Our Grade 5 students have worked hard in preparation for this year’s exciting International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition, the culmination of their learning journey in our Primary School. “The exhibition, which is shared with proud parents and peers, requires students to inquire into a particular interest, carry out research, and manage the project independently,” explained NIS Deputy Head of Primary School, Mr. Gareth Jacobson.
This year’s project was centered around the transdisciplinary theme of “Sharing the Planet.” Having a broad concept and central idea gave rise to a range of project ideas that truly represented areas of personal interest for students and allowed them to link the theme with issues that they see within their community and globally.
IB schools around the world each have the flexibility to approach the exhibition in a slightly different way, allowing them to infuse their unique mission and values into the conclusion of the PYP. At NIS, the PYP Exhibition aligns with and truly embodies student voice and student choice, an essential component of our school strategy. The exhibition also requires students to pursue personal excellence while developing and displaying resilience as they tackle their projects independently and collaborate in groups. Within this framework, our students choose the topic they wish to inquire into and how they are going to present their learning at the exhibition.
“You need to be very prepared, and you need to pick a subject that you’re passionate about,” said Cecilia, who has been at NIS since Pre-K and chose therapeutic art. Cecilia is motivated to share her love of art with others so they might benefit from it like she has. Through the process of preparing for the exhibition, she developed an understanding of the need to research thoroughly and the value of persisting when things get tough.
Alice was similarly excited about showcasing her work on the urgent need for accessible education for refugees across the world. She was inspired by her topic as she believes education is a basic human right. Alice further explained that the project required her to effectively apply a range of research and thinking skills she will be able to utilize as she transitions to Grade 6 – something she is also very excited about: “I enjoyed doing research,” said Alice. “I enjoyed writing information and organizing my data and making my own website on refugee education.”
Marsha enjoyed the opportunity to work independently as she researched the impact of global warming on wildlife in the Artic and Antarctica – particularly penguins and polar bears. Marsha, who now considers herself well prepared for Grade 6, said that she had to be resilient and utilize problem-solving skills to navigate through the obstacles she encountered while completing her project. “I like the way we get to do independent learning and that we can share our thinking,” said Marsha.
“The PYP Exhibition personal project places students in a position to articulate personal excellence,” said Mr. Jacobson. “All students can be successful in the exhibition, because they are supported in their use of the IB approaches to learning.” The PYP Exhibition learning experience and the application it requires represents a true point of transition for our students: the process of developing, managing, and presenting their project gives students an idea of the next step in their education journey and what learning in our IB Middle Years Programme is like.