The Primary Years Programme (PYP) exhibition represents a significant event in the life of a PYP school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the PYP and sharing them with the whole school community. As a culminating experience it is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP.
In the students’ final year of the PYP, which occurs in some schools at age 10–11 and in others at age 11–12, there are five units of inquiry and the exhibition. The exhibition unit takes place under any transdisciplinary theme at the discretion of the school. Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues
or problems. The central idea selected must be of sufficient scope and significance to warrant a detailed investigation by all students.
The PYP exhibition has a number of key purposes:
• for students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
• to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning
• to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
• for students to synthesize and apply their learning of previous years and to reflect upon their journey through the PYP
• to provide an authentic process for assessing student understanding
• to demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
• to unite the students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP
• to celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle/secondary education.
Essential features of the exhibition
As the culminating PYP experience, it is required that the exhibition reflects all the major features of the programme. Therefore it must:
• provide an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the IB learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the PYP
• incorporate all the key concepts; an understanding of the key concepts should be demonstrated by the application of key questions throughout the inquiry process 2 Exhibition guidelines
• synthesize aspects of all six transdisciplinary themes
• require students to use skills from all five sets of transdisciplinary skills (see Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education, 2007, figure 8); students should be given the opportunity to develop and apply skills from all the transdisciplinary skill areas in their exhibition inquiry
• offer the students the opportunity to explore knowledge that is significant and relevant
• offer opportunities for students to display attitudes (see Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education, 2007, figure 9) that relate to people, the environment and their learning; these attitudes should be evident throughout the process
• provide opportunities for students to engage in action; students should demonstrate an ability to reflect on and apply their learning to choose appropriate courses of action and carry them out; this action may take the form of personal involvement with the planning and implementation of the exhibition and/or service-orientated action; action may not always be clearly or immediately visible or measurable but evidence should be recorded whenever a particular behaviour results from the learning involved
• represent a process where students are engaged in a collaborative and student-led, in-depth inquiry facilitated by teachers; records should be kept that reflect the process of planning and student engagement with the exhibition
• include ongoing and rigorous assessment of the exhibition process; this assessment should take two forms: firstly, ongoing assessment of each individual student’s contribution to and understanding of the exhibition; secondly, a summative assessment and reflection on the event itself.