18 Aug, 2017
10 : 00
Recent Yew Chung International School of Beijing graduates were thrilled to receive their IBDP results marking the tenth straight year of a perfect 100% pass rate. With an average score more than five points above the world average, YCIS Beijing graduates can finally rest and enjoy the closing days of summer before starting their journeys anew in university.
In light of the 2017 graduating class’ success, we’d like to also remember our students from years past. In fact, this year’s results mark the 10thconsecutive year that YCIS Beijing’s graduating class has achieved a perfect 100% pass rate. This success is a testament to the strength of our Secondary programme, but it’s also a tribute to every student in our school – ECE, Primary, and Secondary – and the enthusiasm and determination that they bring to the classroom every day.
To put our IBDP exam success into context, we asked Prachi Gupta, YCIS Beijing's IBDP Programme Coordinator, to share some stories and behind the scenes moments from the past 10 years. She highlights the challenges of the IBDP programme, the unfailing dedication of our teachers, and the creativity, independence and exceptional growth of our students. Great exam results are a happy ending to the story – but the story is much longer, more personal, and more engaging once you look inside.
The Pressure of an Uncertain Future:
As adults, it’s easy to forget how stressful life can be as a student. There are few certainties in a young person’s life. Choosing a university and eventual career are only two of the many choices that face students each day but that will shape and alter the course of their lives.
During her time working in the IBDP Programme, it was common to see students overwhelmed by the rigours of the course requirements. There have even been students that feel so much pressure that they’ve simply skipped out on school. But as educators and parents, it’s essential to recognize the struggles and challenges that face young adults and to be anchors for students during a turbulent time in their lives.
Sit with them. Listen. Offer them a safe environment where they feel comfortable to share their feelings. And only after they feel safe and cared for, do you now push. And you sometimes it takes a hard push! She shared how once she had to sit with a student for 3 days while he completed his Extended Essay! She had to make sure he stayed on task. And it did get done. And he passed the exam with a 30.
Student Union: Fighting the System
Pressure and uncertainty can also manifest themselves in other ways, such as defiance. Ms. Gupta’s recent graduating class had a rebellious streak. It was a small and tight-knit group – which is great – except that being so close they could move in unison, for good or bad.
At one point during their final year, they decided to push back against the system. The whole group wasn’t submitting their work on time. They were missing deadlines and didn’t care about the consequences. At times in her career, she had to threaten students that if they don’t work hard, she’d take them off of the Diploma Course – they’d then have to take the IB Certificate instead, which would completely change their university application process. This cohort didn’t seem to understand the urgency of their teachers’ requests.
On the one hand, they were a challenging group for teachers. But on the other hand, they were simply reacting to the pressure of that stage in their lives and were growing into their own independence and personalities. Despite the conflicts, teachers continued helping students and stayed at school until 9 in the evening for weeks on end. Chemistry wasn’t Ms. Gupta’s discipline, but she was willing to sit with a student late into the night as he did his chemistry assignments – and she wouldn’t let him leave before it was finished!
Teachers didn’t give up on their students. They didn’t leave them but found other ways to motivate them. And in the end, they all passed. And their scores were 6 points above the world average.