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PYP exhibition, as we know is the culmination learning process during the primary program before going to the next level, Middle Year Program. It is like a salad which contains mixed vegetables which represent the feeling during its process, such as excited, happy, tired, bored, satisfied, nervous, and relieved.

In this 2018, Sekolah Cikal Surabaya has the second Y5 PYP Exhibition with the current UOI “Sharing the Planet” with the central idea of “Children worldwide encounter a range of challenges, ranges, and opportunities”. From this central idea, students of Y5 are divided into five groups and each of them came up with five smaller topics which are juvenile delinquency, child marriage, learning disabilities, game addiction, and child trafficking. In order to help the groups, there two mentors for each group that will help them during the process.

It is long processes which last for around 8 weeks starting from January to March. All the processes are referred to the IB inquiry cycles, tuning in, finding out, sorting out, going further, making conclusion, and taking action. This long learning journey involves not only the students but also mentors, teachers, parents, and communities within and outside the schools. Students also apply their transdisciplinary skills.

In the tuning in stage, students activate their prior knowledge about what challenges that children all over the world have. Students created a mind map to list down the issues children have to deal with. In order to enlarge students’ knowledge on the issues, the teacher also showed a number of videos related to the topics discussed, such as street children in Jakarta, the different access of education between two Indonesian kids in Jakarta and Papua, child marriage and its dangers, child trafficking, children sexual abuse, child labor, UNICEF, bullying, and other issues. After watching the videos, students gave their opinion toward what happened in the video to the children. In order to deepen students’ knowledge on the issues, students observe some pictures and wrote their statement, opinion, feeling, and any ideas they have regarding to the pictures provided.


Figure 1 Students are doing tuning in on the issues of children’s rights and challenges

After the process of tuning in, students go to the next step which is finding out the information related to the topic chosen. Each group has concerned on one issue they want to study deeper, students with the facilitation of mentors started to find out and conduct a number of research to answer their inquiry. Doing the literature review through searching from the Internet, reading newspaper, book, and magazine. From this activity, students apply their research, ICT, and literacy skill. Students learn how to find the reliable information, avoid the hoax that is widely spreaded in the Internet, and develop their plagiarism awareness as they are required to paraphrase the information they got instead of copy-paste.


Figure 2 Mentoring process during PYP Exhibition preparation


Figure 3 Students are doing research and promoting ICT skill on the related topic

Not only doing the literature review from a number of sources, the process of finding out the information is also conducted through the field research in which students directly observe and see through doing a field trip, inviting guest speakers to be interviewed. This is expected that students promote their social skill as students have to meet and interact with new people outside their circle. Students have experienced a lot of activities outside and inside the classroom, go to UPTD Kampung Anak Negeri-a government office which concern on the protection of street children in Surabaya, go to UNICEF, PPA Polrestabes Surabaya, Lembaga Perlindungan Anak, and Sekolah Cita Hati Bunda (a special school for children with special needs) invite Save Street Children Surabaya as the social organization concerning on the street children in Surabaya and many other cities in Indonesia, invite the obsgyn to know the danger of child marriage from the medical point of view, invite the dyslexic expert from Dyslexia Parents support group. Some groups also distribute questionnaire enrich their data.


Figure 4 Students are doing field trip to collect the data

After having all the data, students do sorting out in order to sort which data can answer which lines of inquiry.  The results of sorting out process are in the form of various products, pictorial graphs, poster, comic strips, animation, games, and many others. Students learn how to explore their creativity in creating a number of products to be displayed.


Figure 5 Students present their final product

In addition, this is continued by the going further process by doing research on the new inquiry that students have after having long processes of inquiry. In this process, students strengthen their finding in the previous research by doing more research on the related topics, such as distributing questionnaire, interview society, or find the relevant sources that support them find more info and answer their inquiry.

After that, students make conclusion as well as taking action. What students can do as their action. It is various based on students’ initiative, doing campaign via self-made animation, campaign through poster, sticker, bookmark, games, drama, hip-hop dance, and student-made song entitled Don’t be Scared You are Cared with the lyric as follow:

All children in the world

Have rights don’t be scared

As you have right to be cared

We all have hope show your smile to the world


We have the action so please listen

Children need protection

We have the action so please listen

Children need protection

So we will be shining bright


Rights for everyone

Education number one

Be nice and no lies

No more kids’ cries

Love and care so kids will rise


We have the action so please listen

Children need protection

We have the action so please listen

Children need protection

So we will be shining bright

Don’t be scared

Don’t be scared

Don’t be scared

You are cared


After the long processes, the PYP Exhibition presentation is held on 14-16 March 2018. Parents, teachers, students, and other IB schools are invited to come. In this moment, students show their understanding, communication, and social skills in presenting their learning journeys. I am really proud of them when they can confidently present to the adult and answer their questions very well in comprehensive ways. Being prouder is when the students of Y5 can present the materials to the younger kids, making some adjustment on the language usage, body language to take care of their younger friends.

In this process, I am as their teacher learn a lot from them. A lot of mentors also say that they need to learn more on the topic, they are like doing thesis again. Tired yes, but the satisfaction when we can be part their success is priceless.


Written by: Ika Fitriani – Y5 Homeroom Teacher – Sekolah Cikal Surabaya


The Thing Upstairs (Or how I stopped fearing the science and love my unit of inquiry)

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Written by: Adam Sturtevant (Tunas Muda School – Kedoya Campus – adam.sturtevant@tunasmuda.sch.id)

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“Burke, feed me!” Those words, echoing with shaky camera movements are enough to send shivers through Burke and his friends. You may or may not remember who Burke is. He is, for all intents and purposes, a roundish, blobby looking piece of blue clay from a TV show I used to watch when I was in school. His unseen master calls him from upstairs with a variety of requests while he wrestles with the temptation to open a mysterious trap door in the castle. During my first years teaching in the PYP I felt the same sense of terror that Burke felt, except the words were slightly different. “Unit 2 is about how Forces can make things change shape and place!” There. I said it. Did you feel a chill? A slight twinge of terror? The reason for the panic at the time was simple – I am an ‘English’ teacher. You know, the word guy. The grammar guy. What was I going to do with five weeks of science? Five weeks of rolling cars down ramps? Five weeks of friction? Gravity haiku? Endless lessons on verbs? I look back on those thoughts now with a smile. This year, when Unit 2 rolled around, it was Burke who held the answer. Him, stop-motion animation and two classes of creative year two children.

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If you don’t remember Burke, you will most definitely remember Pingu. We dimmed the lights in our class and watched. The students loved it, we are able to sequence and attempt to translate the hoots and honks that the clay penguin made. We asked ourselves some questions too. How do they make the clay move? How long does it take? During the next few days we added another character. This time Gumby provided us with plenty of laughs. Many of the students thought 1 Burke and the trap door Gumby gave us a few awkward laughs it was a little on the odd side of things. Indeed, Gumby has been around for longer than I have. Our third installment was Burke’s show, Trap Door. By now the students had been comparing and contrasting as the days went on and there were a remarkable amount of similarities both visually and in terms of story. One student even picked up on a bullying subplot that ran throughout the three different shows. Students worked together to complete triple Venn diagrams and shared their findings with the class. However, we weren’t done yet. We had to do it ourselves. We had to animate our own characters. We had to make to try our hands at stop-motion animation. Students spent a Monday lesson brainstorming a character of their choosing, forming a simple scene using a six panel story board. We had learned about this process by watching a behind the scenes video of Aardman animation’s “Timmy Time.” Students had to plan, label and add markings for directions, movement, and any speech that would be included. That night I made enough playdough for the two classes, 48 students in total. The end of the week saw the children making their models according to their story boards. The models were carefully stored on trays ready for a week of animation.

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Each student was responsible for their own animation. Using a free application on an iPad, Stop Motion Studio, students were able to move their model through their storyboarded sequence, taking single frame photos for each movement. Most modern animations run at 25 frames per second but we dropped ours down to a more manageable rate of 5 per second 2 A student moves a model Each object had to be moved many times for everyone’s sanity. We of course ran into many problems. Some of the models would not move exactly how the students wanted. Some effects in the storyboards were unable to be realised. One student wanted lightning so she used a dry erase marker to draw onto the plastic backdrop, erasing and redrawing with each successive frame. Many of the students were thinkers as they tackled problems on the fly. Once enough frames were taken I asked each student to press play. I don’t think I’ll forget those smiles.

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All that pushing, pinching, squeezing, twisting and pulling had paid off. Seeing their inanimate models come to life, moving, getting eaten by play-dough snakes, squashing robots, crying dough-tears and even spinning flowers. The last step was adding voices for the students that had chosen to do so. The sense of pride that radiated from each student made the whole process worthwhile.

So much for terror, right? As an ‘English’ teacher I did get to do everything that I wanted to do language-wise. We revised our adjectives from the previous unit with our comparisons of the episodes, we completed our writing genre, report writing, by reflecting on our process , celebrating the successes and discussing the pitfalls we faced along the way. We reinforced our story conventions by sequencing and examining characters and settings. Our animation process fit right into the theme of our unit and allowed a great deal of the inquiry vocabulary to be shared and practiced effectively. With the generous help of the leading class teachers and assistants we were able to give our students an opportunity to explore, create, reflect, predict and come to conclusions. And as for my conclusion? Sometimes the PYP can seem intimidating when integrating language and stand alone grammar in the most seamless way you can. A unit of inquiry might be scary but like Burke so tirelessly does, you just have to feed it. Feed it your ideas, your creativity and let the students do the same. Let it enrich your activities and explorations, not be a barrier to them. But still, I’d probably be careful with that trap door. There might be some tears.

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Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals to Students

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Every year, we collaboratively review our school written curriculum based on the IB requirements. Reviewing the curriculum is related to Standard C2.9, which states that “the written curriculum is informed by current IB publications and is reviewed regularly to incorporate developments in the programme(s)”.

In doing the review this year, we made sure that the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are taught and addressed in our curriculum in addition to the IB Primary Years Programme and Indonesian national requirements.

The SDGs are “Global Goals” in which world leaders from 193 countries, including Indonesia, are committed to achieving by 2030.   The goals are inter-related and include eradicating poverty, hunger and inequality; taking action on climate change and the environment; improving access to health, education and clean water and sanitation; and building strong institutions and partnerships. Adopted in 2015, the SDGs are as follows:


Source: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html

Involved in our curriculum review were all our classroom and single-subject teachers as well as our co-teachers from early years and elementary. The outcome of our review revealed that all the 17 goals were already part of our early years and elementary written curriculum and we need to continue explicitly addressing them in our taught curriculum.

For the review, we identified the specific unit of inquiry linked to each goal. During our review, it was interesting that our physical education and dance teachers developed plans on how to teach the SDGs in their subjects across grade levels.

Teaching the SDGs to our students is connected to the IB mission statement of creating a “better and more peaceful world” and developing “internationally minded people”. It is  related to Standard C2.7, which states that “the written curriculum promotes student awareness of individual, local, national and world issues”. Likewise, it is linked to Standard C2.14b, which emphasizes that “teaching and learning empowers students to take self-initiated action as a result of the learning”.

Achieving the SDGs is not only the work of governments and non-governmental organizations. As educators, we need to do our part and also become globally competent.

By: Richel Langit-Dursin

Primary Years Programme coordinator

BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, Jakarta



Celebrating International Mother Language Day

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 The person who knows only one language does not truly know that language”.  (Goethe)

The United Nations has declared February 21 as the Mother Language Day. It is the day that we celebrate our first language and culture. First language is considered the language that we are exposed to and speak since we were born.

We need to maintain and preserve our first language and culture as our cultural identity and to keep our emotional stability. Studies show that we will learn another language quickly if we maintain our proficiency in our first language. According to Jim Cummins (2001), children who continue to develop their abilities in two or more languages in their primary school years, will gain a deeper understanding of language and how to use it effectively. They have more practice in processing language and they are able to compare and contrast in the ways how their two languages work.

To celebrate the event, the PYP Indonesian Language Department at BINUS SCHOOL Simprug organized an assembly, titled “International Mother Language Assembly” last February 21. We had performances from a variety of languages and cultures. The performances included student presentations and performances in Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, English, Hindi, Japanese and Korean.  There was also a national costume show representing different cultures. National costumes from Pakistan, Serbia, Kenya, Australia, India, Korean, China, Japan, Indonesia, France, and Singapore were shown during the assembly.

All PYP students were encouraged to speak in their mother tongue not only on that day but anytime they wish to.


By: Ratuu Harida

PYP Indonesian Department Head



Enlargement Drawing

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Enlargement drawing is to change the size of a drawing or a picture. I like to give this activity to my grade 5 students. This activity was very challenging. You can see how serious the children were in doing this activity. Why? It is because the children needed to make sure that the details were in the correct position. We used scale to help enlarge the drawing.

I usually do the individual project as a formative task and group project as summative assessment. I made this activity for the third time but with a different theme.

First, I gave this activity to make an enlargement drawing of a famous painting. Second, the students made an enlargement drawing of famous political activists.  Third, the students made Punakawan.

Before starting the lesson, I explained the function of scale in drawings. Students were given a drawing worksheet with grids. In the worksheet, there was a small picture with grids and bigger blank grids for students to re-draw the picture. This activity made sure that students knew when they had to follow the details or lines in the picture. After the students completed the worksheet, they had to do a challenging activity wherein they had to create their own grids using a ruler.

The first challenge was that students had to make sure that the grids were straight and bigger than the worksheet given. Many of the students needed to re-do their measurement since they were not able to make their grids straight. After the students made straight grids, they re-drew the same picture on the bigger grids. The most important is that the ratio must be 1:1. otherwise the drawing will not be the same as the picture. Why must it be 1:1? It has to be the same number of lines on the paper and reference picture.

The reason students had to do it as an individual art project was that they needed to know and understand the basic knowledge of the function of grids. This understanding and knowledge will help them when they do the summative task.

The other challenge was that students needed to put together several pieces of pictures. After putting all the pictures together, students created grids to enlarge the picture on the paper size given. They chose the cut pieces and started creating the enlargement drawing individually. As soon as they were done with individual drawings, they had to connect each piece with another to make sure that the enlargement drawing is the same as the combined pieces. When they found any mistake, they fixed it and matched it again. This action continued until the picture was the same as the whole picture. In doing this learning engagement, the students became more open-minded, developed further their thinking skills, gained respect, showed tolerance to their group members, and demonstrated problem-solving skills.

The last challenge was that students had to make sure that they colored each part of the picture with the same color. Since students used different brands for their crayon, they need to decide which brand that they had to use for each part because if they used different brands of crayon, it will produce different colors even though the color has same name.

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By: Irma Dwi Savitri

Visual Art teacher









Koi in the Pond

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One of the famous fishes from Japan is koi. The koi has unique colours. It may have a single colour or two to three colours. The pattern on the koi fish itself makes it more beautiful. The beauty of koi fish provided me an idea to create a class project. I decided to make this project for grade 5 and it was a stand-alone unit of inquiry.

Since this is a class project, the pond had to be big enough to accommodate all the koi fishes. I used three pieces of white Manila paper. I divided the students into three groups. Each group needed to paint one Manila paper using water colour with blue colour. Students enjoyed this activity when they painted the Manila paper. When the paint already dried, we connected the three pieces of Manila paper together.

The next activity that the students had to do was to trace the koi templates which teacher already provided for them. Students need to trace two small and 1 big koi fish template. Students also had to create a lily pond and water lily. They colored and cut all of them. Students had to color back to back the koi tails and water lily.

Students felt excited when they saw the result of their fishes. They showed each other their koi final product to their friends. The most enjoyable part was when the students started to put their koi fishes on the Manila paper that they had painted. I saw how proud they were with their project.

From this learning engagement, the students learnt the following:
• The element of art: form
• The principle of art: pattern
• Problem-solving skills
• Being a thinker
• Collaboration skills


By: Irma Dwi Savitri
Visual Art teacher