Student conference for PYP Exhibition

Year 6 students share their Exhibition books

Year 6 students share their Exhibition books

By Peter McDonald, PYP Coordinator Year 3?Year 6.

Beginning a journey is always exciting, but beginning a journey in the company of friends where we choose our own direction is something very special. The Primary Years Programme Exhibition is just that ? students finding their voices to inquire into a topic or issue that has a deep personal connection for them, empowering students to make choices and decisions about the course of their learning.

PYP Model

As the Year 6 students and teaching team forge ahead into the finding out phase of their Exhibition inquiries, the classes have amalgamated to form groups of students from across the year level. This is undoubtedly one of the highlights for students and teachers. There will, of course, be many challenges ? working alongside friends isn?t always the easiest of tasks ? but this type of experience exposes students to an authentic opportunity to learn and grow as they apply a range of self-management and social skills.

This year in the junior school we have placed a significant emphasis on building our understanding and approach to Exhibition, and initiating changes that will hopefully further expand and develop the learning engagements and experiences of our Year 6 students. One such change has been last Thursday?s first ever, and extremely successful, ?Student Conference?. Designed to further enhance the application of the essential elements of the PYP throughout Exhibition and to expose the students to various skills and ideas that will assist in their research and presentation, the student conference also serves as an opportunity to grow the transition from primary to secondary school.

Students first listened to keynote speakers, Mrs Godfrey and Mr Southwell, both of whom provided insights into teamwork, collaboration, determination and leadership. Mrs Godfrey?s final list of leadership qualities to consider was continuously spoken about throughout the day and served as a wonderful provocation for thinking and reflection for both students and teachers.

The buzz and energy throughout the day was electric, with Year 6 moving to a series of university-style breakout workshops located across the College. Attending tailored sessions on the key concepts, action, skills and attitudes of the Primary Years Programme is essential to a successful Exhibition. Throughout the day, students registered to attend further subject and skill specific workshops on communication, formatting and IT, graphic design and collaboration from experts within our community, including Mick Bunworth, Tracey Markovic and Mary Willett. Providing the students with a timetable of events and asking them to choose, schedule and move to various workshops that best suited their own needs and interests was a powerful opportunity for learning, time management and personal responsibility, all skills essential for students as they move into the senior school.

Y6 students developing their ideas

As our Year 6 learners dive head-first into their fourth week of Exhibition, I would like to personally thank them, their teachers and all involved in the student conference for their dedication, resilience and hard work during the first phase of Exhibition. I?m certain that under this year?s How We Express Ourselves theme, our students will provide the Radford community with an outstanding display of the wonderful learning, skills and understandings they are sure to develop throughout the process and presentation of the PYP Exhibition.

The Exhibition presentation for members of the Radford College community will be held on the 1?4 site of the junior school on Wednesday, 9 September between 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

For further information contact Peter McDonald, PYP Coordinator Year 3?Year 6.

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