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‘Let us contemplate evil’

“Let us contemplate evil’ Sheridan Baker in his Practical Stylist begins one of his chapters with this invitation about ‘evil. And he offers us some evil practices that will keep you from becoming the writer you could be. So here is the second set of tips plus one. The one you really need to get […] Find out more

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Whither the Prescribed Subjects? Next month’s exams are the end of an era

We are now one month out from the final IB exams of the session that began with the exams in 2010.  On 8 November, the final set of Paper 1s will be given, and after that, these subjects will be put to rest.  The peacemaking, peacekeeping material is easily integrated into most regional options and […] Find out more

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Nh, Mc, Ts, Og

Do these letters mean anything to you?  I expect not so please don’t worry if you have not seen them before. That said, they are the symbols for the most recent addition of elements to the periodic table. To give these new elements their official names (and proton numbers) we have: Nihonium (Nu) – 113 […] Find out more

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The Art of Knowing

There is no shortage of people who view Art or the arts as a largely redundant luxury which, other than as time filler, seem to add very little to the total sum of human knowledge. Art for them is an entirely self-indulgent, subjective and emotion driven enterprise. Artists do not solve problems, they do not […] Find out more

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A contemporary poet for complicated times

I’d like to recommend the poetry of Daljit Nagra as an entrance into the many complex issues that we are all living with these days, the issues of identity, multicultural life, migration. Sometimes literature can open up new avenues of thinking about our place in the world, and I have to say that Nagra’s work […] Find out more

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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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YOUR TOP TEN VISUAL ARTS POSTS since 2010!

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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