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International Diploma Programme News

02 maart 2016

This week, the big focus for Year 13 students is on the Theory of Knowledge essay, with final submission taking place this Friday. Each student has chosen one of six ‘prescribed titles’ and to give you a flavour of their writing, I would like to share those titles with you.

  • IB Academy
  • Cakes

Meanwhile, the rest of the term is packed with events involving Year 12 and 13 students including a Chemistry visit to Novacap, the Shanghai Film Festival, the Biology/ Environmental Systems trip to Zhejiang and the IB Art exhibition.

Year 13 students continue to work hard towards their final examinations in May. There are a number of things that parents can do to support their children in this, including making sure that they have a quiet place to work at weekends and evenings, encouraging them to have healthy amounts of sleep (working late into the night is usually counter-productive) and challenging them if their revision methods are passive rather than active.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Upcoming University Visits to BISS Puxi

Representatives from several universities will be visiting BISS Puxi to present to Year 12 students over the coming weeks. IB Diploma students interested in making applications to universities in the US and the UK  are encouraged to attend the relevant events listed below:

Monday 14 March – University of California, Davis – 1pm in Room 350

Tuesday 15 March – University College London – 1pm in the Drama Studio

Several University Fairs are also taking place in Shanghai during March and more information is being given to students in morning tutor time.

Mark Weston, Higher Education Adviser

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines and Exams

The deadline for students to upload their written work to Managebac is this Friday so students have been working well (sometimes with a lot of persistence) to upload all their assignments and hopefully feeling a good sense of accomplishment when doing this. It is a good time to reflect and think about the work done as an achievement as the IB Diploma Programme strives to open student’s minds to new concepts not just create extra stress for a student. I can understand how some can feel the latter but it is always important to remember the bigger picture.

I have been impressed with students in year 12 talking to teachers about Extended Essays as they consider what they will research into after Easter. The deadline is fast approaching us so I encourage all students to engage with this process and talk through their interests or worries.

Date Due


Work Due


Visual Art

All studio work complete


English Language and Literature

Final internal assessment submission


English Literature

Final internal assessment submission


Theory of Knowledge

Essay final submission


French B

Final oral


German B

Final oral


Spanish B

Final oral



Final Draft of stage 2 internal assessment



Final Portfolio hand in


Chinese B SL

Individual oral


Mandarin ab initio

Oral exam

IB Learner Profile

This week Mr Tilley gave a very informative assembly on using mind maps to revise for exams and sharing with students how he used them to revise and the process he used. Over the upcoming weeks there will be lots of advice given to Year 13 students for their final exams (and indeed year 12 students for their end of year exams). It is important for students to keep an open mind with all these approaches and remember that all teachers have the ultimate goal of helping everyone become organised and follow a well thought out programme of revision rather than a random one which does not address all your weaknesses in a certain subject.

Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

Creativity, Activity, Service

This week Ji Woo Yoon interviews Marit Wienholts about her CAS experience centred around raising awareness about breast cancer.

The Year 12 students have recently been instructed to plan and start working on CAS projects. These projects are to be based on individual interests and concerns in society, and students must think of creative ways to contribute to solving these problems. Students are to work in groups with other peers that show similar interests, in order to demonstrate collaboration skills. CAS doesn’t solely focus on the significance of outcome, but rather puts emphasis on the process along the way. For instance, it is important to take note on certain problems these students encountered during the process, and how they overcame it by demonstrating IB profiles

I’ve decided to interview Marit Wienholts, in form 12I, as she was one of the first people to put her CAS project in action.

What is your CAS project?

My CAS project is about raising awareness along with funds for an association called Pink Ribbon. This charity aims to raise global awareness of breast cancer, and gives monetary aid to researchers who develop cures for the disease. I feel strongly for this organization as it is admirable how a non-profit network could be so globally renowned. On February 26, I sold brownies with a pink ribbon mascot on the crust at break time, and earned a total of 470 RMB.

Why did you choose this CAS project?

The pink ribbon is very globally developed, and is especially accessible in China. We thought that this disease deserves more attention and acknowledgement, as a lot of people are affected by it, if not associated to someone who is.

I believe that this project will require demonstration of being a communicator and a caring person. Talking to students to publicise the severity of the issue will demand good communication skills. I not only have to talk to students, but also contact the organization for guidance. Furthermore, this project requires genuine concern and interest for those who suffer from breast cancer.

My group includes Alissa, Alex, Mike, and me. Alissa is well organized and is a loyal member that provides encouragement in the team. She helps me stay on track and not miss significant deadlines. Alex and Mike are in charge of publicizing our project, for instance by handing out flyers. Without everyone’s contribution, our team would not have been able to be as successful.

What are your goals for the CAS project?

I aim to raise 1000 RMB, which is an adequate amount to contribute to the growing issue. I wish to eradicate breast cancer, first by raising awareness in my community and then persuading others to encourage support.

Ling Coong, CAS 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 Research Question for the Extended Essay.

The Extended Essay is essentially a research project and students are encouraged to begin by asking a question which they will answer during the course of their research and writing. A good research question is one that is narrowly focused in the sense that it can reasonably be answered in appropriate depth within the 4000 word limit. The essay itself will be clearly focused upon that question and directed towards a final conclusion which provides an answer to it. Clearly defining the Research Question is crucial as many of the assessment criteria directly refer to it when allocating marks.

Students will be supported by their Extended Essay supervisors in choosing their Research Question. They will help the student determine whether their topic is one which will be rich in terms of relevant and accessible material and whether the topic meets the subject specific guidance in the Extended Essay guide.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy