York School News

The Personal Project, an IB milestone

As we launch the 2021-2022 Personal Project with this year's Grade 9 class, we take a look at a sample of the completed Student Projects from Grade 10.
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. Through the process of inquiry, action and reflection, students strengthen their approaches to learning (ATL) skills.

This exercise provides them the opportunity to consolidate their learning and develop important skills they need in 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, this year the showcase was moved to the online platform Gather Town where everyone in avatar form was invited to tour the booths, connect with the students and ask questions.  

Personal project examples ranged across the spectrum, including explorations in music, drama, sports, science, and politics, for example:   
  1. A student designed and built a working pinball machine
  2. A student coded and designed an app that reads handwritten text and converts it into computer text
  3. A student has designed biodegradable plastics
  4. A student built and grew an organic vegetable garden.
  5. 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. 

Science - 
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. 


About the York School

Canada's first co-educational independent IB World School
The York School is a gender inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experientia Docet or Experience Teaches.

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Junior School (Grades JK-5) 1639 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 2W6

Middle School (Grades 6-8) & Senior School (Grades 9-12) 1320 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2
Tel: 416.926.1325

Mailing address: 1320 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1X2
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