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TEACHING AND LEARNING Beyond the Classroom Walls:

Thursday, 6 September, 2018


I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.       Albert Einstein

This year, during the Grade 6-10 Trip Week (Monday 24 – Friday 28 September) Grades 11 and 12 will ‘go offline’ with a special schedule which focuses on the ‘core’ in each of the two IB programmes.

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) centres on the DP core. Three components make up the core, which are studied alongside individual subjects throughout a student’s time in the DP. These components provide a framework for the study of individual subjects. They are: Theory of Knowledge (TOK), CAS (Creativity / Activity / Service) and the Extended Essay

A key element of the IB Career-Related Programme (IBCP), is the CP core which enhances a student’s personal and interpersonal development, with an emphasis on experiential learning. It core bridges the IB academic courses and the career-related study and provides students with a combination of academic and practical skills.           (IB website)

Four interrelated components form the CP core and in Core Week, we’ll be focusing on three of these: Personal and Professional Skills (PPS), Service Learning and the Reflective Project.                                                                                                            

One of BBIS goals this year is to take advantage of our location to enhance and promote ‘outdoor learning’. This does not only mean pursuits such as the Duke of Edinburgh International Award and working in our neighbouring natural environment but learning History first-hand in Berlin and Potsdam or seeing practicing artists and musicians at work or visiting places of employment in a number of other fields. BBIS’ two Outdoor Learning Coordinators are developing a range of opportunities to be taken up.

Another initiative, which began last year, is to incorporate wellbeing and mindfulness into our daily routines and actions.

With these goals in mind, during Core Week Grade 11 and 12 students will take part in a number of activities beyond the classroom. These will include:

Service Learning Day

Close to three hundred students from other Berlin IB schools will join us at BBIS and work together with our Grade 11 students on service opportunities.  Presenters from a variety of local external service organisations will inform students of how and where they can volunteer. Collaboration between Berlin IB schools, and the participation of external providers, will help our international students become more grounded in Berlin.


A clean-up of the neighbouring forest.


Building on the success of a similar excursion last year, the trip will involve the students visiting key sites (Brandenburg Tor, Reichstag, Holocaust Memorial, Memorial to Sinti and Roma Victims) and examining these sites through the lens of TOK / PPS by considering how and why certain events are remembered and how memorial sites shape national identities. 

Grade 12 Final TOK Oral Presentations  

The oral presentation is worth 30 percent of the overall grade. These will be presented in front of Grade 12 students but also Grade 11 students so that they can see what can / should be done when their turn comes.

Sessions on the Extended Essay and Reflective Project

Positive Education / Wellbeing

Character Strengths. Under the direction of our Positive Education consultant, students will complete a Values in Action Inventory of Strengths which is a psychological assessment measure designed to identify an individual’s profile of character strengths.They will then be shown how to use their own profile in daily life. To address physical wellbeing, there will be a bicycle tour and canoeing on the well as physical activities here at school, including a yoga session.

Visits to the Bundestag, Märkisches Museum and a working bakery.

Sessions on Academic Honesty

Sessions on Effective Note-taking

Sessions on Internal Assessment Tasks

Sessions on Internships

Sessions on Writing College Applications and the Personal Statement

Another focus of the week, especially for the Grade 11 cohort, is group bonding. With a significant number of students joining BBIS in Grade 11 from different parts of the world and different educational systems, and the fact that they are all embarking on new two-year programmes of study,  it is important that the cohort ‘gels’ 

Students will not take part in all of the activities; they will do so according to their year group and the IB programme they are taking. A detailed schedule will be shared with students and parents next week.

Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.        John Holt