British ash trees may resist dieback disease

Genetic analysis shows native British ash trees may be more resistant than Danish ones to the deadly fungus that has spread across Europe. The ash is one of Europe’s most common trees. Ash dieback fungus first appeared in the UK in 2012, and has spread rapidly since. It is now found in more than half of the country. It has already affected 90% of trees in Denmark and threatens to all but wipe out ash trees there. The new genetic research ...

Osmium (Os)

By Wednesday, January 18, 2017 , , 0

Osmium (Os), is a metal found in IUPAC group 8, with a relative atomic mass of 190.2. Just over 12 years ago the BBC1 announced that intelligence agents in the UK and USA had foiled a plot to make a 'dirty bomb' that would have involved the explosion of Osmium Oxide (OsO4). What was slightly unusual about this new article was that it did acknowledge that Osmium Oxide was extremely expensive and only really available to research institutions. In other words, ...

OSC Alumni shine in IB Diploma results

By Tuesday, January 17, 2017 No tags 0

This blog was written by Andrew Buxton, General Manager of Oxford Study Courses in Australia. Congratulations to the 2016 Oxford Study Courses Alumni on their outstanding International Baccalaureate Diploma results. Over 300 Australian IB Diploma students in the class of 2016 took at least one OSC exam revision course, along with students from New Zealand and the countries of South-east Asia. Many OSC Alumni featured in the media results releases in recent days, including achievers of the highest possible course score of 45. ...

Devising companies around the world

The last year I have been running month-long online courses for teachers. Part of the work includes sharing devising companies we know of. Here are some that I thought may interest teachers and students like: Chance Theater (Orange County, California) This is a company that produces both original works and established plays. Their mission: Our mission is to contribute to a more compassionate, connected, and creative Orange County. Chance Theater is dedicated to the creation of exciting theatrical experiences, taking artistic risks, and collaborating ...

Socially Aware and Environmental Design Spotlight

When the new year of teaching starts - I always find it is good to do a design spotlight with students to get their brains thinking about the world of design again after a great winter break. Normally I pick one of my favourite areas of design either socially aware or environmental design ideas - often loosely based around the syllabus but hopefully gets them thinking about what design can lead to - and the infinite possibilities it presents. Here ...

Teaching Russia, killing 3 Birds with One Stone and Auld Lang Syne

My last post for the student blog that I finished yesterday, in honor of the centennial of the murder of Rasputin led me to re-examine how to include the Russian Revolutions in the curriculum.  When the World History Topics were 20th century World History Topics, and before Route 1 and Route 2 were ever conceived of, certain topics were taught by most IB History teachers, most notably World War I and the Russian Revolutions.  This was further reinforced by the ...

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families

A number of children of migrants to Japan have pleaded with the Japanese authorities to recognize them and their families as residents in a country where they were born and have lived for many years, sometimes decades. Gursewak Singh was born to Indian migrants living in Japan. His parents, who are Sikhs, fled to Japan from India in the 1990s. For several years, they lived without visas unknown to the authorities until they were put on a status known as ‘provisional ...

Aldous Huxley’s warning against a ‘Brave New World’

The prescient English writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley, was through the 1930’s, a keen critical observer of the rise of political extremism, coupled with the irresistible progress of modern technology. Self-exiled in California, in 1938, for health and political reasons, he lamented the spread of fascist ideology across Europe and the absence of pacifist solutions to the imminent threat of a world conflagration. In March 1946, a few months after the end of the worst conflict ever, he published a ...

The Hailstone Sequence

Follow this rule to generate a sequence of integers:    Choose any integer n as the first term of the sequence     If n is even, divide it by 2 to get the next term. If n is odd, multiply it by 3, add 1, and then divide by 2 to get the next term. In other words, if uk is even, uk+1 = uk/2; if uk is odd, uk+1 = (3uk + 1)/2. For example, if u1 = 14, subsequent terms are 7, 11, 17, 26, 13, 20, 10, 5, ...

OSC’s Revision Courses – A Student Perspective

Verity attended an OSC Revision Course in Sydney, Australia. Now studying at Oxford University, we asked Verity to look back on her time with OSC. As a hardworking IB student studying in Sydney, as one of fifteen IB students in my school year-group of one-hundred, participating in an OSC Revision Course gave me the confidence I needed to achieve a 45 in my final exams. I applied to the course looking for world-class teacher expertise, holistic subject summaries and exam techniques ...