Students in their final year of the IB Middle School Programme are given the assignment to explore an area of personal interest over an extended period.
This exercise provides them the opportunity to consolidate their learning and develop important skills they need in both further education and life beyond the classroom. It also helps them develop confidence to become principled, lifelong learners.
In the process of coming up with an idea and carrying it through to the finish, students complete three elements:
- product or outcome—evidence of tangible or intangible results: what the student was aiming to achieve or create
- process journal—ideas, criteria, developments, challenges, plans, research, possible solutions and progress reports
- report—an account of the project and its impact, to a structure that follows the assessment criteria. The report includes a bibliography and evidence from the process journal that documents students’ development and achievements.
Elements of the Personal Project
The personal project helps students develop their approach to learning, building skills in self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and teamwork.
Every year, The York School hosts a personal project showcase in the cafeteria for everyone to explore, ask questions and enjoy the energy. For the student who has spent so long researching and working on one issue it provides that sense of accomplishment. Ever innovative, the showcase was moved to the online platform Gather Town where everyone in avatar form was invited to tour the booths and connect with the students.
Personal project examples ranged across the spectrum, including explorations in music, drama, sports, science, and politics, for example:
- A student designed and built a working pinball machine
- A student coded and designed an app that reads handwritten text and converts it into computer text
- A student has designed biodegradable plastics
- A student built and grew an organic vegetable garden.
- A student designed and created a website highlighting black history
Congratulations to all of our students for their incredible accomplishments.
Literature and Art -
Saskia D. wrote a novel for young adults, titled “Surviving High SPY School”, and also designed and illustrated the book cover. It is high school drama meets secret world of espionage in a story about betrayal, loss, and newfound friendship.
Shelley F's “A Collection of Memories of a Year of COVID” made an uplifting self-affirming Colouring Book
Pinball Wizard - From woodworking to physics, congratulations to Justin R. for designing and building a working pinball machine.
Space Exploration Simulator - Alex H's Space Cat, a computer platform where ‘astronauts’ can virtually visit the planets in our solar system and gauge whether they are habitable for human life, was out of this world!
Net benefit - When Jim W. heard that close to half a million people a year die of malaria, 67% of them children, he wanted to help come up with an innovative solution. His personal project on developing and marketing an insecticide infused mosquito bednet was deeply researched, backed by a well thought out business plan.