Although CISB’s Grade 10 students typically select their IB DP courses for the following year in the gym, meeting their would-be teachers at booths and hearing about the class content face to face, they were offered a cutting edge alternative in the midst of this ongoing campus lockdown and online learning period. Earlier this week those students, along with their parents, logged on to a special page on CISB’s website to view specially prepared subject-specific videos before engaging in Zoom video meetings with Grade 11 teacher teams. This helped them learn more about the courses and even splinter off in “break out” sessions in smaller groups with particular teachers for specific questions. 


Grade 10 student Wanda found the sessions to be not only useful but indispensable, explaining: “Prior to the online course selection, the number of courses and levels overwhelmed me. It was even more challenging being away from school.” That all changed, however, when she partook in this week’s Zoom sessions, she says, adding: “The online course selection helped me solidify my courses, as all the teachers provided detailed responses to my inquiries. They also made helpful recommendations and reassured any doubts I had. Additionally, since it was a Zoom call, I could see all the teachers, which made the interactions more fluid and affirming.” 


Kyoka, another Grade 10 student, also found the sessions to be useful and recalls how the Science and Individuals and Societies (I&S) teachers “nicely answered all the questions from students, as well as providing further information. Also, I really liked the idea of using breakout rooms so students can use their time effectively to learn about the subjects they are interested in.” That point was seconded by Grade 10 student Amy, who also “really liked how students were assigned to different breakout rooms for information from a subject they are interested in” and found the process to be well “organized  and the teachers were able to provide me with useful recommendations.”


Then there was Lucy Zhang, a new student in Grade 10 whose introduction to CISB was not a traditional classroom setting, but instead the current online learning and course selection systems―all efforts that she and her teachers are utilizing to adapt and remain dynamic during this challenging lockdown. She says the online course selection setup “was very helpful and necessary… If students or parents had any questions about any subject, it was the perfect chance to get answers. Afterward, I have a much clearer perception of what courses I am going to choose and I am also very much looking forward to all of my classes. The info session helped me a lot with my course decision and doubled my excitement for school to officially start. I applaud the way CISB is managing the situation with the coronavirus, and I am so thankful and lucky to be at such a great school.”


“Additionally I got to meet the teachers, and in general I’m surprised by how helpful and nice every single one of them are” Lucy went on to point out. “I’m so excited to get to know all of them in person!”


Those teachers were equally upbeat after the session. Science Department Head and DP Biology teacher Jenny Jiang, for instance, called it a “positive” and “productive” experience. She adds: “The science teachers enjoyed chatting with students and parents that are interested in the various DP science courses. Students were well prepared with specific questions about the courses that they are interested in. Subject teachers were able to talk about their course exclusively with students using Zoom’s breakout room option. This process has allowed students to make informed choices about their course selection for DP next year”.


Language Acquisition Department Head Rob Hambrook, meanwhile, was happy to see the event had “a good turnout with informed questions. Students appear to have a solid grasp on what their language requirements are in terms of Group 1 and Group 2 courses. It was nice to have teachers and students together virtually to recreate the semblance of a fair. I can tell that students are really excited for next year to take on the challenge that is the DP.”


Stay tuned to CISB’s official WeChat account for more informative and fun stories about our online learning and e-community efforts during this ongoing lockdown. Go Bobcats!