Modern education widely recognises that studying the arts alongside more traditionally academic subjects can significantly boost student achievement. Accordingly, integrating well-curated and carefully designed arts programmes into the school curriculum will likely result in improved student performance in English and language skills, mathematics and critical thinking.
Furthermore, the visual arts encourage self-expression, innovation, resourcefulness and self-confidence as students develop their own sense of identity. Plus, these creative subjects can provide an outlet to relieve the pressures of studying and help young learners balance their mental and psychological wellbeing.
At AIS, we are committed to educating the whole child and offering our students multiple opportunities to develop both their academic and creative abilities. In part, this approach is supported by our outstanding visual and performing arts programme, with students at all year levels empowered to pursue their artistic interests and talents across a range of possibilities.
“One thing I identified when I arrived at AIS was that the school had a rich tradition in the visual arts,” confirms AIS Executive Principal Davina McCarthy. “However, we wanted to re-energise and expand the programme in the Primary curriculum with new ideas and activities. And as a result, we’ve seen some really lovely artwork being produced by our young learners.
“Wherever there is an opportunity, we showcase our student artwork, and in some cases, this can lead to bigger projects. For instance, our Year 3 students recently produced a wonderful exhibition in homage to Australian indigenous animals. And from their designs, we commissioned a large-scale mural for our Cherry Blossom campus.”
And it’s not only Primary where art is flourishing. In recent years, visual arts at the International Baccalaureate Diploma level have been particularly strong under the guidance of Mr Nigel Hall, with a number of his students receiving scholarships to prestigious art colleges around the world.
So with such an outstanding pedigree, it’s no wonder that AIS was selected to host Inspired’s Global Art Competition this year.
As a member of Inspired, one of the world’s leading groups of premium independent schools, AIS is part of a dynamic community that unlocks international opportunities and experiences for our students – and this competition is no exception.
“We are committed to promoting art at AIS and were thrilled to be selected from across Inspired’s international network of schools as hosts of this event,” confirms Principal McCarthy. “Our staff are incredibly excited about it too, as it offers them the opportunity to connect and collaborate with art teachers from around the world.”
“The competition is designed to inspire students of all ages (from Primary to High School) to create work on intercultural themes and global citizenship,” she adds. “We have secured some amazing prize sponsorship for each category and have already received a huge number of entries, with more to come before the October 31st deadline.”
This year’s theme, I Am a Global Citizen, focuses on four key ideas of identity, language, agency and engagement, with students invited to submit entries under the following four concepts:
• My many multicultural identities
• Multilingualism to communicate and collaborate
• My multicultural agency
• Intercultural engagement with the world
Given the exceptional quality of the artwork seen so far, the judging panel certainly faces a challenging job ahead before the competition winners are announced in December.
Adds Principal McCarthy, “I wish all participants the very best of luck in their artistic endeavours and can’t wait to see the phenomenal artwork and winning entries our talented Inspired students can produce!”
Examples of AIS student artwork
Main image - artwork by YeHyun Cho (Year 13)
The Inspired’s Global Art Competition judging panel consists of Jack Clayton (guest AIS art teacher and highly respected artist and printmaker from HCMC), AIS art teachers Nigel Hall, Maria Seaton and My Dang, and AIS student representatives Boi Sang Ngo (Lyse) and Luke Gillin.