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The work never ends

Just as the IB exams finally end, the GCSE and A-Level ones begin. Now it is all finished, I have one week before the IB results come out – there seems to be no end to the workload for a teacher – it is a hell of a life and I would not change 1 […] Find out more

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Two stories of innovation – the Bread Clip and the Fidget Spinner

Often stories re innovation only focus on those that have succeeded and even if we have heard the Dyson story a thousand times I believe it is useful to flag with students some of the reasons that the lone innovator/inventor does not succeed. Often this is simply due to bad luck, lack of resources or […] Find out more

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Selectivity and Distillation: the Process Portfolio is NOT a Diary

Diaries. Journals. Sketchbooks. They serve a range of purposes; diaries document the momentous and the mundane, the day-to-day detritus, and the sporadic moments of joy and/or despair. Artists’ diaries can give a good insight into the creative processes. (See the illustrations included here.) Tate website “A diary is a record of events or experiences. From […] Find out more

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Revision Resources – Quizlet Yourself to a 7

Hi all, Summer has come and DP1 Design Technology students you may be in a situation where you end of year DT examinations did not go quite as well as expected. So what to do – noting that there is less than half a year of study left until those final exams and the first […] Find out more

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Some resources for BM teachers

Finding suitable resources to introduce the context or theories and concepts to students in an engaging way is often challenging. So, I decided to try and help with this task by suggesting suitable resources with brief outline to IB BM teachers. Definitely there are variety of resources out there and this list can be just […] Find out more

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Great Mathematicians 4 – Euclid

Given that Euclid’s influence on mathematics, geometry in particular, has never diminished over two thousand years, it is extraordinary that we know so little about his life. He was born around 300BC, and was amongst the first teachers at the great university of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy I, but it is likely that he studied […] Find out more

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Sustainable Design – Plastics, the Oceans and a Unit/Projects we must ALL continuously do?

As teachers of Design Technology I feel it is incumbent upon up to ensure that the basics of what a good designer must focus on are imprinted on our students minds. I have always been a strong advocate of the IB ensuring that the Design Technology course focuses on sustainable design and as each year […] Find out more

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Synthesis of Aspirin

Aspirin has been with us for long time – the first documented reports of its use occurred over 2000 years ago. That said, the aspirin may not be in the form that you instantly think of (ie, a tablet) but it has been used all the same. Aspirin is an analgesic, which means it has […] Find out more

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“When NOT to…” (Visual Arts Exhibition No Nos)

By now I expect that many of you (students) are on holiday – so I’m pleased to see that you have spared a moment to check on the visual arts blog! If you have graduated I’m happy to see you and good luck on July 6th (RESULTS day!) If, on the other hand, you are […] Find out more

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Your responsibilities as a creator of theatre

The other day I went to the theatre to see the culminating performances of theatre students that had been studying devising and theatre creation at my local University. I was excited to see what they would come up with. Having spent many years working with High School students on devising processes I was intrigued to […] Find out more

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140 Characters in the IB Classroom

The word “Twitter” (as in a certain social media platform) has been turning up more and more in the news recently.  Twitter itself isn’t new (if you’re interested, you can read the history of Twitter in this post on lifewire), and it isn’t new in education.  But as it is being talked about right now, […] Find out more

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Practical application of the ideal gas equation

How many moles of air are in your lab? What mass is this air? These are a couple of great questions you can set your students and ask them to come up with some answers using the ideal gas equation. You will need a barometer (to determine the air pressure), a thermometer (to determine the […] Find out more

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Summer Investigations (2) Works on the PLT: The Thief and the Dogs

As we try to balance shorter and longer works in our hopes that students will fully read and engage with the texts in the syllabus, I think we are all inclined to look for works that work;  for works that are reasonably riveting for all of our students and that expand our sense of the […] Find out more

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Pre-IB (4): TOK Assessment

The previous three blogs have focused on a general introduction to TOK, an overview of the content of the course (Areas of Knowledge) and a look at the methods for producing knowledge (Ways of Knowing) found in the course. This final Pre-IB blog looks at the way in which TOK is assessed. This consists of […] Find out more

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Pre-IB (3): The ‘how’ of TOK

The ‘how’ of TOK focuses on the methods by which knowledge is produced in the different Areas of Knowledge (AoKs). In TOK these methods have been identified as the eight Ways of Knowing (WoKs). They are Reason, Sense Perception, Emotion, Language, Memory, Imagination, Intuition and Faith. Each WoK provides a particular way of producing or accessing […] Find out more

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Pre-IB (2): The ‘what’ of TOK

The ‘what’ of TOK refers to the knowledge produced by human thought. Human knowledge is divided  into Areas of Knowledge (AoKs). Those units generally combine subjects which have similar methods, scope and goals. There are eight of them. Natural Sciences, Human Sciences, History, Mathematics, the Arts, Indigenous Knowledge, Ethics, and Religious Knowledge. Find out more

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Pre-IB (1): What on Earth is TOK?

When asked about what makes IB students more prepared for university than others, admissions officers tend to highlight two things, the Extended Essay and TOK. Theory of Knowledge forms the foundation of the whole programme and it elevates the DP curriculum to a level of sophistication not achieved by other qualifications. Find out more

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Russell on the elusive knowledge of the Self

In ‘The Problems of Philosophy’ (1912), Bertrand Russell pays tribute to the French philosopher, René Descartes, for performing ‘ great service to philosophy’ by introducing a rational method of doubt in the search for truthful knowledge. He doesn’t identify any apparent difficulty in the Cartesian assumption that everything outside my own thoughts, feelings snd sensations, […] Find out more

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Descartes’ wax experiment and the project of pure enquiry

Descartes’ rejection of scholastic philosophy is the first step in his systematic questioning and radical re-examining of the foundations of knowledge. The medieval interpretation of the physical world entailed an absolute and unquestionable belief in ‘substantive forms’ or inherent essences, manifesting themselves in phenomena such as fire, regarded as ‘consubstantial’, that is, being intrinsically associated, […] Find out more

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Summer investigations: Works on the PLT (1) ‘Silence’

“Somber, delicate, and startlingly empathetic.” ― John Updike “One of the best historical novels by anyone, ever.” ― David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks “I think about Silence, and Endo’s work more generally, all the time.” ― Phil Klay, author of Redeployment and Winner of the 2014 National Book Award. CHEESE. […] Find out more

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