Work until You’re Muscle-bound!

This is probably the most nervous time of the 2 years for the IBDP students. There is the fear that they will get crushed by the upcoming exams. And the exams come very quickly and really on top of each other. My experience of talking to students through this period, is that they keep working, possibly harder than they have ever worked, and they are all worried about how it will go. And then there is the ‘thing’ we do not ...

Is It Finished Now?

This post is really for students who have just finished the IB, although those that are half way through would do well to ‘take note’. I have just finished remarks for Physics HL – I will be honest in saying that it feels a bit strange to be doing remarks so long after the actual exams – what is going on? Why would it take so long (four weeks) to decide that you are not happy and think there has been ...

Is It Finished Now?

I have three weeks left before school starts and I have not had a clear break yet – a few days here and there, but nothing where I can just relax and worry about, well … nothing at all. A few days ago I finished remarking another two Physics HL Paper 2 scripts and I was struck by the following questions: How many remarks are there going to be?  In physics, the papers rarely change that much. Most scripts have a ...

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 ...