Why the PYP Exhibition is an immersive experience for your child

Manju Nair
Jul 15, 2022

Exhibitions have been part of school life for a very long time. Some of my own most vivid memories of school life revolve around presentations done during a school exhibition or fair. However, in the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) exhibitions have evolved to take on a very important role at the end of primary school. 

The PYP Exhibition or PYPx for short is a culminating experience for the students in the programme. It entails an independent yet collaborative inquiry that students embark on. Students then share their learning, including the built in assessments, with the community. 

The PYPx is a culmination of the PYP, since it takes place in Grade 5 - the last year of the PYP, and students are by then expected to show competence in not just the inquiry process but a consolidated understanding of all of the elements of the PYP. 


‘Students draw on their interests, passions’

The closest analogy I can think of is: imagine if students of culinary arts had gone through a series of lessons which could include several entrees, main courses, desserts, plating and presentation skills, aspects of health and nutrition etc. 

They are then asked to show their competence and understanding by sitting for an examination where they are tested on their knowledge or they could be asked to draw on the knowledge, skills, and understanding they developed to design a full course menu, cook it and present it as a meal. The PYPx is akin to the latter.

To design an independent inquiry students draw on their interests, passions, proclivities, strengths, or even concerns. Thereafter, they plan a unit which can last from several weeks to even a few months. 

‘Year-long preparation’

The preparation for the exhibition is an almost year-long work, over and above meeting all the other demands of the final year of PYP. The teachers and students co-construct the success criteria for it, and the PYPx is assessed based on them.

One interesting facet of the exhibition is that it can be presented in any mode the students deem fit. From artistic display boards, to role plays and concerts, to presentations, students are only limited by their own imagination. 

In my time as a PYP Coordinator, I have seen students turn spaces into mock airports, to futuristic schools, shopping malls, mock global conferences etc to display the results of their investigations into problems and possibilities related to the real world.

‘GIIS takes its PYP Exhibitions very seriously’

At GIIS, we take this process of preparing for the PYP exhibition very seriously. Our students’ interests and passions are deeply respected and they are supported in their inquiry and investigation by grouping the students with others who share similar topics of interest. 

PYP 2022 Exhibition showcasing GIIS students’ work 

The entire PYP community comes together to support the exhibition groups through mentorship, and by providing resources they need. Students go to any lengths to gather information and support for their causes. 

Also read: Understanding the IB PYP Approach to Assessment at GIIS

They even take the initiative to write to heads of nations, ambassadors, and other experts when required. All these connections make our PYPx an immersive experience that we proudly share with our community. In the post covid world, we hope to extend this invitation to the larger community of school students and educators.

If you are keen to know more about IB PYP at GIIS, please do not hesitate to reach out to our friendly admissions counsellors.

Manju Nair

Ms. Manju Nair is a doctoral candidate with the University of Bath. Her research interests included leadership, inclusion, and multilingualism under the overarching practices and principles of progressive education. As a lecturer and pedagogical leader she has inspired and groomed countless numbers of teachers. As an advocate for ‘student-centred pedagogies’, she has established time and again that it leads to the best outcome for students. She is currently working as the IB Primary Years Coordinator at GIIS. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, yoga & meditation, baking, painting and traveling.

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