Josh Perrett: IBDP and Beyond
With the school year coming to a close, we prepare to say goodbye to our year 13 leavers. Among them is Josh Perrett who has been at Yew Chung International School of Beijing for four years. We ask him about the IBDP and his advice for future students, his plans for next year, and what he’s going to miss most after graduating.
Please introduce yourself
I’m Josh Perrett. My family is from the UK but I’ve spent my whole life in Beijing – I moved when I was just two months old! I’ve been at YCIS Beijing for four years and I’m graduating this summer.
How have you found IBDP for the last two years?
I’ve really enjoyed doing the IBDP. My Higher Level subjects are Maths, Physics and Chemistry and my Standard Level subjects are Economics, Chinese and English.
There are all sorts of advantages to the IBDP programme. Firstly, it allows you to pursue several subjects of interest to you. My main strengths are in the sciences and maths but I love Chinese, so it was great to be able to continue with that. I was also able to take up Economics for the first time having not studied it before, so that’s been very stimulating. Due to the breadth of subjects, and the combination of Higher and Standard levels, you come out of the IBDP programme a more rounded and knowledgeable person.
There’s no doubt that the IBDP is challenging. It pushes you in all areas, and sitting all your exams in just two weeks at the end of Year 13 is tough. Over the last two weeks I have taken 15 papers – it’s a lot! Staying motivated and keeping focus throughout that time is pretty draining, but I sat my final exam this morning so I can relax at last!
What advice would you offer to students beginning IBDP next year?
I suppose I have two pieces of advice. Firstly, over the two years of IBDP aim really high in all your subjects. With six subjects, there’s a temptation to aim higher in some than others. But the unpredictability of exams and the demands of the course mean you really have to set your sights as high as possible across everything.
Secondly, during exam week, get loads of sleep. There are a lot of papers crammed into a short space of time and it’s tiring. Sleep will help!
How have teachers supported you during exam preparation?
All the teachers have made themselves available to us whenever we need them. If you want something explained or some extra help, they’re on hand. Personally, I prefer to revise alone so I haven’t used the teachers much. But they have put loads of really useful resources online that we can access at home. Those have been invaluable.
What makes the school special in your view?
We have a really good sense of community here and I think it’s grown a lot during the last four years. The Student Council has been really active and we have the community-wide events like Global Community Day as well. They really make you feel part of a family.
I think that this school handles its diversity particularly well. We incorporate loads of different cultures into events, and people are really interested in and respectful of different cultures and nationalities.
Also I think that students here have a genuine interest in learning and it creates a really good atmosphere in lessons. People work hard, enjoy discussing their subjects and are committed to doing well in exams. I’ve been lucky to be a part of that.
Tell us about the Leavers’ Assembly. How does it feel to be coming to the end of this stage in your life?
The Leavers’ Assembly was really fun! It was organised by the students and we had an Oscar’s theme. We all dressed up and handed out student and teacher awards. The awards were all quite humorous and went down really well. I was one of the MCs which was a bit nerve-wracking but actually a great experience.
What are your plans for next year?
I have an offer from my first choice to read Computer Science at Bristol in the UK. So I think it’s most likely I’ll be going there. I’ve never studied Computer Science, my IBDP subjects have been tangentially related and I’ve taught myself some coding – it’s a real interest of mine.
I also have an internship lined up over the summer at a software development company in the UK. I’m looking forward to that.
What will you miss most about YCIS Beijing?
Obviously my friends. I’ve met some really great people here and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye.
I’ll also really miss China. My family’s here and it’s my home more than anywhere else in the world. I guess I’ll just have to come back!