“The Primary Years Programme (PYP) exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP and sharing them with the whole school community. As a culminating experience it is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP.
In the students’ final year of the PYP, which occurs in some schools at age 10–11 and in others at age 11–12, there are five units of inquiry and the exhibition. The exhibition unit takes place under any transdisciplinary theme at the discretion of the school. Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. The central idea selected must be of sufficient scope and significance to warrant a detailed investigation by all students. “
An excerpt from “Exhibition in PYP” published by IB.
Our school authorised in October, 2008 and we hosted our first trial exhibition in May 2009. It was truly a learning experience. We were able to refine our practices further last year, when we hosted our PYP Exhibition last year in April 2010. This year will be our 2nd official Exhibition and it feels exciting to be able to drive that process with teachers and students.
Our planning began last INSET when we all agreed to use Sharing the Planet, as our TD Theme, and select the strand, “Struggle to share finite resources” as the sub topic. An Exhibition requires total involvement of the students from Day 1, be it in the planning of the details of the unit, finding resources and identifying places for conducting field trips, to actually researching, collating and presenting their findings in a variety of ways! The IB PYP requires that students include all four kinds of presentations, namely:
- Oral Presentations
- Written Material
- Integration of Technology
- Performances or exhibition of visual art
This year, we did a lot of ground work to develop students’ understanding of the basic structure of a unit, as well as the five essential elements, from day 1 of the academic year! Thus, while they inquired into different cultures, they also learnt in depth about the 6 TD Themes.
We have also created a larger team of teachers who will act as mentors and guides to the students throughout the learning and preparation process. Next week, I will be meeting with the group to brainstorm on how we want the Exhibition to look and feel! What kind of grouping do we want to follow? What kind of provocations do we want to use? And above all, how can we make students more independent and responsible about their learning, through the process. I am also looking forward to hear the reflections of teachers, who were involved last year with the Exhibition, as well as some fresh insights from teachers who are new to PYP and the Exhibition!
I am sure, in the true spirit of collaboration, we will be able to come up with an inspiring plan, that will send the students in an upward spiral of inquiry, concern and compassion! Here is wishing us all the best!