How can I support my child?
These next few weeks will be a very exciting and challenging period for your child! Besides having their facilitating teachers and mentors to guide them, your child will really benefit from your continued support from home. Your role in making this a successful journey and rewarding experience for your child is very important.
The exhibition is the culminating, collaborative experience in the final year of the PYP. The exhibition is an authentic process for students to explore, document and share their understanding of an issue or opportunity of personal significance. All exhibitions are student-initiated, designed and are collaborative.
Please take the time to browse this site to get a feel for what the PYP exhibition (PYPx) is all about and what is expected. Each week has its own different expectations. The more aware you are about these weekly expectations, the better you will be able to support your child leading up to the final PYPx on the 22nd and the 23rd of April. Students will be presenting to a range of audiences from UNIS and other schools. Finally on the evening of the 23rd of April, students will present to parents, family and others.
Student-initiated: Students have a role in choosing the issue or opportunity to be explored; the transdisciplinary theme(s); the development of the central idea; the lines of inquiry; and identification of the key and related concepts that will drive their inquiries. They identify what knowledge they will need to acquire, and what skills they will need to develop.
Student-designed: Students design their learning goals and establish the criteria of what success will look like for them. They co-design strategies and tools with teachers, mentors and peers to document and self-assess their learning, and evaluate the success of the exhibition.
Students collaborate with their peers, teachers and mentors throughout the exhibition process. There is a genuine sense of participation and engagement through regular sharing of progress and feedback. As students are diverse, some will engage with the exhibition in groups while others will engage individually, supported by mentors.
All students take an active role in all aspects of planning, inquiring, investigating, communicating and assessing their learning in the exhibition. All students will benefit from guidance and collaboration with teachers, peers and mentors to facilitate, direct and adjust their learning.
Facilitate and Encourage
The PYP exhibition is an opportunity that involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems. Students collectively synthesise all of the essential elements of the PYP in ways that can be shared with the whole school community. This means your child and her/his group need to be as independent as possible when carrying out their research. Parents are needed to encourage and facilitate independence. Avoid DOING the work for your child.
Try to view yourself as a 'guide on the side' or a mentor. If you see your child challenged, ask questions to help her/ him think through the problem for themselves. Try as much as possible to let them come up with the solutions. Support your child by sharing examples of what others are doing around the world or directing them to an expert or place that can guide them.
If you see your child struggling with a book or web resource which is just too difficult perhaps you could ask:
- Can you explain the information in your own words?
- Might there be a different resource you could use?'
If your child is having problems finding information you might ask:
- Have you thought about using picture clues, the index or contents page?'
- Is there diagrams or data you can use?
- Is there a person you could ask?'
- Might there be a way you could contact that person if you can't actually meet them face to face?'
- Have you spoken to your group mentor or facilitating teacher about other resources?
Help Your Child Locate Resources
If you feel your child is having difficulty finding suitable websites, books, places (and so on) to help them with their research then you can point them in the right direction. You may suggest some websites or provide them with some helpful books or articles. You may be able to suggest a person they could write to, telephone or to visit in person. You may be able to take them on a field trip during the weekend to a local museum or other similar resource. Try looking in the Finding Out section of this website where web resources relating to their issue will be placed during the exhibition unit.
Support Your Child Emotionally
If your child is having emotional difficulties during the Exhibition, please put your child's mind at ease. The Exhibition should be challenging, but it certainly should not be stressful enough to cause your child anxiety. We all learn from our mistakes and if things don't go to plan it really doesn't matter in the long term. How your child performs during the Exhibition has absolutely no effect on how they are placed in Middle School at UNIS or other schools. You know your child better than anyone and it may be that the best support you can offer them, is to give them a cuddle or take their mind off school by playing a game and ensure they have balance and are relaxed.
Attend the PYPx Event
This year the date for parents to view the Exhibition will be Thursday April 23rd from in the UNIS Performing Arts Centre, starting in the Theatre (time TBA).
What does the IB say is the parents' role during the Exhibition?
- have an understanding of the purpose and requirements of the exhibition
- support and encourage students and teachers throughout the process of inquiry
- be informed by reading newsletters, attending meetings, checking school websites, talking with students
- help students to access resources—people, places, media and information
- provide expert subject knowledge where applicable
- act as mentors as required or appropriate
- encourage independent inquiry and respect student ownership of the process
- have an opportunity to reflect on and give feedback on the exhibition
- celebrate with the students by attending the staging of the exhibition.