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PYP Exhibition Series Part II

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On May 31 and June 1, the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition was held to celebrate the amazing work (and truly amazing it was) of the very industrious, intelligent, and determined Grade 5 students. Every year, as a culmination of the IB Primary Years Programme, the students become 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, as well as learning new skills, such as data gathering, effective interviewing, and presenting, the students have work on their own projects based on a particular issue of their choosing and interest. This year, they explored and tackled a wide range of important topics affecting the entire world, including bullying, animal welfare, heritage protection, racism, respecting those with different religious beliefs, and much more. As their most important academic event of the year, as well as the perfect way to end their Elementary School journey, one can imagine the great dedication and focus they possessed to make this the best exhibition possible.

Borrowing and gathering the best traditional Chinese furniture they could find throughout the Elementary School building, the students decorated and transformed various rooms and corridors to create the perfect setting to exhibit their research and hard work. Utilizing powerful visual arts, videos, keynotes, presentations, and other media, the students created a spectacular presentation that created a loud buzz all around the school. With great pride, the young learners also showcased a unique and unified identity, along with great collaboration skills by donning specially made exhibition t-shirts and working together to put on a fantastic overall show. The exhibition was not only opened to parents, students, and staff members of BCIS, but also members of other schools. As Elementary School Deputy Principal and PYP Coordinator Glenn Fitzpatrick stated, “Each year, all schools within the Beijing PYP network are invited to attend each other’s exhibitions. This year in particular, we had students from four other schools stop by and also teachers from a further eight schools. In the weeks leading up to our own exhibition presentation, our students actually visited the BISS and CISB exhibitions. This gave our students the opportunity to see what issues others are looking into, as well as the opportunity to talk with students that are looking at similar issues.”

One of the main reasons why the PYP Exhibition is so important is that it is the last major piece of work students do for the IB Primary Years Programme. Therefore, it a wonderful opportunity to bring together the numerous skills they have gained over the years, as well as demonstrate their progress of becoming great inquirers, thinkers, and open-minded and compassionate people. Following the school’s motto, the PYP Exhibition is about students taking what they have learned (becoming inspired), and giving them a platform on which to take action on an issue that they have come to care about (becoming empowered). Next, they face the challenge of preparing their own project, which involves much in-depth research, writing, and interviewing, while at the same time reflecting on why the particular issue they have chosen means so much to them (showing compassion). This project can be said to empower and inspire, while creating challenge and inducing compassion.

We spoke with several Grade 5 students about their work. Please read on for some of their comments and reasoning behind their decisions.

Student: Helen Wang

“I chose the topic, ‘The loss of animal habitats can affect the food chain and human well-being,’ because there are many animals that have become endangered due to habitat loss. From research, I learned that according to the WWF, out of the 10-50 million species living on Earth, 7,000 have already become extinct. Their loss can greatly affect human beings. That is why I organized a sale to raise money for the Roots & Shoots, who continue to help find ways to preserve endangered animals. In total, I donated 954 RMB.”

Student: Ella Branks

“The number of stray dogs all around the world is unimaginable. In Beijing and Tianjin alone, there are 1.3 million stray cats and dogs. Every year, 55,000 people die from rabies, while another 15 million receive open post-surgery to avoid any deadly diseases such dogs may transmit. Therefore, I took action by selling stationary and baked goods to help solve this problem. In total, I made 1,977 RMB, which I donated to the Little Adoption Shop in Shunyi because they are very poor and have over 600 dogs to take care of.”

Student: Cindy Li

“The feeling of being bullied is very bad. According to the research I conducted, I learned bullying is an unfortunate issue that can happen to anyone. Some people even resort to committing suicide because they can not handle such abuse. I also learned that bullies sometimes do these bad things to get attention, make themselves feel better over their own powerlessness and low self-esteem, or simply because of jealousy. Humans have the right live in a society free of bullying.”

Student: Benjamin Ramon Lewaqai

“Imagine all the countries in the world are destroyed! No food, no water, and no shelter. All the crops are ruined and there is no electricity. This is what happens when a natural disaster occurs. That is why I want to spread awareness about natural disasters, which can happen at any time and any place. People should always be prepared, unless they want all their possessions and homes to be gone forever!”

Student: Peter Xue

“Air pollution is abnormal weather that normally appears in big cities with strong economic development. For example, in Beijing, the factories around burn much coal and oil that send tiny particles in the air and cause pollution. Big trucks around the city also create much unwanted smoke. I think this is a very important issue that needs to be solved quickly. I don’t like being forced to stay home and change my plans just because the weather is bad outside. That is why I chose this topic.”

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BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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