Journey to a virtual PYP Exhibition

Supporting independent student inquiry from a distance

  • A common statement I normally make in my introduction to the PYP exhibition is “the exhibition starts as soon as the student joins the exhibition class“. However, this time round I could not claim with confidence that our students were ready to stage this elaborate celebration of learning.
  • With most schools forced into a distance learning set-up, I knew that effective peer collaboration for the exhibition would be a daunting task. So I advised the team of teachers involved to invest in equipping students with skills for independent inquiry.
  • As an institution, we had not laid a strong foundation to ensure continuity of learning let alone support independent student inquiry for the PYP Exhibition.
  • To provide a generic yet detailed guideline for the independent inquiry process, I created this google site. The site was and remains a living resource, being refined at every stage of inquiry with new insights and resources for the student.
  • To appeal to students, I ensured the site spoke to the student in a direct voice, was embedded with interactive resources and a one-stop-shop for guidance for the PYPX student.
  • The home page is stocked with background information in the form of coverage, testimonials and products of past PYP exhibitions at school to provide some context for students new to the process.

The PYP Self-study – A spark!

My office bulletin board turned inquiry board.

Tuning into the process

The PYP evaluation process is a cycle that starts ideally immediately after a school’s receives its authorisation report. The process is anchored by program standards and practices and serves as a reflective exercise for the broader teaching and learning school community.

Reflecting on the premise of this process, I sought out meaningful ways to present the process to the school community as a program coordinator. What better way than to develop it into a unit of inquiry! Using the school’s chosen inquiry model (Kath Murdoch’s model) and our customised planning template, I developed a plan.

What do I already know about the evaluation? Here’s my attempt at checking for prior knowledge. I like using the 5W’s to help me synthesise a topic;

  • Who: teachers, parents, students, school administration, PYPCC, IB visitors & relationship manager
  • What: it is an event – it has a start and an end. It is a process – it has several steps. It is a reflective exercise.
  • Where: All the groundwork will be done at school; the school community is the focal point of this exercise.
  • When: The process is lengthy, almost a year+ and has to be completed before the event. The event will happen on an agreed-upon date in 2020.
  • Why: It is a requirement and a service – a natural, regular cycle of growth that we must have as a PYP school.

What are the best places to get answers and insight on the evaluation?

Key words:

This board grew over a period of one month as I prepared for information sessions (coffee with the curriculum coordinator) to share the journey ahead with staff and parents.