By E. Westphalen & J. Lotufo
We believe we can both remain firm when saying, “thank goodness I made the right IB choices.” Why, you may ask? How? For those reading who have yet to embark on their IB journey, choose subjects that you know you’ll enjoy at 8am on a Monday morning and 3pm on a Friday. If you don’t have a clue what, take economics, will be like, – which makes perfect sense since we’ve never had anything like it - than the IB induction is the week for you.
The current Lower 6th had the opportunity of being advised by older pupils, who partake in the same subjects as them in order to get a feel for what their courses would be like. On top of that, Extended Essay and CAS workshops reassured us and shined a light on what we are expected to do in the next couple of years. Furthermore, we were granted the chance of having myriad academic professionals who guided us through TransForMe – an innovative and highly interactive way of stimulating creativity: an element that had been considerably put aside by our IGCSE study leave. We also had daily mindfulness workshops, where we exercised many skills. Amongst them, picking apart our thoughts, making sense of such thoughts and, curiously, using all five senses to inspect a single raisin. Indeed, each morning more interesting than the last…
As for the location, a change of venue would’ve been more ideal: whilst the Tudor house was lucky enough to score the Sixth Form Center, the other houses had to do with the Foyer or the Chapel, which possibly didn’t allow for such interactive, organic discussion. Case in point, it is much more pleasant to have conversations on soft, bouncy sofas as opposed to stiff auditorium chairs. Still, from our own experience, it can be said that many of the simple activities we initially overlooked embarked us on complex and peculiar conversations, sometimes controversial (if not always) and making us question where the discussion had begun in the first place. In one case, that starting point was drawing inside small circles. On another occasion, we scribbled on napkins. Yet, slowly but surely, we learnt more about ourselves and the ways in which we learn best. If anything, we will all certainly think twice before resorting to standard notes for studying, and value to a much greater extent the value of our imagination inside the classroom.
Now, are we prepared for the IB? Only time will tell… As of now we are both engrossed in our chosen subjects, analysing scenes, reading novels and solving equations – enjoying most of what we do. However, we know now that if it becomes too much, all we have to do is recall our Induction week. And, why not, maybe try some mindfulness for ourselves.