JERUDONG International School (JIS) is offering two programmes to Sixth Form students namely the Advanced Level General Certificate of Education (A-Levels) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB).
Students in the A-Level programme will either study three or four A-levels, plus Core Studies and PE while those taking the IB programme will study six subjects: three at Higher Level and three at Standard Level. They must choose one subject from each of Groups 1-5, thus ensuring breadth of experience in languages, social studies, the experimental sciences and mathematics. The sixth subject may be an arts subject chosen from Group 6, or the student may choose another subject from Groups 2, 3, or 4 (an elective).
One of the assessments for Group 4 is an internal assessment where practical work is carried out and recorded by the students. The Group 4 project is an integrated, collaborative task where students work with other students from different sciences. Below, Joseph Sleiman, a Year 12 IB Student describes what they have done for the Group 4 project.
“The International Baccalaureate (IB) Group 4 Project is a collaborative activity where students work together on a scientific or technological topic to gain understanding on the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.”
“At the beginning of Term Two, all Year 12 IB students were sorted into four different groups, some ending up with friends and others with people they have never worked with. In the first meeting, we were introduced to the project to produce an experiment that will measure a time period of between two and 10 minutes accurately (No watches allowed). The team with the most accurate timing would get a prize and of course, my competitive nature kicked into gear! The teams then discussed, brainstormed, and shared ideas. Creativity was everywhere! Teachers also contributed opinions and encouraged ideas that could be translated into real life.
“The following two weeks were the ‘Action Stage’. Two sessions, each four hours long, to trial, test and refine our method(s) – as well as lots of informal chatting at break times and in the evenings. This part was where communication and patience was tested. Things would go wrong, timings made would be totally off, equipment would break and whole methods would be scrapped for better ones. Though problematic and stressful at times, all of us had fun working together on presenting and preparing the experiment.
“The final ‘Evaluation Stage’ was soon upon us and each team was ready and very ambitious. Everyone’s eyes were set on the prize! The students were visibly anxious, rushing to complete one last test trial and finish off display boards to present our completed product. Once the trivialities were concluded, the teachers began the countdown… and Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” blared through the speakers – an appropriately dramatic piece for the occasion.
“The tension in the atmosphere had peaked and ‘feisty’ remarks were exchanged between groups as the Head of Sixth Form, Mr Piper, collected the calculated times. In his characteristic bantering, he stretched out the suspense to its limit and after what felt like decades, revealed the joint winners: both recording the exact time of the piece! However, amazingly, the other two times were within two seconds of the actual time! The prizes were handed out and we all left the classroom reflecting on an enjoyable educational experience with teamwork and collaboration at the forefront of it all.
“The main emphasis we take away as students is the importance of cooperation and the procedure of creating a scientific investigation – not necessarily the results/success of the experiment. And best of all we enjoyed the experience; it gave us a fun way to appreciate the wonders of scientific method!”