Want your child to learn art, theatre and music? It’s still common for kids to learn these skills through separate classes, which can quickly fill their calendars (and drain your wallet). Might there be another way? The Grange Institution – a newer international school in Singapore – integrates playwriting, prop making, acting and singing into one all-encompassing Creative Expressions arts programme.
What it is:
Creative Expressions is an interactive art project at The Grange Institution. It’s a way for students to demonstrate what they’ve learnt across different disciplines – be it literary, performance or visual arts – in one cohesive production.
Who teaches it:
Two classroom teachers, one music specialist, one PE specialist and one guest drama professional combine efforts to lead the programme.
What kids learn:
Students learn how to become illustrators, authors, artists, performers and musicians – and, most importantly, how to tie all these talents together. For example, as part of a larger project about “Our Global Village”, the students were inspired to create a project after reading Bamberina, the Turtle, a book about a turtle who is at risk due to excessive pollution in the ocean. First, they created new characters and brought them to life through 2D illustrations during their visual arts lessons. Then, with the help of a drama professional, they wrote original stories which they turned into a script for a play. The students then made props for the play out of recycled materials during their visual arts classes. Later they learned how to dramatically act out the play during their performing arts classes. Finally, they planned a short musical performance at the showcase’s conclusion. This year, they even broke into an impromptu singing session belting out songs in Japanese, Mandarin and Bahasa learned in their foreign language classes.
While classroom learning is aged-based, this art programme is a joint effort by students aged six to eight. The Grange wants students to collaborate and partner across different year levels, ages and nationalities. The school feels this is essential in today’s context as the world is more connected than ever before.
The big finale:
An invitation-only event, the Creative Expressions project ends with a showcase held in the school’s multi-purpose hall at the end of the term. For more on this programme and to find out what’s happening around The Grange Institution, click here.
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