DP Moving Forward - Supporting

the Classes of 2022 and 2023

Tim Kane
Tim Kane

Congratulations on completing the May 2021 examination session. Now that the session is over - what's next? First, we need to rest, rejuvenate and recover from what has been an enormously challenging school year both professionally and personally.

It is hard to believe, but it is also time to plan for the Class of 2022 and 2023's successful transition to the Diploma Programme and courses. We have an enormous challenge and opportunity ahead of us. These students have experienced 1.5 school years within the context of limited schooling during the global pandemic.

The Class of 2022 (Our rising seniors) will be assessed under the reduced curriculum that IB announced last year. However, for many schools they will not have given exams for two years and the collective knowledge of how to prepare students for the exam process has been diminished. Now is the time to think about how to reestablishes that knowledge and expectations.

The Class of 2023 (Our rising Junior) will be assessed under the full curriculum and have experienced significant disruption to the early secondary education. Now is the time to think about how to bring them up to speed in IB while to overburdening them. How do we focus curriculum and skill development over time? It is also necessary to consider this from a whole school focus to support diploma candidates.

We must be thoughtful about how we are going to create the best possible learning environment for these students. Key to this environment is grounding our classroom practices in a growth mindset.

There is a silver lining despite the challenges. Unlike in other years, this year ALL internal assessments (IAs) are being graded by IB examiners. Since IB examiners are reviewing ALL IAs, there is an opportunity to improve our understanding of how IB applies the rubrics to student produced work. Use the following steps to make the most out of this situation:

1) Wait for scores to be released in July 2021.
2) Call for your scored papers using an enquiry upon results (EUR). IB does charge a fee for this process. Deadlines are September 15th for May exams or March 15th for November exams.
3) Engage in learning around those Rubrics. Give staff time to look at student work, see how the rubric was applied, and read the examiner's comments.
4) Collectively identify strengths and weaknesses, then use the identified areas to help plan instruction and rethink grading practices.

This is a unique opportunity and we should take advantage of it.

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