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Al Zahra College aims to develop faithful, knowledgeable and wise citizens who take responsibility for creating a better and more peaceful world. We will challenge our students to become active learners and critical thinkers who promote

intercultural understanding and respect.

IB MATTERS mary Years A monthly publication about the Pri Middle Years Programme (PYP), trialling of the the IB Diploma Programme (MYP) and planning for llege. Programme (IB DP) at Al Zahra Co

The International Baccalaureate

IB at Al Zahra College

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an exciting set of educational programs offered in more than two thousand school schools in over 120 countries around the world. The programs focus on student-centred inquiry-based learning and global concerns. They challenge students to think in sophisticated ways about the connections between ideas in different areas of study. They put learning into an international context.

In 2011, Al Zahra College was authorised as an IB World School to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP). The goal is for Al Zahra College to eventually offer all three programs to our students. NOTE: AZC is undertaking a trial implementation of the Middle Years Programme (MYP). Authorisation can take several years and cannot be guaranteed.


The initial planning for PYP and other possible IB programmes at AZC began back in 2003.

In 2010, AZC was accepted as a Candidate MYP School. In 2012, AZC will request an authorisation visit for the Diploma Programme (DP) in 2013 so that the DP can be offered as the AZC exit credential.

Following first-hand experience with all three programmes (PYP, MYP and DP) in Qatar, Dr Darvall recommended trialling its implementation at AZC. In 2008, AZC registered with IB as an Interested PYP School. Following a preliminary visit in 2009, AZC was invited to become a Candidate PYP School.

During 2010, AZC completed a Pre-Authorisation visit that considered our preparedness for authorisation as a PYP School. Following an authorisation visit, AZC was authorised as an IB World School for PYP. In 2009, AZC registered as an Interested MYP School in preparation for the commencement of Year 7 in 2010.

Information sessions are conducted to facilitate parent understanding of what PYP, MYP and DP are all about - bringing learning alive.

AZC: An IB World School The International Baccalaureate PYP – Transdisciplinary Themes The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end, the organisation works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. IB programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right

The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Program is the six transdisciplinary themes. These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. The six themes of global significance are: •

Who we are

Where we are in place and time

How we express ourselves

How the world works

How we organise ourselves

A transdisciplinary approach to learning. o

Students and teachers use subject areas as tools to explore transdisciplinary ideas of enduring importance.


Units of inquiry are developed as the means by which transdisciplinary learning occurs.


Students learn through ideas that transcend the bounds of traditional subject areas to connect with what is real in the world.


Students acquire and apply transdisciplinary skills (skills that are embedded within all disciplines) as well as explicit attitudes and the expectation of socially responsible behaviour.

Sharing the planet

Other features of the PYP: •

A philosophy of teaching and learning that aims to develop internationally minded learning communities.

An inquiry-based pedagogy where teachers firstly provoke students to wonder and then actively incorporate students' inquiries into the classroom.

An appreciation of lifelong learning. In their inquiries, students learn how to think about and therefore, care about, the world.

The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Program is the six transdisciplinary themes. PYP Authorisation On December 22nd 2011, AZC was officially authorised as an IB world school for the Primary Years Programme. IB authorszation means that AZC has fulfilled the requirements for program implementation including curriculum and policy development. The requirements for authorisation are the same in each IB region with the process designed to ensure that schools are well prepared to implement the programme successfully.

meaning from their learning, and deciding to take action in an authentic response.

The ‘action cycle’ where students learn to reflect, choose and then act, sees them making personal

Developing enduring understanding. This focus on enduring understanding occurs through the use of concepts to frame learning.

IB Diploma Programme

Al Zahra College submitted its application for Candidacy for the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) on 31 March, 2012. This application is a request to prepare for authorisation to offer the IB DP during 2013, so that AZC can commence in January 2014. The IB Diploma Programme is designed as an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, normally aged 16 to 19, for success at

may be an arts subject chosen from group 6, or the student may choose another subject from groups 1 to 5.

university and life beyond. The programme is normally taught over two years and has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities. IB Diploma Programme students study six courses at higher level or standard level. Students must choose one subject from each of groups 1 to 5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject

In addition, the programme has three core requirements that are included to broaden the educational experience and challenge students to apply their knowledge and understanding. These requirements are: Theory of Knowledge; Extended Essay; and Creativity, Action, Service.

Core Components of IB Diploma Overview The core of the curriculum model consists of three components. Extended essay The extended essay of some 4,000 words offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student's six DP subjects, and acquaints them with the independent research and writing skills expected at university. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity - resulting in approximately 40 hours of work. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research on a topic of their choice, under the guidance of a supervisor. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of no more that 4,000 words, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject, It is recommended that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview viva voce - with the supervisor. In countries where normally interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university, the extended essay had proved to be a valuable stimulus for discussion. From 2011 (first examinations 2013), a world studies extended essay will be offered as a unique alternative.

the huge cultural shifts worldwide around the digital revolution and the information economy. The extent and impact of the changes vary greatly in different parts of the world, but everywhere their implications for knowledge are profound. Theory of knowledge encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of that they encounter. Its core content focuses on questions such as the following: 1

What counts a knowledge?


How does it grow?


What are its limits?


Who owns knowledge?


What is the value of knowledge?


What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?

TOK activities and discussions aim to help students discover and express their views on knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen and learn from what others think. In this process students' thinking and their understanding of knowledge as a human construction are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Programme subjects, in CAS experience or in extended essay research; distinctions between different kinds of knowledge may be clarified.

interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows: Creativity - arts and other experiences that involve creative thinking Action - physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the IB Diploma Programme Service - an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. Creativity, action, service (CAS) encourages students to be involved in activities as individuals and as part of a team that take place in local, national and international contexts. Creativity, action, service enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development as well as their social and civic development, through experiential learning, lending an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the IB Diploma Programme. It should be both challenging and enjoyable - a personal journey of self-discovery that recognizes each student's individual starting point. Activities should provide: •

real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes;

personal challenge - tasks must extend the student and be achievable in scope;

thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress and reporting; and

reflection on outcomes and personal learning.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The theory of knowledge course is in part intended to encourage students to reflect on

Creativity, action, service (CAS) Creativity, action, service is at the heart of the Diploma programme, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies throughout the IB Diploma Programme. The component's three strands, often


MYP Community & Service Throughout Term 1 & 2, Al Zahra secondary girls have been working extremely hard to raise money for the Sydney Children's Hospital as part of their Community and Service (C&S) program. On Friday, 11th May 2012, the secondary girls presented the Sydney Children’s Hospital with a cheque donation of $3255.35. The secondary girls reflected on this activity as it is a major part of experiential learning and is used to assist us in gaining more out of our C&S experience. The feelings and emotions throughout this activity range from being heartbroken, remorseful, apologetic and definitely thankful for our healthy lifestyle.

We are constantly challenged with a variety of obstacles throughout our own lives and we have learnt how to wisely overcome them. We have learnt to overcome them through this experience; by not worrying about pointless things, to be grateful for what you have and don't expect or demand for more. This activity meant a lot to each and every one of us as it makes us acknowledge our accomplishments we’ve achieved.

Fatima Bachir and Amani Farhat Being Absolutely Fabulous (AF) in Year 9 at AZC!

IB Students Perform Better! Research shows that IB primary- and middle-years students perform better on international assessments than their peers at non-IB schools IB Students out-perform their non-IB peers in academic areas, indicating high social and emotional well-being Singapore May 23, 2012. A research study completed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), on behalf of the International Baccalaureate® (IB), examined student performance among IB and non-IB students on the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) and determined that IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and IB Middle Years Program (MYP) students, in most instances performed as well or better than their non-IB peers across all four ISA assessment domains, including math literacy, reading, narrative writing, and expository writing. Particularly strong differences were observed in grade 10, the final year of the IB MYP. The study, conducted with data collected from 2009-11, included 270 schools—117 with the PYP and 86 with the MYP—and 50,714 international students, of which 68% were IB students. This study follows up on an earlier project undertaken by ACER to report on how PYP and MYP students, grades 3 to 10, at international schools worldwide performed on the ISA relative to nonIB students, from 2007-09. The new study analyzes more recent data, digs deeper into specific areas of study and queried students on their perceptions, attitudes, and wellbeing. In their findings, ACER researchers Ling Tan and Yan Bibby, explain: “This research performed drill-down analysis on sub-strands of ISA assessment areas. This sub-strands analysis found that IB students performed better than non-IB students for ISA Reading in all sub-

strands at all grade levels except grade 8. IB students demonstrated better performances in Mathematical Literacy in grade 6, grade 9, and grade 10. In expository writing categories, IB students outperformed non-IB students in grades 4, 9 and 10 with effect sizes ranging from very small to moderately large.” The ISA math and reading components are based on reading and mathematical literacy frameworks established by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exams. The OECD promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. Other findings of note: IB students in grades 9 and 10 averaged scores significantly higher in mathematics and reading than OECD averages in the 2009 PISA. A multi-level analysis found that ‘between-school variations’ across IB schools were smaller than among non-IB schools in all four ISA domains, implying that IB schools were more similar to each other than the non-IB schools were, with respect to the four domains. Across all dimensions of the primary- and secondary-year student questionnaires, high proportions of agreement were observed among IB PYP and MYP students. Full text of the research study, “Performance Comparison between IB School Students and Non-IB School Students on the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) and on the Social and Emotional Well-being Questionnaire” appears online, click here:

Year 1 Inquiry

Unit 2: Where we are in

How our parents and

place and time

grandparents lived. How technology has impacted

Central Idea:

on life.

Technological advances have changed people’s lives. Key Concepts:

Related Concepts:

Change, function.

Progress, technology. What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea? How we live today.

Al Zahra College






Open Minded


Balanced Knowledgeable Principled the The IB Learner Profile is that attributes and descriptors that IB define the type of student hopes to develop through its ). programs (for example, MYP



AL ZAHRA COLLEGE An IB World School Catering for students from Preschool to Year 9 3 - 5 Wollongong Road, ARNCLIFFE. NSW 2205 P: (+61) 2 9599 0161 F: (+61) 2 9599 0162 E:


AZC IB Matters May 2012  

Al Zahra College IB Matters, May edition, 2012

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