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Rob

Worries about my school's first year of the Diploma

Hi,

I am attending a school who has just started offering the IB Diploma this year. My concern is that becuase it is their first year, that something could be overlooked or go horribly wrong (as can sometimes happen in the first years).

It should be noted that all of the teachers who are teaching us are IB accredited, and one (soon to be two) of them have been teaching the Diploma for several years, and they're all highly competent and well educated on the IB, i still can't shake the feeling that something might slip through, becuase its the first year.

I was wondering if anyone has any comments or suggestions which could put my fears to rest.

Cheers,

Rob

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My school has been doing it for years and still haven't got it right. A lot of the teachers don't teach from the IB syllabus, and it's completely unorganised.

We still get good results, though. At the end of the day, you have the syllabus, the textbook, the marking scheme, the information.. everything. So you have to take charge of that. I wouldn't worry because even though it's difficult to go through it in a school which can't do it (and actually you'll probably be surprised, lots of planning and money goes into offering the IB and often the first year is the one the teachers put most effort into!) you can correct for that with a bit of effort (:

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My school has been offering IB for around 10 years and they still do stuff wrong. There was a mix up with candidate numbers last week and the Economics teacher only just found out that you can't do 4 articles from the same source (and he's been teaching the subject for about 5 years). Experience doesn't equal an error-free year.

On the other hand, the new IB subject that was started for our class was DT, and the teacher found out last week that everyone can't write up their Group 4 project together and submit it like that. And the 2010 class is doing Arabic A2 for the first time ever, their teacher has no idea that they have to do orals and he doesn't know what to teach them. In my school's case, new subjects= **** results.

But there was that school in Singapore that had 9 students score perfect 45's, and it was their first year doing IB in the school. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sin.../321176/1/.html It could be you.

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It should be noted that all of the teachers who are teaching us are IB accredited, and one (soon to be two) of them have been teaching the Diploma for several years, and they're all highly competent and well educated on the IB, i still can't shake the feeling that something might slip through, becuase its the first year.

Most "problems" occur when teachers don't know what the **** they're doing, but since your teachers have already taught IB, the probability of this decreases drastically. A lot of it boils down to how much they care. If they actually care about your well-being, they will educate themselves about the program to ensure what they're doing is proper IB protocol. This includes the difficulty in predicting marks for IAs (some schools get moderated down -11 or so, dropping a few levels because teachers mark too easily) and making sure all the required paperwork is sent. If they don't care, well... you're screwed. EVEN THEN, you can always post on this forum and we'll answer your questions to the best of our knowledge. :)

What you SHOULD be concerned about is how your school plans out deadlines. Some schools have a really relaxed first year then jam all the internal assessment deadlines/EE/TOK/CAS into second year, right before the exams. This obviously isn't optimal and will leave you hating IB and your school, not to mention totally burned out for your final exams. So talk to your IBC and get to know what their plan is for the 2 years.

For the record, my school has been offering the IB Programme for a few years (<5ish, I think?), and if I'm not mistaken, the first year went by well... although HL Math was disastrous last year (only one person got their predicted 7 :( )

Edit: Nvm, apparently it's my school's third year of offering IB... the first batch graduated '07. :) Wiki is unreliable though...

Edited by Irene

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I was my school's 4th graduating IB class (first class graduated in 2004).

But Economics HL was a new course being offered at my school and my economics teachers had no idea what they were doing. They didn't know what IAs were, when they were due, what the syllabus was, etc. Basically my classmates and I went out and bought the course companion (we weren't provided with an econ textbook...) and we self-taught ourselves economics. Luckily, economics isn't very difficult to understand so we all managed to do fine.

I suggest you become familiar with the syllabus and due dates for every course so you know exactly what you're doing even if your teachers don't.

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What you SHOULD be concerned about is how your school plans out deadlines. Some schools have a really relaxed first year then jam all the internal assessment deadlines/EE/TOK/CAS into second year, right before the exams. This obviously isn't optimal and will leave you hating IB and your school, not to mention totally burned out for your final exams. So talk to your IBC and get to know what their plan is for the 2 years.

^^ my life :(

Got given a piece of coursework on friday to be handed in by the deadline for all IAs (next friday). Have received 5 pieces of coursework over the last fortnight, all in for friday. In total have 8 pieces of coursework in for friday and also have all my orals (A1, B) this week, and CAS. Finished my EE earlier than most over Xmas. Am dying slowly inside.

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My school has been doing IB since 2004 and ofcourse they arent the best. till now no student graduated from it with mark higher than 38/4 ! i am really afraid ! :) and some of our teachers havent even teached IB before and are not well qualified or certidied in IB ! some of them don't know what they teach, others dont know if they are on the IB syllabus or not and sometimes forget to look at it or even giving us wrong criteria for any IA ! but every year students are getting higher marks. this year students might exceed 38 !and in my year which is in 2010 we might even have a student above 40 ! :( i might be one of them !

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Im also the "guinea pig"

We are the first IB group that goes thru our school

I guess in the positive way is that all the teachers would want our grade to do well so they teach us to the best of their ability

but then, due to their lack of experience teaching the ib program, sometimes we experiment on due dates and whether things work out in the end which is kind of bad in some ways

for example, my previous maths teacher had no idea how to mark our IA which really bugs me, because I worked so hard on it and it ended up not being marked

but judging that ur teachers know about the ib program and have taught the ib program, it should be perfectly fine

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I'm in the first group too, but at my school they were planning for like 3 years before they offered it. I'm still a little bit uneasy, but the teachers seem to know what they're doing except or English teacher made us do a film task when I don't think that film is part of IB English, but it is a big part of the other English course in the other course we could do.

Our assessment schedule has most of the things in IB2, for the first three terms we aren't doing much that counts towards our final marks but I kind of like that.

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thanks for all this guys, i'll keep a look out for the things you've talked about above and try to make sure that nothing hits the fan :P

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When the teachers themselves are competent and have taught IB for some year, I wouldn't worry too much. I myself am just in the fourth generation of the school, but some people before me (including the first generation) have done quite well in their exams.

Only problem is when your teacher is teaching IB for the first time.... like my chemistry teacher.... We are screwed...

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Whether it's the first year or the tenth year, I think a lot of it mainly has to do with the dedication of the teacher to the program and preparing the students. My school has been offering IB for 15ish years I think, and so far a lot of my success mainly has to do with how good the teacher is. In l.a I haven't done too well, because the taecher is HORRIBLE and has been so slack about assignments so people get slaughered on tests. Hopefully you'll luck out and end up with a decent handful of teachers.

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But there was that school in Singapore that had 9 students score perfect 45's, and it was their first year doing IB in the school. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sin.../321176/1/.html It could be you.

My school is right next to this one. They're a local school and we're an international one, anyway, a lot of the teachers and student body feel that they aren't really following the IB as it was meant to be done.

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My school is right next to this one. They're a local school and we're an international one, anyway, a lot of the teachers and student body feel that they aren't really following the IB as it was meant to be done.

But wouldn't the success of their ability to teach the IB curriculum be reflected in those scores? I don't understand.....it sounds like the school is quite successsful.

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Rob, I have to tell u that your worries are very appropriate. My school is a new one, and I can tell u we get screwed over all the time. We are not working exactly on international standards, we are more on a new turf of trying to cover material. This is true for most of my classes, with the exemption of excellent teacher in just one class. Either way, our school has already admitted and referred to us as "trials" and "genie pigs". just know, its not what grade u get that is important. That says nothing. Its more important for you to grasp the scope of IB and what they want. So always work on the side independently, and reference things to the wonderful advice people give here.

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My physics teacher has never taught IB before and I can understand how you feel, especially since there isn't any teacher who has taught the new syllabus in my school. I've realized that the syllabus is highly indispensable when it comes to studying and that I shouldn't always trust what he says about the IB, but with the speed he covers stuff, we'll be done before christmas with the syllabus (we only have one more core topic and the second option to do next term), so I'll have time to revise. Also, I'm going to a physics revision course this summer, and I hope they'll be able to help me.

But, if your teachers have taught IB before, it'll be fine. Just have the detailed syllabus, read it, read your books (if you have books designed for the IB, then you're lucky). Also do past papers ánd use ibsurvival to ask abot stuff.

Calm down. XD

Edited by Tilia

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