Student Action in the PYP!

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
Student Action in the PYP!
Serrin Smyth

"Action, the core of student agency, is integral to the Primary Years Programme (PYP) learning process and to the programme’s overarching outcome of international-mindedness. Through taking individual and collective action, students come to understand the responsibilities associated with being internationally minded and to appreciate the benefits of working with others for a shared purpose. When students see tangible actions that they can choose to take to make a difference, they see themselves as competent, capable and active agents of change." (Oxfam 2015 citied in My IB, The Learner, Action & International Mindedness)

Students in the PYP demonstrate action when they have linked their learning to real-life issues and opportunities.

Action can take many forms, and could include:

  • a change in attitude

  • a consideration or plan for action in the future

  • a demonstration of responsibility, or of respect for self, others and the environment

  • a commitment to leading or participating in further action opportunities

  • an engagement in school decision-making or an expression of support in the community

Action might come in the form of participation, advocacy, social justice, social entrepreneurship or life choices.

Image: https://twitter.com/terSonya/status/971740899226009600

Participation: Being actively involved in the learning community and showing commitment to contributing as individuals and as members of a group.

Advocacy: Taking action individually or collectively to publicly support positive social, environmental or political change.

Social justice: Taking action for positive change relating to human rights, equality and equity. Being concerned with the advantages and disadvantages within society, and with social well-being and justice for all.

Social entrepreneurship: Supporting positive social change through responding to the needs of local, national and global communities; applying prior knowledge and skills to identify and address challenges and opportunities in innovative, resourceful and sustainable ways.

Lifestyle choices: Making positive lifestyle changes in response to learning.

How have we seen students taking action in 2021-2022?

Grade 2 - Where We Are in Place & Time: Celebrations & Traditions! 

Edda’s Mother wrote to us to share that after a learning experiences at school for the Chinese Celebration, The Moon Festival, Edda had many ideas of how she wanted to celebrate this tradition at home. “On Friday, Edda came back with this idea of celebrating coming out of the moon and she insisted I find special decoration for the event, including a cake. At night she wanted us to go out and see the moon. And this morning when I was leaving for work, with a glowing face, she told me about seeing a moon last night. She was so happy.”

Edda explains her ideas about taking action; “I wanted to see the moon. I wanted to see if there was a rabbit and a girl in the moon and if the moon was the same as the other days. I wanted to buy Moon Cake and decorations. My brother told me we celebrate the moon festival to worship the moon god. I wanted to take my table inside my house and move it outside near the swimming pool to have dinner with my family because I wanted to spend time with my family and also go to a fun rollercoaster place. Part of the moon festival is to spend time with your family, when you celebrate the moon festival you spend time together and I was also thinking they would come outside to play in the swimming time. When it’s a festival it’s good to spend time together.”

If you see your child taking action as a result of their learning at school, we would LOVE to hear about it! As action is often taken outside of the learning environment, we often don't know about these opportunities that you as parents are witness to, even a short email telling us about something your child did or said at home as a result of their learning helps us know how the PYP is supporting the development of life long learners that take action!

Grade 2: Spy Mystery Club!

When these Grade 2 students were in Grade 1, they developed the "Pet Finders" Club - they could help you find your pet if it went missing! This year the group has evolved to develop the "Spy Mystery Club": "Have a mystery? Want us to solve it? Contact the Spy Mystery Club! We will help you find the answer!"

First page of the PDF file: SpyMysteryClub_1

Ms Megumi had a mystery that needed to be solved. She had a hat with a name on it, but wasn’t sure which student it belonged to, as there were others students with the same name. Call ‘The Mystery Club’!

The Spy Mystery Club gathered clues by interviewing different teachers and recess supervision staff.

They discovered the hat belonged to a student in Grade 4, but were not sure which class they were in. They asked Ms Smyth to take them to each of the Grade 4 classes to find the student whom the hat belonged to. Success! The hat has been returned to its owner.

The Spy Mystery Club wrote a letter of thanks to Ms Megumi for her advice.

They designed a poster to spread the word about their club and photocopied this to display in different parts of the school. 

The next mystery was shared by Ms Sharon - Why are the taps at the back gate being left on at 11:45am each day?

Never fear - the Spy Mystery Club will solve this problem! Watch this space for the next update...

Making Arts & Craft for Charity

Last year, 6 students organised a sale of bracelets, necklaces and erasers for our bus riders & Grade 1 & 2 students to help raise money for our Sister School in the Philippines. Their goal was to raise 5,000 yen and they managed to raise an incredible - 67,097 yen! Read more about their action last year HERE!

In the first week of school, there was knock on Ms Smyth's door as the students shared their desire to organize another fundraiser this year. We now have 18 students involved in this initiative from Grade 2 and Grade 5! 

Students meet before school to discuss and share:

- what they have been making

- how they will determine the charity they wish to support

- how to offer the opportunity for others to be involved 

- why this important to them

Some students wanted to make bags and went to learn from Mr Jones how to use the sewing machine to support the development of these. 

When asked the questions; Why is this important to you? Why are you wanting to be involved in this initiative? What is your purpose?

The students responses included: 

- I want to further develop my leadership skills by helping others succeed

- One of the Leadership Profiles is "being involved" and I want to do this

- I want to help the world be more balanced; some people have lots and some people have little

- I'm doing it because it's FUN!

- I'm new to Seisen and I think equal rights is important, I think everyone should have equal education and be healthy and strong

- I'm not just trying to help but I want to learn about what is happening in the world 

In an aim for students to feel connected to the cause, students have been researching different organisations and world events in order to find out which charity they will support. So far students have been researching;

- the needs of Myanmar; students have written questions to ask Father Leo about their needs

- UNICEF; we have discovered they support those that need food, opening up schools and COVID-19 vaccinations

- YAHOO; a local Japanese organization that support giving money to hospitals

* We will continue to update the community as students identify the purpose of this initiative and details of the Arts & Craft Sale

Grade 5 Leadership Programme: Rice Drive! 

Our Grade 5 leaders were involved in organizing the Elementary School Rice Drive. Students assigned roles and  responsibilities for this initiative:

Students created presentations to share with each class and informed them of;

Important Facts about the Rice Drive:

  • Seisen students bring in small bags of rice and it is donated to a local charity in Tokyo who feeds people who are in need of a meal.

  • The local charities are in desperate need for rice at the moment because not many people have been able to donate rice recently due to Covid 19.

About the Charity:

  • Missionaries of Charity Brothers.

  • Seisen has been supporting this organisation since 1996

Grade 5 leaders collected the rice from the homerooms on Friday November 1st.

We celebrate student initiated action on our Action Board at school - please be in touch, even a short email telling us about something your child did or said at home as a result of their learning, it helps us know how the PYP is supporting the development of life long learners that take action!

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