Celebrating achievements and reflecting on challenges

I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing break. The last quarter is always an exciting and busy one at this FIS. This Newsletter will present some of the exciting and unique service and experiential learning opportunities that exist at the FIS, such as Get Caught Reading, BookBridge Book exchange, and the Karni und Nickel theater performance. You will also receive information on our Community Days that take place June, 5 – 7, and we look forward to sharing more information over the coming days.

At the time of writing, we are coming to the end of the last week of regular classes for Grade 12. It has been filled with fun, as Grade 12 have their spirit week and prank day but also with poignancy, as we are becoming increasingly aware that our Grade 12 students will be leaving us soon. On Tuesday, we had a wonderful farewell assembly for Grade 12, facilitated and hosted by Grade 11.

The IB Diploma course is challenging but highly valued by universities around the world. Students who complete the course develop skills in managing a demanding workload, independent learning, original thinking, creativity, action, and service. Graduating students can use this qualification to gain admission to prestigious universities globally.

As I was reflecting on our preparation for external examinations, I was wondering how long they will exist in such a format considering the fast-paced growth of AI. What impact can tools such as ChatGPT have, and what onus will it place on developing our student’s ability of critical and discerning thinking. The IB has stated that contrary to some stark warnings, it is not the end of exams, nor even a huge threat to coursework, but it does bring into very sharp focus the impact that artificial intelligence software that can write sophisticated responses could have on the way we think about teaching, learning and assessment.

The IB has stressed that we should not think of this extraordinary new technology as a threat. Like spell-checkers, translation software and calculators, we must accept that it is going to become part of our everyday lives, and so we must adapt and transform education so students can use these new AI tools ethically and effectively (Glanville). In truth, many of the challenges thrown up by ChatGPT are extensions or variations of current challenges that schools are facing, even if these newer technologies are significant improvements. As AI tools start to become part of our daily routine, we will embrace the opportunities they offer, and continue to teach our students the value of critical thinking and reflection.

For now we want to wish our Grade 12 students the very best for their exams. I have no doubt that your hard work and dedication will pay off. Remember to stay focused, believe in yourself, and never give up on your dreams.

Source: Glanville, Matt. “Artificial Intelligence in IB Assessment and Education: A Crisis or an Opportunity?” The IB Community Blog, IBO, 27 Feb. 2023, blogs.ibo.org/2023/02/27/artificial-intelligence-ai-in-ib-assessment-and-education-a-crisis-or-an-opportunity/?fbclid=IwAR1VHayW8vJetJ5SO0Hj9OZCoiFtiy-BjenBC1E_bbRLb-Roh8ULG4ltR74. Accessed 21 Apr. 2023.

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