Friday, 23 February 2018

I have completed an experience - what should I do?

Quite a few of you have completed experiences.  Once that is done it is imperative that you follow the following procedure:

  • Make sure you have evidence of participation
  • Make sure you have evidence of or reflection about meeting each of the learning outcomes you have chosen
  • Make sure you have some reflection
  • Check you have the correct start and finish dates
  • Fill in the CAS questions showing how you have met EACH learning outcome
  • Check you have the right supervisor email
  • Request a supervisor review - if the supervisor doesn't fill it in speak to them and explain what you need.
After you get the review you will then have a green tick next to the experience and it will lock.  That means that you will not be able to alter it any more.  That is why it is important to do it in the correct order!

Some of you finished experiences in December and still have not completed the process.  If you wait too long, you might find that your supervisor is not able to remember you!  You might find it hard to gather evidence afterwards.  
If you do not get a green tick within within 3 months of completion - I am going to start deleting them!!!!!!!!!!!

Fund raising activities

If you are raising money - not matter what it is for - you must make sure that it is clear on posters, information and when you are selling goods where the money will go.  All fund raising should be approved by me first.  Any money collected must be accounted for and there must be evidence of what happens to the money.   We have facilities to keep money here in the school.  You must keep accurate records of all money collected and where it is.


An organisation that works with Ghana is looking for someone (or several people) to help translate their web page from Swedish to English.  You can see their web page here.  If you are interested, let me know and I will pass on your details.

Dutch Speaking Students
Are you interested in helping out at the Dutch Easter Celebrations?  Click here for all the details in Dutch about who to contact etc.

Plan InternationalSweden
A great opportunity for someone who would like to apply for the chance to be on the youth board of PLAN Sweden.  PLAN is an international organisation and this would be a fantastic chance to get some international experience at a high level. Details are on the pink notice board - in English and Swedish.  I have spoken to the contact person and he said that you do not need to speak Swedish to apply - and that speaking English is an advantage.  You are supposed to be aged between 13 and 16 but if you are 17, and are very interested it is OK to apply.  Details are on the website: PLAN International Sweden (in Swedish).  I have translated the information here.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Projects, campaigns, demonstrations

We have seen a lot of CAS related action over the last weeks with the MUN conference, fund raising for student council on Valentine's day, Cancer Foundation fund raising, Amnesty Campaigning against Child labour, Gender Equality Association selling T-shirts, amongst other things.

There are a few places where you can join local groups to show your feelings about issues coming up.

Don't send Afghans back - Sun 18th Feb 12.30

A protest has been organised in many parts of Europe. If you want to join this demonstration, head to Sergels Torg on Saturday. It is organised by ECAD - European Citizens against Deportation.

International Women's Day - Thurs 8th March

There are groups in Stockholm asking for volunteers to help out at events on this day.  See here on (In Swedish).

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Keeping Active with CAS

Make sure that you are keeping up-to-date with your CAS.  Quite a few portfolios have started to stand still with no changes for a while.  Evidence is something you should try to add on a regular basis.  If you have finished an experience, you must make sure you have all the evidence, reflection and then do the the CAS questions.  Finally request a supervisor review. 

On googleclassroom there is a checklist that you must fill in and submit.  So far it has been submitted by 6 students. Make sure you do this before the 26th of February.  It is a good way to see if you are on track.

CAS opportunities

Swedish speaking volunteers.  There are several opportunities on
You can put in your area and find something close to home or in the city working with refugees.  There are 'språk' cafés and other similar jobs.

Here in school, I have had a request from a grade 9 student who needs help with getting up to speed in Swedish. The student is Swedish but has been out of Sweden a while and needs some extra support.  Let me know if you are interested.

Red Cross - volunteers wanted for the shop at Hornstull.  The ad is in Swedish but they take people who don't speak Swedish.  Ask me if you need help or apply here.

Well done!

Great work last week by all the students organising the MUN and the QQ students who managed the media coverage.  

Friday, 26 January 2018

Finishing Experiences

A lot of you have come a long way with your CAS portfolios and even have experiences that are finished with.  Here are some instructions about what to do when you complete an experience.  If you do not follow these within a month of completion, you will risk having the experience deleted.  Don't let all the work go to waste.

  1. Check that you have enough evidence to show that you have participated in the experience
  2. Check that you have reflected about the experience - possibly in the beginning, middle and end, depending on how the duration of the experience.
  3. Make sure that your reflections and evidence clearly show how you met EACH of the learning outcomes that you chose.
  4. Fill in the CAS questions to show how you met the learning outcomes.
  5. Request a supervisor review.
  6. If you do not have a supervisor or the supervisor cannot respond on Managebac, speak to me about how to upload this part of the experience.
Once your have a review, your experience will be marked with at big green tick like the one to the right here.  Your worksheet for that experience will then lock and you will not be able to make and additions or changes.  

Falling behind with CAS

A few people are falling behind with CAS.  You should have all started and be well on the way to completing the CAS project.  You do not want to have to do your CAS project in IB2.  Some of you have started but are behind with documentation.  I have asked people to come to an extra session on Weds next week to get some help in getting up-to-date.  If you want some help but were not asked to join you are welcome to come along.  We will be in C9 periods 3 and 4.


Next week if SIS MUN and a lot of you are involved in the organisation as well as participating in it.  Make sure you collect evidence of what you do.  Photos, documents you work on, recordings, films.  You are welcome to write an article about what you experience for the newspaper.  The QQ will be featuring articles for the whole week.  All contributions are welcome and can be used for creativity.  

I look forward to seeing and hearing you all at the conference next week.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Term 2 - Projects time!

It is great to see that so many of you have green flags now.  Red flags have been given to people who do not have a project or have an idea but have no evidence of having started the project.  It is essential that you all get your projects finished before the end of this term.  Preferably, by spring break. 

Project documentation

A note on documentation for the project.  You must have the CAS stages document - you will find it here.  Take a copy and fill it in.  The instructions for how to upload it were in the blog post on 17th November.  Please make sure that I can comment on these - do not make then view only!  Do not upload a Pdf.

Stage 2: Preparation

You will see the following question:
What roles and responsibilities will you or others take? 
It is important that you mention the other people you are working with.  You cannot just write - we will all do everything!  Sometimes, I cannot tell who the other people on the project are.  You must make roles and responsibilities with every group member's name appearing.  It is a requirement that the project is collaborative. Even if you are running the group - you must delegate roles to others and say who they are.  If you do not do this, you will not have a project that qualifies and in the end you will not complete CAS.

Creative Opportunity

Stockholm Junior film festival 
You can submit films for the junior film festival.  Submissions due by April 1st.  Your film needs to be between 1 and 3 minutes long and you need to be between 15 and 19 years old.  There are also categories for younger children.  We have had students enter before, so why not give it a go.
Read about it in English here or Swedish here.  You can enter individually or as part of a group. There are film making workshops during the sports break.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

What have you done this term?

Grade 11students are off to a great start.  This week I just want to remind you to check your portfolio over the break - remember a little bit every week means less work in the long run.

That looks a bit like a rabbit rather than a hare, but I hope you get the point.                                                                                     ⇢

Some of the CAS experiences you have participated in:

  • Teaching Swedish - to refugees and other students at the school
  • Playing football - school team, local teams, with refugees
  • Nepal group - web page, social media trip planning
  • GEA - establishment of the Gender Equality Association
  • Amnesty International group - campaign to protest the treatment of activists in Turkey - now run by grade 11 students
  • Rhino group attended National Day against Rhino poaching 
  • Student Council - grade 11 now in charge
  • On-line research - cyclone watch/Species identification in the Amazon Rainforest and Serengeti National Reserve
  • Dance to Health project teaching primary students to dance and raising money for the cancer foundation
  • Music groups
  • Individuals playing and composing music and singing
  • Sports - running, going to the gym, yoga, pilates, skating, cheer leading, water polo
  • Blogs/websites/instagrams about football/food/restaurant reviews/etc.
  • Arts and crafts from knitting to lino prints to sketching and photography
  • Badminton lessons ending in a tournament
  • Volunteer work at Red Cross, Stockholm Film Festival, Hemlö (giving out food to homeless people in the mornings), Korean and Japanese schools on the weekends
  • Year book pages
  • Student newspaper - now run by year 11 students
  • Recycling plastic bottles
  • Volunteering at a cat home
  • Music performances at a hospital

This list is by no means exhaustive.  It is just a sample of the great experiences that our students are getting as part of the IB Diploma Programme.  

Enjoy your winter break.

Still looking for new ideas.  Bored during the break.  Try some of these online service - research projects:

Satellites Over Seals (SOS) 

Identify seals in satellite pictures to help scientists
Scientists are asking the public’s help in searching satellite images of Antarctica. This is the first-ever, comprehensive count of Weddell seals. Documenting how the seals’ population numbers change over time will help researchers better understand how climate change and commercial fishing in the Antarctic impact these iconic species.

Study Adélie Penguin breeding 

Count & tally individual penguins in photographs from study site

Part of our research is monitoring the number of penguins that breed at Cape Royds every year. Knowing the numbers helps us understand what is happening to penguin populations as changes in their habit occur. Just outside the colony is a camera that takes a picture everyday of the penguins. This allows us to see the changes in numbers as the season progresses and compare year to year. We need help counting the penguins as the daily photos are not saved. If you would like to help us with this project read on!

 You will need:

  • Access to the internet everyday Nov to Feb.
  • The Penguin Count Data Sheet 
  • Graph paper (optional)

Help scientists analyze brain blood flow movies - are blood vessels flowing or stalled?

One symptom of Alzheimer’s that has been known since the discovery of the disease is reduced blood flow to the brain, but until now, nobody knew why. That is why this aspect of the disease, which likely contributes to cognitive problems and accelerates injury to brain cells, has remained untreated.
New specialized imaging techniques have allowed Cornell University researchers to discover a potential cause of the reduced blood flow. This suggests new treatment approaches that could slow progression of the disease to delay, or even prevent, the onset of symptoms, and possibly restore some cognitive function when symptoms are present.

However, understanding the molecular basis of the process, and homing in on the specific pharmaceutical targets using current methods could take decades, limited primarily by the need for extensive manual image analysis. Crowdsourcing this analysis to citizen scientists could reduce that time to just a few years.

Last week's blog prize was never claimed.  In order to win this week's prize you need to write down all the animals that appear on this week's post and give the paper to me personally.  The competition is open until the 9th January at 5 pm.  

Friday, 8 December 2017

Still standing.... Exams are over - take time to reflect!

In the last few weeks you have had a lot of exams, assignments to hand in and most of all a lot of stress.  What is good about all that?  Well for one thing it is now over - for the moment.  It is easy to lose sight of the small things in the midst of all the extra pressures.  CAS is one of the things that often gets pushed to the back of the mind when there are pressing deadlines. 

Take some time, now that it is a bit calmer, to get on top of what needs to be done to keep your portfolio in the green.  Take a look below at some of the inspirational reflections people have done.  

If you spend 10 - 15 minutes a week up-dating your CAS portfolio it will not become a burden or a big task.  

Keep standing!

Some inspirational CAS reflections

Dance for Health - organising dance classes in the primary school

Another challenge we faced, that really tested our collaborative skills was on the day of the college fair the auditorium where we usually hold our dance classes was occupied. We had to find a place big enough to hold 18 kids and have enough room to dance and to teach. We went around different classrooms asking if it would be ok to hold the lesson, we got denied quite a few times, however we came to an agreement with one of the art teachers that if we put the tables exactly back to the correct placements, we could use the room. We then had to all split up and search for the kids, making sure they all knew about the location change. I have to say it was quite hectic working in a smaller space and also the new distractions of the location, but we made it work and got through more the choreography.

Horse Riding - Competition review

 I went into the ring with a good feeling, my horse felt ready for the class. I remembered my mistakes from the previous day and was quite determined not to repeat them. It was important to remember breathing, good last stride and relax. This worked perfectly for the first phase, however in the second phase I again made mistakes. I took a risk coming to the second last fence, the angle was slightly off meaning it dropped. Then I ceased to ride which resulted in a unusual stop from my horse, however we rode the parkour to a finish. In the end it payed off and we ended 4th. However, it was very clear to me that the results could have been much better if I hadn't made silly mistakes. This is something that will be addressed in the next Training, to keep relaxed and keep breathing which are two things that I sometimes forget in the ring and when things become a bit stressed I make silly mistakes.
Giving out food to homeless people
One problem we have is limiting the amount of food that is given out. We let the people taking food choose which products they'd like, but since our quantity is limited we have to restrict the amount they take. For instance, they may be allowed to take 3 pastries, a salad, and a baguette. However, sometimes people do not listen to you and try to take 4 pastries. This causes there to be some commotion. Another issue we have had is that we become very stressed when we do not have enough volunteers. If it is only 3 people we may have trouble keeping things in order. We have also had issues in attending the past 2 weeks since we have had an excess of schoolwork, leading us to be very tired in the mornings and requiring more sleep.
By being involved in an organization like this I feel like I am directly impacting people in Stockholm. Since it is only once a week, it is not that tiring and I feel as though more people could be participating in this. The activity means a lot to me, I feel like I am actually making an impact when doing it. So many people are dependent on this organization and I feel satisfyingly helpful when I am there. One thing I can apply to my life more generally is that I can do more to help others. I have realized that performing even small tasks makes others happy. It has taught me to be more thankful for the things I have in my life (health, happiness, wealth).
Knitting - a visual reflection

Tracking cyclones on - an audio reflection

audio recording

If you have got this far, well done. You should have a good idea of how to reflect. The first person to come with the name of the songs from this week and last week's posts  written on paper will receive a prize.