Digital/Traditional Portfolios and the Primary Years Program (PYP)


What does the IBO say about PYP Portfolios?

"The PYP portfolio – a profile of student achievement and accomplishments – is an important mechanism for documenting a student’s educational progress through the curriculum. The student and teachers collaborate on selections for the portfolio, which may contain examples of the student’s work:
  • examples of the student's work
  • information about any extracurricular achievements or other activities undertaken by the student
  • a self-assessment by the student

The portfolio also serves to assist in handling transfers of students between schools offering the Primary Years Programme."
(IBO PYP School's Guide Document)

Portfolios within PYP schools are often used during Student Led Conference times, are sent home at end of mid year, and then sent home again at end of year. Some schools go through them with students and parents, other schools send them home with no school involvement.

Portfolios within the PYP follow various formats and requirements amongst schools but the more predominant ones include:

  1. Learner Profile - how do students exhibit this? How is it 'graded' or assessed?
  2. Attitudes - how do students show growth in this area?
  3. Concepts, Skills, Action - how do we show this? How do we have students reflect on this?
  4. Many schools require a specific number of pieces for the different subject areas (5 language, 5 mathematics, 8 UOI, etc.)
  5. Specialists are asked to contribute pieces for each semester/term (may be teacher directed/selected or by the students)
  6. Teachers select pieces; students select pieces - teachers required to reflect on some student pieces; students required to reflect on some pieces
  7. Some schools require the Portfolio to be linked to Reports (link assessed pieces to graded report cards)

What would we like to see happen?

  • Interactive and connected with multiple groups of people
  • student centered and student directed (as much as possible being primary students)
  • polished as well as unpolished pieces - showing the growth, showing the learning process
  • accessible to students at home as well as at school (the learning doesn't end there!)