Start as you mean to go on

By Friday, September 22, 2017 , , , 0

Another year starts and the intentions are always good… then life gets in the way. This article is aimed at giving a brief idea of how I overcome the problems of a lack of time in the lessons and also, how to increase the amount of work and effort a student makes, outside the class, without adding to the marking load of the teacher. To overcome this, it is vital to set a high pace and keep it up.  However, I ...

The fat lady is not singing yet!

It might seem like it is all over and the summer is here – time to relax, chill out, and forget all about academic issues. Unfortunately, we all know this is not true. Over the next month, I would definitely find time to do all the things you have not been able to do when the IB sucked up all of your free time – for me, this would be playing computer games and reading – a LOT of reading. (I ...

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 ...

Last minute Physics revision!

Arguably, this is the most stressful time in the last 2 years for IB students.  Not only are the exams here, but they have a frequency that is quite scary, like dominoes toppling one immediately after the other. In addition of course, there are 6 subjects that all need the revision of 2 years of work in a short period of time.  If that was not enough, the Physics exams are even worse because they are so tough – they ...

The Internal Assessment

The Internal Assessment (IA) is usually referred to by students, as ‘coursework’. You should have finished this by now, at if not, be very close to the end. It is important to complete this work as well as you can for two big reasons: The work is worth 20% of the course – so it can lower the highest grade you can achieve by up to 2 grades if you are unlucky – this is a real penalty. The other ...

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 Friday, February 3, 2017 , , , 0

All students should now be aware of just how tough the IB Physics course is. This is not meant to be a negative statement – I am not trying to suggest that students have never thought about this or blindly gone through the course without thinking too deeply about what they are doing. The point is that by now, you will have finished (SL?) or nearly finished (HL) the course and be thinking about just how much there is to ...

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 ...