Adapting to the new normal: Preparing Students for the DP

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

IBDP is a journey for the students to find their strengths, work on their weaknesses and to learn to manage their time to push boundaries, explore horizons and find their own narrative. It does seem tiring and trying at times. The whole point of this journey is self-discovery and understanding the ability to manage yourself. There will be trials, errors, struggle, modifications and even re-beginnings. The end result of this DP learning experience is the ability to learn new skills with curiosity, enthusiasm, adaptability and perseverance.

At Don Bosco International School, we have started with our first cohort of IBDP which will graduate in 2022.There was a lot of planning and jubilation all around after the IBDP Authorisation Process. However, as a School in the month of April, we had to relook at our plans because of the pandemic. At this stage, the School Management decided to opt for the Foundation Course.

Callido Online DP Foundation is designed to develop the skills for the IBDP - critical thinking, research, writing and self-management skills. The students covered various skill-based modules and learnt about logical fallacies, building an argument map, creating surveys, framing research questions, researching honestly and credibly. The programme culminated with a group Passion Project where each group had presented their idea for improving teaching and learning at DBIS. And looking back that was a start to helping the students understand the essence of self-management.

To take it forward, the IBDP students at DBIS were introduced to all the subjects offered and we called it IBDP JumpStart. The students experienced and got the taste of each subject, its content, subject specific assessment pattern and understood multi-disciplinary links before submitting their final subject choices. At the same time the students were introduced to the heart of IBDP Core (Creativity, Activity & Service, Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay) and they started planning for their CAS initiatives.

During Jumpstart, the students also had sessions with the school counsellor, on Time Management. Our school counsellor covered, meaning of time management, benefits, effects and action plan for efficient time management for effective productivity.

The students also had a session with English: Language and Literature teacher on note taking and annotations. The IBDP Biology teacher took a session on why reflection is important in IBDP and the various ways the students can showcase the reflection. The Extended Essay Coordinator introduced the students to research skills, DBIS Academic Integrity Policy and Citations.

The learning support department introduced the use of Graphic Organizers and various types of Mind Maps as study skill to enhance learning.

IBDP calendar was shared with the students. It is drafted and redrafted collaboratively by the teachers to spread out subject specific Internal assessment deadlines, term assessment schedule and profile building initiatives. The aim is to provide a better balance to the DP experience for the students at DBIS.

A Genius Hour has been timetabled for IBDP students. The time is for individual pursuit of discovering passion, curiosity, design, research with a purpose and showcasing it to the audience.

They are working at their pace, some alone and some in pair. They pitch their respective idea to the class and take constructive peer feedback. The aim of introducing Genius Hour is that the students independently learn to create their own learning pathways and discover their passion.

The IBDP Jumpstart ended and students selected their subjects based on their choices, undergraduate eligibility requirements and country destination after numerous meetings with College and Career Counsellor.

All in all, DBIS has had a remarkable jumpstart into the IBDP curriculum. Then regular classes commenced for DP.

At DBIS, we realize the need to keep learning, reviewing, reflecting, re-planning and implementing in different and better ways….. there is always a room for improvement, as our School Guiding Motto states…Learn, Innovate, Transform.

To conclude, would just state that it’s important for each student to understand what works for them. For some they may like to start few tasks simultaneously and for some students it’s about completing one before starting the next. Whatever works, it’s important to give your best at that moment and overcome procrastination. In the words of Sharon Salzburg, “Mindfulness isn't difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”

Aarti Malik

IBDP Coordinator at

Don Bosco International School, Mumbai

Callido's Online DP Foundation program is a 20-hour modular blended learning program, designed to fit your timetable and help your students build a strong foundation of ATLs to prepare them for the rigor of the Diploma Program. Visit this page to know more!


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