Sixth Blog: A Day in the Life of an IB Student.
Is the IB as daunting as it sounds? Whilst there is no doubt it is a demanding course, if offers skills and opportunities that are incredibly valuable. Read this article to find out what a typical day is like!
A typical day for me will start at 8:30, when I register with my form group and take down any whole school or year group notices I’ll need for the rest of the week (sometimes, I have early morning extra-curricular activities or rehearsals for house activities, so this means I’m in school earlier). Then it's off to my first lesson which is usually chemistry- this can involve anything, from learning about mass spectronomy to drawing Lewis structures for different molecules. At the moment, our focus is on designing and carrying out our Internal Assessments (worth 20% of our overall grade) which are a great way to show independent thinking and research skills. My next lesson is German where the topics range from ‘Experiences’ (‘Erfahrungen’) to ‘Human Ingenuity’ (‘Menschliche Erfindungsgabe’) and the whole lesson is entirely in German- this can be challenging, but is actually amazing preparation for the final exams!
After this I have a session of academic monitoring, where we cover topics such as PSHCE and UCAS applications as well as personal statements and mental health. Once a week I will have a Prefect meeting, where I get together with the Senior Leadership Team and the other Prefects to discuss ideas, proposals and issues that have been brought to us by the rest of the school. I also have a ‘Top Universities’ meeting, where we learn about applying to Russell group institutions and how best we can maximise our chances of having a successful application. After break, I have English where we study and discuss a range of literature including ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘1984’- doing two sciences at a higher level can be hard work, so I really enjoy taking a non-scientific higher subject as it allows me to explore a separate passion for reading and develop a different way of thinking.
Then it’s into maths where we are looking at calculus and differentiation- I found it quite tricky to pick which maths course to study, so I would definitely recommend looking at the content of each of them and then basing your decision on that. My penultimate lesson is biology, a really broad subject where we study lots of topics- from genetics and inheritance to plant biology, I really enjoy the content of the course and how it is structured. Lunch is next, where I can either go out to the local high street or eat inside our newly-refurbished Sixth-Form centre. There are also lots of lunchtime extracurriculars, such as the Environmental Action group and Senior Science Society, which I got involved in at the start of year twelve. There are also Medicine and Law groups which are run to support students (like me) who are applying to these types of courses at university.
My final lesson of the day is social and cultural anthropology, a subject I had never heard of before the first year of IB. Despite only being a standard subject, I really enjoy it because we read lots of interesting ethnographies and study important contemporary topics like the Black Lives Matter movement and the Mediterranean Refugee Crisis. My advice for the lesser-known subjects would be to go for it! You never know what secret passions you might discover if you don’t give it a try. After school, I take part in activities such as being a ‘Science Leader’ or helping to tutor students lower down the school. As you can see, a day in the life of an IB student is never boring- one minute you are studying the structure of the heart, the next you are looking at the impact of Coronavirus on the German economy. After such a busy day, it’s time to go home, finish my homework and then rewind!
Charlotte Allen - Year 13.