As the underclassmen embarked on their GAP adventures, the seniors began their fun and intense week in a soundless and abandoned school. The schedules were handmade by Mr. Farrington and his team, depending on whether the seniors were full IB or IB certificate. Many IB diploma students had their blocks filled with their Higher Level 2 courses and TOK, where they worked hard on their impending IA’s and moving ahead with the program. Non-IB diploma seniors had more of a relaxed week. Having only a couple of HL classes at the most, students were able to embark on adventures of their own to job shadow, take fun workshops like self defense, credit card information, art, cooking and playing with drones or feverishly climbing a full day extreme obstacle course in Skytrex. It was also a time for all seniors to work on their intimidating college applications.
In addition to his role as principal, Mr. Farrington took charge of manually assorting live schedules that were constantly changing due to required college meetings and open slots. Counselors organized “senior seminars” according to the geographic locations of where students were applying to. “Majority of students who answered the question about the college applications were very positive about it,” Mr. Farrington stated. After those major courses were assigned, students had the opportunity to job shadow different businesses like: MetLife Insurance, Tetra Pak, AIG Insurance, and working with Syrian Refugees in a classroom in Ampang Point. Mr. Farrington sent out a survey to all seniors to evaluate how senior week went for the students and what they found productive. “The message is a little mixed; for the most part students are saying it’s a valuable week… Some students found value in the job shadow… ”. However, he did find that students wanted more prep time to be able to work on assignments and applications that required more effort.
From the student perspective, many had mixed feelings about the way senior week went. Seniors found that the time was beneficial to catch up with their HL courses, but most students had upcoming IA’s that were due in both Higher Level courses and Standard Level Courses. With their packed schedule it was frustrating and stressful to find time to finish coursework due after senior week. On the other hand, all IB students were able to complete their Higher Level IA’s which gave them more time to accomplish other assignments on their plate. Numerous seniors stated they wish they could change how some classes were run and the amount of time dedicated in each class. Some higher level classes had teachers facilitating programs that they have never taught, which students found did not further their understanding. In contrast, other HL courses were able to get ahead. “My HL Spanish class did like Paper 1 and Paper 2 practice exams, so that was helpful”, said Rida ‘16. Mr. Venables thought that seniors shouldn’t have gotten Friday off of school when everyone came back from GAP. “We were just here and I think we were giving away another day where we can work with our seniors” He believed that everyone, even teachers, benefited and got further in their curriculum, the ultimate purpose of senior week.
Non IB students had varied opinions about senior week as well. Some students only had one Higher Level course to attend and had the rest of the day occupied with different workshops that excited them. Others, still had IB and AP courses that limited their time. “As a non-IB student, some teachers assume I don’t have a heavy workload. They don’t realize that I’m taking just as many challenging classes as a diploma student. I needed a bit more time to fully engage in my studies” Austin ’16 expressed. Thus, senior week needed to cater to Non IB students as well. Even though they were given thrilling opportunities to have full day adventures or experience workshops, some students just needed free time to work on their studies. For the students who were able to fully enjoy the workshops they signed up for, self defense was by far the most popular. Mr. Bryant led his group of fifteen seniors on defense mechanisms in worst case scenarios like running away from an attacker and strikes.