In an increasingly globalised and digitalised world, future-ready skills such as creative thinking, problem-solving and innovation have become more important than ever.
That’s why it’s not enough to just focus on academic results; exploring art in all forms can be the key to nurturing a well-rounded individual who is ready to take on the jobs, challenges and experiences of tomorrow. If you are looking for an international school in Singapore, make sure you choose one with a robust arts programme.
If you ask us, we think the Canadian International School (CIS) ticks all the boxes. Not only does it offer amazing facilities and a high-quality International Baccalaureate (IB) education, it also has a vibrant arts programme that adopts a two-pronged approach to teaching arts: curricular/classroom experience and extracurricular activities like theatre productions.
Still not sure why an international school should have a strong arts programme in place? Here are the 5 reasons why:
1. Arts shape identity and develop future-ready skills.
Studies have long lauded the benefits of an arts education and it’s not hard to see why. Engaging in various forms of art doesn’t just allow students to explore and shape their identity, it also helps them develop future-ready skills such as observation, innovation, creativity, focus, discipline, collaboration, risk-taking, open-mindedness and confidence—all of which are skills that enable young people to adapt to an ever-evolving economy.
2. It develops fine motor skills.
As a veteran parent, you know that acquiring motor skills is one of the most important milestones in a child’s life. Arts provide all sorts of opportunities for children to gain body confidence and independence. At CIS, for instance, students can choose from a wide range of avenues to express themselves creatively. From musical ensembles, bands and choral groups to theatre performances and art exhibitions, there are no lack of opportunities for students to shine artistically. Of course, such activities are more than just a creative outlet. They also allow students to engage in a full range of body movements that will improve dexterity and ultimately their overall physical fitness.
3. It promotes multilingualism.
As globally mobile citizens, it has become more essential than ever to be armed with more than one language. Not only does it put you in the good books of companies looking to hire people who are either bilingual or multilingual, it also apparently delays the onset of dementia by an average of 5 years. How amazing is that!
At CIS, language competency can be picked up in a variety of ways. Academically, there are programmes like the Chinese-English bilingual programme and language acquisition in the Middle Years Programme (MYP). But their exposure to languages doesn’t just stop there, students can also level up their skills in arts-related activities such as bringing thought-provoking stories to life on the stage in the Chinese drama club, singing the latest hits at the French Idol or even celebrating Día de los Muertos(Day of the Dead). Nothing like consistent, constant and rich exposure to a second (or even third) language to make things stick!
Throw in fully equipped facilities like drama and dance studios, a 500-seat theatre, music practice rooms, and an audio-visual suite supported with the latest equipment (like what they have at CIS’s Lakeside campus), and you have a budding polyglot in the family!
4. It increases the impact of learning for visual-spatial learners.
If your child identifies as a visual-spatial learner, then the arts is definitely the way to go. Visual-spatial learners may have learning difficulties in a traditional curriculum so why not give them that extra boost with a school that offers a robust arts programme? Art forms like dance, painting and theatre, which are rich in visual imagery, increase the impact of students’ learning and help them become more confident.
5. Diverse experience
Last but not least, arts enrich your child’s life with the beauty of diversity. Since the arts come in a multitude of forms and hail from innumerable places in the world, there is literally no limit to the knowledge, experience and skills your child can gain through engaging in artistic activities.
They can shine on stage as actors, pick up technical skills as part of the backstage team, express their thoughts through photo manipulation or even let their body do the talking through dance. In fact, we personally feel there is no better way to understand the different cultures in the world than through the arts! If your children are not sure about their passion or what they want to do later in life, then the arts are the perfect way to help them explore and discover the answer they seek.
According to Sydney Gurewitz Clemens, a consultant in early childhood education, “art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else” so why not take a step in the right direction by choosing an international school that places a strong focus on developing students as well-rounded individuals through a robust arts programme and high-quality IB education like CIS?