In Sept 2014 IBO diploma centres will begin teaching the new, revised Group 4 syllabi. I thought it would be useful to discuss some of the changes and will post 4 brief summarising blogs. Much of what I write is consistent across all three disciplines.

Though the syllabus has been significantly revised there remains a distinction between the standard and additional higher level material. As one would expect, some items have been revised and others removed. I personally was hoping for greater focus on the oceans of the world and the devastation that is occurring, not this time.

A key change is the requirement for key experiments to become a pre-requisite of the course that will be examined (6 in core and one in AHL).

Arguably the biggest change is the introduction of ONE investigation that will be assessed against more holistic criteria and will take upto 10 hours of class time / 20% of a students IB grade. Unsure how this will pan out, but I am sure it will have great impact within all diploma schools.

The option choices have been slimmed down and I am disappointed to see the Evolution option go. I have greatly enjoyed teaching it, having done so since my first IB year some 16 years ago. Ecology is still there, as is a rather advanced looking unit on Biotechnology. Further Human physiology is my bet for the most popular choice.

As for external exams: Paper 1 will include objective 3 questions, Paper 2 has greater emphasis on the short answer questions and the range of the extended free response questions is reduced. Paper 3 incorporates questions from the core as well as the option.

I will post again in approx 2 weeks time to give more detail on te structure of the new course by looking at the syllabus content.

As part of my blogging for the OSC I am asked to provide interactive material. I therefore want to share these excellent short videos from The Royal Institution. Named Chromosome 1 – 22 +X / Y and even MtDNA, they touch on a fascinating array of genetics. Follow the link

The Royal institution You will find them a great resource for your classroom