The “Why?” of the PYP Exhibition at ISHCMC

No other group of teachers and students in the Primary School comes under such public scrutiny as the Grade 5 teachers and students do during the PYP Exhibition. The eyes of the whole community are upon them as they make their way through the culmination of a PYP student’s time in primary education. As a result, it is vital that the teachers are provided with plenty of meaningful time in which to lay down plans for how they will set up a powerful context for the students and guide them through it.

This week, the Grade 5 teachers spent an afternoon out of the school so that they could begin work in earnest. Suzanne kicked this process off by taking the team through the process of designing a PYP Exhibition purpose, or “mission”. Having a clear purpose – beyond the expectations set out by the IB – gives the PYP Exhibition a very strong grounding and creates a foundation for all decision-making. PYP Exhibitions can get out of hand as the expectations of the community seem to inflate each year! As a result, very often, the true purpose can be lost.

After much thought, deliberation, negotiation and compromise, the Grade 5 team wrote this mission statement for the PYP Exhibition in our school this year:

“The PYP Exhibition exists to provide students with the time to initiate a personal, self-directed and empowering inquiry that celebrates, values and reflects their life and learning so far.”


4 thoughts on “The “Why?” of the PYP Exhibition at ISHCMC

  1. Absolutely, and thanks! It really felt right to go through this process… not something I have done before with a group of teachers, but I have done it as the first part of a PYP Exhibition workshop. Writing, sharing and constantly referring back to this mission statement should give the whole thing a real grounding and should, we hope, keep the purpose very much in mind.

  2. Dear Sam,

    We are about to embark on the first phase of our journey of the Exhibition and provoke our students into ‘Why Exhibition’ by first viewing our last year’s Ex docuvid. We hope that this will generate new wonderings and reinforce understandings about the very purpose of this journey. We also wish to bring in some ex-PYPers in to the class to share their thoughts and perspectives of their experience last year.

    It would be lovely to collaborate with your school on this amazing journey!

    Warm regards,

    P.S. Loved the Mission Statement idea! 🙂

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