Somerset Times

Inquiry at its best: The PYP Exhibition

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 10, Term Three, 2017

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Primary Years Programme (PYP) culminates with an exhibition where Year 5 students demonstrate the skills necessary to be life-long learners. They utilise inquiry to research and critically reflect on issues that are relevant both personally and globally, completing the work over the term.

The enduring understanding for this year’s exhibition was “Children worldwide encounter a range of challenges and opportunities.” The light bulb moment for many of our students is the realisation that not all children in the world live in the same conditions as they do. The exhibition encourages children to look beyond the conditions in their personal environments and discover what it is like for other children. They do this when they choose an area of interest and pursue the issues around this interest area.

This year, issues included access to clean water, shelter, physical activity and education as well as the plight of refugee children, health issues and child soldiers. The children presented their work in many different formats and spoke intelligently about their issue. Their interactive presentations reflected their understanding of the issue and they loved sharing this with the younger students in the College who tended to walk away in awe of the accomplishments of the “big kids”.

Many of our Year 5’s took their understanding of the issue to a new level when they actively did something to help. Raising money to build wells for clean water has involved one student making connections with a local business while another student, an avid reader, denied herself this luxury for 24 hours and was sponsored to the tune of $390.00. Enough to keep a girl in school for a year!

Showing the video documenting the personal inquiries of the students, is one of the highlights of the evening. It is at this time our students are afforded the chance to actually look back on the journey and really see how much effort they have put into the exhibition and just how far they have come in their learning. As always, in the spirit of true inquiry there are always more questions. Be prepared, and don’t be averse to saying, “I don’t know”, but rather, “How can we find out?

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