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Personal Projects Underway

Friday, 9 September, 2016

It was lovely to speak to so many parents during our Meet & Greet event and the various information sessions about the IB programmes we offer at BBIS. A very important component of the Middle Years Programme are the Personal Projects, self-directed projects that can be based on the students’ individual passions.

This year, Elizabeth Appleton has taken on the role to guide our 10th graders and their supervisors through the process of the Personal Project:

From Elizabeth Appleton – Personal Project Coordinator: 

“As secondary school teachers, we rarely have the opportunity to truly allow students to choose what and how they learn. As students grow older and the curriculum becomes more demanding, it seems that they should have more such opportunities, but in fact there is a kind of ‘funnel’ effect as they move through school.  They have specific things to learn and specific ways in which they demonstrate that learning. That is why the Personal Project is so refreshing.  Over the last couple of months, students have been thinking about what interests them, what they are passionate about and what they enjoy.  We started the process in Grade 9, and it’s wonderful to see their ideas change shape and scope. 

Each student has come up with an idea for a topic and a goal – something that he or she wants to achieve by March 2017. To name just a few examples, one student wants to inform people about the possibilities of colonizing Mars.  Another wants to write children’s stories in four different languages.  Raising awareness about the refugee crisis; learning a new skill such as coding or creating an abstract film; expressing European culture through cooking – our students have proved that creativity and passion are going to be a big part of Grade 10 for them.  Over the next six months, they will be translating that goal into reality. This week, most students are meeting with their supervisors for the first time and starting to interrogate their ideas, planning how they will actually work and starting to think about the research skills they will need.

Some ideas adapt to new circumstances or interests; others have changed completely since that first session in Grade 9. However, every student is going to have something wonderful to show the BBIS community in March, and their supervisors are just finding out what that is!”