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    Bringing out our Best – Reflections on the IB Review


    03 Dec, 2021

    10 : 00

    • ‘Our school’s success is everyone’s success’ Quote by: J. Mellen

      “It is our school community that makes YCIS Beijing so successful”, this is the summary that Mr Jonathan Mellen, our IB Coordinator and Careers and University Guidance Counsellor gives out after one and a half years of hard work, effort, knowledge -, and information gathering for our school’s IB review. The final examination process took place over the past three days involving teachers, students, and parents.

      YCIS Beijing is one of the first schools in China that has successfully became an IB School in 2006. It is a standardized review process that is making sure that all the criteria to qualify as an IB school are met. The IB review takes place every five years and is conducted by external evaluators with a very strict format to follow.

      Mr Mellen was more than passion-driven when he applied for the role of IB Coordinator. “I wanted to support the school going through IB review because I knew I could do it. I had the experience”, shares Mr Mellen. He was assigned to his new task in May 2020 at a very special time when the world was Covid-struck and many of our Western teachers were unable to return from overseas. Through virtual meetings and the engagement of our ambitious staff, Mr Mellen made sure to keep the IB review process vital and flowing.

      Extensive paperwork is part of the preliminary review ranging from school process and policies, over unit plans and course outlines to overall school documentation. All the teachers worked together to write up the final report that our school handed in to the IB for an extensive review. This includes how the IB programme is run in general at YCIS Beijing. The second part of the review process is about ‘self-study’, which is sub-divided into the categories of purpose, environment, culture, and learning. The ‘self-study’ is aimed to gather evidence for every standard, whereas each section has different standards and requirements. To successfully approach the reviewal part of ‘self-study’ all Secondary teachers were divided into different committees of 3 to 4 teachers with an appointed ‘chairman’. They started their investigation by mainly looking at our mission, principles, and practices and if those are in alignment with the IB programme.

      Another interesting topic during the IB review is the ‘IB programme development plan’ which is under the umbrella of ‘conceptual learning’. The purpose of this plan is to implement new concepts into the IB programme for students, teachers, and parents. Therefore, over the course of 6 months, TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and CAS (creativity, activity, and service) were integrated into each lesson and unit plan.

      “Our IB examiners followed lessons virtually and interviewed students and teachers separately, whereas our parents were mainly involved through surveys and interviews. The reviewers were impressed with the positive environment and inspiring atmosphere of our school; that our students are eager to learn, how they stand up for their teachers and that they admire them for their hard work”, elaborates Mr Mellen. In addition to our high-quality learning environment, the IB examiners also pointed out the outstanding governing structure and strong leadership of YCIS Beijing which itself maintains and supports our excellent learning community.

      “I am extremely proud of our achievement and that all our requirements and standards are in place and beyond”. Mr Jonathan Mellen emphasizes that this was not his sole work, but the combined effort of a great team, the tripod of students, teachers, and parents.

      Just like a student’s exam, life is not about passing an exam it is what you make out of that achievement. Every new accomplished goal paves the way for a new mission. YCIS Beijing will continue to build upon the strength of our IB programme and our story of success.

      Last, but not least, we would like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to Mr Jonathan Mellen, to all our Secondary teachers, our team of Y12 and Y13 students, and our parents.