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Exploring the Issues: BCIS Grade 5 PYP Exhibition

July, 2016
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On 1 and 2 June, Beijing City International School (BCIS) Grade 5 students held their most important academic event of the year – the PYP Exhibition. Throughout the year, students have been involved in project-based work covering two of their IB PYP Units of Inquiry (UOI) – “Sharing the Planet” and “How We Express Ourselves.” After engaging in research and discussion, and learning new skills like data gathering and effective interviewing, the students have been working on their own projects, which are based on particular issues that they care about, such as pollution, bullying, peer pressure and health.

bcis_g5_pyp_exhibition-81The Grade 5 exhibition was the culmination of these efforts, where students displayed their “issues” using visual arts, videos, performances, presentations and other media to their parents, classmates and other community members. The school was abuzz with pride and showcased its unique identity, as students donned their specially made exhibition t-shirts, and worked together to put on a fantastic opening show in the school theatre.

The main reason why the PYP Exhibition is so important is that it is the last major piece of work that students do for the IB Primary Years Program. It is, therefore, a wonderful opportunity to bring together the variety of skills they have gained over the years, in some cases since nursery, it also demonstrates that they are becoming inquirers, thinkers; and growing into open-minded and compassionate young people who care about their friends and communities. In line with the school’s motto, the PYP Exhibition is about students taking what they have learnt (becoming inspired), and giving them a platform on which to take action on an issue that they have come to care about (becoming empowered). They then face the challenge of preparing their own project, involving research, writing and interviewing, while trying to understand and develop themselves, while at the same time reflecting on why their particular issue means so much to them (showing compassion), This project can be said to empower and inspire, while creating challenge and inducing compassion. 


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