31 Aug, 2020
10 : 00
This is the time of the year YCIS Beijing students learn of their performance on IGCSE exams. Now that the results are out for 2019-2020, we are glad to announce that they are impressive. Due to the extraordinary nature of the previous academic year and uncertainty surrounding the exams, Cambridge International, the organisation which oversees the IGCSE programme worldwide, came up with alternative evaluation models.
Says Hayley Edge, YCIS Beijing’s IGCSE coordinator, “When the exam board decided that the exams were not going to happen, we were able to transition the students to build portfolios of evidence.” These portfolios included students' work from varying subjects, such as Art, Science, Geography, Mathematics and English amongst others.
The YCIS-BJ IGCSE Programme has been an essential part of our Secondary School's academic identity for years because of its academic rigour that aides in a smoother transition for students who move on to the IBDP programme. Ms Edge, who is also the Head of Humanities, adds that the IGCSE “allows our students to do seven individual certificates and match certain criteria, which enables them to claim the ICE (International Certificate in Education).” This allows students to demonstrate their capabilities in a wide range of subjects in five groups provided by Cambridge, thus opening broader options for university selection.
As in previous years, the current overall results are impressive, aided in part by a stronger contingent of students, which resulted in an improved average, according to Ms Edge. Helping this academic synergy is the fact that some of the top-performing students are friends, such as Luis Fernandez and Ethan Wang 王诣轩, and also recently registered student, Harune Mori. Ms Edge has nothing but commendation for these students for their dedication to their academics.
“Luis has been at our school for a while. He is self-motivated and has high expectations and standards for himself," she adds of the student who accomplished 2 A*s and 8 As. Ethan, like Luis, is academically strong and even though he came to YCIS Beijing last year, he was able to achieve 4 A*s and 4 As. There is a healthy competition between the two Year 12 students, which works to their benefit. Completing this elite list is Harune who, upon arrival in Beijing from Japan, spoke minimal Chinese and English. Yet, her deep personal commitment and support from her teachers contributed to 4 A*s, 1 B, 2 Cs and 1 D.
The shift to virtual classrooms lasted longer than originally planned, but there were numerous lessons to be learnt – one being time management. Students had to prioritise activities and learn how to better schedule their days to accommodate online lessons. In addition they also learned to deal with the stress of the pandemic and the lockdown. It all contributed to their overall development and ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
With the 2020-2021 academic year looming, the Secondary team under the leadership of Hayley Edge is well prepared to interact with students and meet all academic requirements. For Ms Edge, students' wellbeing is the number one priority. “It's easy to focus on academics, grades and predicted scores,” she says, but “student wellbeing and pastoral activities that come with it will be the focus. I will help students deal with stress and manage their time while knowing that they have people who care about them, and most importantly, that they feel looked after and secure.”
For now, the focus is on making the transition back to school as smooth as possible for students who have had to deal with half a year of uncertainty surrounding their return to campus.