News, Info and IB Student and Staff Blogs

September 11, 2015
by Ann Lautrette

Go Blog about it…Week 2

It’s the end of our second week of blogging and we are rolling along nicely. Some students are taking a bit longer to let their creativity shine, but we’re sure that over this weekend they’ll spend some time thinking about both the content and the presentation of their blogs.

I’ve added a ‘useful links’ section on the home page of this blog which takes students quickly to ‘blog post help‘ for those who need to remind themselves of what makes a great blog post. Many posts are still lacking images and media. Remember my communication post from this week: the world is visual!

This week ended with our first ever ‘Ed Tok’ – like TED Talks, but well, educational, and about TOK. We’ve asked BSJ teachers to deliver an Ed Tok every two weeks, but to set the stage I had to go first. I was surprised by how much work it was to prepare for a 10 minute talk and I was anxious about the delivery – the TED Talks we watch online seem so polished and practised, I felt I couldn’t live up! In the end I needn’t have worried; while I don’t think I’ll be on the TED Global Stage anytime soon, I’m pleased with how it went and I think my public speaking skills increased a notch. If I were a Year 12 student, I’d award myself a Communication Digital Badge!

Practitioner Communicator

Digital Badges are a way for students to display their skill development on their blogs. If you click on the badge above it will take you to the evidence I’m using to support my claim that I’m a practitioner communicator – the slides from my talk.

Hopefully in the near future students will take on the challenge of delivering an Ed Tok – we’d love to hear what they have to say on all things TOK. We’ve already got students willing to share ideas: today Joshua shared how he’s developing his blog – it looks great Josh and thanks for being a risk-taker!

This week’s blog posts have impressed us with their detail and design; Catherine has found plenty to write about on her Cat Blog, and Arjun (or Argon) made me laugh with this explanation of his nickname. (Plus I love the hooked worm on his blog!)bloggerofthe weekbadge

The blogger of the week badge this week goes to Jasmine, whose blog not only looks super-stylish, but is hugely helpful to those of you struggling with research skills. Her last post about the ‘golden key to research’ is a perfect summing up of good research technique. Read it, and use it.

A special mention to BSJ teachers too, who have been encouraged to read and comment on student blogs. Well done…have a Growth Mindset Badge!




September 9, 2015
by Ann Lautrette

You Say What??

Effective communication. We know that we need to be able to do it. We know that much of recent news says that young people lack communication skills. We worry that children spend so much time looking at screens these days that they can’t possibly be developing good communication skills.


And perhaps that’s true if our image of good communication is speaking to a crowd or presenting on stage.

But communication in 2015 is so much more than just that.

In 2015 students have to be able to speak in different contexts: demonstrate empathy one-to-one, speak purposefully and respectfully in a conversation, deliver an engaging public presentation, speak clearly via a webcam, record a interesting podcast.

Students have to be able to write for different purposes and audiences: Construct a formal and polite email, deliver a potent message in a 140 character Tweet, examine and critically assess in a structured essay, engage and inform readers in a blog post.

In 2015, students have to be able to speak more than one language to communicate internationally, speak positive body language to develop good relationships and present themselves effectively.

They have to be able to speak without words; giving meaning to creative and professional visual texts such as infographics or photographic or artistic projects. 

They have to master digital communication, using tools effectively to make themselves heard in an innovative and creative way.

Sounds like a challenge!

But while it’s fair to say that methods of communication have become more complex, the principles of effective communication are still surprisingly simple:



Listen: You can’t communicate well if you can’t listen first.

Be clear: Fancy vocabulary is all very well, but if no one gets your message, what have you proved?

Be prepared: Planning is everything in writing; practice in speaking.

Visuals: Images enhance text, body language enhances speech.

Get to the point: Blah blah blah…is well, blah.

Relate: Speak and write from personal experiences – your messages will be more powerful.

In the Core Curriculum in IB@BSJ we are focused this half term on developing communication skills. Through writing on their blogs, delivering assemblies, discussion in TOK and presentation, students will be pushed to self-assess and set targets for improvement in communication skills.

Over the next few weeks Year 12 students will be creating infographics, digital stories, testing their EQ and learning how presentation can be Zen.

The core team are looking forward to reading improved blog posts, watching better presentations, and engaging our students in discussion and debate, as well as learning more about the creative young people we are working with.

For parents: how do you encourage effective communication at home? Tell us in the comments below…




February 18, 2013
by Ann Lautrette

Welcome to BSJ IB!

Welcome to the brand new BSJ IB blogging network.

This blog will be a vital part of your learning in the IB Core, a digital portfolio of your skill development, a record of your CAS experiences and projects, and represents a positive digital presence for you to develop through your time in IB at BSJ. You’ll also be able to take it with you when you leave!

You will need to use your school email address to register your blog, and over the next few weeks you will be designing and personalising your blog as well as getting to grips with blogging as a written style.

Happy blogging!

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