25 Apr, 2019
10 : 00
Good schooling is not just about good academic outcomes but it is also about good preparation for adult life. In 2017 we were authorized to deliver the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma Programme (IBDP) and this May our first graduating IBDP class will take their final exams, beginning the final step in their graduation journey.
One of the ways that the IB programs work to achieve the mission of developing lifelong learners with the aforementioned characteristics is through the development of student approaches to learning (ATL) skills. These ATLs collected into groups of thinking, communication, social, self-management and research skills are behaviors that we, as teachers, try to model for, instruct to, and develop within, our students, even up to and during the examination period.
In the run up to study leave we have spent time discussing with students what science can tell us about effective study habits. Activities that involve retrieval from memory, like completing past papers and multiple-choice questions, are more beneficial than simply reading, highlighting and making notes.
It is important that students plan and balance their revision schedule themselves. This is a great learning opportunity, as well as a chance to practice and further develop their ATL skills. Parents can support too！ Make sure you children are studying, but also eating a balanced diet and sleeping properly as well as finding time for relaxing distractions.
Facilitating students to achieve the best academic outcomes that they can is only part of the job of a good school. More important, I would argue, is preparing students for independent wider life as an adult. Academic qualifications are not an adjunct to this, and are, indeed, an important component to giving young adults as many opportunities as possible. ATLs are a part of this development and we take every opportunity, even exams, to help our young people develop. Like a child learning to ride a bike with stabilizers, which eventually come off, our students have spent the last two years and more practicing their ATL skills. They are now in the process of removing the stabilizers but we are still keeping a hand on their backs.
We wish everyone of our IB student’s success in their exams and await with anticipation their scores on July 6th. I have every faith that they will make themselves, their parents and teachers, very proud. Good luck!
--By Will Vincent, YCIS IBDP Coordinator, University Guidance Officer