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How an International School in China Integrates Creative Arts as an Important Part of Education

In a global trend, many schools have seen their creative arts either drastically reduced or cut altogether. Some educators believe that the traditional subjects (Math, English, Sciences, etc.) are all students need to reach their full potential. Countless experts and researchers disagree.

Creative arts are an invaluable asset to students’ educational careers. Read on to learn exactly why Creative Arts are critical in education and how educators at a top Shanghai international school implement the creative arts to enrich their students’ learning.

So, what Exactly is Creative Arts here…

Creative arts subjected to the imagination and creativity of kids through which they could actually transform the world, through which they could innovate. Creative arts enhance the learning skills of children through various activities.

Do you want to know the types of creative arts in education? let us know in a comment section…

Till then, let’s cover the topic “Why creative arts needs to be an integral part of education?” and “Why International School in China taking creative arts so seriously?”.

Why are Creative Arts important?

Here are just 3 reasons why creative arts have a hugely positive influence on students’ education and overall development.

Motor Skills

A study by the University of California-Los Angeles ascertains that creative arts are fundamental in developing motor skills for children, i.e., the motions involved in the arts (holding a paintbrush, scissors, dance, etc.). The proper development of motor skills heavily impacts children’s abilities to draw, write, use a computer mouse, and more.

kids and professors drawing together

Academic Performance is improved

Educators who cut back on creative arts subjects may do so because they believe that they hold less value than traditional subjects. Although that may well mean that schools lacking an enriching Creative Arts program are doing their students a disservice. This study reported that students who regularly participate in the arts are 4-times more likely to win an academic achievement award.

Students studying with smile face


Confidence and Decision-making skills

MaryAnn Kohl, author and expert educator in the arts, has explained how creative arts give students skills that carry over into almost every aspect of life.

“If they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,” she says.

At the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS), they believe that confidence and skills are developed when students are given opportunities to take charge of their own education. With guidance, students are given agency to explore and be creative.

WISS Entry

Which Creative Arts Subjects are Offered at WISS?

WISS offers 4-creative arts classes in the Middle Years Programme: Drama, Music, Visual Art, and Media. On top of these classes, students can also elect to take part in one or more creative arts extracurricular activities:

  • school musicals,
  • plays,
  • Theatre Tech Club,
  • Choir,
  • Orchestra, and
  • Art Club.

creative arts in background with 3 professors

How does WISS incorporate the creative arts into the curriculum?

WISS believes the youngest students must be exposed to the creative arts. Early Years students have weekly music classes; they work on tuneful singing, rhythm, and performance skills. The curriculum uses play and self-inquiry to engage young students and encourage them to find their artistic passion.

Students at the Primary level take music 2-times a week. Lessons involve storytelling, music, and media. They will learn to play instruments, as well as hone their singing skills.

Students are also given the opportunity to choose an instrument to learn through the Instrumental Program and are encouraged to showcase their skills during annual musical performances.

kids of age 6-10 smiling

Grades 6-8 take a carousel of Drama, Music, Visual Art, and Media. They study these subjects on rotation, each taking up one quarter of the school year.

These 3-years of study serve to introduce students to each class to discover their interests and strengths in the Creative Arts field.

Then Students in Grades 9 and 10 choose one of these four Creative Arts classes to pursue more in-depth. This gives them time to explore, hone their skills, and make an educated decision about whether to strive for a qualification in the subject.

Students in the IB Diploma and Career-related Programmes can choose to specialize in Music, Theatre, or Visual Arts. These advanced classes prepare students for study at university-level, or for a career within the industry.

What’s special about the creative arts programs at WISS?

WISS teaches creative arts with an interdisciplinary approach. The outcomes of each creative arts subject, whether it be Drama, Music, Visual Art, Media, or any of the extracurricular programs, aim to be interconnected with other subjects and each other.

WISS does this through collaborations within the Creative Arts department; the department works together so that students truly get the most out of their projects. The final results are then showcased with great pride through performances, gallery viewings, and events for the wider community.

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