IB Letter to all parents for the New Academic Year

11th September 2018
Dear Parents,
On behalf of the IB Team at Deira International School, I am very pleased to inform you that students
have made a great start to the new academic year. We are looking forward to a productive partnership
with you to ensure all students can achieve their highest potential. We recognise that in order to be
successful in the academics and well-being, students need support from home and school.
Firstly, I would like to introduce the IB Team:
Lianne Knibb
Head of IB and Assistant Principal
We were very excited that the new IB suite was open for students on arrival and they will be heavily
involved in the finishing touches to make it their own. Sunday was filled with informative introductory
sessions to fully prepare all IB Students to manage new systems and understand the IB Philosophy. IB
students received an ‘Academic Honesty’ presentation last week and were reminded of the importance of
referencing and citing correctly. They will receive regular guidance from their teachers to avoid any
misconduct and supported throughout their subjects. All IB students are required to sign an Academic
Honesty contract and UAE Equivalency Form, this will be fully explained to parents next week at the “Meet
the Tutor” event. Please take a moment to read both documents yourself and sign; should you have any
questions we shall answer them on Wednesday 19th September.
As part of the Induction process, we believe that there should
be a balance between Academics and student Well Being and
therefore we organised a Team Building session for all IB
Students. This year they went to ‘Flip out’ on Monday 3rd
September. It is important that students get to know each
other. We encourage students to work together both
academically as well as socially in order to develop strong
foundations and a supportive network.
“Forever learning, forever achieving”
P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2325552 Fax: +971 4 2325151 www.disdubai.ae
The Team Building event also launches and adheres to the IB
Learner Profile, which is fundamental to the IB Students
development. Initially we hope the Team Building event
encourages students to Take Risks, be Caring towards others and
be reflective. During the trip students participated in a number of
challenges. The challenges included Archery, Dodgeball, Slam
Dunk/Basketball and Tug of War. A thoroughly enjoyable day was
had by all. It was excellent to observe IB1 and IB2 students
integrating so well together.
Students in IB1 are currently attending their classes, settling in and ensuring their subject choices are
right for them. Next week IB1 Students will be given a form to complete to confirm their subject choices
and teachers will verify their choice before gaining a final signature from you. Please can parents check
the form before signing, especially if your child has requested subject changes. Students are to return
their forms to their Tutor/Head of Year by Wednesday 26th September.
Page 2 of 5
“Forever learning, forever achieving”
P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2325552 Fax: +971 4 2325151 www.disdubai.ae
IBCP1 students started the newly designed IBCP course with an introduction to the IB core elements.
Students were exposed to the Service Learning opportunities that are available in the school such as
the upcoming DIS Blood Drive. The Personal and Professional Skills curriculum was introduced where
students will have the opportunity to undertake work placements in a range of Al Futtaim businesses. As
part of their program they will spend time preparing for their placements in November. Visits to various
businesses are planned as well for this term in addition to completion of their Safety and First Aid course
that they will have to complete before placements commence.
A cohort of IBCP1 students started the new BTEC Business Level 3 accreditation. The IBCP2 cohort visited
the Al Futtaim Training Center to meet newly appointed staff. The cohort confirmed their Term 1 work
placements with businesses such as Volvo, Intercontinental Hotel and Breakfast to Breakfast Restaurant.
IBCP2 students start their second year of work placements this week. Last Tuesday’s session involved
them writing a reflection of what they gained from work experience in the past year, reconfirming their
placement choices for this term; tidying up their Curriculum Vitaes (to update last year’s work experience
and add any new skills acquired). Tentative dates and topics for this year’s Assessments were also
The first week of the IB within Theory of Knowledge has gotten off to a smooth start. IB1 students had
their introductory lesson for the Theory of Knowledge course and, hopefully, developed a clear
understanding of the relevance of the course content to life outside of school. At the same time, the IB2
students are returning to class this week and will focus their attention on the written assessment that is
due on December 9th.
Students should begin thinking about what subject they would like to do their Extended Essay on. The
proposal forms are due at the beginning of term 2, this may seem a while away but students should pick
some areas of interest to do some preliminary research outside of the normal range of the IB curricula.
This an opportunity for IB students to deepen their understanding of an academic discipline they are
curious about.
This year, we are focusing on raising the profile of Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) by celebrating all
the fantastic projects that the IB students have initiated and implemented as part of the program. In this
first week, IB1 students have been given an induction to CAS and have begun to complete their proposal
forms and interviews to set out their action plan over the next eighteen months.
We have our annual Nepal trip, the community Blood Drive and Healthy Lifestyle week all coming up over
the next half term and we encourage all IB students to be proactive and participate in these projects
when they are posted on Managebac. As well as this, we encourage all IB1 students who are interested
in starting new projects to complete a proposal form on Managebac to turn their ideas into action. IB1
students will have signed up and completed IB1 interview 1 by end of first half term.
All IB1 students who did not sign up to Managebac before the Summer Vacation should have completed
their personal details. We shall be sending these off once completed to get the final accounts set up.
Managebac is the system used for all IB Students and becomes the main place to obtain subject
Page 3 of 5
“Forever learning, forever achieving”
P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2325552 Fax: +971 4 2325151 www.disdubai.ae
information, resources, deadlines etc. Students are required to sign into Managebac daily and may actually
use it several times per day as Coordinators will post messages and reminders regularly. It also enables
parents to view what is going on within their child’s program. The VLE is still used for reports, so please
ensure you keep your user names and passwords to hand. Parents will have a Managebac account set up
once we have assigned all the students to avoid any confusion. More information will be provided on this
during the “Meet the Tutor” Event.
We ask that you guide and support your child’s learning by ensuring that he/she attends school daily and
arrives on time, ready for the day’s learning experience as well as completes all class and extended
learning assignments given by teachers to a high standard. The IB specify a recommended number of
hours for Standard and Higher Level subjects and thus it is imperative students meet this criteria, which
ultimately provides them with the tools to be successful.
In the unlikely event you need your son/daughter to leave school early please adhere to the early
departure policy informing their Head of Year. I cannot stress enough the importance of students being
in school for the full day, but we are also aware that some appointments are unavoidable and emergencies
happen. If they need to miss the start of school and this cannot be avoided, please can you ensure you
e-mail the head of year 24 hours prior to enable Mr. Egan or Mrs. Jones to communicate with teachers
and provide authorisation. Students will be given a blue slip to complete during the day to be excused
from lessons if requesting to leave early.
Dates for your Diary:
Sunday 16th September: ASA’s Start
Tuesday 18th September. Baseline Testing
Wednesday 19th September: IB1 Meet the Tutor
Thursday 20th September: personal statement to be completed
Wednesday 26th September: IB1 Students to submit Subject Confirmation
Monday 15th October: IB2 UK University Applications due
(Oxbridge or Medicine/Dentistry/Veterinary Science)
Sunday 9th December: IB2 TOK Written Assessment Due
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Ms McHelm and Ms Somerville to the university and
careers department. Ms McHelm and Ms Somerville will lead the department whilst Ms Thomasson is away
on maternity leave. We would like to wish Mr and Mrs Thomasson all the best. Ms Thomasson provides a
great deal of support to our students and will continue to do so on her return later in the academic year.
The IB2 students will look forward to a busy term of university applications. UK and US applicants have
handed in their draft essays and will work with the department on editing and perfecting their applications.
All UK applicants finalized their UCAS accounts in the ‘Apply to the UK’ workshops held by the careers
department. Oxbridge applicants and students applying for medicine/dentistry/veterinary science must
ensure that their personal statement is completed by the 20th of September in order to meet the 15th
October deadline. Students applying to the US should consider which teachers they would like to complete
their teacher recommendations and complete the teacher questionnaire form for their selected teacher.
Page 4 of 5
“Forever learning, forever achieving”
P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2325552 Fax: +971 4 2325151 www.disdubai.ae
The students have access to the fantastic platform Bridge U. Students can use this platform to research
into courses and universities, it is also the official platform that we use in school to send university
applications. Students in IB2 should have completed their university matches and finalized their university
choices on their profile. IB2 students can now also book their one on one careers consultation to finalize
their university choices and work on their applications.
We look forward to welcoming a host of universities over the next few months in which all IB students
are welcome to attend.
Confirmed visits for this month are:
17th: Futures Abroad present ‘Scholarship opportunities’
19th: Kings College London
25th: Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
25th: UCAS support workshop (IB1 students)
26th: University of Westminster, UK
26th: Rhode Island University, US
The department will host the following workshops for IB students to support their applications:
10th and 11th September: Applying to the US. Common app profile set up, essay support
(IB2 only)
16th September: Applying to Canada (IB1 and 2)
18th September: Applying to the Netherlands (IB1 and 2)
Thursday 18th- 25th October: IB1 Nepal Trip
I have had the pleasure in meeting the majority of you during the interviewing process, however for those
I am yet to meet, I look forward to meeting you on Wednesday 19th September at the ‘Meet the tutor’
evening at 4:00pm. If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to contact me. I feel positive
regarding the year ahead and thank you for your cooperation, please do not hesitate to contact myself or
a member of the IB Team should you require any support.
Miss Lianne Knibb
Assistant Principal & IB Coordinator
[email protected]
Deira International School
British Curriculum School in Dubai Festival City
Page 5 of 5
“Forever learning, forever achieving”
P.O. Box 79043, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 4 2325552 Fax: +971 4 2325151 www.disdubai.ae
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