What is PYPX?
Grade 6 is a special time for students. They are coming to the end of their elementary school journey and looking forward to exciting changes in their lives. At this juncture between elementary and junior high the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) places an event that showcases the entire program called the eXhibition. Exhibition is the culmination of the PYP. Students in our program spend 6 years (G1-G6) learning through units of inquiry.
Over the course of each grade, they explore 6 transdisciplinary units based on the 6 PYP themes of “Who We Are”, Where We Are in Place and Time”, “Sharing the Planet”, “How the World Works”, “How We Organize Ourselves”, and “How We Express Ourselves”. In each unit, they learn not just subjects, like math and science, but also skills, like communication and self-management. This is the basis of the program at KIA, and the Exhibition is when students show all that they have learned over their time here.
The exhibition day is March 5th, but the exhibition process got started before winter break. This year, Exhibition is based on the theme “Who We Are”. Students started by thinking about their own passions and interests, then tried to connect those to real life issues in the world. From these ruminations, they chose their topic and wrote a central idea to guide their learning.
The process challenges each student to think not just about WHAT they are learning, but about HOW they will learn. Students took the lead in creating their individual units of inquiry, choosing each aspect of their own exhibition unit. After studying the themes for 6 years, they could finally take their understanding of the framework of the PYP and use it themselves.
The exhibition process is challenging, but because students are following their own interests, they are motivated to work hard on each part. The parts include art, science, writing, and of course all is done bilingually. Even though each student is working on these parts, their work is varied and full of unique and creative ideas. From space, to sound, to global warming, there are students working on all kinds of interesting topics.
Not surprisingly in this pandemic situation, many students have chosen to focus on some aspect of mental health. Our Exhibition Day will show a wide variety of topics and information!
One part of the exhibition that students spent time on this year was art. Each student chose an art method to learn and used it to express their feelings or topic. It was a welcome break from heavy research for each student to explore and experiment with their chosen art methods and materials.
Some students learned how to do spray paint art, others learned about resin or alcohol ink. Some used a new digital art app, and a few developed their drawing or coloring skills to a level far deeper than before.
This process highlighted the importance of reflection in the exhibition unit. Students had to try things that may or may not work, think about what they might change, and then do it again to see what happened. In the end, each student made something amazing by learning something they didn’t know before.
We hope that many people can see our PYPX and celebrate our program together!