The Graduation Ceremony on Friday 20 May, was well attended and marked the moment when these students formally graduated from BISS Puxi. They were presented with certificates of graduation as well as graduation gifts. It was great to hear from our valedictorian speakers – Jun Ho Lee, Margot Jacobs and Gustavo Parucker – who shared some of the memories of the last two years with a blend of humour and passion.
This was followed by our Graduation Dinner on Monday 23 May at the Shangri-La, once again well attended by students, parents and staff. The Class of 2016 looked absolutely stunning in the way they were dressed for the occasion and the evening proved a fitting end to their time at BISS Puxi. Among the highlights were the student speeches delivered by Sang Won Seok (with his customary brio), Emma Lorenzetto and Meharbaan Bahra. Photographs from the two events will shortly be made available via our school Moodle and an email will be sent to students with the necessary links.
Year 12 students are gearing up for their end of year examinations which start on Monday 30 May and continue throughout that week. They have been issued with exam timetables and are now focusing on revision. Although they will have seen many exam style questions during their lessons, this will be the first time they have tried papers covering multiple topics so this will be valuable experience. The results will give a valuable indication of progress so far, though it needs to be borne in mind that at this stage, they are unlikely to yet be at the level that they will achieve at the end of the programme.
Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy
Creativity, Activity, Service
Along with Activity and Service, Creativity is one of the strands of CAS. Creativity in CAS provides students with the opportunity to explore their own sense of original thinking and expression. Our students have undergone a wide variety of Creativity experiences ranging from making computer games to creating their own YouTube channels. Experiences that students choose to do often stem from personal interests and passions. Others have discovered their passion whilst challenging themselves to new experiences. I encourage students to take inspiration and try something new; you never know you might discover a new passion or future career. Here are some ideas for Creativity experiences that link to different subjects and some also have Service and Activity elements to them.
1. Write a script for a play.
2. Participate in a community-based theatre group.
3. Design or participate in awareness-raising performances for NGOs.
4. Form a performance group.
5. Run a children’s theatre group in the local community.
6. Organise an improvisation theatre troupe.
7. Learn how to perform magic and put on a magic show.
1. Join a choir or participate in a musical.
2. Play a musical instrument in a band or orchestra.
3. Learn to play a musical instrument or take vocal lessons.
4. Form a music group.
5. Perform for clients in aged care homes.
6. Conduct a choir or a band.
7. Host a musical event at school.
1. Produce personal artworks.
2. Paint a mural for the walls of a local primary school or childcare centre.
3. Design posters for school advertising particular events.
4. Curate the school art gallery.
5. Organize or participate in craft activities.
6. Do photo shoots for NGOs or for senior citizens.
7. Enter a local art or photography competition.
8. Teach art for early childhood or primary school.
1. Join a ballet or jazz class.
2. Choreograph a school production.
3. Run a school-based dance class.
4. Perform as a dancer in a school production.
5. Participate in annual school performers’ showcase.
6. Teach a junior dance class.
7. Organize a dance flash mob
Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator
With the publication last week of the Guardian Newspaper’s UK University Rankings and Subject League tables for 2017, this week’s IB newsletter section will focus on University Rankings.
University League Tables and Rankings are available from a number of sources. Some Rankings are country-specific (such as the rankings compiled by The Complete University Guide, the Guardian Newspaper for the UK, or the rankings compiled by US News for the USA). Other rankings take an international or global perspective, for instance the Times Higher Education World Rankings, or the QS World University Rankings. Whether country-specific or global, these sources give overall university rankings, as well as, in most cases, subject-specific rankings. US News has several different ranking categories, such as ‘National Universities’, ‘Liberal Arts and Science Colleges’, and ‘Top Public Schools’.
There are many dimensions on which universities’ performance can be evaluated and a wide range of possible indicators, some of which will be more relevant to prospective undergraduate students than others. For example, whereas The Complete University Guide examines includes research assessment and research intensity as part of their rankings, The Guardian Guide does not believe this to be as important a factor for undergraduate students.
When using rankings, there are a few key things that I would encourage students to consider:
Universities may have particular subject specialisms which may not be apparent from the overall university rankings. For instance, Parsons College and Pratt College in the USA, or Central St Martin’s in the UK, are amongst the top institutions in the world for the study of Art and Design, but will not necessarily appear in overall world university rankings. The University of Southampton may not rank as highly as UCL or the University of Oxford overall, but for the study of Electronic Engineering it’s ranked higher than both of these institutions (first and third in the Guardian University Guide and the Complete University Guide respectively).
A university can offer a large number of subjects for several thousand students, so ‘average’ information can be misleading. Ranking indicators can sometimes also be misleading. For instance, indicators referring to ‘teaching quality’ do not measure the ability of staff to teach their subject, but refer to a department’s paperwork, systems and procedures, and not for the effectiveness, stimulation or brilliance of the lectures.
Differences between universities can often appear large, but there are often only very small differences in the scores from which the rankings have been derived.
Don’t use rankings to confirm what you already know … use them to find out about institutions that you haven’t heard of! You won’t be surprised to see Harvard, Princeton, UCL, Imperial College London, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge and MIT appearing in lists of the world’s top 20 universities, but did you know that the University of Tokyo, the National University of Singapore, the Swiss Institute of Technology, China’s Tsinghua University and the Australian National University also feature in World Top 20 lists?
Going to a University ranked in the top 1% of universities in the UK will give you a list of 1-2 universities. Going to a University ranked in the top 1-2% of universities in the USA will give you a list of 45 universities.
Rankings and Reputation should be taken into consideration, but should not be your only consideration. Other factors to consider when looking for universities and colleges around the world could include:
• Entry Requirements – what IB grades do you need to get in?
• Does the University offer the course or major you are interested in?
• Does the university have a subject specialism?
• What is the ratio of exams to coursework?
• What Optional Modules or Minors can you take?
• Location and size of University.
• Facilities for sport, leisure activities, music etc.
• Accommodation (self-catering, meals provided?).
• Work Experience opportunities/Internships/Job Prospects
• Cost of Tuition
• Retention/Acceptance Rates
Getting into university is just the first step of your Higher Education experience. Once you are there, it’s important that you are happy, and that you thrive. So, as well as looking for the best university to go to, you should also be identifying which is the best university for you.
Links to resources:
Mark Weston, Higher Education Advisor
Coursework and examinations
IB Diploma Programme Exams
Without any more exams to go I want to take this opportunity to say well done to all Year 13 students. They have been through an intense three week exam period and done so with determination and hard work. I am sure teachers and parents alike will be proud of all the Year 13 students come the 6 July.
In preparation for that day it is important that every student has their personal code and individual PIN to access the candidates.ibo.org website where they will be able to find their results. If anyone does not have these login details then please email me.
IB Diploma Programme Deadlines
Year 12 students have been preparing well for their internal exams and English A Interactive oral exams this week. We would like to remind students that this is both a good opportunity for students to show how hard they have worked this year as well as opportunity for reflection and revisit topics they have found difficult. The key message is not to put too much pressure on themselves as it is not just the result that is important for these exams but the experience of the journey.
The Year 12 deadlines for this week are below (there are no deadlines next week due to internal exams):
English Language and Literature
IB Learner Profile
Our principal Mr Foyle said something that really resonated with me while giving his speech at the graduation ceremony for Year 13. He said ‘we all have the same amount of time in the day’. This is very true and how we use that time, effectively and ineffectively is largely down to us. That couldn’t be truer than when revising. In a world full of distractions it is important to put them to one side for this time by turning of wifi on our mobiles and laptops to stop those distractions and make the best use of the time that we all have. This makes us principled as well as successful as we make full use of the 24 hours a day we have.
Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator