Recent Posts by John Chilton

The Finishing Touches

By Monday, January 23, 2017 , , , 0

This post considers the final parts of the teaching of the IB physics course. Although there is usually still a way to go (especially for HL), the teaching should be in its final stages and the crucial revision process then begins (if it has not already started – earlier blogs). Interestingly, this stage is where as a teacher, I find out about all my mistakes along the way, or the impact the school’s ‘system’ has had on my teaching. This is ...

Revision can’t start too early

Experienced teachers will be aware of the fact that the IB exams for Physics (particularly for HL) changed last year with the new syllabus – on the surface, they got harder.  It was not really clear why this should be so – certainly the feedback (as small as it was from teachers), suggested that the syllabus was too large and therefore, this made the exams more of a challenge as the syllabus coverage was therefore, also wide. In fact, it ...

Revision is one of the keys to success

By Friday, December 9, 2016 , , , 0

Yes, I admit that it feels a little early to be talking about revision – but truly, it is that time of the year!  In fact, to be honest, if you have not started revising your first year physics on a regular basis, you are already late. The IB course changed a few years ago, and this present year is only the second year to have taken the exams. If you look on the web at comments made for last year’s ...

Extended Essays are a nightmare

Having just completed the marking of 59 Physics extended essays for the IB, I am compelled to write this post about the appalling quality of them.  Of the 59, only a handful scored over 20/36 – which is pretty poor.  The main reasons are: 1. Theoretical and Inappropriate Some extended essays are theoretical. Whilst these are allowed (and I have seen a few good ones over the years), in general they do not score well. The work is often inappropriate and although ...

There is nothing to do now but wait

Many IB students will feel that they have come through a bit of a gruelling time recently – all those exams in such a short period of time.  And let’s not talk about the Physics exam ... Oh, but let’s (just for a quick moment)!! After the first day of the physics exams this year, paper 1 and paper 2 had been completed.  And by the end of the day my students were telling me, with a sparkle in their eyes, ...

They think it’s all over, it is now – NOT!

This blog is being written at the end of quite a stressful weekend for the students.  The first two Physics exams (P1 & P2) were on Friday and then the final P3 today. Part of my build-up for the students is to always tells them that the best way to revise is to look a past exam papers, go through the questions topic by topic, and then look at the marking schemes.  There should obviously also be a place for doing ...

Your Physics exams are almost over!

This blog will be a little strange because it is based upon giving some thoughts and advice to students, while they are in the middle of their exams – and this is really not a time when they should be reading blogs!  But whatever, you never know, it might be useful. In addressing physics students I hope you are not too stressed over the physics papers this year, but I suspect that is a vague hope that is probably not true.  ...

Revision for your students is a mini-nightmare!

This is really the 11th hour for the IB2 students – the final exams are VERY close and they should all be working ridiculously hard on their revision – and physics teachers should all be working to help wherever possible. This final comment does sound a little strange, especially as I am a Head of Physics and have every confidence in the fact that my team of teachers have worked hard for the last 2 years, with a syllabus that remains ...

Revision is a mini-nightmare!

They say that exercise is good for you and of course, at the moment there is no doubt that every second year IB student should be working their butts off – social life, you should have none – all you should be doing is mental exercise – working hard for those exams that are now, oh so close. If you do not have a revision plan, then you are leaving it a little late. You should have a whole bunch of ...

Something wicked this way comes

The new Internal Assessment (IA) should be starting soon and if students are to ultimately produce something that will help them get a good grade, care is needed! OK – the new IA is not ‘Wicked’, but it is REALLY important. And so, this blog is fully aimed at those students in the first year of the HL and SL Physics course.  It will have no meaning at all for those at the end of their course. The course changed from ...

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