IB

ESF pupils come up with the Baccalaureate goods

From the SCMP Jul 10, 2012

Of the few pupils who achieved perfect scores for the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams this year, one in 10 came from Hong Kong. Of the 109 students who achieved full scores of 45 marks on the global IB exams – considered one of the toughest pre-college exams in the world – at least 12 of the top achievers were from Hong Kong.


English Schools Foundation (ESF) students continued to achieve strong results this year, with the number of students achieving full marks increasing to nine from four last year. Local direct-subsidy schools the Diocesan Boys’ School and Creative Secondary School, each had one student get the full score in their first year administering the exams. Victoria Shanghai Academy also had one pupil with the top score.

“We are proud of the hard work we’ve put in,” said Deep Vaze, the only student from the ESF Island School to earn a perfect score. Vaze credited his score to the competitive and supportive atmosphere created by his teachers and classmates. He will be studying at Harvard University in September.

The other top scorers from ESF schools were Cindy Ling, Hedy Man Pui-ying, Rupert Phillips and Edward Tam Yuk-wang from King George V School; Calvin Po, Anahita Sharma and Ronald Yip from South Island School; and Sarah Chan from Sha Tin College.
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Let the refreshing begin!

Tonight/Today/This morning/This afternoon is the time when hundreds of people will be quietly sat around their computer with their finger over the refresh button as they await the release of IB examination results for May 2012. Results are retrieved online with different schools having different release times. Interestingly, some students have been notified by their school of their results, which seems to suggest that schools have already had access to the results of their candidates.

Global statistics have been released by the IBO (see here). Notably, “On average, Diploma students scored 29.83 with 109 achieving the maximum score of 45 points.”

Exams, Exams and More Exams

Some of you may have noticed a general lack of updates about stuff happening at Ac or stuff I’m doing. The truth is, there really isn’t that much interesting stuff that’s going on right now. First years are having their end of year exams round about now and the formal IB exams for second years are starting shortly after that. As a result, most of the second years, myself included, are hunkered down in carrel units studying away. Our lessons are all over, which means we now have the entire day to study.

A lovely little list from Julia, a fellow Castle dweller (in the neighbouring carrel unit) that I fell really ought to be shared.
You know the IB is almost here when

  • you only ever see Second Years at breakfast and check-in and some briefly at mealtimes in between.
  • your social life seems to involve only those in your Carrel Unit.
  • everyone supposedly ‘relaxing’ in the Dayroom at check-in is talking about work.
  • everyone at supper is so tired they simply stare at their plate.
  • people start drinking coffee at 10.30pm
  • you go to the Quiet Room when you used to go to bed.
  • you see people walking around eating Nutella out of a jar

Top Posts of the Year 2011

2011 is coming to a close, and PaulLau.com has grown another year older, 27 months and counting. There have been over 88,700 views since this blog began in October 2009, and over 550 posts (recall just 12 months ago, that number stood at a little over 180) which means that the “Posting at least once every week in 2011” commitment became more of a ‘Posting once a day’. It’s been an amazing year in terms of the blog, nearly 66,000 views just this year. So here’s a look back at the top posts of 2011.

1. WSDC 2011 – Team Lists [1st all time]
Part of the WSDC 2011 series, the posts resided in sidebar of PaulLau.com for over 8 months in the run-up to WSDC 2011 in Dundee, listing the team members attending WSDC 2011, at least those I could find.

2. Fire at UWC Atlantic College [2nd all time]
Other than debating, this was undoubtedly the second biggest story of the blog this year. I started this post 2 hours after the incident itself and continued updating it as a running summary of the situation.

3. TOK Essay – May 2012 [3rd all time]
Let’s just say this has not been the highlight of my Christmas holiday.

4. Fire at UWC Atlantic College – Photo Set 1 [4th all time]
The first images of the aftermath of the fire. Incidentally, April 14th was the busiest day on the blog with just under 1,300 views in just 24 hours.

5. [RESULTS] LSE Open 2011 [Tab]
A tournament I attended with David as my debating partner, joined by other Team Wales member Cat and Sarah. An amazing experience and my first peek into university level debating. You can read about what happened in my de-facto diary entry 1, 2 and see how Team Wales fared.

6. WSDC 2011 – Official World Rankings
Also part of the WSDC 2011 series, the official world rankings followed my earlier, and rather more controversial, post with my own calculations (which were quite accurate, even if I say so myself)

7. AC IB Results 2011
A good year for AC and some good results all together for my dear second years. Sadly, that puts the bar quite high for the UWC AC class of 2012.

8. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round-up
The ultimate summary of my final high-school tournament – WSDC 2011 – before I left the high-school debating scene. An amazing tournament and some unforgettable memories. Thank you to everyone.

9. Fire @UWC Atlantic College – Photo Set 2
The second set of photos regarding the Sunley fire, this time with my own photos.

10. SCMP – Profile: Chris Lee (IS) IGCSE Top of the World
A not so original post, but an article that did catch my eye, and clearly attracted quite a bit of attention too.

Honorary Mentions

I think it is worth noting at this point that although only 3 WSDC 2011 related posts were found in the top 10, and only 4 debating related posts, the next 10 posts are exclusively debating related, 8 of which are WSDC 2011 related as well. August 2011 was also the most popular month for PaulLau.com with nearly 14,000 views. A final thought: isn’t it interesting that Team Singapore, Team Canada and Team England come in as top posts on their own?

11. WSDC 2011 – Team Singapore
12. WSDC 2011 – Media Guide [UPDATED]
13. WSDC 2012 – Prepared Motions [UPDATED]
14. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round 1 & 2
15. WSDC 2011 – Team Canada
16. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Break, Round 7 & 8
17. WSDC 2011 – Team England
18. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round 5 & 6
19. ASDC 2011 – Participating Institutions
20. WIDPSC 2011 – Grand Final [RESULTS] + Analysis

IB May 2012 Exam Schedule

The Exam Schedule for International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Examinations May 2012 has been finalized and is now available at http://www.ibo.org/documentlibrary/examinationschedules/index.cfm.

My personal exam schedule doesn’t come out too badly. I do have exams almost every day of from the 30th of April until the 17th of May. But there’s only one day in which I have two papers, and they happen to be on the same subject, so worse case scenario, I have one evening to do some final revision for each subject.

AC IB Results 2011

Although UWC AC “does not, on principle, participate in newspaper league tables”, it has kindly released a rough breakdown of the IB results released in July 2011. This information can be found on the website at http://www.atlanticcollege.org/news-1/2011/07/12/excellent-results-for-uwc-atlantic-college-graduates/.

No doubt, the full report (on final results and university places) to be released in September 2011 will be eagerly awaited.

Once again the students of UWC Atlantic College have achieved excellent results in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, continuing to improve on the successes of previous years.
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Top Posts of the Year

We’ve just turned a corner and now are in 2011. PaulLau.com is now 16 months old and still going strong with over 23,000 views and over 180 posts. 2010 was my first full year of blogging and featured all the expected ups and downs. Here’s a round up of the top posts of 2010.

Notably in 2010 was the WSDC 2010 series covering the 2010 World Schools Debating Championships in Doha, Qatar which featured 29 posts and stole 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th spot in this Top Posts of the Year list. Whether a result of reader interest or just because it was the most common topic on my blog, debating related posts took 7 out of the top 10 and 15 out of the top 20 posts of 2010.

1. 2010 World Cup Broadcasting [1ST ALL TIME]

This post came out in March, when the issue was gaining considerable media attention. Interestingly enough, come May, the issue was the topic of the Sing Tao Grand Final (see the 10th Top Post). The issue may have been resolved for now, but it won’t be until 2014 before we know if the stations have truly resolved similar disputes.

2. WSDC – Final Rankings [3RD ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this post was the culmination of more than a weeks of debating. It brings together the team and individual results of the 2010 WSDC and by-in-large drew to a close WSDC 2010 for PaulLau.com

3. The Story Behind Football Shirt Swapping [4TH ALL TIME]

During my IGCSE Media Studies revision, I stumbled upon a New York Times Article that detailed the story behind the tradition of Shirt Swapping in Football.

4. WSDC – Results [5TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this post had the immediate results following the Closing Ceremony. It helped provide instant information before the WSDC – Final Rankings post (see the 2nd Top Post) replaced it.

5. UWC Principal Personnel Changes [6TH ALL TIME]

Shortly after Neil Richard’s ‘resignation’ was announced, there was a lot of furor within UWCs around the world about Principal resignations, changes and departures. As a result, I summarized the 3 principal changes at LPC, AC and MI.

6. WSDC – Break [7TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, it took a while for me to calm down after learning that HK would break into the Octo-finals. But once I did, I was able to posts the full break, frantically copied down during a few tense minutes at the WSDC 2010 Break Night Party.

7. WSDC – Round 1-4 Team Results [8TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, the results after round 1, 2, 3 and 4 representing the mid-way mark at WSDC 2010.

8. WSDC – Final Draw [9TH ALL TIME]

Part of the WSDC 2010 series, this is one of the few top posts related to the run-up to WSDC 2010. Indeed, many readers were first notified of their countries draw through this post.

9. Hong Kong Schools Debating Council [10TH ALL TIME]

After many frantic hours of work, messaging and coding on wordpress, me and Heather finally managed to cobble together the HKSDC website at http://hksdc.wordpress.com. The website and the organization, the Hong Kong Schools Debating Council was successfully launched in April.

10. Sing Tao Grand Finals 2010

This Grand Final was not only my last Sing Tao debate, it was also my last debate in Hong Kong and for South Island School. It capped a wonderful journey that really began at the Sing Tao Grand Final in 2006 and ended on the 4th May. Thank you to everyone that I’ve had the joy of sharing the journey with.

Honorary Mentions

11. Tabbing Software
12. HK Bid for 2023 Asian Games
13. WIDPSC Day 1 & 2
14. 10 Things to do if you Finish Exams Early
15. WIDPSC 2010 – Lithuania
16. WSDC – Quarter & Semi-Final
17. WSDC – Round 3 & 4
18. WSDC – Aus vs HK Octofinal
19. WIDPSC 2010 – Results
20. Chinese Sport School System

Induction to Atlantic College: Student Council

Tweeted by UWC Great Britain : http://twitter.com/#!/U_W_C_GB/status/25606886444

Student Councils are a common feature in most modern schools. They are an almost certain part of the HK school scene and at South Island School were considered an important part. But what should be noted is that in almost all these instances the actual impact of student council is fairly small. In many local schools, Student Councils or Student Unions are merely joking for positions that look good on CVs. Even where they have an actual role, it is often devoid from school policy and unrelated to the teaching or policies of the administration. That was certainly the case many times during my studies at SIS. Although admittedly, as an international school, SIS was already significantly better in listening to the students.

Moving 7 hours away to the UK, I wondered whether the Student Council would function in much the same way. It had been billed as being more representative and better listened to. And this logically fit into the more student orientated and independent approach taken by Atlantic College. But given a deluge of changes since the last academic year, I was unsure how important the Atlantic College Student College actually was.

My house : Morganngy

That was part of the reason why I went to the student council meeting on the 30th of August 2010. It wasn’t a particularly spectacular meeting, there were approximately 16 members with 2 from each of the 7 houses (I’m in Morganngy). But what surprised me were the seriousness of the discussions. From internet hours to food, induction and carol units, the issues discussed were issues that truly affected the student population day in, day out. And contrary to other times, there were no mundane issues being discussed.

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Induction to Atlantic College: Choices

If the induction to Atlantic College could be summarized in a few words, they would be hectic, crazy and packed. From the moment we woke up at around 6:45, we were hustled and bustled from one location to another in a desperate attempt to cram everything that was required to get us ready and working at AC into just over a week.

After a mad 3 days of camps, we were given less than a full nights sleep before we were thrust into a large series of subject talks. Going through each subject group in turn, we had exactly five and a half hours before we had to finalize our subject choices. After much agonizing over Peace and Conflicts vs. Politics, consideration of Further Maths and the dilemma of Physics and ESS, I wound up walking into my academic consolation and leaving less than a minute later.
It turned out that if you don’t change any of your choices from what you initially submit in your preliminary form, all you do is walk in, say just that and then walk out again. It seemed that rather than having a massive conundrum and problems with the choices, I had breezed right past.

That was until I got an email requesting I visit the man in charge of our academic timetables. (more…)