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IB Diploma News

22 maart 2017

There has been lots going on over the last week or so involving Year 12 and Year 13 students. It has certainly been a time which has emphasised how impressive many of our students are and what an excellent contribution to school life they make.

One particularly noteworthy event has been a ‘Music Week’ which has featured a series of lunchtime performances and which has promoted the Indo-China Starfish foundation (a charity that our students are working with as part of their Cambodia trip). I was also hugely impressed by the group of students who organised the Youth Run last Sunday, raising over 10,000RMB for the Huaxin Rehabilitation Centre – despite having not the best weather conditions, there was a very healthy attendance for what was a very successful event.

A number of Year 12 students are playing prominent roles in our school production and can be very proud of their performances earlier in the week.

On the academic front, our Year 12 students are continuing with their work for the Extended Essay. This week featured a seminar on writing skills which was followed by a form time activity. Students have now been allocated supervisors and are holding preliminary meetings to discuss their essay topics.

Moving on to Year 13, the Visual Arts students are preparing for their Exhibition which opens on Monday 27th March. This promises to be one of the highlights of the school calendar, featuring some really high quality work.

With just five weeks now until the final IB exams begin for Year 13, revision is now well underway. Students have also had their final CAS interview this week which marks another significant moment in the Diploma Programme

Andrew Joy, Head of IB Academy


Creativity, Activity, Service

Year 12 students have been embarking on their CAS Projects.  The aim of a CAS project is for students to work collaboratively, following the 5 stages of CAS (Investigation, preparation, action, demonstration and reflection) to initiate a series of CAS experiences as a project.  There have been a variety of exciting projects that have been planned so far, including music week, students involved in raising money and awareness for World Water Day and building of a drone!   A CAS project that took place last Sunday was the Youth Run, which raised money for the Huaxin Rehabilitation Centre.  I was thoroughly impressed with how the students involved planned and engaged with the project, demonstrating great communication with staff, students and the wider school community to promote and run the event.  They truly did achieve and demonstrated many of the CAS learning outcomes and IB learner profile attributes.  Here, the students give an account of the event:       

Youth Run

The Youth Run event was a huge success, and first, we would like to thank everyone who came to support us on the day, and donated money for a good cause!   In Total, we raised more than 10 000 RMB for the Huaxin Rehabilitation Centre, and we are extremely pleased with our results. Around 50 people attended and ran, which is more than we expected due to the rain - thank you to all of those who ran, even though it rained for the whole day – it was a shame that it stopped right as we finished packing up! In the next few weeks to come, we will be collecting final donations, and will go to the centre itself with all the toys, books and other items donated, as well as the money to hand it to them personally. We hope that everyone enjoyed the event as much as we did, because it really put a smile on our faces to see how all our hard work had paid off. Well done to everyone!

Vivian, Jade, Abby, Nicolas, Samuel and Phoebe, Year 12 Students


Higher Education

Exam Help from Bristol University

“Revision can be stressful, daunting or just plain boring, but we all have to do it at some point. Successful revision is not just about revision technique but also about getting the right balance so that you are working at your best without it taking over your life.” Useful advice from the University of Bristol on Exams and revision can be found in the document below.

How to write Better Essays

Lots of advice on how to write effective academic essays is contained in this useful article (below) published by The Guardian newspaper. It also contains links to other sites that will help with essay writing technique.

Asia University Rankings

The Times Higher Education’s 2017 ranking of the top universities in Asia is out now, with the National University of Singapore topping the table. More information can be found by following this link.

Upcoming Higher Education Events at BISS Puxi

Monday 27 March – 5:30 in Auditorium – Presentation from Yonsei University (South Korea)

Thursday 30 March – 1:15 in Room 350 – Making Applications to the USA 

Monday 10 April – Visit from Goldsmiths, London – presentation to Art, Film & Drama Students – 9:45 – 10:40 in the Auditorium

Wednesday 12 April – Period 3 in Auditorium, followed by sessions in IB study areas – Preparation for HE: Choosing Courses and Universities – all Year 12 students.

Wednesday 19 April – Period 3 in Auditorium, followed by sessions in IB study areas – Preparation for HE: Personal Statements, Essays and Self-Assessment – all Year 12 students.

Wednesday 19 April – 18:30-19:30 in Auditorium – Parents’ Information Evening – Higher Education 

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance


Pastoral News

This year there have been a wide variety of activities during form time for both IB year groups. Recently the year 13 students have been working in study groups once a week on their chosen subject. During Wednesday morning form time this week the students will have their fifth session of study groups and thus will conclude this activity. Each week I have visited the forms and it has been great to see such fantastic collaboration and great work presented by the students. I am hoping this has been valuable time spent on revising their work in a collaborative environment. Some students may even wish to continue with these groups during form time next term for the few weeks they will be attending classes before their exams.

Coursework and examinations

IB Diploma Programme Exams

Now that all the oral exams are out of the way students in Year 13 can fully focus on the final exams in May. It has been great to see the amount of revision cards around the place and students working together to prepare for the exams; there is a good positive atmosphere amongst students and I am confident those who have their revision mapped out will perform well in the summer. It is also great to hear the Year 12 students talking about their extended essays and listening to their ideas already forming.

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 are below

Date Due


Work Due


Visual Art

All art work submitted



Musical Links final deadline

There are no upcoming deadlines for Year 12 this week or the week after the Chinese New Year holiday.

Date Due


Work Due         


English Lang and Lit HL

First draft of written task 2


English Literature



Extended Essay

Students to have preliminary meeting with supervisor


Extended Essay

Students to submit form time activity on writing style.


English Literature

PLT written task final hand in

IB Learner Profile

Positivity when faced with the unknown, whether it is the Extended Essay for Year 12 or the exams for Year 13. This is the perfect time to practise a growth mind-set. All the clichés about failing to prepare, prepare to fail apply here. It is better to tackle these things head on with good organisation and planning. That will help students to be more confident in their approach to these two big tasks. This is what the IB defines as a risk taker.

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 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 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