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IB Highlights: Analyzing Frida Kahlo

Extended Essay Highlight: Senior Lilly Glennie’ s EE research question is: To what extent do Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits differ from her female Mexican contemporaries?

Frida Kahlo’s paintings have always intrigued Lilly, being introduced to her art at a young age. Lilly was also interested in why her paintings are so noteworthy and allowed her to become a prominent figure, as other artists were exploring similar concepts at the time.

“Some primary sources I utilized in my research process are from paintings I was lucky enough to see in person last summer at art museums in New York and Washington DC,” says Lilly. She gathered additional works, information from journals and books, and perspectives from art critics, to complete her research and analyze the similarities and differences between formal qualities in the paintings.

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences that Upper School students recorded this week included planning for Casino Night, participating in Robotics, helping with Casino Night clean up, participating in Operation Christmas Child boxes, running the clock at the basketball jamboree, playing basketball, and participating in the Upper School mentor program.

IB Question of the Week: In each IB class, what are the Internal Assessments and the External Assessments?

The IB uses both external and internal assessments in the Diploma Program (DP) to assess student learning.
• The external assessments (EA) include the exams in May of a student’s senior year. These EAs count for 70 – 80% of the score in an IB course. The EAs are sent in to the IB for grading by IB examiners. If a student takes IB Visual Arts, their EA is an exhibition. In addition, if a student takes a Language A HL course (Chinese A Literature HL or English A Literature HL), they also produce a written assignment. These assessments are called “external” because teachers outside of SGS assess and decide what grade they earn. IB examiners and assessors are all over the globe but trained by the IB to ensure uniformity.
• The internal assessments (IA) include the many investigations and projects that students undertake here at SGS during the two-year program. 20 – 30% of the student’s score is derived from the IA. SGS students complete an IA in each course. The grade for the IA is assessed by the SGS teacher but it is externally moderated by the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization), meaning they are reviewed for grading accuracy.

External assessment: Examinations form the basis of the assessment for most courses, because of their high levels of objectivity and reliability. They include:
• essays
• structured problems
• short-response questions
• data-response questions
• text-response questions
• case-study questions
• multiple-choice questions

Internal assessment: Teacher assessment is also used for all courses. This includes:
• written work in languages
• oral work in languages
• laboratory work in the sciences
• investigations in mathematics
• artistic performances

For more information about Diploma Program grading and assessment, please follow this link:

The Diploma Program (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay (EE). Please refer to the IB Page on our website for detailed IB information or email Elizabeth Tender with any questions.