Turner Fenton Ib Personal Project Essay

They spent the entire year working hard to earn top marks, but these teens say the things that happened outside of school — volunteering, travelling, having fun with friends — actually made them better students.

The top graduating students across Greater Toronto, who achieved averages in the high 90s or even a perfect 100, are now set to start university. A few gave themselves a bit of a break this summer, with one travelling the country by train with friends, and another heading north on an Arctic expedition.

Robert Adragna — who recently returned from the Arctic, only to days later head to the Netherlands for a physics/math program — was the Toronto Catholic board’s top student with perfect marks in his Grade 12 courses.

He went on a trip to Antarctica in 2014, and this summer said the Arctic “was honestly, definitely an equally amazing and transforming experience.”

Monica Xu, who also earned a 100 per cent average — putting her in a four-way tie in her board, York public — said time spent outside of school is an important part of life for high-achieving students.

Apart from extracurriculars and running, just going to the park or walking with friends or family members — even alone — was the secret to her success.

“It’s really important not to obsess over the grades or achievement culture,” said Xu, of Richmond Hill’s Bayview Secondary School, where three of the top students attended.

“At the end of the day, although grades are important, they aren’t everything,” she said. “There are so much better things in life, spending time with friends, going on that trip, choosing Taylor Swift (concert) over studying for four tests. It’s all about making those memories and making the high school years memorable.”

(As for the concert, “I only had one day to study, it was a stressful period. I didn’t do as well as I could have, but whatever, I got to see Taylor Swift!”)

Whitby student Norbert Wojdylo, the top student in Durham’s Catholic board, said he became a better student by giving himself more free time.

Last spring, as warmer weather arrived, “I’d go jogging, get out. People would come to the door asking if I’d like to play basketball and I said yes more than I said no.”

Shahzaib Khattak, one of two top students in the Durham public board, said he actually scheduled time with friends to make sure his life in Grade 12 wasn’t just academics, all the time.

“Keeping in touch with friends and family” is the key to a balanced life “and keeping yourself level-headed.”



Toronto Catholic:

  • Robert Adragna, Bishop Allen Academy, Etobicoke

Average: 100

Quote: Spent the summer studying theoretical physics at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, and the Brainport summer school in the Netherlands, as well as an expedition to the Arctic. “This school year came and passed with a lot of very interesting things that went on … and I developed a love for what I was studying … I’ve always looked at the world with childlike wonder.”

This fall: University of Toronto, engineering science. “For me, I’m really passionate about unravelling the mysteries of the universe with math and physics.”

  • Julia Da Silva, Michael Power-St. Joseph High School, Etobicoke

Average: 100

Quote: “This was my second year running the Michael Power/St. Joseph creative writing club, Books, Quills, and Writing Skills, which I co-founded at the beginning of Grade 11 as a forum for students interested in writing to share their work with others … (For) the past four years, I have played in the Etobicoke Youth Band, with which I performed at Carnegie Hall in Grade 9. This year, I also played with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, which meant I had the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall for a second time. The best moment would have to be realizing, in the middle of playing an oboe solo at Carnegie Hall, that I was playing an oboe solo at Carnegie Hall.”

This fall: University of Toronto. “I plan to major in English literature and philosophy; I also plan to study Latin, history, and French literature. My goal is to obtain a PhD in English … In the future, I plan to continue writing, with the hope of having my novels and poetry published.”

  • Jason Pu, Michael Power-St. Joseph High School, Etobicoke

Average: 100

Quote: “Although I didn't have a particular class that I favoured over the others, or a class that I despised, I did prefer the structure of some classes. The most exciting classes involved a electrochemistry lab in chemistry, or a pig dissection in biology, or an exhilarating English presentation. All of these allowed me to explore my curiosity in these subjects while providing me with a sense of freedom over my own work. The boring classes were the ones where the day felt long, and the class was boring. This includes worksheets … or a supply teacher assigning textbook questions for economics.”

This fall: University of Waterloo, software engineering. “While I am still not entirely certain of where I will end up in the future, I hope to kindle my entrepreneurial spirit and one day run my own startup.”

Toronto public:

  • Kenneth Wong, East York Collegiate Institute

Average: 99.8

Quote: “I’ve been getting progressively better every year since Grade 7. Prior to that, I didn’t really care about school that much; I got Bs and Cs and a couple of As. In Grade 7, I got a good mark on a math test, and it was the first thing that gave me the thrill of achieving something. I liked how I felt getting that high mark — it stuck with me, and I kept wanting to get the next high, so to speak.”

This fall: University of Toronto, history/political science. (History was his favourite subject in high school because “it’s interesting to see what happened in the past and see how the past has influenced the present day.”) “I see myself in government, being a government official. One day maybe I can rise to the top of the civil service, or go into law and become a judge.”

Dufferin-Peel Catholic:

  • George Eisa, St. Marcellinus Secondary School, Mississauga

Average: 99.3

Quote: “I spent the summer travelling. I went across Canada earlier this summer with three friends as a grad trip. We took the train to Vancouver and back, stopping along the way. It took just under a month, with about four stops along the way, in every province, and we got to see the vast, different cultures and landscapes Canada has.”

This fall: University of Waterloo, software engineering. “I create video games on the side, (available though an online platform), mostly aimed at children, and they’ve been played 23 million times. When I was about 11, I got into computer programming and just went from there. It started as a hobby, people started to play my games and I started to make money.”

  • Daniel Sequeira from St. Francis Xavier Secondary School, Mississauga

Average: 99.3

Quote: “I had this amazing teacher in Grade 10, my science teacher, Catherine O’Keefe. I walked into that class an average student, and every day she worked so hard to make sure I understood all the concepts, and spent extra time with me whenever I had questions … she made sure I understood everything I was curious about. That was the biggest key to me wanting to learn more.”

This fall: University of Western Ontario, medical sciences. “My brother and I started a charity four years ago, Two Kids for Change, to help feed hungry students in Peel. This year, we put a big emphasis on the charity and growing it, since I’m not around (this fall), we recruited 15 school ambassadors and five youth directors.” The charity has raised $23,000 in the last couple of years which goes toward purchasing grocery gift cards for needy families.

Peel public:

  • Jessie Dong, Turner Fenton Secondary School, Brampton

Average: 100

Quote: “My favourite class was history. I think learning about the past is fascinating, especially when you see how relevant it can be to the present … I love reading, taking walks, jogging, listening to music, and playing piano. Like everyone else, I can spend an unhealthy amount of time on the Internet too.”

This fall: University of Cambridge, human/social/political sciences. “I don’t have any official career plans yet. My interests are subject to change, so I’m open to anything that will allow me to continue learning and contributing. Possible career paths are diplomacy, public policy, working for a think tank, and going into academia.”

  • Roland Chou, Mayfield Secondary School, Caledon

Average: 100

Quote: “One of my hobbies is building plastic models and spray-painting them in my spare time. They are kind of like Japanese robots — have you heard of Gundam? It’s a Japanese franchise and one of the products are model kits … I put them together, paint them and put them on display … I do find it relaxing.”

This fall: McMaster University, health sciences. He hopes to become a doctor. “It’s a good opportunity to dedicate myself toward helping people.”

  • Janet Tang, Turner Fenton Secondary School, Brampton

Average: 100

Quote: “All four years (at high school), I volunteered at a long-term care centre near my home, I would go once a week, Saturdays, in the morning and volunteer in the horticultural therapy department, which is where we would help with activities with residents. In the summer, we plant all kinds of crops and all kinds of flowers, and in the winter, we do activities involving plants and making arts and crafts. It was really fun and really nice to see how excited they get when the flowers grow.”

This fall: McGill University, biomedical sciences. “I was mainly involved in sports at Turner Fenton — on the flag football and rugby and wrestling teams. The school is really well known for the wrestling team … and I went to (provincial championships every year) and got a silver in Grade 12. Before. I wouldn’t have seen myself in contact sports — I’m a pretty small person, 5-foot-1 or 2, and no one really expected me to do that. In high school, I just wanted to try new things and explore new interests. I might take the same approach at university.”

York Catholic

  • Megan Lam, St. Robert High School, Thornhill

Average: 100

Quote: “English was probably my favourite subject, I liked doing different things in the English courses — presentations, or reading literature from different time periods, that was really interesting for me. I found Crime and Punishment in Grade 12 to be really fascinating. In my spare time, I try to read other authors; right now, I’m reading Pride and Prejudice.”

This fall: University of Western Ontario, medical sciences. She hopes to become a doctor.

York public

  • Edward Li, Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill

Average: 100

Quote: “As the president of my school’s bioethics club, I organized a series of speaker-based seminars to raise awareness about topics such as organ donation and HIV/AIDS stigmatization. I also led a youth initiative to recruit stem cell donors from Ontario high schools.” He also played on the school volleyball team and after school played piano for nursing home residents.

At the end of Grade 12, “I wrote letters and drew pictures for friends and teachers to thank them for their existence. It felt like letting out a breath of fresh air.”

This fall: McMaster University, health sciences. “I hope to become a medical doctor or researcher — and a father of one or two kids.”

  • Jeff Niu, Newmarket High School, Newmarket

Average: 100

Quote: “My favourite subject? Physics. Of all the sciences, it is the most math-y science, and I like math a lot. Also, physics is the most powerful of all of the sciences because you can use it, for example, to predict the position of the moon at any given point in time, just from a piece of paper and a calculator, and it reveals the most truth about the universe, I suppose.”

This fall: University of Waterloo, mechatronics engineering. “Without being too ambitious, I’d like to start a company. I think the ultimate purpose of learning is enlightenment … and applying that knowledge to benefit mankind. The ideal situation is that I make something cool that is good for the world.”

  • J.J. Wang, Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill

Average: 100

Quote: “I follow baseball and especially the Toronto Blue Jays, but what interests me most is the advanced statistics (sabermetrics) within baseball that help to determine concepts of value from roster management and team building … (I can) research and apply concepts from statistics for purposes of player evaluation and value assessment. Of course, I have played baseball as a sport as well … but it’s the sabermetrics that keeps me coming back.”

This fall: University of Waterloo, software engineering. “My goal right now is to enter the tech industry and be able to build and contribute something of value … I hope that whatever I’m working on will be able to create change in the lives of individuals. I would like to measure my own success not on monetary gain but on the positive impact I can have over others.

  • Monica Xu, Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill

Average: 100

Quote: “I am pretty involved in math competitions; I have been since Grade 7 … The more you do, the better you do. There is a great deal of satisfaction after spending a long time on a math problem and finally solving it … In terms of having fun, I just love spending time with my friends. Although online interaction is perfectly great and all, we like to go to movies and find really good restaurants. We are really into ‘Yelp-ing’ and reviewing food and restaurants here and there. My friends and I search up restaurants and go to them, and review. ‘Don’t forget to check in on Yelp!’ is one of our catch phrases.”

This fall: Waterloo/Laurier for a double degree in computer science/business administration. She is unsure of her career path, “but computer science is very versatile.”

Durham Catholic:

  • Norbert Wojdylo, All Saints Secondary School, Whitby

Average: 98.7

Quote: “Grade 12 was my best year; you would think it would be the hardest one, and I have no idea how that happened. But I put in effort, maybe a bit more, but as the school year was gearing up — say maybe late April, when the weather started getting better, I started giving myself a bit more free time from studying, more often. I’d go jogging, get out. People would come to the door asking if I’d like to play basketball and I said yes more than I said no.”

This fall: University of Ontario Institute of Technology, biological sciences. “I do want to go to med school after, and this is a better financial option — a better option in general, staying close to home and saving money.”


Durham public:

  • Shahzaib Khattak, Sinclair Secondary School, Whitby

Average: 98.5

Quote: “My philosophy is not to chase marks, but chase knowledge and learn as much as you can,” and also lead a balanced life. “The way I was able to do that was through minimizing my time on social media — Facebook, Twitter, I don’t have those things. I spend minimal time on the phone and use a calendar to document and schedule my days ahead of time” including playing basketball (he was the captain of the school varsity team).


This fall: McMaster University, life sciences. He hopes to become a doctor, following in the footsteps of his father, grandmother and aunt.

  • Casey Chung, J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate Institute, Ajax

Average: 98.5

Quote: “I liked my math and art classes a lot. I took visual arts throughout (high school) … I like to draw pencil drawings, portraits” of family members and celebrities, something she hopes to continue at university. She also enjoys having dinner or going to the mall with friends. “If you schedule your time right, there’s always a bit of time to hang out with friends; you need a balance between your social life and academic life.”

This fall: University of Waterloo, chartered professional accountancy/math. “I like business, but I also like how numbers work, so I felt that would be the best choice.”

Halton Catholic:

  • Natalie Pundsack, Christ the King Secondary School, Georgetown

Average: 98.3

Quote: “I was captain of the field hockey team, I played squash and badminton, and I also played on the school’s lacrosse team, and was part of a mentorship (program) at my school … I kind of made a point of signing up for lots of groups and teams and committees within the school so I knew that I would have time to be with my friends and enjoy myself.”

This fall: University of Waterloo, chemical engineering. “I knew applying to engineering at Waterloo, these programs have very high standards, and for me to get in it was important to make it a priority, to study and do what it took to get there.”

Halton public:

The top student, who earned a 99.7 per cent average, did not wish to be interviewed.

Presentation on theme: "International Baccalaureate Programme (IB): MYP and DP at Turner Fenton Secondary School."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Baccalaureate Programme (IB): MYP and DP at Turner Fenton Secondary School

2 What is an IB Education?

3 Insert video from IB Digital Toolkit 2

4 The IB Learner Profile Inquirers curiosity independence in learning love of learning Knowledgeable concepts, ideas and issues in-depth understanding Thinkers apply skills critically reasoned, ethical decisions Communicators two languages confidence and collaboration Principled integrity, honesty, fairness, and justice Open-minded open to other’s perspectives, values and traditions Caring empathy, compassion and respect service Risk-takers courage to explore new ideas, roles and strategies Balanced intellectual, physical and emotional balance Reflective thoughtful consideration about their own learning

5 Difference between AP and IB AP Opportunity for advanced placement in university Taken on a course-by- course basis Mark is based solely on an end of term AP exam IB Opportunity for advanced placement in university Offers a complete program and diploma Marks determined by both internal assessments and final IB exams

6 Grades 11 & 12: Diploma Programme (DP) Grades 9 & 10: Middle Years Programme (MYP) IB at Turner Fenton

7 WHY IB? IB Community/Culture Well rounded learners 21 st Century skills Internationally recognized credential Success at university

8 Student Voices

9 Diploma Programme (DP) Model 6 Core Subjects Extended Essay ToK Approaches to Learning CAS

10 9 3 Standard Level (SL) courses 2 semesters over 1 or 2 years 2 exams written in grade 11 1 exam written in grade 12 3 Higher Level (HL) courses 3 semesters over 2 years 3 exams written in grade 12 TOK 1 semester course in grade 12

11 Diploma Program Course Options 10 Group 1Group 2Group 3 English Literature Language & Literature French Business & Management Economics History Information Technology in a Global Society Group 4Group 5Group 6 Biology Chemistry Physics Mathematics Mathematical Studies Visual Arts

12 Middle Years Programme (MYP) Grades 9 and 10 8 Core Subjects Approaches to Learning Conceptual education Personal Project

13 Grade 9 English French Geography Grade 9 Math Grade 10 Math Science HPE Art Option MYP Course Options Grade 10 English French History (gr. 10) Grade 11 Math Science Civics/Careers Option 1 Option 2

14 Teachers assess according to criteria set for each subject discipline by the IB Assessment Centre Assessment


16 Ideal IB Candidate Profile: Maintains a successful academic record Participates in many aspects of school life Has good time management skills Has a positive attitude toward learning Works well with others Is willing to take initiative

17 Programme Fees The IB Diploma Programme at Turner Fenton requires fees for all four years of the program: Grade 9 $200 Grade 10 $200 Grade 11$1250 Grade 12$1250

18 Middle Years Programme Application Process for September 2016

19 Application Criteria Live in Peel north of the 401 and south of Bovaird Drive/Castlemore Road Currently a grade 8 student NB. Bussing is not provided

20 01 January 2012

21 For Students that are currently in a Peel District School Board Elementary School

22 1.Go to the PDSB Regional Program Application site for Turner Fenton IB 2.Create an Applicant ID and password 3.Fill in all of the fields with the application information 4.Complete the written response section of the application 5.Submit your completed application by November 20th 6.$40.00 application fee


24 Parts of the Application Basic Info Grade 7 Final Report Card – this will be uploaded from Peel Board On-Line Written Response

25 For Students that are not currently in a Peel District School Board Elementary School 01 January 2012

26 1.Go to the PDSB Regional Program Application site for Turner Fenton IB: -Create an Applicant ID and password 2.Fill in all of the fields with the application information 3.Bring the following document to the South Hall Office at Turner Fenton S.S ( by November 20 th at 3 pm) An original copy of the grade 7 final (June) report card No other documentation will be accepted 5.Complete the question response section of the on-line application 6.Pay the $40.00 application fee 7.Ensure your application is complete by the deadline: November 20th

27 Selection Process 1.Applications are reviewed and scored based on: Grade 7 Report Card Written Response 2.Applicants who make it past the application process will be entered into a lottery for a spot in the program

28 Offers of Acceptance Offers will be emailed to successful applicants Feb. 8 th Offers must be accepted by no later than Feb. 12 th Second round of offers will be made on Feb. 16th Once students make program decisions, they cannot change their minds and accept spots in different regional programs.

29 Accepting an offer To accept an offer, you will need to reply by the deadline. You will need to reply to the offer email you receive. When you confirm program participation, you will be asked to pay your program fees ($200), directions will be provided. Students will only be officially admitted into the program once program fees are received. Fees will be paid for online using a third-party service provider.

30 Education for life

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