Adventures in IB: Diverse texts highlight year one of IB English

May 21, 2020

A Note from IB Director Bob Herring, '68

It’s been an amazing year for the International Baccalaureate Program at Purcell Marian. After completing the IB professional development, the instructional staff was ready. They created lessons that engaged and challenged this inaugural class. The authorization from IB in October confirmed the work the PM staff had done to make sure that we were ready to launch this new program.

Throughout this year the juniors in the IB classes met the expectations of their teachers as they tackled the program that called for them to ask questions, complete the research, defend their conclusions, and take risks, all characteristics of a Cavalier.

The coronavirus and subsequent distance learning added a layer of complexity for everyone. Without skipping a beat the lessons continued. Staff and students rose to the challenge. It was all possible because of the commitment of the teachers, the hard work of the students, and the support of their families. The partnership between home and school made it happen.

We are excited about Year 2: 27 sophomores have signed up for 84 classes; 4 students will be working toward the full IB Diploma. It promises to be an exciting year at the Castle.

Looking Back: A Reflection from IB English Teacher Anthony Wyatt

It’s clear that we’re off to a wonderful start as we conclude year one of IB English: Language and Literature.

Throughout the year, students have analyzed a variety of texts, including a novel, a film, music videos, academic essays, song lyrics, advertisements, and works of art. In addition to analyzing class texts, students have also explored works on their own for several projects including an Afrofuturism focused midterm, a pop culture dystopia analysis, and a 1950s song project. Without a doubt, this course has enabled students to fulfill the IB curriculum requirement of exploring a variety of texts -- both literary and non-literary -- created by diverse authors from different time periods, countries, and cultural backgrounds.

While there have been some significant challenges this year -- including the pacing of the course, moving to distance learning, and finding a balance between class discussion and time to work on projects -- the positives have far outshined these setbacks. And, as next year looms on the horizon and the class of 2022 begins the first round of fully accredited IB courses, the future certainly looks bright. Now that the growing pains of a first-year course are through, we are on the right track for even greater success in the years to come.

Looking forward: New IB teachers

We are thrilled to introduce two new IB teachers for the 2020-2021 school year: current PM math teacher Kyle Nobbe and new hire Daniella Ciccarone, who will join the social studies department. Hear from Mr. Nobbe in the above video, then learn more about Ms. Ciccarone below.

International Baccalaureate