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International Diploma Programme News

23 maart 2016

We reach the end of what has been a very busy and successful second term of the school year. 

Year 13 students have completed their formal coursework requirements, finished off their CAS and TOK programmes, then started the process of revision for final examinations. Year 12 students are starting to experience many elements of internal assessment as the programme becomes increasingly demanding.

I’m pleased to report that the recent Year 12 trip to Longwangshan was very successful. Students worked very hard throughout and made real inroads into their coursework for Biology and ESS. 

As I write, the Year 13 Visual Art exhibition is taking place. Hebe and Chelsea have produced some spectacular work which they can be very proud of. I know that the feedback from other students and from staff has been very positive. Earlier this week, Victoria Sze performed with distinction in her assessed performance element of her Music course, playing both piano and cello.

Finally, I would like to wish all our Year 12 students a pleasant break. With examinations looming, pleasure should not feature prominently for Year 13 students, so I wish them instead a productive Easter week!

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

Higher Education

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?!

·         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 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, 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. 

·         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!

·         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 there.

·         Websites –  a host of websites are available to students to help further their interests/keep them up to date. For example: BiologyBiochemistryChemistryComputingDrama & Theatre StudiesEconomics.

… there are too many to mention here, so a helpful list will be posted on Managebac!

                  Mark Weston, Higher Education Adviser

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines and Exams

As you can see below, the deadlines for Year 13 are drying up with all assignments being uploaded to the IBO meaning that students now don’t have any Internal Assessments to worry about as well as having extra study periods due to the completion of the Theory of Knowledge course. This time can be spent on revision for subjects and therefore each student should incorporate this into their revision plan for the week.

Date Due


Work Due


Visual Art




Final submission of 20 Page Director’s Notebook



Oral recording

There is now a deadline calendar for Year 12 students on Managebac and the first two deadlines coming up for Year 12 are below.

Date Due


Work Due


Extended Essay

Meet with Extended Essay supervisor to discuss what to do over the Easter holiday


Extended Essay

Submit a topic to Managebac

IB Learner Profile

‘We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.’ This is the definition from the IBO about being a Thinker. The key word here is initiative. This is important now as students have extra study periods in Year 13. Having a plan before the day begins will mean that less time is wasted at the beginning of these study periods deciding what to do. This is also a key message for planning a schedule over the holiday to complete the past papers that each subject will give to students.

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 Diploma Programme Evaluation

In order to become an ‘IB World School’ (in other words, to offer one of the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s programmes), schools need to undertake a rigorous authorisation process. This, of course, was something that BISS Puxi undertook successfully almost ten years ago.

Every five years after authorisation, all IB schools must undertake a Diploma Programme Evaluation which is a validation that the school continues to meet the high standards required to offer IB programmes in terms of its philosophy, its pedagogy and its resources and structure. This consists of a self-study which involves all stakeholders in the school including students, parents, teachers and school leadership. This self-study needs to be backed up with various pieces of evidence.

Having successfully completed the previous evaluation in the 2011/12 academic year, BISS Puxi will next be doing this in the 2016/17 academic year. Parents will be invited to be involved in this process and more information about this will be released in due course.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy