DP1, tell me all about it!

To start off this student page on the school website, we decided to present to you our school with some interviews with DP1 students. We asked Ethan, who has been at this school for over 6 years, and Alok, who has been attending Bogaerts for the past 5 years, questions on how they feel about being in the first year of the diploma program at Bogaerts International School.

  • How does DP (“diploma program”) change from MYP (“middle years program”)?

“First of all, there’s a lot more work, a lot more assessments and tests compared to MYP. I find that MYP doesn’t prepare you enough for DP exam-wise. There’s a big jump there. For writing, there’s a lot in MYP like the personal project, but for actual exams and studying techniques, it doesn’t prepare us enough.”

  • Is DP harder than MYP? Is there more work?

“Content-wise and subject-wise yes. There’s much more this year. we’re not used to having so much to learn.”

  • What is your favorite class and why?

“I like ESS a lot, is very interesting, and Biology because the teacher engages a lot with us, she draws on the board and gets us to draw, we go over what we did the previous week so we don’t forget and are up to date on what we have to know.”

  • Do you think the teachers are guiding you well through the IB DP program?

“Yes. I think there’s been a difference between the past years. The school is doing a lot better, now, than a couple of years ago when the school was fairly new to the DP program. It’s getting better every year”

  • Did Bogaerts help you with your English? In class and out of class?

“Writing-wise, yes. I feel like I always knew how to speak English, but in terms of writing style and being able to write more, it definitely helped. And being in a more international environment, you have to speak more English to have friends so that forces you to speak English.”

  • What do you think about the 1:30 long classes? Would you like them longer? Shorter?

“We’ve got one subject twice a week, in standard level (in higher level you have one subject three times) which is good but then, an hour and a half is a lot. I think that having 45 min of class, a 5 min break, and then 45 min of class would be better. On the other hand, it’s good to have 2 classes of one subject, and 6 subjects in total, because then we have easy schedules and not too many subjects in one day.” 

“Personally I don’t mind the long classes, I feel like there’s a lot of content in DP you need to cover so 1:30 is fine. But for subjects like TOK (theory of knowledge), 45 min is enough.”

  • What do you think about the DP program and the amount of work?

“I like that it’s not only about tests and that there are essays and orals which are also very important. Personally, I have to work a lot and I don’t have a lot of free time because of all the things we have to think about like IA’s (internal assessments), the  EE (extended essay), and CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) and this and that. And it’s a lot to think about in one go, after MYP where it was basically only the personal project. It’s a big jump.”

  • What do you think about CAS? EE? TOK? And IA’s?

“I understand CAS because there are a lot of people around the world we can and have to help, but I don’t think we have to do so much, CAS has become my free time in the sense of, when I do something, I use it for CAS, everything I do has turned into a CAS project.

I like TOK, it’s very interesting and it’s good to question things to a certain extent.

And I think it’s good that we have IA’s because it’s a good way of getting a mix of exams and essays. It allows us to not only have to memorize everything but to actually understand things.”

“For me, the EE is more important than CAS. Making yourself write a 4000 words essay on a certain topic prepares you for all the university work if you plan on going to university. So I think it helps you write and your overall knowledge of the topic you chose.

I think TOK is good because it’s interesting to think about how you think and how you know things. But I understand that it’s not for everybody.”

  • How has DP treated you so far?

“Honestly I’m fine, but I think it’s because it’s still the beginning and procrastination is still possible, but next years will be hard. For CAS I think I’m kind of behind but the EE I’ve started which I think it’s the hardest part, once you started it’s easier. Generally, I feel fine.” 

  • How has it been to be in the DP program during the pandemic?

“It’s difficult because this is the time we’re supposed to do more things and be freer but the thing is that there’s nothing to because of COVID-19. And I think the school is doing pretty well. Last year we had classes on zoom and even though it was well organized, it was difficult to work online. And now Belgian school are half online half at school, so I think we’re lucky that we can come to school every day and see our friends.”

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