in collaboration with the Qing Pu Xiulong Migrant School to support the growth and wellbeing of local migrant children. The students at this primary school are mostly children of low-income migrant workers who generally come from poor rural provinces such as Anhui and Jiangxi. We plan collectively during ECA sessions and then regularly visit the school to facilitate fun and exciting activities for these migrant children. We are each assigned a buddy and act as a ‘Big buddy’ and a role model for him or her.

Why did you choose this CAS experience?

I chose this CAS experience because it seems interesting and fun. It also provides me with an opportunity to learn and grow while allowing me to contribute to our local community.

What do you enjoy about it?

The greatest pleasure that I have derived from this experience is the precious relationship which I have developed with my buddy over time. My buddy is a very cute girl. She runs towards me and greets me with a big cheerful smile every time we meet. She has even written an incredibly touching letter to me!

What do you find challenging?

Initially, I found it quite challenging to communicate with people who I do not know, especially those from an unfamiliar social background. It is also quite challenging to teach young children as they may not always pay attention to what I am trying to say, and they do not learn in the same way that we do as they are much younger.

What have you learnt?

Through a few months of experience, I have learnt to communicate with unfamiliar people and have developed my skills of teaching young children. I have learnt that delivering a lecture in a serious tone would not work well with young children because they would lose their attention and stop listening to me. I have learnt that to attract their attention and their interest, I must speak energetically and truly engage them in activities so that they are interested in what I try to teach. Teaching them while playing with them is highly effective as they are entertained and absorb information even if they are unaware of it.

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

Higher Education

Year 12 Students – ACT/SAT preparation and Test Booking

Year 12 students considering making applications to universities in the USA should be starting to think about SAT and ACT preparation and test bookings if they have not already done so. The next SAT test date is in May 2016.

Which Tests are Required?  - Whilst some universities do not require students to sit admissions tests, other US universities will require students to take either the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT. The most competitive US universities will require students to take the SAT Reasoning Test and 2-3 SAT Subject Exams or the ACT with Writing. Some international students may also be required to take an English Language Proficiency Exam. In order to ensure that you are taking the appropriate test, check the admissions webpage of each university to which you will apply. The Fulbright Commission website provides a reference guide to which admissions tests are required by the top 50 national universities and the top 50 liberal arts colleges, via the following link

Is the SAT or ACT a Better Fit for Me? -  If the US universities to which you apply accept both the SAT and ACT, it is a personal choice as to which to take. Choose the test that you will do best on. ACT questions tend to be written in more straightforward language than the SAT, and tend to measure the practical over the abstract. The SAT is seen by some to be more like a puzzle or word game. Students who enjoy fast-moving puzzles and word games may be more suited to the SAT, and students who study hard and are more comfortable with practical, content-based questions might do better on the ACT. However, there is a great deal of overlap between the exams and they are fairy equivalent. To choose, you can complete a sample test for the SAT Reasoning Test and a sample test for the ACT.Then compare your results from the sample tests using a concordance table which links scores on both tests by percentile (scoring in, say, the 90th percentile means you performed better than 90% of the students sitting the test).

                  Mark Weston, Higher Education Adviser

 

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