We caught up with ACS Hillingdon Alumni, Miho, who is now studying Physics at King’s College London, to find out how her first year at university is going so far.
How has your first year at university been so far?
I’m currently in my first year at King’s College London studying Physics. It did take me a little while to settle in to university life as everyone here is very smart. King’s also has a very diverse community, with students from lots of different religions and nationalities.
My studies have been challenging, but I do feel that studying the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) has prepared me well for university life. Time management is the ONE key thing that the IBDP really hones, because you study up to six subjects at one time. With Physics there are a lot of different modules, and being well-organised is essential for balancing a mixture of study texts and course deadlines.
In today’s world of increased competition to secure an international higher education placement, students more than ever require the support and guidance of their school when planning their academic futures. Since ACS Doha’s inception in 2011, we have pursued a well-balanced programme based on academic rigour, cultural citizenship and future-readiness, as we enable our students to reach their highest potential in a globally connected world.
In 2015 we broke new ground yet again, as we inaugurated our first Grade 12 Year Group at ACS Doha. This group of students will graduate in May 2016, as they stride towards a successful future.
With pens hardly dry from writing exam papers, or from marking them, we turn to look at what has been gained from all this revision and exam work.
A new research report confirms what so many teachers fear, or feel, that there is far too much focus on subject knowledge and not enough focus on, well, ‘learning’ at secondary school level.
Many of you reading this will have done A levels and will be past masters at cramming facts. But how many of us were specifically taught at school how to learn for ourselves, how to apply information intelligently, perhaps to draw information or ideas from other people, and apply them to successfully solving a problem?
These are traditionally skills learned at university or in the workplace, but surely we should be asking why our education system has such a narrow focus, and why, by the time a 17 or 18 year old completes their mandatory education, they are not equipped with the right set of skills to help them thrive at university or in work?
Having taught IB (International Baccalaureate) art for thirty years in countries all over the world, I have experienced how the programme encourages students to both cultivate and challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It’s a thought-provoking course; students develop an appreciation for the expressive diversity in the world around them, through a variety of local, regional, national, international and intercultural contexts.
Now at ACS Egham, I teach visual arts in IB Diploma Programme, but I actually started teaching IB visual arts in Tanzania, East Africa, in the 1980s, where my IB journey began.
As ACS Egham’s High School students graduate this week, they leave equipped with the characteristics of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner profile and importantly, an inquiring mindset, which will prepare them for higher education and life beyond.
The IB is based on the principle that students should ‘learn how to learn’, how to analyse, how to reach considered conclusions about people, their languages and literature, their ways in society, and the scientific forces of their environment. At ACS Egham as a four programme school we embrace these principles from their first years of schooling in Early Years all the way through to their final years in Grade 12 in the IB Diploma Programme.