AN IB WORLD SCHOOL

Academic News

The full Academic Calendar for the upcoming 2021-22 school year is now available on the SGS Parent Portal.  Download your own copy and print it out to start planning for the coming year.

SGS students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme take a class on the Theory of Knowledge.  They recently looked at language -- one of eight different ways of knowing.
 
CORE Highlight: Theory of Knowledge
The junior class has begun the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class.  They are currently transitioning from the required core theme of “Knowledge and the Knower” to “Knowledge and Language,” which is one of five optional themes.  Students watched a Teen Ted Talk last week called “Breaking the Language Barrier.”  Next week they will build “mini exhibitions” where they will find one object and link it to a knowledge question in a 300-word reflection.   At the end of the semester, they will do this with 3 objects and one prompt for their full exhibitions, which is their new Internal Assessment. 
 
CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include dog training, donating food and clothes to an orphanage, going on a hike, decorating fan shirts, rock climbing, and cleaning the Biology lab.
 
IB Question of the Week:  What are the aims of the TOK class that full diploma students take?
 
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course plays a special role in the Diploma Programme (DP) by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature, scope and limitations of knowledge and the process of knowing. In this way, the main focus of TOK is not on students acquiring new knowledge but on helping students to reflect on, and put into perspective, what they already know. TOK underpins and helps to unite the subjects that students encounter in the rest of their DP studies. It engages students in explicit reflection on how knowledge is arrived at in different disciplines and areas of knowledge, and on what these areas have in common and the differences between them. 
 
The aims of the TOK course are: 
• to encourage students to reflect on the central question, “How do we know that?”, and to recognize the value of asking that question; 
• to expose students to ambiguity, uncertainty and questions with multiple plausible answers; 
• to equip students to effectively navigate and make sense of the world, and help prepare them to encounter novel and complex situations; 
• to encourage students to be more aware of their own perspectives and to reflect critically on their own beliefs and assumptions; 
• to engage students with multiple perspectives, foster open-mindedness and develop intercultural understanding; 
• to encourage students to make connections between academic disciplines by exploring underlying concepts and by identifying similarities and differences in the methods of inquiry used in different areas of knowledge; 
• to prompt students to consider the importance of values, responsibilities and ethical concerns relating to the production, acquisition, application and communication of knowledge. 
 
IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

The SGS FIRST Lego League team builds Lego robots and structures as part of a competition with other schools.  See a Photo Gallery of the team of 6th graders, who have made some impressive creations!

The Kindergarten class created a coral reef along one wall of their classroom and learned all about the creatures that inhabit a reef.  See a 1-Minute Video of them naming different creatures of the reef, as well as photo galleries of the Reef and Decorated Books about the fish in a reef and of Hawaiian Day when they brought their stuffed animals and played Coral Reef Bingo!

Upper School History students researched lesser known African American figures from the 20th Century and made short presentations on them to SGS students and staff for Black History Month.  Watch presentations on Feb. 25 by Alli Dixon on Zora Neale Hurston, by Zadie Rigsby on Angela Davis, and by Reagan Ivey on Stokely Carmichael, as well as presentations on Feb. 26 by Carol Wolff on Marsha P. Johnson and by Chaitanya Nalluri, Paul Darnall and Kyley Doughty on Bayard Rustin.  You can also view PDFs of each presentation's slides for Hurston, Davis, Carmichael, Johnson, and Rustin.

IB Highlights: IB vs AP

March 01, 2021

SGS students follow the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme instead of Advanced Placement classes.  How do they differ?
 
IB Question of the Week:  What is the difference between IB and AP? 
Here are some of the structural differences between the IB and AP programs:
• IB is an integrated program of study 
• Critical thinking (within classes and in TOK class) 
• Emphasis on writing skills (must write a 4,000 word essay) 
• Essay exams, free response 
• Must take the class in order to take the exam 
• Must take entire program of courses (6 of them) + the Core to earn diploma 
• End-of-year IB tests are graded according to how well your exam demonstrates mastery of the stated course objectives. The criteria for each class is identical – regardless of where you register for it.
     o Grading is conducted by a team of experts whose work is closely monitored to ensure that that assessment is consistent between students. You can also review the detailed description of the IB exam grading philosophy and process.
 
• AP allows students to choose off of the “a la carte” menu 
• Content based 
• Very limited time to teach writing and research skills in an AP course 
• Multiple choice 50% and essay exams 50% 
• Don’t need to take the class to take the exam 
• For most AP Exams, your score is a weighted combination of your scores on the 2 sections, multiple-choice and free-response. Some AP courses have assessments that include other scored components.
 
Here are some of the philosophical differences:
• The IB classes take a more international focus than AP courses.
     o "In an AP class, you may look very deeply at an issue and look at it from multiple perspectives," says Matthew Nelson, director of advanced academics for Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee. "In IB, it would probably be more, still looking at an issue, but you may be looking at an issue over time and how it has impacted other parts of the world and how there is that connectivity to it all." 
 
The above information was obtained from this article in US News and World Report published on Dec. 4, 2019.
 
EE Highlight: The junior class is continuing their EE process.  They are beginning to choose their subjects and supervisors for their EEs and are continuing to work on narrowing research questions, finding resources, and developing the methodology of the EEs.  
 
Here is an IB Video that was shared with the juniors on how to develop a research question.  An example of the evolution of a research question is shown in This PowerPoint.  See more explanations about EE research at www.ibo.org.
 
CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include FTC robotics, writing cards for children in the hospital, night skiing, cleaning and organizing the Biology lab room, training a puppy, and cleaning the Chemistry lab.
 
IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

Saint George's School will be closed on Thursday, March 4 and Friday, March 5 for Midwinter Break.  Enjoy the early spring-like weather!

Ten Saint George's Middle School students competed in the annual National Geographic Geography Bee on Feb. 17 in Founders Theater.  See a Photo Gallery from the event and watch the full 35-Minute Video to see how well you would do on these tough geography questions.  Congratulations to 7th grader Matthew Longstreth, who knew the final answer to "Which country on the Atlantic Ocean is just south of Lake Chad and is bordered by Nigeria to the northwest?"

IB Highlights: CAS Experiences

February 22, 2021

SGS students have used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore creativity, activity and service experiences at school, at home and outside. 

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include replacing the shocks on a car, meal prep and cooking, helping in the library, FIRST Tech Challenge robotics, yoga, and skiing.

CAS Project Highlight: Senior Clark Chen has initiated the founding of an online English language program for primary students in China.  He hopes to develop his skills to initiate projects with collaborations and to enhance his communication skills with younger kids and their parents.

EE Highlight: The junior class of full diploma candidates has begun meeting in B block to start their Extended Essay process.  They are learning exactly what the EE is and are beginning to choose their subjects and supervisors.  Over the next couple of weeks, they will work on narrowing research questions, finding resources, and developing the methodology of the EEs.  

IB Question of the Week:  How is the IB recognized in different countries?
There are IB World Schools in 156 countries throughout the world, and students send exam results to higher education institutions in nearly 90 countries annually. Given the wide diversity of local education systems, it can be difficult to understand how the IB is recognized in various parts of the world.  Learn how different countries Recognize IB Results

IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

The 4th graders split into teams to check the quality of the spring at the base of the hillside and the Little Spokane River by Graduation Bridge on Feb. 8.  They regularly measure water temperature, PH balance, and observe any creatures for signs of the water's health.  See a Photo Gallery of their investigations!


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