IB Core Weekend 2023

The Lower Sixth IB Core Weekend takes place on the first weekend of the Michaelmas Term each year. This year, more than seventy sixth-form students boarded a coach to Desaru, to take part in some activities, get to know each other, and receive an introduction to the IB programme, particularly its three core components: CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service), ToK (Theory of Knowledge), and the Extended Essay.


The integration of these elements is pivotal in achieving an IB Pass and fostering a diverse set of life skills that contribute to the distinctiveness of the IB programme. A standout feature of the IB core weekend is the opportunity it provides for students to utilise completed activities, such as mangrove planting and raft building, as tangible evidence of their CAS endeavours thereby initiating the construction of their portfolio.


Upon everyone’s arrival at Desaru, the students engaged in icebreakers and were divided into groups. This informal setting allowed them to begin fostering team unity and a sense of togetherness right from the start. The group then had a lecture on mangroves and the importance they play in the local community and environment. 


After a break and some lunch, the introduction to ToK and CAS began, illustrating how these components constitute core elements of the curriculum. Throughout the weekend, students had the chance to discover activities that could serve as examples for their portfolios. Following an exhilarating balloon race on the beach and some team-building games in the sun, appetites were whetted for supper,  provided on-site. The day concluded with a spirited karaoke battle between students, with some staff picking up the microphone to join,  ensuring the day ended on an impressive high! 


Joined by the Master, Mr Burbury, Saturday was an early start for students and staff alike with jungle trekking, mangrove planting, and boat rides all before lunch and then a rather more relaxed afternoon for pupils writing up their CAS portfolio, relaxing and enjoying the stunning Desaru scenery.  


The final team-building exercise of the weekend was raft building. Driven by the scenario of being shipwrecked and the need to be rescued, each raft had to accommodate at least two individuals, yet each inflatable was designed for a single person. Swiftly, the students recognised the imperative of teamwork for any chance of success. Each group approached the challenge with a unique strategy, coupled with varying interpretations of a functional raft. Regardless, all participants were declared safe in the game, completing the task well ahead of the allocated time.


The pupils were incredibly grateful for the superb support from the staff who kindly ran the weekend trip. A heartfelt thanks to Mr. Clements, Dr. Tomlinson,  Mr. Avle, Mrs. Inskip, Mrs. Patten, and Miss Sempere.

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