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IB Diploma News

27 september 2017

This week students will receive their first trackers for this academic year. In keeping with the growth mind-set ethos we are trying to instil in Year 12 and 13 students (more on that from Ms Sharrock later in the newsletter), it is important students take this as feedback on their current study patterns both in class and outside.

  • HE
  • HE

Students should reflect on the work they are doing in class as well as the homework they are completing. They must ask themselves the question of what changes, no matter how small, can I make in order to continue to grow as a learner. Students will be using form time after the October holiday to set themselves targets.

One grade that Year 13 students should focus on in particular is their Extended Essay tracker grade. As mentioned last week this is a reflection of where we feel students are in the Extended Essay process. Myself and Ms Nolan have had very productive sessions with students who have been identified by their supervisors as needing extra help in writing their research question, the introduction and the main body of the essay. I have sent out, via managebac, a brief summary to all students to support everyone. Below I have repeated this summary.

Year 13

As mentioned I will focus on how you can support students in writing/improving their Extended Essay over the October holiday. All Year 13 students have an Extended Essay text book which helps with all aspects of the process. I want to point out the really important parts.

Pages 9-15 help guide students in refining their research questions.

Pages 62-64 go into detail regarding what should be included in the Introduction. It talks about context, outline of argument, scope and worthiness of investigation. Each of these parts is explained in detail and examples are given.

The main body of the essay is dealt with on pages 65-71. Similar to the introduction, this breaks an argument down into sections with examples given as well as sentence structures also given. All students should refer to this over the holiday to either refine their Essay or help to produce the first draft that we are asking to be submitted by 11th October for those students who have struggled with the process.

Year 12

As mentioned above it is important for students to reflect on their first half term on the IB Diploma Programme. It is important students do not just limit this to lessons and homework. They should also reflect on whether they have the right routine in place to cover other aspects of the course such as CAS. The next half term will include the introduction of the Extended Essay so it is important that students are able to build this into their schedule also.

For Year 12 students and parents we will also be arranging an information morning on 10th Ocotber to outline how students can be successful on the IB Diploma Programme. This session will run from 8:50 to 9:45 and is open to all parents. Year 12 students will attend also.

As always we are always open to help support you at home further.

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

Korean A


25th-28th September


IA 1st draft due

26th September

Spanish A

Written task 3 (part 2) final submission

28th September


Independent study final hand in

9th October

Dutch A


9th October

Dutch B

Individual Oral

9th October


Meet with teacher to discuss progress in IA

11th October

Visual Art

1st draft of VA Critical Study

13th October


Creativity, Activity, Service News


In previous weeks, we have discussed the Service and Creativity strand of CAS.  The last strand is Activity; an Activity experience is one which involves physical exertion that contributes to a healthy lifestyle.  The aim of this is to promote lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being.  As with all CAS experiences, students reflect purposefully on their engagement with Activity.  Our students have undergone a variety of different Activity experiences including taking part in school sports teams, training for marathons, Yoga, Dance, Zumba and Tai-chi.  By carrying out Activity experiences, our students have the opportunity to engage and achieve many of the learning outcomes of CAS and once again develop the attributes of the IB Learner Profile. 

For students how are still looking for a new Activity challenge for their CAS, here are some ideas:

  • General sports e.g. football, basketball, netball, cycling, running, boxing, swimming etc
  • Dance e.g. ballet, tap dancing, Jazz etc
  • Rock climbing, mountaineering
  • Planting trees
  • Hiking, trekking
  • Equestrian competitions, horse and stable care and maintenance, riding and jumping lessons
  • Dog shows, competitions, training and care
  • Personal fitness e.g. Weight training, body building, Spinning, Yoga
  • Music e.g. Drumming, Marching band
  • Skating e.g. Ice skating, Roller-skating, roller-derby, rollerblading, skateboarding
  • Water sports e.g. surfing, rowing

Ling Coong, CAS Coordinator


Higher Education News

HULT Business School Visit

On Friday 22nd September Year 13 Business and Economics students attended a lecture on leadership delivered by Professor Warwick John Fahy from HULT Global Business School. It was an enjoyable and highly interactive session which gave students lots of helpful advice on how to cultivate leadership qualities through identifying the best qualities of their role models and learning how to emulate them in small but effective ways. A few students were lucky enough to win copies of Professor Fahy’s book, ‘Influence The Jack Ma Way’.

List of University Visits

Friday 13th OctoberUniversity of Leeds – 1pm in Room 350

Monday 16th OctoberImperial College London – 1pm in Room 350

Tuesday 17th OctoberUniversity College London – 1pm … venue TBC

Wednesday 19th October – The New School (Parson’s School of Design) – presentation to Year 12 & 13 Art Students – P1 in S335

Wednesday 20th October – ‘Inside Trump’s America’- Presentation to Year 12 History students from the University of Sussex

Monday 30th OctoberHong Kong University of Science & Tecnology – 1pm in 350

Mark Weston, Head of HE Guidance


Pastoral News

As mentioned last week in the newsletter, Year 12 students have been focusing on mind-set during three form time sessions.  With mind-set being such an important aspect of development of our IB students over the course of the two years I thought I should write a little more about the content and its importance as well as the students response and engagement in the activities.  Firstly, I think we can all acknowledge that all students over the course of the two year IB Diploma Programme will come across many challenges and be faced with a variety of important decisions within each subject as well as with the core areas of CAS, Extended Essay and TOK.  At times, these challenges can seem all too overwhelming and challenge the mind-sets of students.  This is why discussing mind-set and how we deal with those challenges is so important.  Knowing that for each difficult point along the way the more students can practise a growth mind-set the better off they will be, not only academically, but emotionally. 

What was interesting in some of the conversations students had during the form time was that they do often find it difficult not compare themselves with their peers.  This is something we all can be guilty of in our lives, but we know does not help our emotional well-being or academic progress.  Furthermore, with the pressures of getting good grades they often find it difficult to see each task as a stepping stone to the bigger picture (final outcome) and feel they need to justify themselves to others. This of course is stressful and something we all need to be aware of when discussing progress with our students/children.  Having open and honest conversations with all IB Diploma students and encouraging them to think positively and constructively with them about improvement will definitely benefit their overall wellbeing and focus on their studies.  Let’s all aim for a growth mind-set!

Angela Sharrock, Key Stage 5 coordinator