In addition to the subjects studied from each of the six groups, every IB student also completes three core requirements. These are: the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and Creativity, action, service (CAS).
The interdisciplinary TOK course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning that transcends and unifies the academic areas and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives. The theory of knowledge course is in part intended to encourage students to reflect on the huge cultural shifts worldwide around the digital revolution and the information economy.
The extent and impact of the changes vary greatly in different parts of the world, but everywhere their implications for knowledge are profound. Theory of knowledge encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself and aims to help young people make sense of the knowledge issues they encounter.
Creativity, action, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programe. With its holistic approach CAS is designed to strengthen students’ personal and interpersonal learning.
The CAS programme formally begins at the start of the DP and continues regularly for at least 18 months. CAS requires student participation in artistic pursuits, sports, and community service work, either within the school community or outside of it. This involvement fosters an awareness and appreciation of life outside the academic area. CAS aims to develop students who identify goals, develop strategies and determine further actions for personal growth and explore new possibilities, embrace new challenges and adapt to new roles. Students will learn to understand they are members of local and global communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
Sample CAS projects:
Creativity: A student group plans, designs and creates a mural.
Activity: Students organize and participate in a sports team including training sessions and matches against other teams.
Service: Students set up and conduct tutoring for people in need.
Service and activity: Students plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community.
Creativity, activity and service: Students rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home.
The extended essay offers the opportunity for IB students to investigate a topic of special interest, usually one of the student’s six DP subjects, and acquaints them with the independent, high-level research and writing skills expected at university. At SYK this is accomplished through a process of intellectual discovery and creativity which begins in the spring of IB1 and ends in September in IB2. This process includes continuous personal interaction with a teacher-supervisor. The excellence of our students’ extended essays has often attained broader recognition, as, for example, shown by the regular prizes they earn in the TuKoKe competition. Moreover, mention of such rigorous research in student applications and teacher recommendations clearly provides our students with an advantage in being accepted to the best universities.
Examples of Extended Essay topics:
- Finnish A: Dystopia – pirstaloitunut kuva tulevaisuudesta. Millaisia yhteiskunnallisia epäkohtia romaanien Teemestarin kirja ja Taivas dystopiat heijastavat?
- Philosophy: What is the extent of the commonalities and differences of the characteristics and end goals of mindfulness in Stoicism and Buddhism?
- Biology: Effects of NSAIDs on the Small Intestine – How does the concentration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) affect the clonogenic growth and mitochondrial membrane potential of intestinal organoids from the house mouse (Mus musculus)?
- Economics: Price Discrimination in Train Industry – To What extent does VR benefit from third-degree price discrimination on the route ”Helsinki – Saint Petersburg?”
- World Studies: What is the best environmentally friendly, affordable and accessible menstrual hygiene product for girls and women in Mongolia, China and Azerbaijan? A World Studies study in chemistry and global politics on the design and implication of a menstrual hygiene product to three regions in Asia
- History: What conclusions can we draw about power structures of the Henrician political system in the 1530s by analysing the downfall of Anne Boleyn?
CAS Clubs at SYK
At SYK you can join several clubs for CAS. Many of the clubs are student-led, and IB students are encouraged to start clubs of their own. This school year (2019–2020) you can join the following clubs:
Trading Club / On Thursdays at 16–17, room 24
Welcome to trading club! Our main goal at trading club is to learn how to invest in different markets while having a good time. We meet every Thursday from 16–17 in classroom 24. Anyone is welcome to join regardless of previous experience, Club leaders Mikko, Ilmari, Kirill, William (IB1)
Book Club / On Wednesdays (every two weeks) at 16–17, room 3H
Introducing the new SYK Book Club! Our book club will be a relaxed and friendly place to discover new books and genres, get inspired and motivated to read more, and chat about all things book related. We will choose books to read and get together every two weeks or so to talk about them, as well as watch adaptations and hear others opinions. The language of conduct will be English, but everyone is welcome.
If you are a booklover or if you wish to learn to enjoy reading culture, you are very welcome to join every other Wednesday from 16.00-17.00 in class 3H! Hope to see you there Club leaders. Carmen and Wilma IB1
Chess club/ Shakkikerho / On Mondays at 16–17, cafeteria
Shakkikerho kokoontuu maanantaisin klo 16-17 ruokalaan pelaamaan uutuutta tuoksuvilla shakkilaudoilla ja -nappuloilla. Kaiken tasoiset pelaajat ovat tervetulleita pelailemaan ja kehittymään yhdessä. / Chess club gathers on Mondays at 16–17 into the cafeteria to play chess on brand new chessboards and pieces. Players of all levels are welcome to play and develop together. Alex Willman IB2 & Onni Laukka (IB2)
Matikkakerho / Math Club / On Tuesdays at 16–17 in room 1E
The basic idea of a math club is to open an opportunity for all math enthusiasts to interact with each other, and, in the best case, attract math to those who were not fond of the field. Students that are deeply drawn into math have always been a group of minorities: There are only a couple of high schools with advanced mathematical programs in Finland, and, among all IB extended essays, math essays are written the least. Therefore, I believe that math enthusiasts should be able to have their own community, where they could form vibrant discussions about various topics related to math. You – a high school student or a middle school student – are welcomed to join the SYK math club, Math Club of Clubs. The club operates every Tuesday after school, from 16.00 to 17.00 in room 1E around the year. The language of operation will be English. -Benjamin IB2, the current club organizer
Ympäristökerho / Environmental club / Thursdays at 16–17
Kokoonnumme keskustelemaan mahdollisista tempauksista ja aktiviteeteista koulumme ekologisuuden parantamiseksi. Tervetuloa liittymään ja odotamme innolla yhdessä ideointia! / We are looking for members to join our new environmental club, and offering you a special chance of being a part of social and ecological change in our school! Antonia Gergen L17 & Amanda Harmaala IB2
Model United Nations Club / On Wednesdays at 16–17 in room 24
At Model United Nations students are encouraged to take part in discussing and debating current issues as a simulation of real United Nations Conferences. We meet every Wednesday 16.00 till 17.00 in room 24. Join to get a language course or CAS hours. Kerhossa keskustellaan ajankohtaisista aiheista, tutustutaan YK:n rakenteeseen ja toimintaan, harjoitellaan julkista esiintymistä ja puheen kirjoittamista sekä päästään edustamaan eri maita väittelyn merkeissä. Kerhon on tavoitteena tarjota osallistujilleen turvallinen keskusteluilmapiiri. Valmistaudumme konferenssimatkaa varten, jonka jäsenet saavat itse valita ja kerhon vetäjistä vähintään yksi osallistuu matkalle myös. Viime vuonna matka toteutettiin Puolaan marraskuun loppupuolella. Sini Karjalainen IB2, Lyyli Salovaara IB2, Ester Poussot L17, Pilvi Kilpeläinen L18.
Debate club, Darby Clifford-Rosengren / On Tuesdays at 16–18 in room 2C
If you are interested in debate in English, come and join us on Tuesdays from 4–6 in room 2C. (If you can’t commit for the whole time, join us for what time you have). Debate is a great way to make new friends, to become more adept in your oral language skills, to keep up with current events, and to organize your ideas logically and effectively. It’s a lot of fun too. Join to get a course or CAS hours. See you there!