Arts Education is vital to educating the whole child; we talk to a Chatsworth International School student to find out how she’s thrived in the school’s arts programme
Chatsworth International School is all about holistic education, and the arts are an integral part of such an approach. The arts, after all, allow students to explore their personal interests and develop their talents, a personal journey that goes far beyond just academic success.
Primary School students have one lesson a week in both Music and Art, and when students move on to Middle School they can take three Arts disciplines (Music, Visual Arts and Drama) with two lessons each week to develop their skills. In Years 10 and 11 students choose one particular Arts discipline to focus on, culminating in Visual Arts and Theatre Studies courses for the IB Diploma.
On top of all this, Chatsworth students have heaps of arts-themed extra-curriculars to choose from, including show band, school band, and vocal ensemble; Art studio and gallery visits; multiple drama stage performances across all grade levels; and a variety of Dance clubs and sports.
We spoke with Chatsworth Year 12 student Xanthippi (Tippy) Nowacki, 16, about her personal experience with the Arts at Chatsworth. Currently on a special scholarship for the IB Diploma Programme, Tippy discovered her passion for Drama during classes in Middle School. Read on to find out just how far a love for the arts can take you, mama…
How did you get involved in Drama?
In Middle School Drama class was compulsory, though from day one I immediately took a liking to the subject. So when we were given the choice to change course or stick with drama I knew that my decision would be to continue with my passion for acting. This will be my sixth year taking drama as an academic class!
What do you like about drama and the arts?
What I thoroughly enjoy is their ability to adapt to any person or capability. The Arts (Music, Art and Drama) can always be approached in a variety of ways. In theatre there are an infinite possibilities for how one may express a simple scene. Every student has the opportunity to perceive and present theatre in their own way, making it unique and enjoyable.
Can you tell us about the performance you’ve recently been involved in? How did students of different ages get involved?
Recently (last December), we put on a musical known as Arlecchino and the City of Love (I played Corine the shepherdess). This production had 68 students involved in it, led by six teachers producing, directing and running show band, set/props and make-up CCA. The students chose whether to be involved on-stage as an actor, a dancer, a musician or singer or backstage as a stage-manager, crew or technician.
Each of these elements were crucial to the play and were made up of students of various ages who were allowed to choose their own area of work. The play was a huge success and all students were proud of the piece of work we put on at the Alliance Française stage. In addition, we currently have a primary school musical that’s an adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood (coming up on 2 and 3 June). This split into two musicals is a new concept for this year, as it allows more students to participate and makes the process more suited to the age group. I believe that having the two performances is an excellent idea and helps encourage more students to join.
Do you find the arts inform your other subjects?
I definitely believe that learning one of the arts creates a strong foundation for many life skills. Particularly focusing on theatre, I have managed to develop my speaking skills to a much greater level. Other skills include confidence, ennunciation, pace and other vocal aspects. Additionally, taking theatre boosts the expression in your physicality and aids in visually representing yourself accurately. Relating back to all the arts, I think that your range of creativity is expanded in many ways. These life skills have many implications, such as all the class presentations you get assigned which basically require you to perform information professionally and creatively.
Being able to think creatively also helps students solve problems with unconventional thinking, like not giving up on a difficult math problem, or learning a new way to approach learning.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I highly encourage everyone to join in on any form of Drama-related (or arts in general) activities!They really are a way to finally relax and enjoy yourself. You will find yourself becoming excited for every class because you finally get to put away the textbooks. You instead get to focus on being anything from a sassy mom to a 3-headed Komodo dragon. As a final benefit, drama teachers are always the most fun, outgoing and crazy (in a good way), so it’s easy to bond and get along with them. Drama has truly made schooling a more enjoyable experience for me!
Thanks, Tippy! To find out more about Chatsworth International School, you can book a campus tour by calling the Admissions Department at (+65) 6737 5955 or emailing [email protected].
Chatsworth is taking over the current GESS campus in Bukit Timah in August 2018; enjoy a waiver of the application fee and 25% off the confirmation fee for enrolling into the new Bukit Timah campus. Terms and conditions apply.