Life imitates art. This is a phrase that attaches to an event in the real world, inspired by creative work. Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet and playwright, once defined this phrase by saying, “the fact that the self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and that art offers its certain beautiful forms through which it may realise that energy.”
Children who are given a chance to create art, believe it or not, expand their ability to interact with the world around them while also developing their skills of self-expression and communication. Schools that adopt the significance of art and instil it in their curriculum, not just an extra requirement, help students grow and learn different aspects of life. Global Jaya School, for instance, facilitates creative problem solvers in a comprehensive state of mind. This school has a theatre section that encourages students to get up on stage for a theatrical and musical performance, while also providing space for art exhibitions.
On 10-13 March 2020, Global Jaya celebrated various forms of arts created by students from PYP, MYP to Diploma levels during its Art Expo 2020. Some of the performances rocked the stage included a beautiful rendition of “Listen” by Beyoncé, a choir ensemble of a popular Indonesian lullaby, instrumental jazz, and interpretive play on the effects of climate change by humans upon mother nature, and many more. Previously, there have been other art assemblies but nothing matched the scale this year.
“As a school, we put a lot of emphasis on academic through extra-curricular activities and athleticism,” said Cory James Carson, the Head of School at Global Jaya. “On the other hand, we have many students who are extremely talented and have a passion for art. Art is a part of the curriculum for primary and secondary levels, but the opportunity for them to perform was what needed to be provided so we do have assemblies but something on this scale where these students went through try-outs and selections – it becomes a show of the best we have to offer.”
The PYP and MYP art exhibition was in the school’s multi-purpose hall. Then the foyer of the theatre held the diploma art exhibition, which is a mandatory aspect of their program to display their artworks and photographs. Cory believes that students who are willing to step on stage or hang their artwork have a combination of both academics and passion. In fact, students who do not take the class can also participate.
“We’re proud of the opportunity the students and teachers have worked on for the past few months, and having the opportunity for the kids to see their peers and families see their children today was tremendous,” Cory added.
As an art department project, parents are heard praising about how it relates to the curriculum. There were usually art assemblies every year until two years ago.
Tria Sismalinda, the MYP Drama and Diploma Theatre teacher at Global Jaya School, explained that this curriculum encourages arts in the classroom and is also inspirational due to the global context. Students have to research, do critical and creative thinking, and be independent, all as part of ATL. Moreover, the subject assesses students through four stages: A for research, B for performance, C for production, and D for evaluation.
“Students practice once a week,” she said. As an art teacher, Tria thinks that having the chance to perform is good for both students and parents. “We show this to the parents to let them acknowledge that in art, we do the research and exams too. So it’s good for parents to see how art is related to the curriculum and it’s part of the learning process, just like the other subjects,” she added.
Across the foyer, unique paintings and sculptures were presented. Interesting themes were exhibited. One particular collection had a sign that wrote “16 and above”, which was a rectangular art section where students aged 17-19 created paintings and interior design representing the female body and consent. “They don’t put up x-rated pieces but they realised this is more suitable for mature minds and was less appropriate for the younger students. Therefore, they took it up their own to put up that sign,” Cory pointed out.
The freedom to express through art should be celebrated. Students are supported to fulfil their creative sides. Not having a support system from parents to pursue anything artistic could affect them later in their lives. Cory relates to this idea, “education needs to be holistic. That means the social, athletic, and academic sides need to be explored to create rounded minds and creative thinkers,” he said.
Some schools around the globe do not have classes in drama, music, art, and so forth. Using the creative side of the brain can help improve brain function, mental health, and physical health. “I feel positive that Global Jaya has all of these opportunities under one roof for the students to partake and it’s viewed as an essential, core element of the IB programme,” he added.
Global Jaya School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. It was established in 1995. Over the years, Global Jaya School has had a history of growth and positive changes while offering a quality international education program. This school provides three IB programs: Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP), and the IB Diploma Program (DP). Moreover, the school implements an international curriculum supporting the development of Bahasa Indonesia.