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IB Diploma Design Technology Report on OCC – Examination Session May 2016

Hi all, If you ignore most of my posts, not a problem but this one is incredible important as it flags up the Examination session report for May 2016 on the OCC. Why this is important, and probably more important than in previous years – well as this is the first cohort that has taken […] Find out more

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Bulgaria enters the war, October 1915

Nearly 102 years ago, the Bulgarians entered the Great War on the side of the Central Powers.  While it began the 20th century as a client state of Russia it had become increasingly alienated from its patron.  As a member of the Balkan League it found itself in an unlikely alliance of Balkan countries.  The […] Find out more

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A gallery of images

This week I have been working with IB Theatre students in Stratford at TaPS (Theatre and Performance Symposium) for ISTA (The International Schools Theatre Association). I had a group of 23 students that were a huge range of nationalities, ability and knowledge. As a result the work I do with them aims to equip them […] Find out more

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Great Mathematicians 2 – Rene Descartes

Descartes was born in La Haye en Touraine, in France, in 1596. However, he spent much of his life in Holland where he found the more liberal environment conducive to his philosophical views. Although best remembered as “the father of modern philosophy”, whose work is still the basis of much philosophical discourse, he was also […] Find out more

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Readying year two students for their Independent study

This post is a transcript of a presentation (above) which I made to my own students following feedback on their first attempts in identifying topics and tackling a rationale for their Independent studies. The Independent Study The rationale – maximum 100 words The screenplay –  8 to 10 pages (no gaps or unnaturally large margins – […] Find out more

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ART AND CONCEPT: What’s in a Glass of Water?

This post is about the visual arts course with reference to contemporary art, conceptual qualities, conceptual art and found objects ***The visual arts “Conceptual Qualities” criterion does not necessarily mean Conceptual Art, and Conceptual Art does not necessarily mean Found Objects. In the recent examination session a number of students went down a strongly ‘conceptual’ […] Find out more

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Mess – o – potamia (homage to Jon Stewart) in World War I

World War I took place on may different fronts, but the focus tends to be on the Western front and a few key battles here and there.   This post will focus on the Mesopotamian campaigns. As you read through this, consider the following question: How did the Mesopotamian campaign affect the course and outcome […] Find out more

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Introspection and Action Part 2

The death of Jean-Paul Sartre in 1980 coincided with the end of a certain introspective philosophy, mainly preoccupied with the citizen’s historical place and moral obligations in a secular, industrialised Western society. Succeeding generations continued to see philosophy as an intellectual weapon to be used in new struggles such as feminist and gay rights movements. […] Find out more

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Teaching ‘Broken April’ or ‘Leo Africanus?”

If by chance you are studying either of these texts–Broken April by Ismail Kadare or Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf–I’ve two suggestions of supplementary materials that can enhance both your work with students and also with their Interactive Orals. I know that Kadare’s work is the more popular of the two, and I’ve had both […] Find out more

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News, reminders and pointers from the OCC and IB…

Hi teachers, This is a quick post to remind you to always check the OCC – as Design Technology teachers and the IB are always posting useful items and resources there for you to utilise. I the last few months – Information regarding the online submission and upload of Design Technology IA MAjor Projects from […] Find out more

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TOP 10 ART TEACHER favourites: the posts that have interested you most since 2010 Introduction This post is about the most popular visual arts issues as selected by you – i.e. as reflected by hits on the DP visual arts blog site. Out of more than 200 visual arts blogs since 2010 here are the […] Find out more

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2016/2017 Universities of the Year, World Rankings and League Tables. The results are in!

Many universities belong to league tables and each year they are assessed on the specific criteria developed by the league table publisher.  So here are some of the winners for 2016 and 2017.   *Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide UK University of the Year […] Find out more

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Japanese military participation in World War I

Most IBDP students have a clear understanding of Japanese participation in the peace talks after World War I.  Margaret Macmillan’s Paris 1919 very effectively illustrates Japanese goals of racial equality and great power status, and many historians look at World War I as a means of further subjugating the Chinese but little time or effort tends […] Find out more

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The world’s largest lesson – carpe diem!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” ……Nelson Mandela A unique learning opportunity occurs starting week of September 18. It would be remiss of me, and negligent of us all, not to be aware of the potential outcomes of promoting and connecting our learning communities to this – […] Find out more

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Some new videos to use in your IB Design Technology classes

Hi all, Welcome back to a new school year and I hope your students are looking forward to another exciting year in Design Technology. To start off the year here are some useful videos I have recently come across that you can use as starters to certain units or topics. Don Norman: The three ways that […] Find out more

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So, What’s the News?

Every moment of every day, an avalanche of information is dispersed through countless media sources in a myriad of forms and this without respite, 24/7. This may be one of the most significant changes in our daily lives since, well, forever.  It is not that information was not available before of course, but nothing comparable […] Find out more

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Voltaire and the Principle of Action

Voltaire is regarded as the most ‘English’ among the French philosophers but his status as a bona fide philosopher is often cast into doubt. However, to consider him as a mere dabbler in philosophy is a gross misconception of his crucial input in the philosophical debates of his age. An extraordinary polymath, Voltaire was equally […] Find out more

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The IB Learner Profile, ATL and Anti-Plagiarism Software

I recently found myself involved in the review of a school’s Academic Honesty Policy, which led me to some background reading, which (as often happens) caused me to fall down an internet rabbit hole: First stop: NPR ED “Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software” (August 25, 2014, Heard on All Things Considered) Coming as I do from the IB […] Find out more

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C3L6 (Cambridge Chemistry Challenge)

Have you heard of the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge? If not, it is definitely worth a look (http://c3l6.com). The website is primarily aimed at UK students in the ‘lower 6th’ – this is equivalent of IB1 but the chemistry itself is very worthy of all IB students and is open to students in the UK and […] Find out more

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7- Is it All Bad?

During the last month or so we have been listening and reading news about the fallout of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Even maybe some of you have experienced first hand the issues with the battery of the phone exploding, being drained while charging and so on. The issues with Galaxy Note 7 have definitely […] Find out more

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