Arts are integral to the Primary Years Programme. They are identified as dance, drama, music and visual arts. The four areas are a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world. Through Arts, students are exposed to a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. At ARIS, our students are stimulated to articulate their thoughts in diverse ways, as well as through technologies. Arts as an Inquiry provides opportunities for learning, communication and expression, as well as promotes creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and social interactions.
Dance in the PYP explores how we express ourselves through movement. To understand and respond to dance, students explore how dance is used in various cultures, rituals and social contexts. Exploring dance in a historical and cultural context and through a variety of genres enriches the student’s experience in creating and responding to dance. Also, students are inspired to engage in dance performances to express themselves through their creative movements. From Middle Eastern Folk dances to African dances, students of ARIS are given the opportunities to experience other cultures through movement. Hence, students nurture their physical confidence engaging fully their minds and bodies.
Drama in the PYP explores how we express ourselves physically and vocally. Through drama, students are able to explore the use of facial expressions, gestures, movement, posture and vocal techniques to convey emotional or cultural meaning to both characters and stories. At ARIS, students engage in different forms of drama, such as role play, sketches, and scripted drama, presenting their performances to an audience or even to their peers to enable them become a critically aware audience members. Furthermore, through Drama pupils acquire skills to develop their own style in dramatic activities, enhancing their journey in the film-making and theatre industries. The use of ICT in drama setting enhances the creative experience, for instance in creating sound-tracks or video editing.
Music in the PYP allows students to communicate in a unique way, given the opportunities to explore a wide range of music experiences that include classifying and analyzing sounds, composing, exploring body music, harmonizing, listening, playing instruments, singing, notation, reading music, songwriting and recording. By exposing students to a wide range of musical styles, they are able to understand the context of their environment and that of others, and thus begin to develop personal connections with them.
At ARIS, students draw on a wide range of music from the Ghanaian and Arab media, and from around the world. Students also explore home-made as well as manufactured instruments from a variety of countries and cultures. ICT is also used to enhance learning music by allowing students to create, compose and record their work through the use of music files and CDs.
Visual Arts in the PYP includes “art, craft and design”. Students are exposed to a broad range of experiences that illustrate the field of visual arts, including bookmaking, architecture, ceramics, collage, costume design, drawing, graphic design, film, illustrations, jewelry, mask making, painting, photography, printmaking sculpture, set design, textiles and woodwork.
Students are encouraged to experience visual arts of others by inviting artists to the school, or by visiting art galleries and museums, exhibitions, film sets or theatres. By being exposed to diverse artists from all over the world, students begin to appreciate the field of visual arts.
In addition, ICT is used as a tool to enhance creative experience. Photo and film editing, animation, web design, drawing, computer-aided design are some examples of tools that engage students with developing the conceptual understanding within the Visual Arts Scope and Sequence.