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IB Diploma News

30 november 2017

This week Year 13 students have been working extremely hard completing their mock exams in a very packed schedule.

With a week of hard work done, I hope students will be able to find some time to unwind this weekend. Whether that is coming to the Christmas Fair or distressing the mind by playing a sport or going to the gym. It is important that students find a balance so they can come back refreshed on Monday.

The last two weeks of term will be important for students but will not have the same amount of stress. There are two important things for Year 13 students to focus on. The first is feedback from their mock exams. This is extremely important that students reflect on their revision process, topics they found difficult and the strategies they need for taking each paper. The last item is particularly important. For example, I have told my Mathematics HL class that the focus of the mock exam will be how they perform on the first 7 or 8 questions on section A and the first question of section B. For all these questions students should be aiming for as close to 100% as possible as they are all able to complete these questions with a certain method. Students should reflect on their strategies for each of papers and discuss with their teachers the best way to approach each one.

The second important feedback is on their Extended Essay. In the final two weeks of term, students will receive feedback on their essays from their supervisors. The feedback will cover the criteria A-D and how to improve on each of these. It is important students take this feedback, reflect on it and ask any questions they have that they are not clear about.


Year 12

This week students had their first deadline associated with the Extended Essay. By November 30th they had to upload a word document to ManageBac which outlined three topics they were interested in exploring for their Extended Essay. As a follow up to this, students will attend a session on Monday 4th December which will outline how students can narrow down their research topic. These are the first few steps in students approaching a research question which we will explore how to do in January. I hope that Year 12 students have shared their ideas with their parents and started the discussion (with a final decision coming in January) about what subject they will complete their Extended Essay in.

Thomas Housham, Head of IB Academy


Diploma Programme Deadlines

Each week we will publish the deadlines for students so you can help support them at home. Below are the deadlines for this week and next. It is extremely important students stick to these as they have been carefully arranged to make the Diploma Programme manageable. Year 12 deadlines will start after the Christmas holiday.


Description of Work

Date due

Chinese B SL

Written assignment first draft

4th December

Chinese B HL

Interactive Oral

7th December

Spanish A

Written task 4 Critical response (HL only) 1st draft

8th December


Performing - Submission of first draft

8th December


Creativity, Activity, Service News

Random Acts of Kindness day

Here are a few reflections from some Year 12 students on their chosen CAS project, to arrange and carry out a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ day at BISS. 

I think it is extremely important that we are kind to one another. Sometimes we take things for granted and we don't realise that the smallest thing can make someone's day so much better. With all the problems in the world, the least we can do is put a smile on someone's face, even if we don't know them that well. This is why I wanted to plan a Random Acts of Kindness event with a group here at my school. We wanted to incorporate the national Random Acts of Kindness at BISS and I think it is essential to remind people that kindness and smiling is contagious. - Ezgi Turkmen 12B

Maaike van Tilborg (12S) gives an account of the steps the group took in planning the day:

During week 1, we worked on preparing for our project as we wanted to have a clear plan of what we were about to do. We started with the idea of ‘Kindness’ as we wanted to do something that would bring some happiness into the world. Therefore, I brought up the idea of getting notebooks and writing compliments to others in there, although this wasn’t very practical as we would only be able to compliment people in our own forms (we would give each form one notebook). Then my classmate brought up the idea of sending notes which is the idea we went through with. Therefore, we had to prepare boxes in which we could put the notes, prepare the format of the notes and we had to find a way to advertise our project. My classmate and I organised the boxes and I made notes which indicate which notes for which years had to go in which. Another classmate made a nice format for the notes which stated the name and form and then space to write a compliment in. Lastly, for advertising we decided to go around assemblies and forms to promote our project so our students would know about it. Overall, I think our preparation went quite well as we had a clear plan and stating each other’s roles.

During the second week, we worked on promoting our project by going around forms and assemblies. I personally, went alone around forms as we divided the roles amongst the people who participated in this project. Going around forms helped me to improve my social skills as I had to talk to students about our project. It also helped me to work on planning and time management as we had to divide the forms amongst us. I think overall it went well as students knew about the project and afterwards also became excited to send compliments to each other.

During the third week, it was time to finally complete our project by sending compliments to each other. We located ourselves on a table next to the canteen and in front of the reception which is a clear spot that students often walk by. The first day it was very crowded as all the students were enthusiastic to send compliments to their peers and teachers. The rest of the days the students continue to send notes to each other and everyday there were still people visiting. I think that our project was very successful by using a simple but creative idea and something that the peers amongst us enjoy. It was also successful due to the planning and working well collaboratively

Ezgi Zeynep Kazancioglu 12I

The result of our activity was very successful and we managed to get a lot of people contributing to this activity. When we were taking part we had to make sure that whatever the students wrote were appropriate and was not a mean comment so while we were sorting them out we were reading some and just seeing how people can be really nice and the way they end up complimenting the smallest things someone can realise in that one person. The activity itself made me really happy because personally I think I am a really nice myself so just seeing other people do what I do made me feel better about myself. From this activity, I have learnt that happiness does not cost you anything and just seeing someone else smile other than you just makes you feel like you have accomplished something amazing.

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator


University Offers and University Application Deadlines

A reminder students and parents that all applications due to be submitted before the start or middle of January must be completed by the end of Term 1, and that the HE team must be notified of any deadlines in good time, to enable them to work most effectively with students, prepare transcripts and complete recommendation letters (as necessary).

More offers from around the world are being made to students who have already completed their applications, including offers from Russell Group universities such as UCL, King’s College London, the Universities of  Bath, Bristol and Manchester. Several students have been called for interview by institutions such as the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Imperial College London and St. George’s Medical School.

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance