I have had the privilege to be part of fifteen PYP Exhibitions across my career and had the opportunity to visit countless others. Whilst I am clearly biased, I feel very confident in claiming that this year’s recent PYP Exhibition left the others in its wake. The depth of the students’ conceptual understanding, the sophistication of their presentations, the quality of their writing and compositions, and their conviction to bring about informed change was simply remarkable. The last eight weeks have been an intense but rewarding learning journey for our students. They have been pushed beyond their comfort zones and they have risen to the challenge.
This year’s Exhibition focused on the transdisciplinary theme, Who We Are and explored the central idea, ‘The wellbeing of humanity is reliant on the hopeful, determined actions of individuals.’
Not content with the process and format of previous Exhibitions, we embarked on an ambitious plan to have the students complete a dual inquiry. In addition to exploring a real-life issue associated with the central idea, we asked them to conduct a concurrent inquiry into themselves as an artist or author. The purpose of the secondary inquiry was to provide greater depth, and an authentic and engaging means of communicating their understanding.
A big ask…yes! Too big…no way!
Unlike previous Exhibitions that were full of posters heavy on text, this year’s Exhibition took a different format. After collaboratively writing a 2000-4000 word essay in their inquiry groups, the boys were asked to condense this into a three to four minute Prep Talk (think TED Talk); a short, punchy, provocative and informative speech that captured the essence of their issue and the action they have taken. This was followed by an opportunity for the audience to interact with the presenters to ask further questions.
At the conclusion of the Prep Talks, the boys moved to our Art Gallery (otherwise known as the Music Centre) where there was a collection of exhibits ranging from musical performances, artworks, creative writing and dramatic compositions. Each piece was accompanied by an artist or author’s statement outlining their inspiration and the meaning of their work.
The quality of the presentations and creative pieces was simply outstanding and well beyond the expectations of Year 6 students. It was an absolute honour to listen to the boys speak with such confidence, composure and commitment. I have rarely been prouder as an educator!
On the evening we were joined by six of the incoming Year 12 School Officers who shared a similar learning journey some six years ago at the Prep School. They returned to take part in the evening and spoke briefly to the parents. They reflected on the importance of the Exhibition in preparing them for the transition to high school and beyond.
Whilst the plaudits must go to our students, it has only been possible due to the dedication, care and support of the wonderful teaching and support staff of the Preparatory School. The Exhibition really was an amazing team effort! My congratulations go to the Preparatory Staff and specifically to the many teachers and support staff who acted as mentors throughout the process and to Mr Gannon, Ms O’Dwyer, Mr Mugridge, Mrs Ford and Mrs Hitz-Morton, along with the Art, Music, STEAM and Library Staff who provided guidance along the way.
A brief video of Prep PYP Exhibition can be found here.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture each student to help him realise his potential, passion and purpose in life.
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