IB Diploma News

By Nick Daniel, DP Coordinator/TOK/English Teacher

Grade 12 students are increasingly busy as we move closer to final exams which will take place in May 2020. Internal Assessments for a range of subjects are due in October and November. These include final Internal Assessments due for Computer Science, English A, Chinese A, Biology and Physics.

The grade 12 students are also completing their TOK presentations this week. These form one-third of the final TOK grade. The presentation involves drawing a TOK question out of a ‘Real Life Situation’, and exploring the TOK question in depth. Students are presenting on a wide range of TOK questions relating to truth, interpretation, justification, the difference between ‘Shared’ and ‘Personal’ knowledge, knowledge growth, and cultural and gender perspectives on questions about knowledge. Once presentations have been completed, students will move on to preparing their final TOK essays for external assessment by the IBO.

The Class of 2020 is also entering the final stages of completion for their Extended Essays. This task involves working closely with a supervisor to complete a 4,000-word research paper on an in-depth, subject-specific research topic. To be successful, students are required to work independently, engage in in-depth critical analysis, and communicate well with their supervisor.

DP students as a whole are looking forward to the upcoming Week without Walls. On both the Grade 11 and Grade 12 trips, students have a range of exciting activities lined up, including work on CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) and outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking. The Grade 12s will also engage in some art work, with an integrated Theory of Knowledge activity. The three days of bonding and team-work should leave both year groups invigorated and excited, and fully motivated to meet the challenges of the year ahead.


IB Diploma Important Notice

Students are aware that while the pass mark for the IB Diploma is 24 points, there are also certain ‘conditions’ under which students may fail the Diploma. For example, a Grade E in either Theory of Knowledge or for the Extended Essay will automatically lead to a ‘Fail’ in the IB Diploma as a whole. Similarly, students who do not achieve at least 12 points across their HL subjects will also fail the Diploma, regardless of the overall number of points they achieve.

It is important for students and their families to be aware of these conditions, so that we can work with you to prioritize areas for improvement, where appropriate. These are not happy situations, but luckily they are very rare!


IB Diploma Deadlines and Family Commitments

As we move towards the busiest time of year for Grade 12s (October, November, December) in terms of Internal Assessments, it is important that students and their families are fully aware of the range of deadlines students are facing. These include deadlines for EAs and IAs, written tasks, orals, Extended Essays, and TOK presentations and essays.

Students are fully supported by teachers, advisors and counselors in methods to improve time-management in order to meet deadlines. I encourage families to discuss these deadlines with your daughter, so that you have an understanding of the challenges faced, and the time commitment involved. It is important that our students, with the support of their families, balance their academic and personal commitments. Students must also balance these deadlines with SAT and other tests which take them off Jeju for extended periods of time.

In all these cases, I would encourage families to have discussions about deadlines, to ensure that these all-important IB Diploma commitments are met on time. One missed deadline can have a damaging ‘domino’ effect, making it very difficult for a stent to recover and stay on track. The IB final year is one of the most challenging students will ever face - but also one of the most rewarding. To place this in perspective, success in the IB Diploma will set students on a pathway to success at university and beyond. A family discussion about deadlines and time-management, and a decision to prioritize the IB deadlines, can make all the difference.