The PYP Exhibition is the culminating experience for students in IB PYP schools and is certainly an eagerly-anticipated highlight of our Junior School calendar. It is an authentic process that enables students to explore, document and share their understanding of an issue or opportunity of personal significance. During Exhibition, students demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their learning - and their capacity to take action - as they are actively engaged in planning, presenting and assessing their learning.
As our current Year 5 students will be beginning the Middle Years Programme (MYP) next year, we had a Year 5 Exhibition as well as a Year 6 Exhibition in 2021. In another first, the Exhibitions were hybrid in nature, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The students presented to some year levels on campus, and then shared their performance and inquiries with families and friends in a virtual format.
Under the transdisciplinary theme of Sharing the Planet, the Year 5 students inquired into human rights and the concept of ethics, through the central idea ‘Human rights can drive ethical decisions.’ Their aim was to encourage contemplation of the Year 5 universal ethical principle: ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated.’ During the opening performance, the students unveiled the Year 5 collaborative blanket, featuring symbols designed by the students that represent the various United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child articles. Thank you to Year 5 mum Lisa Wilson for putting the quilt together. It is a lovely memento of the inaugural Year 5 Exhibition. Through poignant choral, musical, spoken and movement pieces, the students inspired the audience to participate in small revolutions. As they reminded us,‘it starts with a whisper’.
The Year 5 students’ inquiries focused on issues related to the Rights of the Child, and associated ethical decisions that can be taken by individuals, governments and nations. The students’ depth of thinking and their understanding and application of ethical principles such as participation, deontology and consequentialism was truly astounding.
The Year 6 Exhibition fell under the transdisciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves, with the central idea ‘Expression requires courage and challenges perspectives.’ The opening performance pulsated with student agency and courageous expression, with creative ‘6-Tok’ dances, a virtual choir performance, artwork and an energetic African dance, expertly choreographed by Year 6 mum, Kylee Sharp. It is a reflection of our community’s diversity that students spoke in 18 different home languages during the performance!
There was great breadth in the range of student inquiries: from an exploration of conflict within the fast fashion industry to the investigation of stereotyping and unequal representation in the film industry. The students displayed and explained their thought-provoking products, speaking confidently and enthusiastically about their inquiry and about the action that they have been taking.
Both Exhibitions were a demonstration of collaboration, deep learning and passion. Congratulations and thank you to the Years 5 and 6 students and their dedicated teachers and mentors for two inspiring and impressive Exhibitions. Our students showed the whole community that they certainly are internationally-minded individuals who can, and do, make a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others.
Mrs Alex Galland
Director of Learning and Innovation