10 Sep, 2014
10 : 00
Year 12 students at YCIS just began their first year of the rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB), a stimulating and holistic programme that prepares them for success in university and beyond. To prepare students for the new challenges and experiences they will have in the two-year programme, YCIS organises an annual Year 12 Retreat at the beginning of the school year. Recently, students from the Gubei Campus completed the two and a half day conference, held at a resort at Sun Island, right outside of Shanghai.
The retreat provided the new IB students with an introduction to the expectations and fundamentals behind the programme. In particular, students were given an overview of the unique aspects of the programme, including the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component, the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, the Learner Profile attributes, the nature of professional research, and the methodologies behind drawing up effective citations.
The relaxing setting of the location allowed students to absorb a great wealth of information. During the course of the retreat, students learnt more about the IB programme through teacher presentations, an entertaining IB knowledge quiz, a team competition based on general IB knowledge, and an IB Learner Profile skit competition. These activities allowed students to collaborate with their classmates and teachers to get familiar with the IB programme, while having an immense amount of fun!
Another light-hearted group activity the students took part in was Laughter Yoga, specially designed by a certified yoga instructor. The class incorporated rhythmic movements, breathing, and of course, a great deal of laughter, with the aim of teaching techniques the students could use to relieve stress. Students were also able to relax and bond together through a number of fun activities, including Frisbee games, go-karting, golf, a painting class, an evening dance, and a delicious barbeque.
One highlight of the trip was a cultural simulation called BaFa BaFa. The Year 12 students were divided into two different groups –the Alpha and Beta “clans” – each with its own unique cultural conventions, system of laws, and taboos. “Visitors” from each group were then appointed to explore the opposing groups’ culture, and to determine the rules and habits governing their activities. This surprisingly life-like simulation provided a tangible glimpse into the nature and importance of intercultural exchange, while accentuating the quality of international-mindedness that IB is designed to foster.
One Year 12 student, Gillian, reflected on this year’s trip, saying “We came out of the trip with even stronger friendships, and, in general, a better understanding of the unparalleled personality and character of our year group. It was certainly an experience I will never forget.”
To learn more about the IB programme at YCIS, click here.