What is Exhibition?


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.

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 Purpose (Mission)

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

  • 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.

Role of the Student

Students will:

  • have an understanding of the purpose and requirements of the exhibition from the outset of the process (guidelines and planning instructions should be provided by the teacher or mentor)

  • participate in selecting a real-life issue or problem for the exhibition

  • develop the inquiry by helping to decide on a central idea, lines of inquiry and student questions

  • collaboratively plan learning and assessment experiences; these should involve independent and collaborative work and students should be involved in all stages of the planning and staging of the exhibition

  • carry out an open-ended inquiry into a real-life issue or problem

  • demonstrate an understanding of the components of the PYP, in particular the IB learner profile; the students involved in the exhibition should be given an opportunity to demonstrate their learning and the development of the attributes of the IB learner profile

  • demonstrate an understanding of the five essential elements—knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action

  • select and utilize a variety of strategies and resources to meet the outcomes of the inquiry; wherever possible, students should use a variety of source materials, such as first-hand experiences, interviews, surveys, field visits, artifacts, science investigations, working models, not just book and/or Internet research

  • be academically honest when referring to their sources of information

  • communicate effectively with teachers, peers and parents

  • reflect on the components of and processes involved in the exhibition; they should keep a journal or portfolio of their planning, draft pieces of work, sketches and photographs of work in progress as well as the final product

  • carry out self-assessment and peer assessment

  • celebrate their learning by presenting the exhibition to the school community.

Staging the Exhibition

It is a requirement that the exhibition is shared with members of the wider school community. There are many formats a sharing event could take, for example, an interactive display, a performance, a debate, or a combination of formats.

The exhibition should include the following.

  • Examples of written work in a variety of formats and styles: poetry, reports, persuasive texts

  • Oral presentations, individually or in groups, to the school community

  • Uses of technology including ICT, working models, designs, science experiments

  • Performances or compositions in any medium: dance, music, drama, visual arts, film, video, mixed media