The transformation was slow and gradual. The benefits of a new programme were difficult to monitor in a school with such a high annual turnover of students, but our determined school principal gradually gained the trust of her community. Indeed, community involvement is a core value of the PYP.
Students painting the school windows
An article in the November 2004 issue of IB World, jointly written by members of our school community, publicized the results of incremental change at the school. A student discussion in years 1 and 2 resulted not only in a tidier classroom but also in a local anti-litter drive, with slogans painted on the school windows for the benefit of passing motorists. In years 4 and 5, some 300 “bags of life” were compiled and distributed to vulnerable members of the local elderly community. Students from kindergarten to year 5 worked with their art teacher to bring colour to their local community, displaying their artwork in local business premises and in public buildings. Another class was involved in the restoration of a local trail and its adjacent habitats. These worthy activities all reflect a deeper engagement with the core values of the PYP, as students reflect on their place in the multiple communities of classroom, school, locality, and the wider world.