The work never ends

I think for IB teachers, it must seem like the work never ends.  The organisation of a typical year has the year 1 and year 2 pressure points at different times, and cunningly, it feels like the end result is that the pressure is on teachers (virtually) all the time. For the year 2 students, they have now completed the last part of the Diploma (the exams!) and should be taking a well-earned rest… before it all kicks off again with ...

What is the role of a teacher during exam season?

Just over a week to go and this really is the final run in.  In most school now, the students are on exam leave and should be in ‘exam mode’ i.e., they should be working VERY hard and teachers should be ready and willing to answer any and all questions. Our role now, it to keep the students positive.  It is crucial that they keep working and see that there is a point to this – particularly in physics where the ...

Internal Assessment

This post is a little strange because it will only apply to a proportion of the teachers who look at it – many will have finished the IA and will certainly not be thinking about it as we now move into the final stages of the Physics course and turn to the issue of revision.  The next few posts will consider revision in the new course but this is aimed at those that have not yet completed the IA or ...

Become a Future Science Leader!

No matter whether you’re an aspiring Biologist, Physicist, Chemist, or inventor, the IB Diploma is a fantastic stepping stone to studying your subject at university. However, an ambitious student can be left directionless with so many choices and questions – which subject should I follow? How do I break in to the science industry? With that question in mind our academics set about creating the perfect course for aspirant scientists - “Future Science Leader”. What is it? Future Science Leaders is a new ...

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 ...

New Physics Guides Available!

Physics: Internal Assessment and Physics Option C: Imaging have been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and are available to order now! These guides are exclusively written by experienced IB Physics teacher, Hugh Duncan. Find out more below.     Physics: Internal Assessment HL/SL The aim of this booklet is to help the student perform well and write up IB physics lab reports, especially the new Internal Investigation. Also included are real examples of the obligatory experiments, which will assist the student in ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...