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A grade 5 learning journey

Tasha Cowdy is the PYP Coordinator at the Anglo American School of Moscow, Russia

Tasha Cowdy is the PYP Coordinator at the Anglo American School of Moscow, Russia

A PYP coordinator in an international PYP school in Russia describes the experiences of students in engaging with their PYP exhibition.

In the final year of the IB Primary Years Programme, students conduct personal and group inquiries into an area of their own choosing. These student-initiated inquiries are the culmination of the student’s growth and learning during their time in the elementary school. The inquiries should be transdisciplinary in nature, crossing all subject areas and synthesising the essential elements of the PYP. The students share the process and conclusion of their inquiries at a final exhibition, to which the wider school community is invited.

Image1_Grade 5

This year, the grade 5 students took their own personal interests and passions as a starting point. As an initial provocation, the grade 5 teachers reached out to the wider school community and asked for volunteers to come and speak to the grade 5 students about their passions. There were teacher, student and administrator volunteers from all three divisions of the school. These passion presentations helped the grade 5 students begin to think about their own passions.

Image2 _Grade 5

Over the following weeks, the students inquired into and reflected on their passions and interests, and thought about if and how those passions and interests shape them and how they connect to the wider world. The students thought about how, through their passion based exhibition, they could share their learning during their time at AAS, in the context of our school mission statement.

Throughout the exhibition process, we saw the students living the IB Learner Profile and demonstrate the essential elements of the PYP as they worked collaboratively in their inquiry groups to pull their work together and make their learning visible for others.  Adults noted the independence and focus with which the students worked, and the support, encouragement and empathy they showed to each other.

After much hard work, the Grade 5 students were excited and well prepared to share the knowledge, skills, attitudes and deep understandings that they had developed during their time here in the Elementary School.

The students returned once more to their exhibition inquiry groups for a final reflection on their learning journeys. They were asked to frame their reflections in a metaphor. The metaphors were wonderfully creative and diverse, and helped the students to think deeply about their learning journey.

This has been a wonderful summation of their learning during their time in the Elementary School.

The original article which includes more images and videos of the PYP exhibition process can be found on Tasha’s blog here.

Tasha is a PYP workshop leader and has taught throughout IBAEM and IBAP regions as a classroom teacher, ESOL teacher, Early Childhood Coordinator and Curriculum Coordinator.  She blogs at

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