Grade 12 students are to be congratulated on completing a very busy term filled with submission dates for many assignments. Many of the major submission dates fall during the Autumn term of G12 so that we can leave the Spring Term free for preparation for written examinations. As part of the preparation for those examinations the G12 students sit Trial Examinations 3-10th February 2017. The trial examinations give the students practice and experience of the final examinations to be sat in June. The trial examination week is a very intensive week for the students, but it is also invaluable for both them and their teachers.
Grade 11 students are to be congratulated on quickly settling into their DP studies, and making excellent progress across all subjects. They are a keen and ambitious group of students who have made very a positive contribution to our DP learning environment. They also have an excellent sense of humour, which can be invaluable at times during the DP !
The G11 students will be starting to write their Extended Essays when they return to school in January. This will involve them choosing subjects, and being taught academic research skills, academic honesty protocols, and formal writing skills.
Reading for success, and enjoyment
Students and visitors to KIS will see the “I’m reading..,” posters outside classrooms and offices. This is part of our strategy to show students that we all read as part of our leisure activities, and to try to encourage all KIS students to also read for leisure. It’s very important for DP students to read for leisure as this will increase skills, knowledge and vocabulary which will help them to excel in their DP course.
To this end, I will give my seasonal recommendation of books which MYP or DP students (or their parents) may enjoy, and that will help them in their DP studies (these books will help with ToK, Extended Essay, Grp 3 Humanities, Grp 4 Experimental Sciences, and maybe Grp 5 Mathematics).
Against Empathy, or the Right Way to Feel Someone’s Pain by Paul Bloom
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World by Francis Wheen
Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and The Human Brain by Antonio Damasio
Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do ? by Michael Sandel
The last recommendation on that list was my holiday reading during the October half term break. The book was not only fascinating but it made me question some of my core beliefs, some of which I have held certain for many years. Initially this book hooked my interest because the author, Michael Sandel, is a Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University, and the book Justice is actually the course that he teaches to philosophy undergraduates at Harvard. I saw the book, and thought wow ! - I can read a Harvard philosophy course, written by a Harvard professor, without having to take any entrance exams etc ! This just demonstrates how reading can give us incredible opportunities to sit in new circles, to hear new stories, and to re-think those ideas of which we were previously so certain. Sandel’s book changed my views on things that I had previously believed - could any of the books above change your world ?
Diploma Programme Coordinator.