The Good Schools Guide August 2021 Blog featured an article with students and parents reflecting on their opportunities for lifelong learning and skill development through the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition for Year 6 students at our Wheelers Hill and Malvern campuses.

Read the article below.

“I learned so much about myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses as a learner. I was able to identify the importance of being a balanced learner, how to manage my emotions and expectations, and become more resilient and self-motivated.”

— Lola, Year 7, Caulfield Grammar School student and IB Primary Years Programme participant.

The IB (International Baccalaureate) programme is divided into three parts across a student’s educational life, beginning with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students between the ages of three and 12. Integrated within subject areas are six transdisciplinary themes: who we are, where we are in place and time, how we express ourselves, how the world works, how we organise ourselves and sharing the planet.

“PYP is about empowering individuals to understand that they can create positive change in the world, be it big or small to make it a better place for all,” says Jacinta Crimmins, Head of Teaching & Learning PYP at Caulfield Grammar School’s Malvern Campus, which has run the Program since 2017. “Our school community is wide, and we can utilise this to support learners throughout the process in a variety of ways, such as mentoring and developing productive networks.”

The program culminates with the Year 6 PYP Exhibition, a student-led collaborative experience where participants are given the opportunity to explore, document, and evidence their understanding of an issue or area of personal significance and the enquiry learning process. It enables students to present their analysis and insights on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fossil fuels to gender equality and the current challenges presented by COVID-19.

“There are so many advantages and opportunities for lifelong learning and skill development through the PYP Exhibition,” Jacinta explains. “They work towards taking action from their learning that may be through the lens of social entrepreneurship, social justice, lifestyle choices, advocacy or participation in a way that helps realise that, at any age and in a variety of ways, they too can make a difference.”

The breadth of input from right across the Caulfield Grammar School community, and global community experts, is a unique way of enabling real-life connections for students, as well as sparking their curiosity for enquiry. For student Lola, one of the highlights of the exhibition was hearing guest speakers share their stories.

“This helped me think of life in a broader way and allowed me to have a bigger understanding of the world. It also helped me set an idea for my exhibition, as I heard people’s stories turn into their passion, which became a part of their identity.”

A Malvern Campus student reads during the exhibition from the picture storybook she wrote with a message about mental health. 

Annabelle, another participant, enjoyed how the exhibition not only helped her develop presentation and enquiry skills, but also refined her time management abilities and enabled her to be responsible for her own learning.

“We weren’t told what to do, but guided,” she recalls. “This helped us strengthen our independence.”

It’s not just the students who have noticed the positive outcomes. Lola’s mother Tanja says that her daughter’s involvement has given her “a strong head start” into Year 7, while Annabelle’s mother Diana was pleased with the opportunity it provided her daughter to both develop time management skills and self-reflect on her learning journey.

“The exhibition itself was the highlight of the experience, as it was done in a manner that required the students to share their learning in a way they may be required to outside of their school community. It also provided an opportunity to celebrate each student’s exhibition achievements.”

Now navigating the transition to secondary school learning, Lola agrees that her experience with PYP helped with her transition to secondary studies. “Reflecting on the exhibition process, there were times I needed to take risks. Now in Year 7, I have the courage to explore new opportunities. It has enabled me to take my learning into my own hands.”

Take a video tour of Caulfield Grammar School here.