The International School 33 welcomed several new teachers at the beginning of this school year, each bringing a wealth of experience teaching at IB schools around the world. During the staff preparation days leading up to the start of the year, we were inspired by some new ideas that were shared with us, allowing us to expand our understanding of what an IB school is. One particularly exciting idea that came out of this collaborative and reflective moment was the concept of the Celebration of Learning

The Celebration of Learning is an event that is held at the end of a Unit of Inquiry. All members of the learning community are invited so that students can share what they learned throughout the unit. These informal presentations allow students to select the work they want to highlight, putting them at the center of the conversation about what and how they learned. This practice fosters student agency, which is a critical part of the IB approach. It is also an opportunity for families to see the students in the classroom environment, thus strengthening the connection between home and school.

IS33’s first ever Celebrations of Learning were held in the week leading up to the half term holidays and they were a huge success. Students were incredibly proud to show off all the hard work they had done in the first period of the year, and families were thrilled to see the results of their efforts

It was also a great way to display work that doesn’t necessarily fit into a notebook or binder: in the PYP2 class, for example, families were invited to look at and even smell some Indian-inspired artwork. Students in PYP3 created self-portraits explaining how they represented each of the IB learner profiles. Teachers showed videos of students in action and in PYP1, students even sang some of the theme-related songs they had learned in class. It was an excellent display of the diverse ways in which students demonstrated understanding of unit concepts.

We are grateful to all those who were able to be present and share in this wonderful occasion with us and we hope you’ll join us again at the end of the next term!

By Nicole S.