PYPX: Begins Again

New school from the last PYP Exhibition. Completely different environment. Totally different teachers and students. It’s time to begin again.

I like the PYP Enhancements and the IB’s explicit understanding that schools are at different places in their PYP journey.  The degree to which students are engaged with planning and implementing their exhibition depends on the students and schools’ experience with the PYP. (the exhibition from Principles into Practice). Looking at the graphic from PIP, exhibitions will look different depending on a school’s experience with the PYP.

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 10.08.10 AM

We, as a campus, are in our 3rd year and are just going through our PYP verification visit in November. Although not required to have the Exhibition, we want to try it, and so we’re rolling it out slowly.

Step 1:

We looked at the purposes of Exhibition and chose purposes that we can build up throughout the year. We highlighted these and thought about units where we can focus on those purposes as a build up toward the Exhibition. For example, in our 2nd unit, we are going to start the students using iTunes U, collating all of their learning ideas for unit 2 on that platform.

Purposes of PYPX (as per the IB):

  • for students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
  • to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate student agency and responsibility for their learning
  • to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate the attributes of the learner profile in authentic contexts
  • to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
  • to provide an authentic process for students to monitor, document and present their learning
  • to provide students with an opportunity to synthesize and apply their learning
  • for students to take action as a result of their learning
  • to unite the students, teachers and other members of the learning community in a collaborative experience
  • to provide an authentic context for students to reflect on their PYP education
  • to support the well-being of students by celebrating their transition to the next stages of their education
  • to provide an authentic task for the community to evaluate its implementation of the PYP
  • to provide students with an opportunity to engage with the broader learning community and celebrate their achievements.

The purposes in bold are ones where we can focus throughout the year, and of course, during the Exhibition itself.

Step 2

As part of the process of Exhibition, we think we will invite groups of parents in at the end of each unit for students, or a small group of them, to present that purpose of PYPX. For example, for unit 2, we think we will invite parents in to look at the iTunes U courses. Students will present how they went about iTunes U and collecting all of their ideas, learning, reflections on that platform. Hence, students will be able to show an authentic process for students to monitor, document and present their learning.

We got the idea from Mercedes Benz International School in Pune (now Mahindra Int. School) where they invited parents in for the final celebration and students walked their parents through the process, with a product each step of the way.

We’re going to try this throughout the rest of the units, so parents come in to really see the process. We thought of inviting just a small group each time and then the parents will have the responsibility to feed back to the other parents about what they experienced/observed. Maybe they could write a blog post for the other parents? The parents could have a big sharing session in unit 6, our Exhibition?

Step 3

Looking at the ATLs. We looked at the ATLs and the sub skills mentioned in the Enhanced PYP. To help make this more manageable, we are thinking that each “subject” can take the lead on an ATL. For example:

Thinking ATLs: Grade 5 Homerooms will take the lead

Communication ATLs: Grade 5 homeroom and Languages will take the lead

Research ATLs: ICT/Library will take the lead

Social ATLs: PSPE will take the lead

Self-Management ATLs: Visual Arts/Music will take the lead

We still need to propose to the single subjects and look through how this will work. Our ideas are that each “subject”–Visual Arts, for example, will focus on each sub skills, looking at 1 thing that students can do. Visual Arts, for example, could look at the sub skill of Organization, managing time and tasks effectively. They might choose to focus on “use time effectively and appropriately.”

We’re still working this out, but think it will be easiest if we divide and conquer and everyone involved gets a chance to take the lead. We find that it’s best if we explicitly focus on parts–like parts of the ATL, purposes, etc… because otherwise, we do everything on a surface level.

That’s where we are right now. More to come as we go through.

There are some excellent resources out there that we can use as we go through this process.

Sonya terBorg did a webinar with Managebac all about the enhancement and Exhibition and wrote up everything here.

Taryn Bond Clegg collected a bunch of PYPX resources here.

Toddle has just opened up their planning templates for all. Haven’t gotten a chance to experiment but might be interesting to see how this works for PYPX.

Much more to come, but for now, it’s a beginning.

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