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While the transition into high school can be intimidating, this process is often overwhelming for Pre-IB students since IB is an academically rigorous programme. A survey from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) Promotion team held in June 2017 asked the current IB Year 1 students about their experiences and advice for the future IB cohorts.


Over 80 percent of IB Year 1 students had a seamless transition into the IB program. Even though many students reported that “[the transition] was a bit jarring at first due to the sudden spike in difficulty”, they were able to adapt to the new expectations and workload within the first few months. These students were also asked about their biggest challenge at the time. The survey results show that time management skills, prioritization, and productivity skills in conjunction with the increased workload were common answers.


While academics take precedence, the IB Learner Profile seeks individuals who strive to be balanced, open minded and goal-oriented risk-takers. While students are knowledgeable, open-minded, and goal-oriented, the qualities they often lack are being reflective, strong-minded, and optimistic. In addition, if you are a procrastinator, it is important to address this problem in order to cope with increased workload. Also, remember to maintain a healthy balance of both academics and extracurricular activities. Year 1 students realized the importance of these skills later down their student career, and wished they had learned these skills in advance. IB students currently advise, “I coped with [procrastination] by starting things right away!! You might think ‘oh ya, I have lots of time’ but you'll be very glad if you start earlier. TRUST” and recommended “balancing extracurricular activities with school work”, as required from the CAS Program.


It is normal to wonder how students in the past handled both the amount and advanced level of homework. In terms of academics, French has been concluded to be one of the most challenging subjects among cohorts. It is recommended that if you do struggle with French, go to French Tutoring, and likewise, the respective help service for each subject. Strategies that are used for optimal results are participating in study groups, studying periodically and utilizing your agenda.


Do keep in mind that you should NEVER let a failure set you back. It is imperative to pick yourself up and keep striving for success.


The road ahead will be full of varied experiences, but with careful planning, it will not be as stressful. Always remember, if you don’t understand something, ask for help, whether it be from your teachers, or if you are too scared to ask, feel free to reach out to senior students and they will be more than happy to assist you. Don’t worry too much, and make the most of your four years in the IB programme.

By: Lavan Ragulan & Kabishan Suvendran

After a much anticipated wait, on the 24th of February, a handful of graduates of the International Baccalaureate programme (IB) attended the IB Question and Answer session organized by the IB Staff. This informative session permitted current students of the Pre-IB and IB programme to perceive insightful tips and thought-provoking advice that could assist students when pursuing the IB programme. In the past, many students found the IB programme to be the most intimidating and stressful two-years of their life, but fortunately, the warm and friendly session allowed students to constructively and critically think of ways on how to better equip themselves to handle the programme.  

Some pertinent topics discussed by the alumni were ways of reducing stress and essentially the benefits IB candidates would experience after completion. A summation of benefits of the IB programme as mentioned by the alumni is as follows:

 

  • Allows students to cope with university-style workloads by forming and working in small study groups
  • Superior grades that help IB students stand out from the academic stream and have a lower probability of about 5% of “dropping out” compared to academic students
  • International recognition of the IB diploma allowing students to pursue international studies, especially in francophone countries
  • Allows IB diploma holders to be accepted into highly competitive post secondary programs and institutions

 

Interestingly enough, even though the alumni appreciated the role IB had played for them in terms of their university career; few ideas were expressed opposing the need to pursue the IB programme. Though the critique of the IB programme was not necessarily reflective of the generalized opinion of the programme, it was eye opening to discuss two opposite points of the spectrum.  


The alumni genuinely provided the future IB students with tips and advice they personally used during their high school days. Overall, the information session was very beneficial and engaging. One particular student said, “even though the IB programme was certainly challenging, it does not stack up to the hardships that I have yet to endure in life.”

 

Laurier IB Writing Team

 

For the month of April, Laurier's own Me to We club had several initiatives to encourage students to take action to make a difference in their community. This included the motivating Me to We assembly and the long-awaited teachers vs. students basketball game!

On the 6th of April, the ME to WE assembly was orchestrated by the staff and students of Laurier. One of the main objectives of the ME to WE assembly was to inform the school on the immensely poverty-stricken rural population of China. Did you know about fifty percent of China’s population live in poverty and ninety percent of those in poverty live in rural areas?

Laurier’s own student found and run production company, the True Blue Studios, presented a touching video in association with Siona Shakyaver, called “Love with Without War”, which targeted and provided insight into the human superficiality and inability to instigate love without war.  Other memorable highlights were the dance and choir performances which expressed the need for people of the world to come together as a family to improve the lives of all. Nazra Noushad delivered her empowering spoken word on her experience with racism. The heart moving speech was well received by the students of Laurier.

ME to WE had an innovative idea that had definitely grabbed the attention of Laurier Students. On the 28th of April, Laurier’s basketball team accepted a rather unusual challenge request from the Laurier Teachers. Although the game seemed to be an obvious win for the student team, the teachers were able to make the final score a close 54-52. The students emerged victoriously! The $3 tickets were sold out fast, and the proceeds went to raise funds for the affected rural population.

Want to learn more and get involved? Me to We meets every Monday at lunch in room 105. Help with campaigns, change the world, and learn more about a service trip to Ecuador!

Laurier IB Writing Team

Race for Dignity: Looking Back and 2016

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Race for Dignity (R4D) is a spin-a-thon in which high school students across Canada ride stationary bicycles to raise money for HIV+ teens in Malawi. The initiative was started by University of Toronto (U of T) students inspired by Scott Simpson, a Canadian triathlete living with HIV who, angered by the unequal access to medications for HIV+ people in Africa, cycled in the Tour D’Afrique to raise funds and awareness. The initiative is led by Dignitas International, a Canadian organisation that provides lifesaving treatment for HIV+ teens at their Teen Club in Malawi.

R4D was first held at Laurier in 2011 as a Grade 12 International Baccalaureate (IB) Community Action Service (CAS) project.  Since 2011, Laurier’s annual R4D event has raised over $20,000 to support the efforts of Dignitas International in Malawi.  Although the Laurier R4D continues to be a Gr. 12 IB CAS project, with the organizational team led mainly by Grade 12 IB students, the event now includes many other Laurier students as participants, entertainers and members of the organizing team.

 

R4D has become a tradition at Laurier that brings together IB students and the rest of the Laurier student community as all students strive to become more well-rounded, knowledgeable, principled, caring, and reflective. 

 

The 2016 event began in the auditorium where participants watched an informational presentation regarding HIV in Africa created by Laurier's very own True Blue Studios and listened to a powerful spoken word performance by Gr. 12 Laurier student Siona Shakyaver. The participants then followed a drummer playing traditional African rhythms to the girls’ gymnasium, where various stationary bikes were set up. The different teams, clad in creative costumes, rode stationary bikes for 90 minutes.  While the teams rode their bikes they enjoyed fabulous entertainment by Laurier students and complimentary snacks.  From dancing to singing to playing musical instruments to delivering spoken word pieces to doing yo yo tricks, the entertainers were engaging and gave the event a sense of fun.  In between performances, participants not riding were cheering on their team mates and dancing to popular music.

 

The October 2016 event raised about $1,700.00.

 

We offer our thanks to everyone who donated their time and/or money to make Laurier's 2016 R4D a success and encourage everyone to support the 2017 R4D in every way possible.

Laurier IB Writing Team

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