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The Christmas season at Erudito Licėjus kicked off with the Primary Years Programme (PYP) projects of elementary school students and a parent club meeting

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Christmas arrived at Erudito Licėjus hand in hand with the IB PYP projects of elementary school students on the theme “Where We Are”. This is already the second six-week-long IB PYP project, culminating in a public presentation of the project to teachers, parents, and the entire community – coinciding with the beginning of the Christmas season.

Parent club meetings – a new community tradition
The start of Advent at Erudito Licėjus this year was special: on the morning of December 1st, students and their parents were greeted not only by decorated spaces at the Kaunas branch, along with a musical performance by first-grade “gnomes” in Vilnius with their class teacher Jūratė Babickienė and music teacher Dovalde Ulčinaite, but also by a social parent club coffee morning in Vilnius, attended by an exceptionally large international parent community.

While parents mentioned that they often communicate among themselves, meeting during their children’s birthdays, this coffee morning was special because parents from national and international classes came together, allowing them to get to know each other better, share stories of discovering Lithuania and Erudito Licėjus, discuss their experiences at the school, and more. The coffee morning, initiated by the Erudito Licėjus’ parent club, promises to become a beautiful tradition for parents (and grandparents!) to socialize, exchange experiences and news over a cup of coffee or tea, discuss current issues, and then attend their children’s project presentations.

Project-based activities – a part of the IB PYP program
Students from national and international primary classes showed remarkable growth over the six weeks, deepening their understanding of various interconnected aspects, especially concerning their country, its traditions, and history.

Several projects were related to Lithuania’s history and the future of Vilnius. For instance, “Vilnius in 700 Years”, where the students imagined flying houses, people using flying devices, food delivered by drones, and taxis racing at speeds of at least 500 km/h – a future they enthusiastically expressed a desire to inhabit.

Through these project-based activities, a core part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), students developed critical thinking, learned to understand the world around them, and their role within it. Projects on their city and country’s future in 700 years, the relationship between robots and humans in the future, and their roles therein received significant attention.

Histories of objects and countries: Knowing oneself and others
In the projects titled “Where We Are (in terms of place and time)”, elementary school students delved into the histories of countries, people, cultures, and objects, learning to know themselves within a specific time frame. When presenting their IB PYP projects for the first time, a QR code adorned the electronic invitation sent to parents. After six weeks, the students used this visual label in their Museum of Ancient Objects project descriptions – incorporating audio descriptions for each exhibit. The museum featured a doll dating back a hundred years, a 19th-century “mobile phone” (the project’s creators claimed knowledge of its use, but unfortunately, museum exhibits cannot be touched), an ancient brass mortar and pestle, antique jewelry boxes, a fragile and tiny clock visible only through a magnifying glass, and a rusty lantern – the sole item not accompanied by a QR code, as it was so old that there was no information available about it on Google…

Elementary school teacher Rūta Gudynienė mentioned that students brought an object from their homes and shared the stories behind them. “We heard and saw so many interesting things! Almost a 100-year-old book, a doll’s carriage from someone’s mother’s childhood, a cherished memory from a deceased grandfather – his gifted tiger, a Baltic Way commemorative coin, a father’s golden football boot, a great-grandmother’s figurine, a mother’s childhood plate, a doll accompanying a child since birth, and many others. Indeed, each object, if it could speak, would tell us its unique and incredibly interesting story”, this experience not only helped delve into history but also improved the children’s spoken language and public speaking skills, enriched their vocabulary, and helped them better understand storytelling structures.

Third-graders delved into Lithuanian history: culinary heritage, Grand Dukes of Lithuania, famous castles, learned about Lithuania’s fauna, while in other projects, elementary school students honed their research skills – another crucial aspect of IB PYP – and delved into other cultures (for example, showing interest in Hawaiian culture and even finding the Hawaiian anthem, which one mother, who had visited Hawaii several times, coincidentally had not heard before. She mimicked a volcanic eruption (a great example of integrating different topics and interdisciplinarity?), built the world’s tallest towers (and dreamed of tickets to Thailand, “even though mom said that Santa Claus definitely wouldn’t buy them, but if I write him a letter, maybe he will?” – pondered Danas), created travel brochures, posters, and even developed an interactive and engaging tool for friends and parents – quizzes and lotteries. Want a kibinai? Answer a question about Trakai!

As teacher Rūta says, each of us creates our own story every day. What it will be like depends solely on us. Whether we drown in trash or fly chocolates to each other using drones also depends on us. And on our children because they are the creators of that future.

Photo album of the second IB PYP presentation

First presentation of IB PYP projects

More about the IB PYP program at Erudito Licėjus