On 22nd to 26th August, Pre-IB grade ten students came to school for their mandatory military training. They were put on a strict regime of exercise drills and marching every morning and afternoon of that week, and watched films about relevant issues to discuss in the evenings. They also learned to sing their national army songs and put on a glorious display of what they had learnt at the closing ceremony on the last day. In their feedback, some students talked about how interesting the films were and how much they learned about their country and the hardships of soldiers over the week, while some complained about fatigue and boredom from long periods of standing in the sun. But the heads of school were very impressed by the students’ conduct and final display.
The IB Department then had a Professional Development (PD) week from 26th August to 31st August 2016, in which staff met and discussed lots of things for the new year ahead. PD officially began online on their virtual learning platform, Moodle on the 1st of August, and everybody had joined in important discussions and exchanged ideas beforehand. On the 26th, the Principal first introduced the returning staff to the new teachers: Ms. Fay Donovan (for Year 10 Music & English A), Mr. Russell Giles (for Physics &Maths) and Mr. Ivan Rumynin (for Maths& Economics). Over the next few days, all staff were trained in delivering lessons according to the IBDP’s requirements, prepared their teaching materials and finalised all the necessary plans of events to come.The sessions ended on a positive note with the Principal reinforcing the department’s ethos of excellence, team spirit and going the extra mile.
There were presentations of reports given by specific teams of teachers in the different committees, such as the TOK team, CAS team, Etiquette Team, House Team, Intercultural Events Team, Debating Team and the Student Council Team. Then various subject groups had meetings to check on progress in the curriculum planning and agree on roles in other activities.
On the 30th August, middle school teachers came over to the IB section of the school to have a second discussion on vertical collaboration. This is a requirement of all IB schools to enable different departments to work together on certain activities and/ classes. Thus, different subject groups gathered together in different rooms and by the end of the two to three hour session, agreed on a set of teaching and learning methods and events to work together on throughout the rest of the year.
The day before term started, all students were invited back to school to collect their textbooks and clean up their classrooms. They briefly met their teachers, sorted out their lockers and settled down in their dorms.
All in all, these events formed a marvelous preparation for the school term which enabled both staff and students to feel ready for more challenges ahead! Way to go, IB!!!