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  • A Warm Welcome

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IB Diploma News

12 januari 2017

A Happy New Year to all of you from the IB team. This term promises to be a busy one. Year 12 students will be starting the process of learning about the Extended Essay, beginning with an introductory assembly which we held today. 

We will be following this with seminars on some of the skills required for researching, writing and formally presenting the essay as well as some activities in form time to reinforce those skills.

For Year 13, the focus is now on completing final items of Internal Assessment, writing Theory of Knowledge essays, then  working on the process of revision for the final examinations.

Meanwhile, this term we shall be starting the process of preparing Year 11 for the IB Diploma with some introductory sessions for students as well as an Information Evening on 13th February.

This term, we have a Student Parent Teacher Conference for Year 13 on Wednesday 22nd February. As always, we shall send letters with details of this nearer the time.

Finally, I would like to let you know about a change to the calendar for our Graduation Dinner for Year 13 students. This will now take place on the evening of Sunday 21st May. Details of venue and ticketing arrangements will follow in due course. The Graduation Ceremony remains on Friday 19th May in our auditorium.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

 

Creativity, Activity, Service

CAS Stages

As Year 12 and Year 13 students embark on new challenges for their CAS this term, I would like to remind our students of the five stages of CAS.  The CAS stages are a framework which helps students when they are considering and carrying out their CAS experiences, allowing them to make considered choices rather than jumping straight into an experience.  These CAS stages represent a process that can assist students in many aspects of their life.   The process includes investigating an interest that raises questions and curiosity, prepare by learning more about it, take some form of action, reflect on what they have done throughout the experience and demonstrate what they have learnt through the experience.     By following the five CAS stages we hope that students are able to take ownership of their own CAS programme whilst promoting and aiding the achievement of the CAS learning outcomes.  For each CAS experience students are required to have personal goals and also to demonstrate that they have achieved some of the CAS learning outcomes, which are:

  • Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
  • Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
  • Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
  • Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
  • Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
  • Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions

Completion of CAS requires a balanced programme of Creativity, Activity and Service experiences with at least one CAS project and demonstration of the achievement of the learning outcomes of CAS.  Our Year 13 students are nearing the end of their CAS programme and I look forward to celebrating all their success stories and achievements. 

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator

 

Higher Education

University Applications

Well done to all students who have met their university application deadlines for universities around the world. An update on university offers that students have received will appear in next week’s newsletter.

BISS Puxi University Fair – 11th March 2017, 10am-2pm – Save the Date!

On Saturday 11th March 2017, we will be holding a university fair for parents and students. This is a fantastic opportunity for students and parents to meet with university representatives from Higher Education institutions around the world, and will be especially important for current Year 11 and 12 students to attend.  More detailed information will be made available to parents and students over the course of the next few weeks, but for now, please make a note of this date.

Summer Schools  

Summer schools are a great opportunity for students (often in Year 12) to gain an insight into university life, explore a subject in more depth, work on a project, develop new skills and improve their IB grades. Many summer schools open their application windows from January onwards. Year 12 students should log into the HE section of Moodle and go to the Summer Schools section for more information, or see Mr Weston for details.

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance

 

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

Welcome back to all IB students. This term will be an interesting one for year 12 as they begin their Extended Essay journey. They also now have a deadline calendar on managebac which they can filter down to their own subjects so they can see what is coming up for the next two terms. For year 13, this term will include uploading the assessments they have already completed for each subject – more on this later.

IB Diploma Programme Deadlines

All deadlines for year 12 and year 13 students are accessible through their Managebac account by looking at the calendar. We encourage parents to ask their son/daughter to show them this calendar so they can help their children to plan their work.

The Year 13 deadlines for this week and next week are below

Date Due

Subject

Work Due

10/01/2017

Dutch A

Interactive Oral Component

11/01/2017

Korean A

1st draft of creative written task

11/01/2017

Spanish A

1st draft of creative written task

11/01/2017

Korean A

1st draft of critical response

13/01/2017

Spanish ab initio

Final draft of written assignment

13/01/2017

French B

Written assignment final draft

13/01/2017

Mandarin ab initio

Written assignment 1st draft submission

16/01/2017

Korean A

Final Interactive Oral Component

16/01/2017

Spanish A

Final Interactive Oral Component

16/01/2017

Chinese B HL

Final submission of written assignment

17/01/2017

Economics

IA2 1st draft

20/01/2017

Spanish ab intio

Final submission of written assignment

20/01/2017

Chinese A

Interactive Oral Component

20/01/2017

French B

Final submission of written assignment

The Year 12 deadlines for this week and next week are below

Date Due

Subject

Work Due

13/01/2017

Mathematical Studies SL

Proposal for project

16/01/2017

Spanish A

Final submission of written task 1

19/01/2017

English Lang and Lit

Formative oral assessment 2 starts

20/01/2017

Korean A

First draft of written task 2

IB Learner Profile

With the introduction of the deadline calendar for year 12 now is time for them to focus on assessments that will count towards their final IB grade. With that in mind, communication is key as students work together to decode the IB marking criteria and express their ideas for their coursework to their teachers.

Thomas Housham, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator

 

Pastoral News

After each tracker that the students receive there is time given during peer mentoring sessions in order to reflect on previous targets set and time to decide on new targets. It is now that time again over the next two weeks for students to review their targets and discuss with their teachers academic plans for the next half term. Although I know I have previously mentioned this but the conversations students should be having with their teachers about their progress and how to improve is vitally important.  During mentoring time with the students I often have discussions about tracker grades and ask questions about how they intend to improve in their efforts.  Sometimes students are confident that they know what it is that they need to do in order to get to the next level; however, having discussions with the subject teacher can provide extra insight and helpful guidance.  If students make this a regular practice, it will help them to determine if the targets they're making are appropriate and at the right level of challenge. 

Angela Sharrock, Key Stage 5 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 difference between the full IB Diploma and Courses.

The majority of our students are registered for the full IB Diploma which consists of six subjects and the Diploma Core (TOK, Extended Essay and CAS). The six subjects must come from the six IB subject groups (although group 6 allows the flexibility of choosing a second subject from one of the other groups) and must include three Higher Level subjects. This, of course, is a qualification that is very highly valued by higher education institutions and contains all the elements which make the DP such an excellent preparation for university and future life.

It is also possible to be registered as a Courses candidate which essentially means that the student is doing elements of the Diploma Programme but not the full Diploma Programme. There is a great deal of flexibility here with the option to take more subjects and standard level or to take only five subjects rather than six. TOK, Extended Essay and CAS are optional elements for Courses students who can choose to take as many or as few of these as they wish.

For most students, full Diploma is the preferred choice in order to get the most from the rigorous DP and to open up opportunities for higher education. However, there are two categories of student who may sometimes benefit from taking Courses. In the first instance, students who are struggling to meet the minimum points requirement of 24 to pass their Diploma may sometimes get stronger results by taking Courses. This is because they can take more subjects and Standard Level and because with a reduced programme, they can have more time to focus on doing well in the elements they do take. The second situation occurs when students are using another qualification to access higher education (such as admission tests to Korean universities) which means the flexibility of Courses allows them to get the benefits of IB learning while giving them enough time to work on their other study at the same time.

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy

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