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Cultural Literacy With Juilliard

07 November 2016

Earlier this year a representative from the world-renowned Juilliard School visited the British International School, and was “blown away” by the maturity of the arts programme on offer at the school.

  • Students will develop cultural literacy, broadening their understanding of cultural and social history around the world.

We are extremely proud to have developed such a varied Arts Programme over the last twenty years, and furthermore, for that achievement to be recognised by a world leader in performing arts education.

So it was with great pleasure that in September 2016, we were able to announce that our students are now benefiting from an enhanced performing arts curriculum thanks to an innovative new collaboration between Nord Anglia Education and The Juilliard School in New York.

The Juilliard School, founded in 1905, is a world leader in performing arts education. Juilliard’s mission is to provide the highest calibre of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers and actors from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens.

Over the course of the next few months we will welcome Juilliard alumni and Juilliard-affiliated artists who will present formal and interactive performances, lead workshops, masterclasses and coaching sessions with our students and the wider BIS HCMC community.

The new embedded arts curriculum is designed to enhance our current curriculum offer, not replace it. It is designed to promote and encourage cultural literacy for all students, in addition to supporting the development of key skills. The curriculum draws students into a repertoire of iconic works that centres on 12 core categories which encompass a wide range of genres, styles and cultures.

Students will develop cultural literacy, broadening their understanding of cultural and social history around the world to give them a global perspective. These, and other transferable skills that our students will absorb through the enhanced curriculum will pay dividends in all aspects of our students learning and future success.

Tim Deyes, Principal of British International School, HCMC said: “The BIS community feels extremely honoured to be actively associated with Juilliard.  It is yet another example of how we offer such a rich array of educational activities that go way beyond the formal classroom setting.”

Evidence suggests that learning music and the performing arts is linked to higher academic performance[1],[2]. Further, exposure to the arts as a participant or observer has the potential to have profound effects on learning and memory, context, and comprehensive creative thinking.

According to The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a report released by the World Economic Forum earlier this year, some of the top skills needed in 2020 include complex problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. These are just some of the skills that we want to develop in students through our performing arts collaboration with Juilliard, so that our students will continue to succeed on the world stage.

Lucy Glynn, Online Marketing Officer


[1] Catterall, J., Chapleau, R., & Iwanaga, J. (1999). Involvement in the arts and human development: General involvement and intensive involvement in music and theater arts. IN Fiske (1999) Champions of change: The impact of the arts on learning, 1-18: Washington.

[2] Winner, E., T. Goldstein and S. Vincent-Lancrin (2013), Art for Art's Sake?: The Impact of Arts Education, Educational Research and Innovation, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264180789-en