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The IB PYP project fair became a great and beautiful community celebration

On Friday, October 13th, the public presentation of IB PYP projects by primary school students at “Erudito” licėjus in Kaunas and Vilnius exceeded all expectations. The theme of the first-graders’ project fair, “Who Are We”, pleasantly surprised and garnered significant parental interest, with full classrooms of parents attending.

Teachers marveled at their students’ creativity, teamwork, and ability to work in teams. Parents were amazed by their children’s independence and responsibility and had the opportunity to see the benefits and practical applications of the IB PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program). According to teachers, some parents who received invitations (some of which resembled train tickets and contained QR codes with information about the IB PYP program) for the project presentations were even surprised because their children had not been working on any projects at home. Over the course of six weeks, students worked on their projects in teams at school.

The IB PYP theme “Who Are We” was explored by primary school students on various levels and aspects. First-graders focused on their surroundings, emotions, journeys, hobbies, and more. Second and third graders identified themselves as part of the school community and sought answers to questions about what they could do to improve the school. Fourth-graders saw themselves as part of organizations and prepared bilingual brochures about various state institutions, national minorities, and more.

They surprised with original ideas, from toy exchanges to anatomy games

“The first pancake didn’t disappoint,” said Greta Lukošiūtė, the deputy director for preschool and primary education at “Erudito” licėjus in Vilnius, summarizing the event. She was impressed by the first-graders’ ingenuity, communication skills, and original project ideas. For example, second graders suggested leaving unwanted toys in designated boxes in the hallways so that other children could play with them during breaks. To promote motivation, primary school students proposed setting up a cozy relaxation corner in the school with plush teddy bears, board games, bean bags, and other relaxing amenities.
A football enthusiast named Dominykas suggested organizing a football competition for students in grades 1-4 at “Erudito” licėjus and even created a miniature football field from clay.
The students were concerned about improving the school’s microclimate and maintaining order. For example, Lucas and Noah, second-graders, suggested installing recycling bins in all classrooms and hallways. Primary school students put up posters promoting paper conservation (“Save Paper, Be Happy”), and Gritė and Saulė addressed the issue of food wastage and cafeteria behavior. Other students posted behavioral rules in the school cloakroom, cafeteria, courtyard, hallways, and more.
There were proposals to organize a school improvement club (“How will we improve the school? Well, we’ll give kids tasks, and that’s it”), where efforts would be rewarded with diplomas and sweets. Fourth-graders offered a pumpkin full of candies as a prize for the most beautiful pumpkin competition they were organizing. Kaunas “Erudito” licėjus students gave candy necklaces to teachers on their professional day. However, the children knew that eating too many sweets is unhealthy.
Vilnius 3A students demonstrated how the digestive system works and how the lungs function. They showed that we are not just bodies; other third-graders created projects such as food pyramids and offered advice on what foods to eat to avoid depression. They also stressed the importance of eating in a civilized manner.
The students also focused on emotions, creating emotion walls in the hallways, galleries of drawings and inspirational people, and more. In Kaunas, students decorated the school yard with sixty emotions to make it more cheerful.
While “Erudito” licėjus places great emphasis on technological and digital literacy, the children have not forgotten about books. Second-grade students suggest planting an “Erudito” garden for reading a book or exchanging books they like in a cozy reading corner, ensuring that every classroom has a variety of books without the need to visit the library. Third-grade students created a project called “My Mom’s Childhood Book”, where mothers wrote letters about their favorite childhood books for their daughters and sons. Class doors are decorated with drawings of the students’ favorite book spines, including “Harry Potter” and poems by Janina Degutytė etc.
Other classes wrote letters to friends, created illustrated poems, made dream books, collages with writer Evelina Daciūtė, conducted interviews with teachers, and photographed them. In Kaunas, first-graders suggested setting up a café for teachers to relax, but while their idea awaits practical implementation, they created a café model from Lego blocks.

The benefits of project-based activities were appreciated by the students themselves

They learned more, improved time management, developed creativity and writing skills, learned to share responsibilities and ideas, improved IT knowledge, learned to work better in teams, and “massaged their brains”.
Jurgita Steponaitienė, the coordinator of the Primary Years Program and a class teacher, was pleased that children, by sharing responsibilities, learned to work together harmoniously and achieve common goals. She was particularly pleased that her students chose to reuse cardboard and packaging boxes for their projects. For example, when creating pizzas and listing the beneficial properties of each ingredient, they used real pizza boxes, among other things.
The presentation of the IB PYP projects by primary school students became a unique opportunity to strengthen and unite the community. Parents were especially active, attending classes with their families, supporting each other, asking questions, and listening to presentations from other classes. The questions from parents enlivened the presentations and encouraged student thinking. Parents were very pleased with the presentations, amazed that their children had completed the projects themselves at school without parental assistance. This model, according to teachers, proved to be very successful and became an unexpected but pleasant surprise for parents. Some fathers were delighted to get to know their children better through the projects, such as discovering that their child really wants to raise fish. It also provided parents with a better understanding of the IB PYP program and its characteristics.
The event was a beautiful celebration that brought together almost 100% of all the students’ parents, according to Daiva Jankauskienė, the head of the Kaunas primary school programs, and Rūta Gudynienė, the IB PYP coordinator and a primary school teacher. They said that after the project presentations, families did not rush to leave; they socialized in the classrooms and outdoors, and some even went to the school cafeteria. “It was a truly beautiful project fair that became a wonderful community celebration”, said a teacher.

Moments from this beautiful presentation of primary school IB PYP projects in Kaunas and Vilnius at “Erudito” licėjus – in a photo album.