PYP Exhibition: “The only cure for boredom is curiosity…..

PYP Exhibition: “The only cure for boredom is curiosity…..

…There is no cure for curiosity.” So said Dorothy Parker.

The journey continues, and much has happened since the last post about the Primary Years Programme Exhibition. As an authorized IB PYP school, QAIS now takes part in The PYP Exhibition in all its facets. These are exciting times and our students are truly pioneers in making this foray into this culminating event in the life of a PYP student and school. They will not only make a substantial contribution to the school, and wider community, with their efforts; they will also provide a foundation for the further development of the program at QAIS. Moreover, they will have a unique experience that will affect their notion of how they can contribute for the greater good, as they take their place in the world.

We have engaged the school community at all levels. Staff received a presentation detailing the process and inviting them to get involved as a mentor to the students. We had a fantastic response from the wealth of talent we enjoy amongst our faculty and many staff members signed up to be group mentors, expert mentors or specialist mentors. On behalf of the students, I am grateful that Mr Bradley volunteered to guide the “Pollution” group, Ms Karen and Ms Emilie fostered the “Animal Welfare” group with Ms Christina, Ms Yuan will ably facilitate the “Energy” group and Ms Vanessa will tutor the “Religion” group. Further down the road of this exciting journey, we will have further support across the school community for a variety of tasks such as collating and presenting information for an audience. It has been exciting to engage with colleagues as we seek to give the students the best possible experience on this maiden voyage into Exhibition.

Parents witnessed an informative presentation on The Exhibition and were presented with a handbook to further inform them about how best to support their children. They had the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification about the nuances of the process. The students were present, with their Exhibition journals, their timelines, Central Ideas and much else as we set the stage for the coming weeks.

Which brings us neatly to the classroom. Students have had their initial meetings with their mentors and are at the end of delving into the broader issues of their topic. At all of the aforementioned meetings with the school community we have stressed the notion of process over product and already we are seeing the importance of this ideology. Students have had their share of challenges already; from how best to collaborate to what resources are the most accessible for them. We have had sessions on how to write meaningful reflections and how to take charge of mentor meetings; as, ultimately, we want the students to drive this process. We have seen great successes and our share of frustrations; this will continue as we experience the spectrum of Transdisciplinary Skills in this project.

They have been looking at “big” questions linked to the Central Idea and associated inquiries that they developed collaboratively. The IB says, directly to the students themselves:

“When the issue or problem has been selected, you will need to have a basic understanding of the issue and be able to explain why it is important in order to investigate it in more depth.”

This has been the sole focus of the journey, so far. Next week; more detail and new questions as the students seek to become experts in their chosen field. They will know the broad aspects of their chosen issue and then will delve deeper into their selected topics with a view to learning enough to take action and be an informed, articulate, spokesperson for the topic they said mattered to them. With the end in mind, they will want to be as knowledgeable as possible so they can inform, change minds and make a difference.