Secondary School: 24/04/2020

Welcome to the new edition of our Secondary newsletter!

Time has flown quickly and we can hardly believe that we are starting the Summer Term. It is a term that will require us to be risk-takers, balanced, caring and knowledgeably as we approach a Summer Term unlike others we have experienced in our lives. Our teachers and staff team continue to work tirelessly to support our students, not only in their academic progress but also in their well-being and developing skills like determination and grit.
It has been a lovely week to return to school with some great events taking place to launch our Summer Term: Earth Day and World Book Day. Our staff share with us below some of the highlights from this week.

Earth Day

We would like to share with you all an article from Mr Anthony Crewdson: Recognising Earth Day at ISC 2020 – link here

Ms Mora shares with us highlights from Grade 7 and 8 below:

In Grade 7, we talked about how we can all contribute to protecting and saving our planet. Students recorded a video to explain how they try to make each and every day an Earth Day. Here are some highlights we share with you:

Drawing on climate change by Giorgia and Riccardo C. 

Thomas – How to save the planet – video here

Pola – How to save the planet – video here

Luella – How to save the planet – video here


In Grade 8, our student focused on Climate Change and discussed what can be done on different levels to tackle this issue. Students completed a task on this topic and here are some great examples of the work they have completed:

Pola and Oliwia have created a beautiful and very creative poster on Earth Day:


Earth before, now and after (in the future)

Marfa in Grade 9 has also done a fantastic service as action yesterday for Earth Day.

marfaMarfa writes:
‘I wanted to share with you what I have done today as it is Earth day so I thought it would be the perfect day to accomplish my service as action. I have noticed how much garbage was lying around on the hill where I am and nobody really cares about maintaining a sustainable environment. In a safe way, since nobody else is around, I wanted to do my part and collect as much trash as I could around my house. Here is a photograph so far.

“This is all I managed to do today but I am sure we will come back another day”.

World Book Day

Throughout this week, students have been trying to work out the Book Day challenge by recognising as many famous children’s books as they can from the clues given. How many can you recognise?


Within lessons, students have been linking into the theme of World Book Day and we look forward to sharing the amazing work produced by our students in our next newsletter and in our Social Media.

We would like to share with you the audiobook that the G10 & 11 students have created to celebrate the World Book Day in Ms. Quintero Rodriguez’s Spanish Class (intermediate): El Principito – audiolibro con texto – click here

Moving onto our DP Students

They have been working hard in the weeks running up to the Easter break, and over the Easter break in key areas of their DP programmes.
Our DP2 students have completed their Internal Assessments and all of their hard work has been uploaded to the IB for assessments. As the IBDP final examinations are no longer taking place this year, added emphasis has been placed on the importance of the Internal Assessments and our students await their final results on July 6. Now we have returned back to school, the focus of our DP2 students has shifted to completing their CAS programme (creativity, activity and service) and in taking advantage of a range of Pre-University courses that our staff have created to support students in their last few weeks of schooling. Students are excited to be following courses such as

  • Skills Workshops in Italian Language to include CV and interview skills write a CV, reading and analysing specific article/essays of interest, both scientific and literary, introduction to Italian Cinema
  • Current affairs and critical thinking, involving sociology, psychology, politics, philosophy etc.
  • An introduction to Business and Management, including setting up their own virtual business
  • Finance for everyday life

We are very grateful to our teachers for organising over 15 exciting courses and in supporting students with online courses called MOOCs.

We would like to warmly invite you to visit the virtual art exhibition by Anais Wyder our first DP2 Visual Art graduate!
Her artworks looks at several aspects relating to the societal pressures and expectations set on women: (please allow a minute for the exhibition to load)

Our DP1 students continue to work hard with their CAS experiences and TOK lessons and these skills are now well established so it is now time for us to introduce the last part of our Core: the Extended Essay. Just before the Easter break, our DP1 students were introduced to one of the highlights of the Diploma Programme – the Extended Essay. This forms a core component of the programme and is one of the areas that sets our students apart in their applications and successful graduation from University. Read on to find out more……

What is the Extended Essay?

4The extended essay is a required component of the Diploma Programme (DP). It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. It builds upon the skills that our students have developed during the Personal Project in Grade 11.

The extended essay gives our students an opportunity to conduct research into a subject area of their choice. Our students are encouraged to choose topic areas in which they are passionate and often this will be in the areas of their Higher Level subjects.
The process for the students starts in the Spring Term of Grade 12 and finishes in November of Grade 13 and each student is supervised by a teacher from ISC throughout the process. It is expected that students will spend a minimum of 40 hours of work on their Essay.

The Extended Essay provides students with a practical preparation for undergraduate research at University and an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them, which is also related to one of the student’s six DP subjects.
This is the student’s opportunity to push beyond the confines of the classroom and the exam to explore a topic of personal interest. Students in DP2 have completed essays with research questions such as How far does the theme of exclusion in “Jane Eyre” and in “The Scarlet Letter” support the depiction of independent heroines?, To what extent is it economically advantageous for Switzerland to have conscription?, How does the type of milk affect the concentration of glucose (from lactose) present in the milk after it has been hydrolyzed, by passing it through lactase enzymes immobilized on calcium alginate beads? to name just a few. We eagerly await the questions that our DP1 students wish to investigate.

What skills do our students develop through the Extended Essay?
Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:
• formulating an appropriate research question
• engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
• communicating ideas
• developing an argument

How are our students supported?
Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from team of staff in school. I work with the students on a regular basis to help them become familiar with the step-by-step process and timeline in producing their essays, in selecting appropriate research questions and their area of study, in considering the marking criteria that will be used and in looking at examples of good essays. Our library team also work with students, supporting them in academic honesty, research skills and in the structure and formatting of the essay. Throughout the process, students will also have an individual staff member who will be their personal mentor, who is also a subject specialist in their chosen area.
The Extended Essay is accompanied by a reflection form of no more than 500 words, that will be uploaded to IB with the Extended Essay.

How is the Extended Essay assessed?5
All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. They are marked on a scale from 0 to 34 and this score relates to a band of achievement. The bands are:
A – work of an excellent standard.
B – work of a good standard.
C – work of a satisfactory standard.
D – work of a mediocre standard.
E – work of an elementary standard.

Students must achieve a grade D or higher (A,B,C) to pass the Diploma Programme. Together with marks for Theory of Knowledge, contributes between 0-3 bonus points to the total score for the DP. A maximum of 3 points is awarded for students achieving top band scores in both!

Why is the Extended Essay important beyond the IBDP?
Most students do not undertake this kind of research until the middle or end of their undergraduate degree so it is no wonder that universities always refer to the Extended Essay when they explain why they want to enroll DP students. For students, it also provides a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.

Interim Reports Published Monday, 4 May

We will be publishing our 3rd report of the academic year to families through ManageBac, on Monday 4 May. As in previous years, this report will be an interim report and will feature a snapshot of learning from your child. Our focus for this report will be on the academic progress that you child has made, and their effort, since virtual learning began in late February. MYP reports will also contain an indication of how your child is progressing in their ATL skills, whilst DP reports will also include predicted level for the end of the DP programme in each subject area. Our interim report follows on from our written report published 12 February.

Academic progress in virtual learning will be graded as follows:

Grade Descriptor
Working towards expectations Student is not yet making the progress expected for his/her potential in their on-line learning
Meeting Expectations Student is making satisfactory progress in their on-line learning
Exceeding Expectations Student is making excellent progress in their on-line learning

Reminder of our upcoming Planning afternoon on 8th May


A collaborative culture is at the core of an IB World School. It’s not just about students working together, fostering a community of experience and learning, but also includes teachers and staff. Our staff meet together on a weekly basis to plan collaboratively within subject teams, homeroom teams and as a wider team of staff. In support of this, and to enable us to engage in deeper conversations over an extended time, we hold a series of five planning afternoons throughout the School year, with our next afternoon taking place on 8 May. As always for Planning afternoons, our students will end School at 13:00 with our staff working remotely together for an extended collaborative planning afternoon. In this afternoon, our staff will be focusing on assessment during our virtual learning time.


We invite also our MYP families to read the MYP Curriculum Corner: Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment by Ms Karen Lockett – MYP Coordinator

Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe,

Mrs Nicole Pearce