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The PYP Exhibition at BISS

July, 2016
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On 12 April, the Grade 5 students of Beijing BISS International School celebrated their PYP journey on “Exhibition Day”. Using the interdisciplinary theme, “Sharing the Planet”, the students had spent weeks exploring the theme’s central idea: understanding how people interact with each other and the Earth empowers us to find local solutions to global problems.

biss-pyp-exhibitionDrawing from a range of diverse real-life research topics, such as genetic engineering, armed conflicts, animal welfare, organic farming, and racial discrimination, the Grade 5 students showed remarkable enthusiasm and understanding of how these issues influence our perception of the world and the ways in which we live.

The exhibition represented an investigative journey of understanding from multiple perspectives, as well as a celebration of the process of research and the action taken as a result by the students. The process involved several teachers, who acted as mentors for the students, as well as those who integrated learning into specialist classes. Through the knowledge shared by guest speakers, their own reading and reflection, and the involvement of parents, teachers and fellow students from the BISS community, the students were not only given the opportunity to reflect on global problems, but also proposed local solutions. Such solutions included: a re-vamped process of pet adoption to ensure that families are aware of the commitment they are making to a rescued animal; suggestions about the use of genetic engineering and limits to its use in order to prevent harm to the human genome; and ways to include others in games to prevent a feeling of exclusion.

The PYP Exhibition was shared with the BISS community and the PYP community at large. The school welcomed 200 visitors from local PYP schools including the Western Academy of Beijing, Beijing City International School, Daystar Academy, Huijia Private School, and Beanstalk International Bilingual School. The visitors enjoyed learning about the students’ research and watching live performances.

This year, one very special visitor named Lucy Cook came to attend from the University of Nottingham in England, after having researched the BISS exhibition preparation process for a project with the International Baccalaureate. She was thoroughly impressed with what she saw from BISS students and the school itself, saying “I am so grateful for the hospitality that the staff, students and parents at BISS showed me last week. It was a fascinating visit, and I was enthralled by the final performance on Wednesday evening. Everyone had put such a lot of effort into ensuring the performance was a success, but it was clear that it was the journey that was the most enriching part of the experience.”

The Exhibition celebrates the inquiry-based learning method used by the Primary Years Program. Judging from the reflections noted above, BISS students are well on their way to succeeding in their next adventure: the transition to the Middle Years Program. 


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