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Year 11’s Sana M. and Alexis W. take a Spanish taster lesson.
All iGCSE Year 11 students at BIS Houston finished their last exam of the year, completing the two-year program that was wracked with uncertainty and confusion because of Covid. A celebration on Friday was a fun way to revisit events from the past year and to say goodbye to students who are moving away. There was a student-led assembly followed by a pizza party where students received their yearbooks. But for many, it wasn’t quite time to start their relaxing summer.
Now that the iGCSE course is over, Year 11 students move on to Year 12 and many will start the rigorous IB diploma program. Even the teachers acknowledge that picking between the large selection of subjects, abiding by university requirements for majors, and deciding between higher and standard level can be confusing. That’s why BIS Houston usually uses the last couple weeks of school to hold IB ‘taster’ lessons. Students have the opportunity to sample the lessons that they are considering doing next year. This helps them choose between subjects and gain understanding on what to expect from the IB.
Teachers use these sessions to explain course requirements and an overview of content. They may have a short example of a lesson depending on the subject so that students have an example of what the class will be like next year. Year 11 student, Maia R, comments on IB taster lessons: “It is a great way to introduce us to the IB program. The extra clarification is so useful in deciding our subjects for next year. We have extra time to ask question, and even try other lessons that we wouldn’t have attempted otherwise.”
“The taster sessions provide an informative glimpse into what the IB is all about. I find that they are helping me to be better prepared for lessons next year as we transfer from IGCSE to IB," said Christina M.
This summer, students have been advised to spend some time thinking about what colleges and courses they want to research more. This will help them get a better idea of what subjects at IB are useful, so that when they come back to school, they can change any classes they need to before the curriculum begins.