2014 marks OSC’s 25th year of delivering our renowned IB Spring Revision Courses and we are now open for applications.
Each year, 1000s of IB students choose to revise for their final IB exams with OSC. This is because revising alone can be tough, and improving IB grades is at the top of any IB student’s list. Students want to be reassured, feel confident in their subjects, and trust those they are being taught by.
We use only experienced IB teachers and examiners, who between them have hundreds of years of experience, to teach the courses. Students are guided through the syllabus, taught new exam skills and techniques, and cover more material than they would alone.
Students leave the course invigorated and ready to face the exams.
Who is it for?
Dates and Locations
“I took a Maths SL course with an absolutely amazing teacher who made me jump from a 5 to a 7 in 2.5 days. Thank you OSC!”
“I decided to attend the OSC Revision Courses for all of my Higher Level subjects. It was the best decision of my life.”
“I'd really like to thank OSC as a whole for the support and for helping me achieve my 36 points!”
“I was very pleased with my results and I'm sure I owe a few of my points to the hard work and experience of OSC teachers!! Thanks again, so much!!”
In November 2011, OSC formed an exclusive agreement with Paradigm Global Education & Management Company Limited (PGEM) to act as the OSC service provider in Hong Kong and the Philippines. PGEM is a Hong Kong and mainland China based independent international education consultancy providing professional academic guidance to students and parents who wish to pursue educational opportunities both locally and overseas.
The successful OSC and PGEM relationship enables students in Hong Kong and the Philippines to register on a 2013 OSC course with dedicated local registration and logistical support.
PGEM will work with students studying at schools in Hong Kong and the Philippines to guide them through the enrolment process of any of the OSC courses in the UK or the US. PGEM will assist participants in all aspects of course registration, visa and travel arrangements, and travel insurance procurement.
Contact PGEM by phone +852 2877-8836 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to find out more.
2013 marks OSC’s 7th highly satisfying and successful year of the OSC IBDP Spring Revision Scholarship Programme. OSC is a Social Enterprise, a profit-making company whose profits go to charity. The Scholarship Programme is one of OSC’s Social Enterprise activities.
OSC’s Spring Courses are for students about to take their final Diploma exams; students review one subject over 2.5 days with an experienced IB teacher. Feedback from students on these courses is always very positive: the courses enable students to concentrate fully on the final details of revision just before the exams.
The OSC scholarship programme increases accessibility to these popular courses. A full scholarship is for one course: tuition, accommodation in an Oxford College and half board.
Every year, we receive many scholarship applications and we make a careful selection based on the students’ personal, financial and academic needs. This year we were able to offer 20 scholarships to pupils from state-funded schools and colleges within the Europe, Africa and the Middle-East region.
The feedback we have received from our scholarship students has been very gratifying. It has given us great pleasure to have been able to help these students with their final IB exam preparation. We also look forward to hearing from them once the exams are over.
“The experience will definitely help me to achieve my goals – I now have better knowledge of my subject and more exam techniques.”
“The best thing about the scholarship was the level of knowledge the teachers had and the quality of information received.”
“Working alongside new students has given me international perspectives and interpretations.”
OSC 2013 Scholarship Students
To find out more about OSC’s IBDP Spring Revision Scholarship Programme, click here.
OSC's support of IB Diploma students extends to seeking and providing students with support in choosing and applying for university.
OSC's 2013 UK University Fair is held during OSC's Pre IBDP Summer Schools in Oxford and is attended by 20 universities. The fair provides students with an invaluable opportunity to speak to admissions teams, ask their questions, and see what options are available to them.
We invite UK IB Schools to this event and this has been much appreciated by those who have attended. There is no charge to attend but places are limited.
The fair takes place on Monday 8th July from 2.00-5.00pm at St Antony's College, Oxford. For a full list of universities attending, click here.
If anyone from your school is interested in attending, please contact Joanna.
The OSC team would like to wish all IB students taking their final IB exams this month the best of luck. We will continue to post exam and revision tips throughout the month of May on our Facebook page and Expert Article section of our website. If you have any questions, just ask, we are here for you.
The May exams are only 7 days away – we hope that the nerves are not setting in too much and that you are prepared and confident. Not all of you will be as prepared as you’d like, and some of you will still be revising. OSC’s IB experts have imparted their revision tips and advice to help get you through the exams and any last minute revision.
Throughout the exams, we will be posting even more helpful tips and advice on our Facebook page to encourage and motivate you.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) are holding four IB World Student Conferences (WSC) in 2013. The IB WSC give IB students from around the world an opportunity to come together, be inspired and engage in a range of global issues.
OSC are supporting two of the four IB WSC, one at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the other at The University of Warwick, UK. OSC's support ranges from student scholarships and discounts to helping provide the Student Chaperones at The University of Warwick. The latter being a key role at the IB WSC and roles that need filling.
If you are interested or know somebody who might be interested in becoming a IB WSC Student Chaperone at The University of Warwick this August, please email email@example.com.
Full board and accommodation will be provided, as will training. To find out more about the role, click here.
Triple A Learning’s successful Online IB Professional Development Workshops are now available through OSC. The online workshops provide a cost-effective way of helping schools to develop various aspects of their programme continuum, with topics ranging from supporting inquiry, to global citizenship to 21st century learning.
Suitable for IB teachers and support staff within a school, the Triple A Learning/OSC workshops offer asynchronous learning, allowing the participant to schedule their learning around their lives.
Participants will not be alone, an online mentor will be available to guide discussions, answer questions and queries, and help participants get the most out of their workshop. Participants also work collaboratively with one another through discussions, wikis, and glossaries.
Prices start at £200.00, 12 workshops start on 27th May; for a full list of subjects and topics, click here. Each workshop runs over a 3-4 week period where 4-6 hours of personal time is required per week.
Due to the nature of the Triple A Learning/OSC workshops, participants are able to implement their learning and experiences in the classroom, and therefore provide an extended and reflective approach to the topic.
In 2012, OSC supported the IB World Student Conference (WSC) at UBC in Vancouver. We are delighted to be offering our support again for 2013 but in two of the four locations: at UBC in Vancouver, and at The University of Warwick, UK.
In addition to OSC having the role of Chaperone Chairperson for the WSC in Warwick, UK, OSC will also be sponsoring the Vancouver WSC through scholarships. The scholarships will allow students to attend the WSC conference who might not otherwise be able to attend. For details on how to apply, click here.
OSC packages are available to students who would like to attend the IB WSC at UBC in Vancouver or at The University of Warwick in the UK, but who are also interested in attending an OSC Pre IBDP Summer School or Mid IBDP Summer Course in Canada or the UK.
The packages on offer are:
Oxford and Cambridge, UK:
If you are interested in attending an OSC IBDP Summer School in Canada or the UK, and attending the IB WSC in Canada or the UK, contact us.
2012 IB World Student Conference at UBC
A group of innovative, experienced IB Maths teachers have worked together to develop a library of IB Maths videos. Over 180 IB Maths HL videos are available and the first 50 IB Maths SL videos have just been added to OSC's video library - even more will be added soon.
The videos cover all areas of the syllabus, are available FREE of charge and have been designed to help IB students and teachers in and out of the classroom.
Over 2000 users are already benefiting from this fantastic free resource, and you can too, click here.
Ideal for students about to start the IB Diploma or those who have completed one year of IB Art, and who have a passion for art and interested in making art in a new, exciting context – the perfect opportunity for budding artists to develop their potential.
The 10 day course will allow students to use a range of materials and techniques including drawing, mixed media, collage, 3D sculpture, environmental response, and visual research to explore the fundamental ideas of culture, context and the role of investigation in art making – the foundation of IB Diploma Art.
To enquire about the course and to make an initial registration, click here.
OSC's 2013 IBDP Spring Revision Courses, 24th March - 11th April, have got off to a great start. Over the next 2.5 weeks we will be welcoming IB students from around the world to Oxford to support them with their final IB revision. Experienced IB teachers are fully prepared and ready to help students review their IB subject material, gain and develop new exam techniques, and build confidence.
Students spend an intensive 17.5 hours on each subject, honing in on areas of difficulty. They leave feeling revived and ready for the final exams.
What plans do you have for your IB revision? It's not too late to join OSC's IBDP Spring Revision Courses, we still have some spaces available. You can sign up here.
Join the world's leading provider of IB Diploma Revision.
The latest edition of OSC's newsletter is now available. In each newsletter we try to provide our readers with a range of articles that are interesting and fun but also supportive.
Here is a quick overview of what you can expect to see:
If you would like to regularly receive the OSC Newsletter, please contact us.
Oxford Study Courses (OSC) has been supporting IBDP students with their IB revision for more than 23 years. We are the leading provider of IBDP revision courses and known for our high-quality and unrivalled experience, two of the reasons why OSC is the first-choice for students.
We understand that not all students can attend our courses in Oxford or China, and at the suggestion of the International School of Stuttgart, we have opened a small non-residential course for those who will find Stuttgart a more convenient location. This will run if enough students are keen to participate.
From 3rd – 6th April 2013, revision courses in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, at HL and SL, will be offered. As with all of OSC’s IBDP Revision Courses, the class sizes will be small and classes will be kept to a fairly narrow range of grade expectations, ensuring students can achieve as much as possible in a short time by going at a pace that suits them.
OSC’s teachers are all experienced IB teachers who are experts in their subject, the IB, and in revision and review. They have the skills and tools to help students get the best possible marks in their exams.
To find out more and to make an enquiry about attending the OSC Revision Courses in Stuttgart, please click here.
Highest-quality exam revision opportunities for all Final Year International Baccalaureate Diploma students in the Beijing area are now available from OSC.
OSC has been supporting IB Diploma students since 1990, and in 2012, held its first course in Asia at Dulwich College Shanghai. Continuing on from this success, our partnership now extends to Dulwich College Beijing. We are excited to be taking our high-calibre IBDP Revision Courses to a second location in Asia and delighted to be working closely with Dulwich College Beijing whose state-of-the-art premises will be used to hold the courses.
OSC’s highly-experienced IB teachers will be teaching the courses from 2nd-5th April 2013. To find out more and to guarantee your spot with the world’s leading provider of IBDP Revision and Review, click here.
OSC are delighted to announce that we are working together with Triple A Learning to provide engaging and interactive materials for use with students called BACCpacks. They are designed to support students through their IB subject programmes in a cost-effective, flexible and convenient manner. Each e-learning subject resource is developed at a topic level and matched to the IB syllabus. Topic packs may be purchased in any combination, building to cover an entire subject. They may be used for group learning and as a resource to promote independent study.
BACCpacks are ideal for:
You can find out more about the BACCpacks, the subjects available, and place your order on OSC's IB Publications web pages.
For the 7th year, OSC is offering a number of full scholarships for participation in the 2013 OSC IBDP Spring Revision Courses in Oxford to IBDP students who attend a state-funded school or college in Europe, Africa and the Middle East regions.
This exceptional opportunity is aimed at those students who would not otherwise be able to attend an OSC course. The OSC Scholarship Programme increases students' access to OSC's expert IBDP support, helping deserving students to reach their potential and succeed in their IB Diploma.
A full scholarship entitles a student to tuition of one course (one subject), accommodation and half board. Students are invited to submit their applications by 31st January 2012. A decision will be made by 28th February 2013.
For further information on OSC's IBDP Spring Revision Courses, how to apply for a scholarship, and eligibility, please click here.
We look forward to receiving your application and helping even more IBDP students.
“I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity of the scholarship. Coming from a state school it is incredibly difficult to get the grades to study Medicine but with your help the dream has come true. Thanks OSC, dream makers!” OSC Spring Revision Scholarship Student, 2012
In 2012, OSC held its first IBDP Maths Revision Weekend in Stockholm, Sweden. We were delighted to be able to help even more IBDP students achieve their best in their final IBDP exams. The Revision Weekend was a huge success and OSC will be in Sweden again in 2013. This time we will be expanding to two areas of Sweden and offering two subjects: Biology and Maths.
OSC’s IBDP Revision Weekends are ideal for students who want to start their revision early and take advantage of OSC in Europe.
Join the world’s leading provider of IBDP revision - sign up onlne.
“I particularly needed help with my Maths and this course really boosted my confidence. My teacher had the knowledge and the skills to help me improve my grades.” OSC Student, Stockholm 2012
Whether you are a student about to embark on the challenging two year IB Diploma Programme, or a student half way through, having the confidence and the right knowledge to achieve your best will help you to succeed.
OSC’s IBDP Summer Schools can help. They are an effective way to spend your summer holiday – keep ahead of your academic study, learn from some of the most experienced IB teachers in the world, experience world-renowned universities, make new friends, and enjoy your summer.
“The course has given me a head start on the IB Diploma, I know what I’m going to learn and what qualities I need to have to be able to succeed in the IB.” OSC Pre IBDP Student, 2012
“The best thing has been the quality and experience of the teachers. I have learnt so much from them, I can confidently say that I am ready for year two.” OSC Mid IBDP Student, 2012
“The UK Tour helped me to understand the application process better, organise my reach, and target universities and colleges that are right for me. Visiting the universities gave me an even better idea of where I wanted to go.” OSC UK Tour Student, 2012
“I feel more confident about my applications because I know what to include, what not to mention, and how best to make a quality application.” OSC UAC Student, 2012
Make the most of your summer and push ahead with your IB studies –make the right choice
OSC is a Social Enterprise, a profit making company whose profits go to charity. OSC’s profits benefit the McMCall MacBain Foundation (MMF) and philanthropic projects identified and chosen by OSC.
OSC’s profits have most recently contributed towards Academics Without Borders (AWB), a MMF project which organises and provides refresher courses and capacity building for staff at the University of Liberia. OSC are excited and thrilled to be a part of this new project. You can read about the project in full here.
and first year IBDP students who attended the July 2012 IB World Student Conference in Vancouver.
As valued members of the OSC IB community, and as mentioned in the OSC leaflet given to students who attended these events, these students are eligible for a 10% discount. This discount is on one OSC Mid IBDP week in Cambridge, UK, Boston, USA, or Vancouver, Canada, in 2013. Enter the code OSCPRE12 on the application form.
Terms and Conditions
We look forward to welcoming you back to OSC in Summer 2013.
OSC’s Online Revision Classes: high-quality revision wherever and whenever you want it
Sign up now for our brand new Online Revision Classes. You can choose from over 300 live and interactive sessions with our expert IB teachers, from January to May 2013. But don't wait until then - book now to make sure you get the sessions that are most convenient for you.
A unique service
Our IB experts have selected 6 particularly challenging syllabus areas from 6 of the most popular IB subjects; and because we're offering each class at different levels to match your predicted grades, you can be sure of having all your difficult quesions answered. Here's why it makes sense to attend our classes:
With over 300 sessions to choose from between January and May 2013, our Online Revision Classes are designed to give you control over your revision planning.
We want to help you get the grades you need. If you need any advice on the right syllabus areas to choose, or with your booking, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +44 1865 512802 - our team will be very happy to help.
OSC Spring Revision 2013 courses in Oxford are now live and ready to take your bookings
For over 20 years 1000s of final-year IB Diploma students have gathered in Oxford every Spring for the best exam revision available. Now you too can sign up for up to 7 courses between 24th March and 11th April 2013.
On campus - Spring Revision 2012 students
Revision in full swing - focused and productive
“The OSC course boosted my grade from a 5 to the all important 6 in higher level chemistry. I will start Med school at Birmingham university in October.”OSC Spring Revision 2012 Student
“Was predicted 31, got a 33 instead! Couldn't have done it without this course! Thanks to all the teachers on the course!” OSC Spring Revision 2012 Student
“My son came back a new person. He left worried and anxious but returned happy about his subject and ready for the exams.” OSC Spring Revision 2012 Parent
So why not give yourself the best possible chance of boosting your final IB grades by relying on the Revision experts? Book your courses now to be sure of getting the subjects and dates you want.
and final year IBDP students who attended the July 2012 IB World Student Conference in Vancouver.
As valued members of the OSC IB community, and as mentioned in the OSC leaflet given to students who attended these events, these students are eligible for a 10% discount. This discount is on one OSC Spring Revision Course (one subject studied for 17.5 hours) in Oxford, UK. Enter the code OSCMID12 on the application form.
Terms and Conditions
We look forward to welcoming you back to OSC in Spring 2013.
The time has finally arrived for those students who have been agonisingly waiting for their IB results. We sincerely hope that you were able to secure the grades you needed to get into your university of choice.
However, if you did just miss out on the results you wanted, do not worry. OSC can help guide and support you through this disappointing time. As an IB student, there are a number of advantages. One of OSC’s experienced IB teachers, Peter Gray, has written an extremely helpful article outlining these advantages as well as the options available to you and your next steps. Click here to read it.
If you decide that you want to retake subject exams and feel that you need help reviewing subject material with an experienced IB teacher, OSC’s personalised Online One-to-One Tuition can help. Taught in hourly slots, the One-to-One tuition allows you to review as much or as little as you like at a time convenient to you.
OSC’s IB Revision Guides will also help you to focus on any weak areas and offer plenty of tips, advice, tests and questions.
You may also need to rethink your university choices and as Peter Gray mentions, there are a few steps to take, but you still might get into your first choice. If not, there are still options available to you. If you would like to get personalised guidance, OSC offers One-to-One University Advice, online. OSC’s experienced College Counsellors will guide you through your choices and next steps.
Finally, we always recommend that you speak to your IB Coordinator who knows you best. They can also help point you in the right direction and speak to the universities on your behalf.
We wish you all the best with your future.
We are delighted to announce that two new Psychology Revision Guides are now available.
Psychology HL and Psychology SL
The two separate HL and SL IB revision guides cover the core and optional material for papers 1, 2 and 3. Each chapter brings the components of the course into focus, emphasising the integration of perspectives and methods of research. Centred clearly on the objective of maximising examination success, it balances a range of theory and investigative studies commonly studied at this level. The guide also includes plenty of example examination questions and checklists to test understanding.
You can buy your copies here.
ISBN: 978-1-907374-41-8 Price: £15.50
ISBN: 978-1-907374-42-5 Price: £14.50
A brand new title in the OSC IB Revision Guide History series is now available.
History Route 2: 20th Century Civil Wars and Regional Conflicts
This revision guide covers the causes, practices and the effects on the Chinese Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Primarily aimed at students studying History Route 2: Paper 2, Topic 1 on 20th Century War, it provides sections on four of the wars named in the Topic 1 syllabus as well as tips on essay writing. The guide’s sections on Korea and Vietnam will also help students who are preparing for Topic 5: the Cold War on Paper 2. The opening section on the Spanish Civil War covers all of the material required for studying the rise of Franco and addresses many of the issues relating to the nature of Franco’s regime. So, useful for students whose schools have selected Franco as one of their examples of single party and authoritarian rulers for Topic 3 on Paper 2.
Higher Level candidates studying History Route 2: Paper 3, Option 5: Aspects of the History of Europe and Middle East, will find the guide useful as the Spanish Civil War is part of Section 8. ‘Interwar years: conflict and cooperation 1919-39’. The Chinese Civil War is also part of History Route 2: Paper 3, Option 4: Aspects of the history of Asia and Oceania, Section 6. ‘The Republic of China 1912-49 and the rise of Communism’.
To order your copy and view sample pages, click here.
ISBN: 978-1-907374-38-8 Price: £15.00
A brand new title in the OSC IB Revision Guide History series is now available.
History Route 2: World Wars I and II SL/HL
This guide covers the causes, practices and effects of World Wars I and II. Primarily aimed at students studying History Route 2: Paper 2, Topic 1 20th Century War, it provides sections on all the World War themes in the syllabus as well as tips on essay writing. The guide will also help those studying Route 2: Paper 1, Prescribed Subject 1: Peacemaking, peacekeeping - international relations 1918-36, as it covers the consequences of World War I and the causes of World War II.
For Higher Level candidates studying Route 2: Paper 3, Option 5:Aspects of the History of Europe and the Middle East, the guide deals with many of the issues covered by section 6, section 8 and section 10.
You can buy your copy online now, click here
ISBN: 978-1-907374-37-1 Price: £15
OSC is a Social Enterprise, a profit making company whose profits go to charity. One aspect of OSC’s Social Enterprise activity is the Spring Revision Scholarship Programme. Each year, OSC helps students who might not otherwise be able to, to attend the OSC IBDP Spring Revision Courses in Oxford - 2012 is OSC's 6th year of running this programme.
In April 2012, we were able to offer 30 scholarships to students from schools within the Europe, Africa and Middle-East region. With the help of the four colleges in which we hold our courses (St Anne’s, Oriel, Hertford and Somerville), we were able to give more.
The feedback we have received from our scholarship students and IB Coordinators so far has been overwhelming and so positive.
‘I would like to give a big thank you to all the people at OSC and all the colleges for the part they played in allowing me to join the OSC revision course. The OSC revision course has helped me with my revision in not only my French revision but many of my other subjects.’ OSC Scholarship Student, 2012
‘Thank you so much to OSC and the colleges, through their fantastic support and facilities I was able to maximise three days of my life that I would not trade for the world. Thank you for providing the stepping stone that I needed to push-on and achieve my potential in IB HL Chemistry. Thank you so much.’ OSC Scholarship Student, 2012
To find out more about OSC’s Spring Revision Scholarship Programme, click here.
Between 28th March and 15th April around 1,100 IB Diploma students passed through OSC's doors in Oxford, not to mention over 100 of our expert teachers. Here's a flavour of what students had to say about their OSC experience:
Small and streamed classes
Our best wishes for success in their final exams go with the students back to their homes and schools - and don't forget that students needing a final boost to clear up any last uncertainties can book an online revision session with an OSC teacher through our OSC Online website.
The stunning UBC campus in its natural setting
Why such an attractive discount?
See what international students think of UBC
So, all in all, there's a lot to do in and around Vancouver in July 2012 - we'd like IB students not to have to pick and choose which bits of the Vancouver experience they can attend. On the contrary, we'd like to help IB students get the most out of their OSC course and their time exploring Vancouver and the UBC campus, AND support them to attend the exciting and important World Student Conference.
That's it! Spring 2012 is ready to go! We're expecting over 150 students to arrive at St Anne's College at Oxford University today to get their teeth into their revision courses with us. They'll be joining 18 teachers, 10 Deans and other OSC staff to make sure everyone gets the maximum benefit. And that's just for the first course. Between now and 15th April over 1000 students from all over the world will be absorbing the wisdom of our expert teachers and getting tips on how to boost their grades. We all wish these newest members of the OSC Family the best of luck in their exams!
Interested in a unique IB Summer Experience in Vancouver, Canada? Watch this space for a great deal we're able to offer students who sign up for our Pre IBDP and Mid IBDP Summer Schools in July 2012. ANNOUNCEMENT EXPECTED SHORTLY!
For a number of years now OSC has been providing logistical and organisational support for IBSCA's (IB Schools and Colleges Association) teacher-training workshops. From 17th to 19th February, OSC team members Bryony Hurrell and Julia Wylie will be joining the IBSCA delegates at the University of Warwick for a series of PYP Professional Development workshops - then it's a short week back in the office before they ensure the smooth running of the MYP sessions, held on 24th to 26th February. Read more about how OSC supports IBSCA's teacher-training events.
3 brand new online IBDP offerings from OSC, the leading IB Revision experts! Through our dedicated website, OSC Online, students can now sign up for:
Our online teachers are sharing revision issues and tips on an ever-growing range of subjects. Join these crucial conversations here.
Any students who will be in Vancouver on OSC's Pre IBDP or Mid IBDP Summer Schools on the weekend of 14th and 15th July 2012 can sign up for our expert-led Canada and USA University Applications Course. This represents phenomenal extra value and will make a real and positive difference to the next steps in students' academic careers. Find out more.
The first pics have come through from OSC's donation of 7754 books. The images are from South La Estate Primary School, in Accra, Ghana. Check them out here.
OSC's status as a Social Enterprise means that all our profits benefit disadvantaged communities and individuals. 2011 is no exception. Read more about the projects that all our students and partners have sustained in the past year.
The festive season is approaching but so is your IBDP revision. Whilst you might think you have almost 6 months before the May exams, they will be here before you know it. To help you get ahead during this winter break, our resident IB expert, Tim Williams, has given you 4 useful things to do, accompanied by 4 helpful tips.
Useful things to do over the winter break:
1. Sort out the workload that's left. Find out all you have to do in the 17 weeks between New Year and the exams. Mark on a calendar your mock exams, visits, trips, coursework deadlines, holidays...
TIP: In class ask each teacher if they could give you a list - tomorrow - of all the work that's left to do in that subject.
2. Reduce your revision workload. Take the last month's notes and reduce them to notecards, mind maps, pictures, single sheets of papers. See how long it takes and how long you will need to revise each subject.
TIP: Make a list of questions for your teachers for when you get back to school - things you aren't sure about.
3. Work or life? Get a perspective - decide when you'll work and when you won't. Try organising work in 1) 80 minute blocks 2) including a couple of breaks 3) with a definite clear target for each block. Don't just sit at your desk for hours. Definitely schedule days when you won't work at all.
TIP: On two days during the holiday get up early and do an 80 minute block of work before breakfast ( and maybe take the rest of the day off as a reward ...). See if it helps to work without distractions.
4. Exam skills. Exams are strange and unnatural things - you need to practice skills like being calm under pressure, writing fast, planning quickly. Get some past papers for each subject, and practice doing outline answers / plans / bullet point answers - quickly, and even for questions you'd not choose to do in the end.
TIP: Before you open a paper, try predicting exactly what the instructions will be for e.g. Language A1 Paper 2 - can you say how much time, how many questions to answer, which sections, how many marks.... ?
Have fun making use of them and enjoy your winter holidays! Remember that OSC's IBDP Spring Revision Courses will give you focused, uninterrupted time on a subject, you can take up to 7 courses - sign up now.
The courses are taught by professional, experienced IB teachers who are experts in revision and review techniques. During the 2.5 days (17.5 hours) of teaching per course, they will offer different perspectives and insights into subject material, helping you to better understand it and build your confidence. Expert exam skills and techniques will be given, helping you to perform better in your exams.
Do you want more tips and advice, make sure you check out our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. Did you know that our IB experts also visit IB schools worldwide to deliver our free pedagogical presentations. If you would like us to visit your school, email email@example.com.
The May 2012 exams are only a few months away, so it makes sense to know exactly when the individual exam sessions are going to be held. Here's a resource from OSC that should help settle nerves and focus minds on revision timetabling - the complete exam schedule. Click here to personalise it so you can really concentrate on what's most important for you. Good luck with your revision!
Looking for news about developments in OSC courses and the IB world in general? We've just sent out the first in our new generation of newsletters to the entire OSC IB community. Click here to read it and to sign up for future issues
We are delighted to add another new title to our ever expanding series: Economics Paper 3 - Numerical Questions HL.
With 'Numerical Questions' becoming a compulsory part of the Economics HL exam in 2013, the guide has been written to help prepare you for these exams, focusing on a series of likely questions taken from the HL syllabus. The Revision Guide has been split into two parts; the first containing a variety of short questions that are aimed to familiarise the reader with the skills and techniques required for the exam, whilst the second part has two complete tests and includes detailed answers and explanations. To find out more about the guide, the author and view sample pages, click here.
Order your copy now.
ISBN: 978-1-907374-31-9 Price: £12.95
The whole world knows that the 2012 Olympic Games will be happening in London and other parts of the UK from 27th July to 12th August next year – so if you’re on an OSC Summer School between these dates you’ll share in the incredible feel-good buzz across the whole country. Our Deans will make sure there’s an Olympics flavour to OSC’s 2012 Summer experience!
A quick word of advice from OSC – the earlier you book your OSC course, the easier (and cheaper) it will be to make your travel arrangements. Flights in and out of London are expected to be busy, but don’t forget that Oxford and Cambridge are quick getaways by coach, train or taxi from London, and within easy access of other major airports, such as Birmingham, Luton or Stansted. Get more detailed advice on airlines and onward travel suggestions for Oxford and Cambridge.
To celebrate Olympics year we’re building OSC Olympic challenges into the Sports Explorer afternoon options of our Summer Schools in Oxford and Cambridge; and you can expect big-screen Olympics sessions in our prestigious college venues throughout the Games: check out sport’s greatest event schedule here.
As part of its commitment to supporting the ongoing development of school leaders, the International Baccalaureate is introducing a number of new workshops aimed at providing high quality programmes to IB World School leaders in the Africa, Europe, Middle East region.
The workshops are intended to develop the leadership capacities in a school and are therefore relevant for Heads, Deputy Heads or Heads of Department and IB Co-ordinators but will also be invaluable for preparing future leaders in schools.
The Leadership Programmes are offered by Urban Leadership Centre in co-operation with the International Baccalaureate.
Three new programmes will be offered this year:
Are you an IB Diploma Programme Coordinator or College Counsellor? Are you often asked for advice on how best to apply to UK or US universities? Then you’ll be pleased to know that OSC is running its acclaimed College Counselling Course in April next year, on Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th, and Thursday 12th April. Click here for more details, and to apply.
OSC is delighted to announce that from November 2011 an exclusive agreement exists between OSC and Paradigm-Gem, an independent, international consultancy group established for the purpose of providing professional academic guidance to students and parents who wish to seek educational opportunities locally and overseas. OSC will be running its 2012 Spring Revision courses in March and April, and the Pre IBDP and Mid IBDP Summer Schools in July and August.
Paradigm-Gem will accompany all students studying at schools in Hong Kong or the Philippines and enrolling through them on any of these courses to the UK or US; they will look after all aspects of course registration, travel, and travel insurance. So why not let the experts do the organising for you? Contact Paradigm-Gem on +852 9018-7993 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
A brand new title, Design Technology, is now available in the OSC IB Revision Guide series.
The guide covers all aspects of the syllabus, both HL and SL, in a concise, clear way. Included within the guide are diagrams and pictures to help explain material, whilst key words, definitions, facts and principles are highlighted for easy learning. Plenty of questions are given to test your understanding as well as examination information, helping to make exam preparation effective.
You can buy your copy online now, click here
ISBN: 978-1-907374-10-4 Price: £22
Summer is around the corner, what are your plans? Relaxing, long warm days, hammocks, the beach, hanging out with friends….
These are just some things you can do amongst getting ahead of your IB studies. Summer is the perfect time to deal with the Extended Essay (EE). Tim Williams, one of OSC’s experienced IB teachers has given some tips to help get you ahead with your EE this summer:
1. Easy housekeeping job: Get the bibliography up to date, and in the right format
2. Interesting and useful: Meet people who can help with the research
3. Small but vital: Check your research question
4. Painful but labour saving: Try writing a plan (NOT a draft)
5. Really easy 10 minute job: Re-read the criteria and notes with them
6. Useful job: Break down the EE into manageable steps
To help with the planning, download the OSC calendar! Read the full article here.
Remember, you can also join hundreds of other IB students this summer on our Mid-IB Summer Schools in Oxford, Cambridge; UK; and Boston, USA. Review year 1 and prepare for year 2 with some of the best IB teachers (including Tim Williams!). You will have fun, meet people from around the world and experience a new city – what more could you ask for!
See what our 2010 students have to say, watch the video.
Through thorough research we have decided to change our binding on some our IB Revision Guides to the more traditional perfect spine binding. We know students like our popular spiral binding because it makes studying easier, but don’t worry; the new binding is flexible enough to allow for study habits. We really like the new style and hope you do too - please feedback any of your comments to us.
OSC’s IB Revision Guide series is ever expanding with new titles due for release this summer.
• Design Technology
• Environmental Systems and Societies - Now available
If you are interested in any of the new titles, email email@example.com
OSC continues to provide logistical support to IBSCA teacher workshops for the 2011-12 academic year. Diploma Programme workshops include several on the revised Mathematics HL, Mathematics SL and Mathematical Studies SL courses, plus those on new subjects such as Sport, Exercise and Health Science and World Religions. Workshops on recently-revised subjects such as English A: Literature and Economics are also available.
IBSCA is now supporting all IB Programmes; new teacher workshops for the PYP and MYP are available. Workshops start in September and continue through to April 2012 and can be booked online.
IBSCA (the Association of IB World Schools in the UK) is authorized to run workshops within the AEM region. It is committed to providing workshops at a lower cost than other providers. IBSCA have been able to reduce its fees to £496 for 2-3 day workshops for IBSCA member schools, helping schools to save their valuable Professional Development budget. To take advantage of this rate, visit www.ibsca.org.uk to become a member. In addition to the reduced rates, you will also have access to Area Network meetings, discounted rates for conferences and IBSCA related training, all IB-approved, and an opportunity to meet key IB staff at IBSCA events.
Further information about the IBSCA workshops can be found on two sites, IBSCA or OSC. Any queries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oxford offices are buzzing from the success of our 2011 IB Spring Revision Courses and the preparation for our upcoming IB Summer Schools.
This spring we helped over 1000 students prepare for their final exams. The feedback we received from students and parents was overwhelming: 98% of students were satisfied with the quality of their courses, whilst 98% of parents’ and students’ expectations were met. When it came to the help received from the OSC team with processes, 98% of parents and students were satisfied customers.
We don’t like to ‘blow our own trumpet’ too much but here are just a few comments we received:
'The classes were very useful, both in helping me review what I had already learnt and in allowing me to feel more confident about the IB. All my teachers were clearly very highly qualified and prepared.’ OSC Student
‘I was extremely impressed by the whole OSC set up. I thought the whole process from the booking through to the teaching was first class.' OSC Parent
'I never thought that the classes would be so helpful. We managed to get through all the topics for IB1 and 2 in 2.5 days. Highly experienced teachers, truly excellent.’ OSC Student
'My daughter and I thought that the IB Spring revision courses were well worth the money. They have really helped her in her studies in both the ability to cover a lot of material in a short period of time and in her general confidence in the subjects.’ OSC Parent
For November IB exam students, OSC Revision Courses are taking place in Sydney and Melbourne this June/July. Also, take a look at our personal ‘exam planner’ – a handy, time saving tool.
OSC is a Social Enterprise, a profit making company whose profits go to charity. To date, our profits have helped various projects in Liberia, Rwanda, Ghana and the UK.
This spring, OSC were able to give 32 scholarships to students from 25 schools in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. With the help of the 3 colleges in which we hold our courses, we could increase the amount offered.
‘The course has completely improved my confidence and motivated me. I now feel prepared. Thanks to the OSC scholarship, I can now achieve my goals.’ OSC Scholarship Student
Read more about our scholarships here.
The profit from OSC’s IB Spring Revision Courses has helped the ‘Africa Books Project.’ Over 15 state sector schools in urban and rural areas of Accra; Ghana, have been selected due to them having little or no library resources. OSC have donated full sets of supplementary readers and reference books to each school, helping them to build a sustainable library.
Teacher resources and workshops will also be given to demonstrate to schools how the materials can and should be used.
To find out more about our projects, click here.
Whilst some people may have their summer planned, others may not. If you are thinking of how to spend your summer, why not join us for one of OSC's IB Summer Schools? There is still time to sign up, but places are limited.
The Mid-IB Summer School allows students to consolidate year 1 and prepare for year 2 – ideal if there are some gaps in subject areas. Our Pre-IB Summer School offers students the opportunity to completely prepare themselves for the two demanding years ahead.
The courses are offered in three fantastic locations: Oxford and Cambridge, UK; Boston, USA. As well as getting ahead of your studies, you will have so much fun exploring a new city and making new friends from around the world who are all there for the same reason. A memorable experience!
Listen to what our students said from last year’s courses, watch the videos.
For more information visit our courses page, or speak to one of our team +44 (0) 1865 512802.
A brand new OSC IB Revision Guide for History is now available. History Route 2 - Aspects of the History of Europe and the Middle East 1750-2000 provides valuable summaries of 18 key topics from the syllabus.
Primarily aimed at helping students to prepare for Paper 3, it is also useful for Paper 2 preparation. Key points of topics that appear frequently in the IB exams are covered as well as the provision of 46 essay outlines.
You can buy your copy online here
In Febuary, OSC was delighted to help Dormers Wells High School in Ealing with some revision support.
We arranged for several of the fanstastic teachers who work with OSC to go to the school during half term and provide some on site revision courses for their students.
This was very well received, and the school is requesting a repeat visit. The Head of Sixth Form, Ian McCartney said “VERY good thanks. The students were very positive about it, I met all three tutors who were very professional and knowledgeable.”
We are pleased to announce that the new edition of the OSC IB Geography Revision Guide is now available to buy. The guide is practical and will help guide you through paper 1, offering tips and advice on how to answer the exam questions effectively.
Price = £15.00
Click here to buy your copies.
We are really pleased that our first online revision course is almost fully booked! The Biology-neurobiology and behaviour course starting March 7th is proving popular. We have just one place left available, (so if you want to join in, get in quick!)
This is great news and justifies the decision to offer live online revision courses. An advantage of having a course online is that you do not have to travel or find accommodation in order to join in. You still get the benefits of revising with one of our expert teachers and you get opportunities to ask questions of the teacher directly; unlike pre-recorded videos, which often do not give you any opportunity to ask your question.
Places remain available on other online revision courses and students are signing up fast, so this is a very exciting time for us.
A big 'thank you' for those students who have already enrolled on one (or more) of our online courses and also to those of you who are still thinking about it ... sign up here.
Sign up now to OSC's Online IB Revision Courses, but be quick because there are limited spaces. Click here.
The courses offered are in the science options and one geography option during March and April.
OSC are the first to deliver Online IB Revision Courses, so why not be the first to benefit and really boost your final exam grades.
All courses are led live by OSC's experienced IB teachers. The teachers are there to guide you through the revision and answer any questions you have. All this for just £99, plus a free OSC IB Revision Guide (where available).
If you have questions, please email us email@example.com or telephone +44 (0) 1865 512802.
Post your Best Study Tip on our Facebook page - every fortnight we will choose our favourite and send the winner an OSC IB Revision Guide of their choice.
Each year, OSC supports a number of IB students who would not normally be able to attend an OSC IB Spring Revision Course. Scholarships are open to students attending state-funded schools and whose application is supported by their school.
OSC has awarded 20 scholarships and thanks to the generous support from the 3 Oxford Colleges in which we hold our Spring Revision Courses, St Annes, Somerville and Oriel, we have been able to offer a further 12 bringing the total to 32. We would like to thank the 3 colleges for their generous support.
The students we are helping come from a range of backgrounds. Each one we felt was deserving of our help. They are student who in spite of real challenges in their lives have done very well with the IBDP and have been offered University places which we hope we can help them attain.
For further details click here.
Congratulations to The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on celebrating their 150th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, MIT is hosting a variety of exciting events and programmes over 150 days from 7th January – 5th June 2011. To find out more visit: http://mit150.mit.edu/
OSC is immensely proud to be associated with MIT, one of our IB Summer Programme hosts since 1995. Throughout that time thousands of OSC students have thoroughly enjoyed working and learning in the stimulating environment that is MIT. The MIT community is very welcoming and helpful, and their facilities are the best. It’s a great privilege to return year after year.
OSC will be at MIT again this summer for the 2011 OSC IB Summer Programme. If you would like to join the programme, click here.
Further information about MIT can be found here.
Yesterday's Guardian newspaper [Link] reported that more universities will be asking for the highest grades. The article concentrated on the new A* grade in A-levels - which might be achieved by ~8% of students.
In relation to the IB DP, this is broadly comparable to a '7'. In May 2010, 7% of IBDP subject grades were '7' (20% were '6', 29% were '5' etc.).
Over the years, the proportion of students obtaining a '7' on IBDP subjects has remained remarkably constant, while the proportion of 'A' grades at A-level has risen steadily.
With universities asking for the highest grades, effective revision and exam preparation are going to be even more vital. See an earlier news item.
We are very excited to announce that OSC will be offering a new development in IB Revision - Online Courses.
OSC Online revision courses allow you to revise IB subjects in a new way. You will work online with an experienced IB teacher and other IB students live and in real-time.
You can choose to revise in the comfort of your own home, at school or wherever you internet access and still have the expert knowledge of an experienced IB teacher.
For further information on this exciting development, you can read more here.
If you are interested in registering your interest, please do so by emailing
As the 15th January deadline for EU students to apply for places at UK universities passes for most courses, many 17 and 18-year-olds will be anxious about their futures. What will it hold?
UCAS (the organisation that manages university applications in England & Wales) has reported the number of applications received by 20 December 2010 for courses starting in 2011 [Link]. The latest statistics (a fuller analysis is due on 31st January) show:
• Over 8,000 more students applying than at the same time one year before
• Applications being submitted much earlier than in the past
• A growth rate from outside the UK that is more than three times growth within the UK
• Applicants are more likely to have listed five choices than in the past. As a result, nearly 65,000 more application choices had been registered by December 2010 – compared with December 2009.
• 50% of the increase in application choices is for medicine, dentistry and subjects linked to these
• Other subject areas showing significant growth in applications are biological sciences, business & administration, social studies and education
• Subject areas showing a decline in applications include linguistics, classics and courses offering a combination of subjects
At the same time, another report [Link] shows that the percentage of students finding a university place in the UK dropped from 78% to 70% in 2010.
What does this mean? One clear conclusion is that there will be greater competition for places (especially in the subjects showing growth). This suggests:
• The likelihood of higher grades being asked for by admissions tutors
• Universities are less likely to be able to offer places to students who narrowly fail to get their grades
• Fewer opportunities for students to pick up appropriate courses during “Clearing” (after results are known)
What can students do?
1. After submitting your application, there is nothing you can do to influence the process unless you are called for interview. If you have an interview, do your best to impress [the UCAS website has tips for interviews]:
• For IB Diploma students, emphasise the breadth of your expertise (6 subjects), be prepared to talk enthusiastically about your Extended Essay and the diversity and value of your CAS experiences, and don’t forget to show that you are an accomplished critical thinking and independent worker
2. When your conditional offers come in, be realistic about your likely grades:
• Hold on to a first choice that is achievable (and highly desirable)
• But, think about an “insurance” choice that is a safe bet
3. Then work, work, work for the grades needed for your first choice:
• “There’s no gain without pain” [See OSC’s guide for parents so that they can support you, and also our tips on revision.]
• For IBDP students, the first step is to ensure that all of your IA and other non-exam grades are as strong as possible
• But, be realistic – don’t devote so much time/energy to something that may only give you an extra 2-3% at the expense of work that might yield greater benefits
• As the exams get closer, get hold of appropriate Revision Guides
• If you can, apply for a Revision Course run by experienced and skilled IB teachers (beware of those run by students – they may have been successful themselves, but they don’t have a full grasp of the syllabus or of the needs of examiners and haven’t the training of a good teacher)
30 IB Diploma schools have been listed in the top 200 schools in England for Key Stage 5 (16-18 education) based on 2010 exam results. The list, published on the BBC website, shows the schools gaining the highest exam grades/student in the final years of schooling. The list is dominated by selective and private schools - not surprisingly - but the presence of 30 schools that are authorised to offer the IB Diploma Programme (out of about 200 IBDP schools in England) in the top rankings reinforces the high standing of the programme.
Amongst the schools listed, the highest-ranking non-selective, non-private school is also an IB Diploma School. And, if you can be bothered to delve down into the lists for the thousands of schools below the top 200, there are many other outstanding results from state-funded IBDP schools. The IB Diploma Programme has obviously been successful in a wide variety of schools.
The League Tables have also - rather confusingly - started to talk about an "English Baccalaureate". This is nothing to do with the IB - and isn't really a baccalaureate at all!
Michael Woolman has worked with OSC for many years – teaching English A1 and ToK. He has also led IBSCA Teacher Workshops on Theory of Knowledge. For the last 3½ years, he has been writing a novel, The Life and Times of Paul Mukasa, published last week.
The book follows the life of an educated, middle class, intellectual African over the last 50 years as his country changes from a colonial protectorate through corruption, violence, warfare, religious fanaticism, tribalism, disease, population growth and rising poverty. Paul Mukasa has had a turbulent personal and professional life – partly in Africa, partly in exile – running in parallel with the changes faced by his nation. He relates these to a visiting Afro-American professor of African Literature and Culture in the hope that the professor will agree to write his biography.
Founded on Michael’s own experiences of Uganda from the 1950s and continuing love for Africa, the novel is published by YPD Books.
It looks as if competition for places at UK universities in 2011 will be even greater than usual. There are two key factors. Firstly, a reported 209,000 students applied through UCAS but failed to get a place for 2010. This is supposed to include some 35,000 students achieving the top A-level grades. Inevitably, a proportion of the 209,000 will be reapplying for 2011.
Secondly, the increase in tuition fees for 2012 will encourage English students leaving school in 2011 to give up plans for a gap year. By aiming for 2011 entry, they will reduce their potential debt.
Taking these together, it is inevitable that most universities will receive more applications than they have places. This, in turn, suggests that grades will be even more important than usual. Students may be asked for higher grades than they would in the past.
So, how to get the best grades in the IB Diploma?
1. Be prepared. Look at OSC's advice for students and for parents.
2. Keep up the work-rate throughout the period from now until the May exams.
3. Take care over your Internal Assessment. Maximise the marks you get before the exams.
4. Get hold of Revision materials (see OSC’s list of Revision Guides).
5. Think about Revision Courses run by experienced teachers and examiners. OSC has 20+ years’ experience of running these courses and only hires teachers with significant IB experience - the majority also examiners. Students tell us that they are really helpful.
OSC is working with Tula Publishing to provide books to schools in Malawi and Ghana - schools which typically have few or no reading or reference books. Studies by international donor agencies have demonstrated that providing appropriate books has made a tremendous difference to child literacy and development.
Tula has sourced ideal books for these schools. OSC is providing funding for the project and will be working with Tula to track the results. The project is also being generously supported by the publishers, printers and distributers.
With the publication of their latest Statistical Bulletin, the International Baccalaureate has shown how the Diploma Programme continues to grow. Here are some facts that might be of interest:
1. The number of students taking the IBDP continues to grow steadily. In May 2010, there were 104,999 students – compared with 79,934 in 2007.
2. The top three countries for IBDP students are the United States, Canada and the UK. After that, come the Netherlands, Mexico, India, Spain, China, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
3. Of these, the countries showing the greatest percentage growth over the last year have been the UK, China and Spain.
4. Beyond the top 10 countries, other areas showing significant growth are Colombia, Thailand, Ecuador, Greece, the Gulf States and Singapore.
5. Which are the subjects taken by most students? Those with over 10,000 candidates are English A1 HL, History HL, Mathematics SL, Mathematical Studies SL, Biology HL, Spanish B SL, Biology SL, Chemistry SL, Chemistry HL and Maths HL – in that order.
6. Looking at subjects with more than 1,000 candidates, the subject showing the greatest percentage growth since 2009 is Environmental Systems & Societies SL. Following behind are Economics HL, Spanish ab initio SL, French ab initio SL and ITGS HL.
Congratulations to Emmanuel College! - the main home to the OSC Mid-IB Summer Schools, has produced 5 winners at the University of Cambridge Culinary Competition 2010. OSC staff and former deans, students and teachers can all attest to the excellence of the catering at Emmanuel. Not only did they win five golds, but came away with the prestigious Steward’s Cup as the College ranked first amongst all the Cambridge Colleges. Special congratulations to their Catering Manager, Francois Reverchon, and his team.
When you are an OSC teacher and you arrive for the OSC IB Spring Revision courses in Oxford or maybe one of the Summer Schools in Oxford, Cambridge or Boston, you usually arrive at the college and your room and classroom is ready for you. Meals and even some evening entertainment are also arranged and whilst you are there to teach your subject, at the same time you have a stimulating few days or weeks working with interesting and usually hardworking students as well as interacting with an excellent group of fellow OSC teachers.
But have you ever stopped to think what goes on behind the scenes of OSC to make all this happen? Read more
I have just gone through a transition from an OSC teacher to an OSC employee and I have to tell you that it is amazing to see the amount of work and effort that goes into the planning for a course.
My first time working with OSC was Spring Revision in 2007. Since then I have taught in Cambridge in 2008 and Boston in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Now after 33 years of teaching IB mathematics in the USA, 27 of those years at the United World College in New Mexico, I have returned to work as an IB Schools Liaison Manager for OSC based in Oxford. One of my major roles is to visit IB schools world wide to deliver IBDP student workshops and promote OSC. However, I am also involved in some of the course planning and that is turning out to be a real eye opener.
Here is some insight into what goes on in getting ready to offer OSC courses in 2011. Of course the major item is the course planning and as I write this, the April 2011 Spring Revision Courses are at the top of the list. Online registration has now been open for a few weeks and already there are many students registered for the courses. The office courses team are daily receiving and answering many telephone calls and e-mail enquiries about the courses. One set of parents have even visited the office in Aristotle House to get more information.
The weekly planning meeting deals with college management (which courses are going to be taught in which college), teacher availability and new teacher and dean recruitment, marketing the courses, and even the issue of supplies needed for the courses. Of course in addition to Spring Revision there are the summer courses to plan and with online registration now open for the Pre and Mid-IB courses much work has already been done to be ready for July 2011.
So, the next time you arrive to teach at an OSC venue and find everything ready to go. Please remember all the work that has gone into the process of being ready.
Peter Hamer-Hodges, IB Schools Liaison
‘The OSC teachers really helped me to understand what the IB Diploma Programme expects of you. I also learned to be more specific, descriptive and open-minded.’ OSC Pre-IB student, 2010
OSC has run a very popular three week Pre-IB Course in Oxford and Boston for the past 20 years. We are doing the same again in 2011 but also adding a two week version for students who want the same academic course but in less time, and an intensive Maths only course for those who need to focus entirely on their maths before they start their IBDP. So our Pre-IB options are now -
1. OSC 3 week Pre-IB Summer School
2. OSC 2 week Pre-IB Intensive Summer School
3. OSC Pre-IB Intensive Mathematics Course
1. OSC 3 week Pre-IB Summer School - covering Maths, English, Group 3 subjects (humanities and social sciences), Group 4 subjects (science), and Theory of Knowledge. Students also attend a number of useful workshops on Time Management, CAS (an important element of the IB) and Global Issues, plus a fantastic Enrichment Programme taking advantage of the wonderful surroundings of Oxford or Boston. Homework is supervised and then students also take part in a full social programme each day plus weekend trips to London and local theme parks.
2. OSC 2 week Pre-IB Intensive Summer School - covering the same academic programme as the three week programme but without the Enrichment programme. Still with a great social programme. And cheaper than the 3 week version! This Course has been developed by OSC’s Academic Manager, Keith Allen, a very experienced IB teacher.
3. OSC Pre-IB Intensive Mathematics Course – 17.5 hours over 4 days (lunchtime day 1 to lunchtime day 4). Separate classes for HL, SL and Studies. This Course is being managed by OSC’s Mathematics expert, Peter Hamer Hodges, who has taught IB Mathematics for 33 years. This course is for those who want to develop their confidence and expertise in maths to give a strong foundation to the start of their IBDP - ideal for those moving to the IBDP from another academic system. The course includes a comprehensive programme covering the maths syllabus which concentrates on developing and refining techniques, ensuring students gain the knowledge to meet set criteria.
For further details and online booking, please visit our website.
OSC continues to provide logistical support for IBSCA teacher workshops. Those for 2011 include workshops for the new English A: Literature course, for the revised English B, French B, German B and Spanish B programmes, and for the new ab initio language courses. Workshops for several other subjects are also available.
IBSCA (the Association of IB World Schools in the UK) is authorized to run workshops within the AEM region. It is committed to providing workshops at a lower cost than other providers, but relies on administrative support from OSC in achieving this.
Recently, IBSCA has updated its website and information on the workshops is shared across two sites – one hosted by IBSCA, the other by OSC.
OSC’s IB Revision Guide series is growing and becoming even more popular with students and teachers. In response to demand, our series will soon include a new title - ‘Environmental Systems and Societies.’
The new title is written by an experienced IB teacher, Adrian Palmer. The guide covers the entire syllabus and includes many examples and questions for students to test their understanding with.
To pre-order this guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
OSC’s 2nd edition IB Geography Revision Guide will also be available within the next few weeks - the new edition has been revised for 2011 exams.
For further information on OSC’s IB Revision Guides, please visit our dedicated web pages.
This November, 26-28 November, OSC is supporting the International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundation (ISMTF) conference, at the International School of Aberdeen. The ISMTF is the leading independent professional organisation for mathematics teachers in international schools.
2010 marks the organisations’ 10th teachers conference with the theme being ‘An International View of Secondary Maths Education.’ The conference does not focus on any one maths curriculum but specific IB Diploma sessions will be offered and held by some of OSC’s experienced IB teachers. Other stimulating sessions from highly experienced mathematics educators will also be available.
Peter Hamer-Hodges, an IB maths teacher with over 30 years experience of IB Diploma teaching, examining and moderating will be attending the ISMTF on behalf of OSC. Peter has recently joined the OSC team as an IB Schools Liaison Manager. Peter has taught on our courses for many years and is now part of a team of other experienced IB teachers who visit IB schools around the world to deliver IB workshops to IBDP students.
For further information on ISMTF and registration, visit www.ismtf.org or email Tim Garry, email@example.com
Next spring, 9th-27th April 2011, OSC will be back in Oxford, UK holding the OSC IB Spring Revision Courses. Registration is now open, click here to sign up.
In 2011, we will be offering an even wider range of subjects to review as well as separate options classes for sciences and maths, all of which were a huge success in 2010. Each main IB subject is reviewed intensively for 2.5 days in small groups of 8-10. OSC’s teachers are all highly experienced IB teachers from top IB schools and are experts in the techniques of revision and review. The courses offer focused, uninterrupted revision time and the opportunity to meet hundreds of other IB students from around the world. Students will live and work in one of the four University Colleges that we use for these events. For a full list of subjects and further details on the courses, please visit the Spring pages of our website.
“I took a Maths SL course with an absolutely amazing teacher who made me jump from a 5 to a 7 in that short time period, thank you OSC.” 2010 OSC IB Spring Revision Course student. To read and listen to more student testimonials, click here.
If you have any questions or want some advice from our IB Teachers on how an OSC IB Spring Revision Course can help you, please do not hesitate to contact our Oxford team by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0) 1865 512802.
Chergai Castanza, 16, attended the OSC Pre-IB Summer School in Boston this summer. Chergai is from the US but currently lives in Beijing, China. Whilst attending the OSC Pre-IB Summer School, Chergai wanted to help the local people, so searched for a charity that she thought could benefit from the help of OSC’s students.
The OSC team thought Chergai’s idea and generosity was admirable and thoughtful and wanted to share it with others, read her commentary below. With over 2000 students taking our courses throughout the year, Chergai is just one of the exemplary students who attended an OSC course this year.
For the past two weeks I have been attending the OSC Pre-IB Summer School in Boston, US, surrounded by diverse bodies of all sorts and staying in one of the most beautiful cities in the US. It has been an amazing experience. As we have received so much in Boston, I thought that we should give back to the people too. We all shop, eat and go to the movies and this requires money. We give big notes and we get all this heavy, heavy, heavy change that nobody wants to keep.
I felt that by collecting everyone's spare change we could help the Boston area. Originally I was going to donate and buy teddy bears for Mt. Auburn Hospital, but that didn't work out. I got a suggestion from Anita, the wonderful Course Director, to look elsewhere. I searched online for a local Boston organisation and found the Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund (http://www.jimmyfund.org/) seemed amazingly impressive and unique to the Boston area. I felt a click with the organisation and I wanted to help the children. The Jimmy Fund seems to be so much about the children; I feel like it is the 'real deal’ and that we will all do a good deed.
With the help of my friend, Anitta Aminoff, we collected loose change and organised a bake sale of our home made cakes which was a great success. Together as an OSC Pre-IB Class, we raised over $200, we have done something in return and have had a great time doing it!
OSC staff spent some time in Miami this summer at the IB Americas conference. OSC had a stand where participants from schools all over the Americas, and indeed many from other parts of the world showed much interest in both OSC IB courses and Revision Guides.
In addition, OSC staff was able to attend a few of the workshops and talks on offer. One of the most fascinating talks was Jay Mathews’ “America’s Worst Schools are High Schools. Can the IB save them?” Jay discussed four specific requirements for a successful programme which resonated with OSC: High Expectations, Dedication, Teaching to the Test and Team Spirit.
Jay has worked for The Washington Post for 39 years and right now has one of the best known educational blogs in the US - http://voices.washingtonpost.com/class-struggle/. He is also author of Supertest, How the International Baccalaureate can Strengthen our Schools and Escalante; the Best Teacher in America. This book tells the story of a Bolivian Calculus teacher who insisted that his mostly Latino students at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles take AP calculus. They achieved wonderful scores, consequently College Board decided that the students who took the test had cheated and a big investigation ensued. The book was later made into the film Stand and Deliver, with Edward James Olmos as the protagonist.
Using Jaime Escalante’s class as an example, Jay found that there are four specific requirements for a successful programme. The first was to have high expectations for students. Most students who take OSC courses are there because they want to improve, so they have high expectations both for the courses and for themselves – OSC want to fulfil these expectations. Number two was to dedicate the necessary time to ensuring that students do well. When pupils come on our courses, they are allocating extra holiday time to their studies. The third point Jay felt was vital was teaching to the test. There is nothing wrong with this, he says. OSC teachers – particularly on the Spring Revision Courses – want to ensure that participants on the courses get good results, so among other things, they teach students exam techniques that can give them that extra edge when it comes to achieving those higher grades in their exams And finally, Mathews says that it is very important to create a team spirit to achieve success. OSC have a fantastic team of IB professionals, experienced teachers and enthusiastic team members who ensure IB students receive a quality offering and learn from their experiences. You can also take a look at OSC’s Facebook page, it will show you that we do have some “OSC junkies” who stimulate that team spirit.
So it is quite clear that OSC courses fulfil these four requirements!
OSC’s new options classes for the IB Spring Revision Courses were a great success. We ran 16 half day science option classes. Each class revised just one option (HL or SL) and all the most popular science options were offered. During the main 2.5 day courses there is not always time to cover the options since the students in the class will be doing a range of the possible options. These short courses offered students the opportunity to revise one of their options in greater depth. The students really appreciated the opportunity. We will extend this programme for 2011 to other subjects and increase the number of options covered.
For the third year running we offered History as a modular revision course. History is all options. We had three or four history teachers offering different topics at the same time so that students could choose a selection of topics that suited their individual programme and needs. Once again this was a great success and enabled us to help students revise in History where a traditional revision course cannot.
Take a look at what the students, teachers and course staff said on our new video section on our homepage.
OSC is proud of its’ tried and tested Pre-IB Programme which has helped hundreds of IB students make a strong start in the IBDP.
Now, new for 2010, OSC is enhancing its Afternoon Programme for Pre-IB students. The ‘Afternoon Enrichment Programme’ (AEP) will give students the opportunity to explore their own interests and creativity through a wide range of cultural and IB focused academic activities and workshops. The AEP will include:
· Visits to some of the fascinating Museums and Art Galleries of Oxford and Boston
· Creative workshops in Drama, Art and Music
· Weird and wonderful Science and Math workshops
· Sports coaching
· Brain Training for the IB (!)
· And many more...
The AEP is included in the price of the OSC Pre-IB programme. It will be led by OSC teachers and staff for two afternoons each week, leaving the remaining three afternoons free for afternoon classes and social activities.
OSC is proud to announce a new service we are offering to prospective parents – the OSC Parent Referee Scheme. We’re confident that our courses are invaluable to your son or daughter and our team is always on hand to answer any of your questions. But if you don’t believe us, ask our Parent Referees!
OSC Parent Referees are parents of OSC alumni – students who have attended one or more courses in the past. The scheme puts you in direct contact with the Referee, giving you an excellent opportunity to find out first hand about the benefits and experiences of attending an OSC course. You can also find out about the practical details of the courses.
The process is quick and easy – we provide you with the contact details of the Parent Referee and they usually respond to your request within 24 hours. The exchange is completely confidential and independent of OSC. Where possible, we can match you with a Referee in relation to your nationality, language and IB school.
The Scheme was set up earlier this year and so far we have received a fantastic response. If you are interested in contacting one of our Parent Referees today, please email email@example.com or phone us on +44 (0) 1865 512802.
There are still a few places left on the June workshops (25th-27th June) in Oxford, UK. Please contact OSC by telephone +44 (0) 1865 512802, email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up here online.
For 2010-11 OSC will continue to provide logistical support for IBSCA – the IB Schools and Colleges Association for the UK and Ireland. IBSCA is one of several organisations authorised to run workshops in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. After IBSCA negotiates workshop topics and dates with IBAEM and hires workshop leaders, OSC assists with workshop marketing, registers participants, prints the workbooks and handles the accounts.
Workshops for 2010-11
IBSCA has authorisation to run IB Diploma Programme workshops in three venues for 2010-11:
· University of Warwick, UK – 6 workshops in September and 4 in November 2010
· Almaty, Kazakhstan – 4 workshops in March 2011
· University of Oxford, UK – 25 workshops in April 2011
An outline of these workshops is provided on the OSC website. Further details will be available shortly on both the new IBSCA website and the section of the OSC site devoted to professional development.
2009-2010 workshops update
The IBSCA Teacher Workshops for 2009-2010 have proved very popular. Approximately 320 teachers – mostly from schools within Africa, Europe and the Middle East – will have attended the 31 workshops by the time the last batch in June is finished. Without the professional support of the OSC office, this would not have been possible.
This spring, we added Spanish B HL/SL to our popular series of IB Revision Guides. The new guide focuses on every aspect of the Spanish B programme with particular reference to Paper 1 (Text Handling), Paper 2 (Written Production) and Internal Assessment.
The guide includes plenty of tests, exercises and examples to practice with. You can view sample pages and listen to some sample orals by clicking here.
Price: £18.50 ISBN: 978-1-907374-04-3
OSC has also developed a new ‘Foundation Series’ which offers invaluable pre-course preparation to students who are about to start the IB Diploma. Written by experienced IB teachers who teach on OSC’s Pre-IB Summer Schools, the series ensures that students get the best possible start.
The first guide in the series, OSC Pre-IB Mathematics, has been published and is now available to buy. To find out more, click here.
Price: £14.50 ISBN: 978-1-904534-98-3
OSC Revision Guides are used by students and schools around the world, to order your copies, click here.
Not sure if OSC is right for your child? Talk to a parent of an OSC alumni today!
OSC is delighted to announce our new Parent Referee Scheme. Our team are always very happy to hear from prospective students and their parents. Now it is also possible to speak to parents of students who have attended our courses in previous years.
This exciting opportunity means you can learn the benefits of attending an OSC course first hand and what past students have achieved after our courses.
The scheme links you with a Parent Referee by email and we can arrange aphone call if required. This interaction is entirely confidential and independent of OSC.
If you would like to have a chat with a Parent Referee, please contact our team at email@example.com or on +44 (0) 1865 512802.
The OSC Team
We are pleased to announce OSC’s IB Revision Guides now have an exciting new look and will be in circulation over the next month. All covers have been given a fresh design and follow a textured theme. To find out what texture has been used on your Revision Guide, look inside the front cover!
Our series has expanded further; we now have a brand new title - Mathematics Section B: Analysis and Practice of the Long Answer Questions SL. The guide focuses on the techniques that are required to answer the long answer questions, includes many examples and is an essential companion to the Math SL core guide. It is an invaluable resource for those who are not confident answering the extended response questions, or those who have not had extensive practice.
You can view sample pages and order your copy online.
Oxford Study Courses (OSC) was founded in 1990 by Eileen Polgreen, an IB teacher, who identified the need of revision support for IB students, and carefull designed high quality Spring Revision, Pre-IB and Mid-IB courses. Eileen and some of the pioneer OSC teachers started writing and producing IB Revision Guides and OSC now publish over 50 titles which are popular worldwide. OSC has expanded and evolved but still retains its emphasis on high quality and student care. This April, OSC will be celebrating its 20th year with an afternoon of Teacher Subject Discussions, followed by a wonderful party at St Anne’s College during our Spring Revision Courses. We will be joined by many friends from over the years and others in the IB world who would like to take part in this wonderful IB get together. If you haven’t received an invitation and would like to come, please get in touch by e-mailing us firstname.lastname@example.org
OSC offers guidance and support to IB students throughout their IB Diploma journey. Last year, OSC provided over 4000 courses in 3 countries: the UK, US and Australia, helping more than 2000 students from 378 IB schools based in 75 different countries to achieve their best possible grades. In 2010, OSC will increase its support to the IB through new course locations, the continuation of professional development workshops for teachers, the publication of new titles in the OSC IB Revision Guide series, and the development of its scholarship programme for students and teachers from UK IB State Schools and Colleges. The OSC community will continue to grow as we expand our teacher network with more experienced IB teachers and examiners who are all experts in revision and review and ready to share their knowledge with new and returning IB students.
Since 2007, OSC’s profits benefit the McCall MacBain Foundation, funding socially beneficial activities in the areas of health, education and the environment – something all at OSC are very proud of. To find out more, visit mccallmacbain.org
Dealing with Options
In many IB Diploma subjects, schools are able to select from a number of options. Assessment of students’ understanding of these options then plays a significant part in the final exams for many subjects. OSC is able to support students in preparing for these for three reasons:
· the quantity of students attending
· the quality of OSC teachers
· our years of experience
The quantity of students
Smaller revision courses provide much less flexibility in addressing individual students’ needs. With over 2,000 students attending OSC courses, we are able to adapt groups according to student needs, provide better coverage of options and, in many cases, have several groups running in parallel.
The quality of OSC teachers
One of OSC’s great strengths is the experience and expertise of its teachers. They have decades of experience of teaching IB students and of helping them to prepare for the exams. Over those decades, the teachers gain experience of most – if not all – options. In addition, many of the teachers are IB examiners. This gives them much greater insight into the options.
The years of experience
After 20 years of running IB Revision Courses, OSC has developed successful strategies for supporting the options systems within the IB Diploma. Students complete questionnaires in February so that teachers can plan how to support them. In some subjects, this allows time to be allocated to options within the standard 2.5-day revision course. For others (e.g. Geography), the teachers combine to give students time on each of their options. For History, OSC has developed a sophisticated system allowing students to move between classes to cover their options. For Mathematics HL, we offer separate Options classes in Course 3, and now we have added special Options classes for Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the space between courses 3 and 4.
OSC supports IB Professional Development
OSC has supported Professional Development in a number of ways over the years. The exchange of ideas between teachers over coffee or drinks during the courses is always valuable. OSC’s production of Revision Guides has provided support for teachers as well as for students. Equally importantly are the numerous visits that OSC staff make to IB schools and their presence at IB Conferences.
Most recently, however, OSC has organised a few of its own courses – notably for College Counsellors – and supported IBSCA’s authorised IB teacher workshops. IBSCA can run workshops at a lower price than other providers and this is vitally important with the financial constraints facing schools. Just as importantly, the “buzz” of being around dozens of other IB teachers and thousands of IB students will provide a unique atmosphere.
Workshops for the remainder of this academic year are:
· April 2-4 at Pembroke College, University of Oxford – Workshops for teachers new to teaching Biology, Computer Science, Language ab initio, Mathematics SL and Theory of Knowledge as well as staff new to CAS.
· April 5-7 at Somerville College, University of Oxford – A workshop for teachers of Mandarin ab initio.
· April 7-9 at Oriel College, University of Oxford – Workshops for teachers new to teaching Chemistry, Film, French B, History and Mathematics HL as well as experienced IB teachers for Maths Studies and Physics.
· April 9-11 at Oriel College, University of Oxford – Workshops for teachers new to IB Business & Management, German B, Maths Studies, Physics, Spanish ab initio and Visual Arts and for those experienced in Chemistry, Environmental Systems & Societies and Mathematics SL.
· June 25-27 at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford – Workshops for teachers new to IB Chemistry, Design Technology, English B, History, Maths SL, Maths Studies and Spanish B.
· July 26-30 in Oxford – Workshops for teachers new to IB English A1 and Visual Arts and for those experienced in CAS, History and Theory of Knowledge.
Details on all of these are available on the website.
OSC will continue to work closely with IBSCA on the provision of authorised IB Teacher Workshops during 2010-11. As part of the planning process, OSC conducted a survey of UK-based IB schools to understand more about their needs. Many thanks to the schools that responded to the survey. The results were very useful.
A brand new OSC IB Revision Guide has been added to the series and is available to buy now. The new guide costs £12.95 and focuses on the techniques that are required to answer the long answer questions. To find out more, please click here or to buy online click here.
We are pleased to announce that the new OSC IB History Paper 1 Revision Guides are available now. After much anticipation, we now offer three titles for Route 2 of History Paper 1:
- Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and International Relations 1918-36 Hl/SL
- The Arab Israeli Conflict 1945-79 HL/SL
- Communism in Crisis 1976-89 HL/SL
HALF PRICE History Paper 1: DBQ - Valid for 2009 exams only - ideal for November exams or November re-takes. Buy now
The new History Paper 1 titles will be available in the next two weeks.
Route 2- Peacemaking, Peacekeeping and International Relations - ISBN: 978-1-907374-00-5
Route 2 -Communism in Crisis - ISBN: 978-1-907374-02-9
Route 2- The Arab Israeli Conflict - ISBN: 978-1-907374-01-2
Ian Lucas is the author of seven of our popular OSC IB Mathematics Study Guides and teaches on our successful Spring Revision Courses and Summer Schools. Revision and Review will soon be at the forefront of students minds, so we asked him for his advice on this important subject, take a look at his helpful answers!
How does a student make best use of the OSC IB Mathematics Study Guides?
All the Maths guides were designed specifically to be used as preparation for the exams, to help students prepare for end of year, or for mock exams. Once students begin revisiting material from earlier in the course, the guides come into their own. Each guide covers the syllabus – and only the syllabus – by showing the detail of what students need to know. Students need to make best use of the tips included to help them remember methods and formulae, and exam style questions. Students should work through the worked examples provided to show how they should be thinking in the exam, as well as try the many self-test questions to test their understanding.
What is your advice to students on how to revise for their Mathematics exams?
Maths revision should definitely not be just reading. In a Maths exam, all you will be asked to do is answer Maths questions (you don’t get questions such as: “Write down what you know about the sine rule”). So you need to:
Author Tip: There might be some areas which are just too hard for you – you might have to accept that you’re not going to do well in those questions, and hence don’t waste too much revision time on those areas.
- Write notes on the book; note down how to do particular questions.
- Scribble reminders about things to ask your teacher or to look up somewhere.
- Practice as many questions as you can, particularly in those areas which you find hard (it’s easy to revise the topics you can do!).
- Get help from the OSC Study Guides, your teacher or a friend if you can’t answer a question – write down what you find out.
- Find out where you went wrong - if you end up with the wrong answer, persuade your brain not to do the same thing next time.
Bit by bit, your knowledge of the topics will increase, as will confidence in your abilities.
For further information on the OSC Study Guide series or to place an order for the IB Mathematics Study Guides or any other subject, please visit osc-ib.com or e-mail email@example.com.
During July, OSC courses in Oxford and Cambridge were visited by a senior teacher from Green Hills Academy in Kigali. His presence added an African perspective to ToK and English classes as well as during activities. The teacher (Ronald Ludeki) benefitted in addition from his contact with dozens of highly-experienced IB Diploma teachers. He returned to Rwanda full of ideas.
Sadly, shortly after returning to Rwanda, his family and home came under threat from criminals in Nairobi. This resulted in him having to return to Kenya. It also created a major challenge for his school – with students aiming for the November exams, the school was missing one of its most experienced teachers.
At OSC, we heard about this situation with great anxiety. We had invited Ronald to spend most of his holiday in the UK in the hope of helping an excellent school operating on a very tight budget. How could we help the school to fill the gap?
Immediately, we contacted one of our most experienced English teachers – hoping that he might have the time to spend 10 weeks in Rwanda. At the same time, we sent an email to the 1500+ schools on our database – asking if they knew of any recently-retired, experienced teachers who might respond to the challenge.
The response was awe-inspiring. Two of OSC’s teachers offered to go for two weeks (the maximum that they could take from their schools); several others offered suggestions for us to follow up. In the end, the vacancy was filled by a retired IBDP teacher from the States.
The way that schools and individuals responded to this situation was extremely heartening. It reflects the IB Learner Profile – showing “empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs … of others” and a “commitment to service … to make a positive difference to the lives of others” as well as approaching “unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought” and having “the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies.”
Two decades ago, the Head of a UK school that had decided to adopt the IBDP – against the main trend of thinking at that time – was overwhelmed by the fervour of the support she was offered by existing IB schools. “It’s like joining the mafia”, she said, “a big family that supports each other”. The mafia might not be the best analogy, but the example above is a great reflection of the mutual support systems that operate within the IB family.
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance". The truth of the maxim is obvious as we struggle to come to grips with ever-increasing global challenges. Unfortunately it is also true that high-quality education programmes - such as the IB Diploma - are particularly expensive.
A cursory examination of the statistics on IB schools reveals that, although access is being widened through the 10-15% annual growth in schools adopting the IB, opportunities within sub-Saharan Africa are limited. Just as importantly, while much of the growth is within the state-funded sector - more than 50% of schools worldwide and nearly two-thirds in the UK being state-funded, for example - only one IB school in Africa is state-supported.
A recent article by Professor Timothy Garton Ash refers to the need for "ethical sustainability, in the face of global poverty". The IB mission statement refers to creating a better world through education. If we believe in the power of education, we, in the minority rich world, need to strive for better understanding of the lives of the majority and grasp opportunities to help that majority.
The McCall MacBain Foundation "exists to improve the welfare of humanity through focused grants in areas of health, education and the environment". Its work includes a strong focus on Liberia. As their website explains, Liberia was selected as grants there promise demonstrable impacts. OSC is delighted to be able to support those outcomes.
OSC itself strives to provide support for as many students - and schools - as possible with their IB programmes. When the Foundation offered financial support to assist the IB in Africa, we grasped this readily. Our initial plans - as described in the Newsletter - represent a first step. They utilise our existing products - courses and Revision Guides. In allocating the funds, our aim was to spread that support across different schools and to try to provide OSC students from schools outside Africa with opportunities to learn more about the continent. The motto from the SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College reads Knowledge in the Service of Africa. The more we understand about the lives of others, the greater the chance that the world will become a better place.
Liberia, like many African countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, has very high maternal mortality, estimated at 994 per 100,000 live births. Many maternal deaths are preventable if access to skilled health workers is made possible.
14 years of civil war has severely diminished the supply of quality staff in the health sector in Liberia. Although most women have one or more antenatal visits, only 11% of deliveries occur in health facilities staffed by qualified health practitioners.
The Government of Liberia has a target of reducing maternal mortality. To aid it in responding to the challenges related to this, the McCall MacBain Foundation is funding the NGO Merlin to restart the training of certified midwives in the rural areas of the South-East of Liberia. Forty students started training in January 2009.
In addition to the training programme, the Foundation has been able to commit to the reconstruction of a new campus for these students (including dormitories for students from remote areas) thanks to funds provided by Oxford Study Courses. The construction project is developing at the moment: final architects' drawings will be submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval in the next few weeks. More information will follow.
With funding provided by the McCall MacBain Foundation, five students have been given scholarships to attend the OSC Mid-IB course in Cambridge, UK during July.
All five are studying at the excellent SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College in Ghana. Along with many of the students at SOS-HGIC, they progressed to the college from SOS Children's Villages, which cater for orphans across Africa. There were many worthy applicants for the scholarships, but those selected come from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Each of the students has shown amazing determination and perseverance in their educational achievements, and harbours great ambitions for the future. Typically, these ambitions involve gaining access to high-quality universities in Europe or North America before returning to their home country to participate in its development.
OSC is delighted in being able to assist these students. We hope that we can boost their chances of gaining access to the top universities. At the same time, we hope that their presence on the Mid-IB course will give the other students an opportunity to learn more about the challenges and opportunities facing Africa.
Our third goal is that these students will be able to return to Ghana for the second year of their IB Diploma course with ideas and experiences that they can share with other students in the college.
OSC's first "teacher visitor" will be Ronald Giini Ludecki. Ronald hails from Kenya, but works at Green Hills Academy in Kigali, Rwanda. Given the tragic recent history of Rwanda, the school has major challenges to address.
Ronald teaches ToK and English at the school, where he is also Vice Principal. During July 2009, he will spend one week with the OSC Pre-IB course in Oxford before moving to Cambridge for the Mid-IB course.
In Oxford, his focus with be Theory of Knowledge, but he will also contribute to the students' experience by raising awareness of Africa. In Cambridge, he will work most closely with students taking the English A1 and English A2 courses. In addition, he will link up with the African scholarship students in facilitating greater understanding of Africa amongst all students.
Thank you to the 1082 students who attended and good luck with your revision! Also a big thank to everyone involved in our Teachers Workshop for College Counsellors. We were delighted with the feedback we received.
Our School Visits team of Rosanna Montalbano and David Russell have been to over 150 International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the UK, Europe and the Middle East since September.
OSC has developed two presentations to help IB students tackle their workload - one on "Time Management" for IB1 students and the other for IB2 students on "Effective Revision and Review". In addition to delivering these presentations, Rosanna and David also answer questions about our IB vacation courses and display copies of our highly successful IB Revision Guides.
A couple of comments from IB Coordinators at schools we have visited:
"Thank you for coming in and making such an excellent presentation for our Y13 students"
"Thank you for coming over to talk to our students: they got a lot out of it and I thought your presentation was very effective."
If you would like OSC to visit your school, please contact Joanna England in our Marketing Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.