Hopefully you will have noticed a real push towards improvement in our performing arts across primary and secondary, with the teams collaborating on the many important 10th anniversary events that were alive with music, our recent IB and GCSE Drama examination festival and the huge success that was ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Our Primary students equally have put on impressive displays in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, both schools are alive with singing talent as evidenced by our three successful candidates for the Global Orchestra, and our collaboration with the Juilliard School seeks to make our performing arts curriculum truly unique.
Creativity and its benefits are increasingly being valued by the broader community on a par with traditional subjects. Just this week, a British exam board was supported and praised for its decision to start including Beatles and Carlos Santana music in its new curriculum as well as adding classics from the likes of composers as Haydn.
The creative industries in the UK alone generate £76 billion annually. In a recent interview in the UK’s Guardian Education newspaper, the head of the UK’s Federation of Creative Industries pointed out that “The arts are not an optional extra – they’re fuelling our economy. The creative industries – from music to fashion, from theatre to video games, from architecture to publishing – help to make Britain great. They define our soft power around the world; they make our towns and cities more liveable and likeable.”
No matter what nationality you are, the opportunity to get involved with creative arts is there for anyone. It is sometimes thought that it can be difficult for students to reach their full potential in the creative arts, and this can be especially true when you live as an expat and access to opportunities after school are limited compared to your home country. We are constantly working to address this problem at BISS Puxi with our comprehensive programme from the performing arts faculty, our media department connections with local film making competitions and visits from Hollywood film makers, and of course The Juilliard School collaboration, an incomparable opportunity for our students.
A parent at one of the Parent Coffee Mornings this week asked “Why are we concentrating on the arts?” and “is this going to hurt the traditional subjects?” The answer to this is of course is no. We continue to support our traditional subjects, last year building an additional science lab, and are continuously investing in all our faculties, as well as offering a number of challenging and exciting opportunities such as trips, visits, lectures and competitions throughout the school year.
However, London University Vice Chancellor Nigel Charrington stated recently that we need to put creative education on an equal footing with the other subjects. British Education has been very forward thinking in this area and I hope you can see this in Nord Anglia Education and BISS Puxi especially. This summer we will again invest in a second new ICT suite, a new IB art work area, media green screen room and upgraded lighting and sound for all our drama facilities.
There is a good chance for your child to succeed in creative subjects as in any other, and as we head towards exam season the focus naturally turns to looking at the traditional skills as the building blocks for success. The creative arts must be taken equally seriously. Encouraging a child to shine in this area is to tap into a rich area of opportunity for the future. As a school looking to give your child every chance to achieve and flourish, the creative arts are not underestimated at BISS Puxi.
On a separate note, exams are starting for Key Stage 3 and Year 12 from the 27 May. Please do encourage your children to revise hard for these, you can find some links to previous blog posts below, giving advice for revision and coping with exam stress.
Have a good weekend.
- Chris Share, Head of Secondary