Well if the feedback from all those involved was anything to go by, our annual Arts Week 2019 was another fabulous success. Our aim as always was to develop an awareness and provide opportunities for the arts to be integrated every day in many different ways.
Try something new or different
This year our focus was to encourage individuals to 'try something new or different' supported by our 'Circus' theme. This was embraced by all ages and aspects of the school, especially down in EY where they fully embraced the theme.
The week consisted of 5 busy days, with
- over 50 different activities and events
- 6 student and/or staff musical performances
- 2 Open Mic Showcases
- 16 Local artists showcasing work
- 10 parents sharing their expertise
- more than 15 teachers running and/or supporting events
- 25 GEMS students offering workshops and displaying their work.
Students enjoyed skills-based art, drama and music workshops, as well as the fun of karaoke and body percussion. Whilst all elements contributed to a wonderful celebration of the Arts and we thank everyone involved, a special mention has to go to.
Dylan George our Secondary Years drama specialist exploring physical theatre with the senior years all week focusing on biomechanics, clowning, slapstick, mime and some physical storytelling in confined spaces. The students loved the opportunity to react instantly to his instructions and follow his creative direction.
Hamish Betts who once again worked brilliantly with our Primary Years arts team to plan and create a fantastic personalised mural on level 5 of the auditorium. Watching this develop over the week has been magical.
Anjali and Jaynthi for their hands on drama workshops for Primary Years and several very engaging ‘Chalk on wood’ workshops they ran with students and parents demonstrating how mixed media can be used to upcycle wooden items and furniture.
Helen Hinton who proved to be a big hit amongst her interactive Primary Years audience with her hands on two days of music workshops.
All the wonderful artist who spent the day with us on Wednesday for the artists showcase - the variety of art styles, mediums and background were fascinating to see and learn about. The students of all ages (and many teachers) relished the opportunity to speak to the artists to find out more about their process and inspiration.
This year we also combined our final day with 4 'spirited' house assemblies and in Secondary Years students were given the chance to further explore how each subject can integrate the arts in many varied ways. Everything from chromatography in Science to Pascal’s triangle and Sierpinki’s pyramids in Maths to full body expressive portraits and traditional Circus posters in Language and Literature complemented by circus tricks in PE class.
This was then rounded off beautifully by many of our lesser-known performers doing a ‘flash mob’ dance in the canteen at lunch before we ended the day with our Open Mic experience. A big thank you to all involved and also to SY Student Council, and the teachers for their dedication behind the scenes in creating two spectacular open mic events. It is clear from all those who showed an interest in this that there is definitely a need for more such events and opportunities in the future…..so watch this space!
Artists Among Us in the Early/Primary Years...a deeper dive
Sometimes when we have events, we tend to think ‘who can we invite from the outside in?’ when in fact, we often have hidden gems amongst us. For Arts Week, in addition to many workshops run by our teachers, parents and SY students, we were also extremely fortunate to offer amazing experiences including physical theatre, aerial art, brass instruments and wall mural painting.
Ms Jayanthi Seva-Lecolley and Ms Anjali Bose, both parents of GEMS students, ran drama workshops for all of our Early and Primary Years students. Ms Jayanthi is a Theatre Professor at the Republic Polytechnic, and when her holidays coincided with our event, it was perfect timing! For two weeks, Ms Jayanthi invited students to play drama games and to explore physical theatre using the Circus theme of Arts Week. Students engaged with movement, music and mime to narrate and express their ideas, from the serious, silly to scary! Drama is a powerful vehicle for learning and it’s wonderful that our students had this opportunity to engage in drama outside of the
While students were pretending to walk the tightrope or waddles like clowns, students were also literally hanging from hoops and silks with our Pre-K teacher, Ms Erica Pindoy, who also happens to be an aerial artist! This art form requires strength, flexibility, balance, control and grace to master. Ms Pindoy wowed us with her routines and had a great arm workout supporting our students on the hoop and silks. All that hard work was worth it with every WHOAH!!! and WOW!!! as kids got to feel what it was like to fly! At first, some students were a bit hesitant to suspend themselves in midair, but once they had a go, everyone wanted more! What a fantastic experience for everyone - from our littlest Nursery tots to our older Grade 5 students. (If you or your child is keen to take classes, check out MVMT Studios.)
And how can we forget the music? Most of us will recall that our first instrument at school was the recorder with Hot Cross Buns played on repeat. But thanks to Ms Helen Hinton and her talents with music, another parent and now a teacher at GEMS (Singapore), students got to try instruments such as the flute, piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone, oboe, tenor horn and the french horn. What a collection! Some of the instruments were bigger than our students, but they loved hearing the different sounds they made and appreciated how challenging it can be to even produce a note.
Some may remember the incredible set design from the Jungle Book, and the beautiful mural by the cafeteria. The next time you swing by the auditorium, do check out the wall mural on the 5th floor. Led by Mr Hamish Betts, another parent who happens to be an incredible artist and educator, our students had the opportunity to not only paint on the largest canvas ever but know that they were part of a special crew that brought a corridor to life highlighting the arts. There were many other teacher and parent volunteers, and we could not have made it happen without everyone’s support and contribution. We are grateful to have such a wonderful community that appreciates and believes in the Arts. Thank you!
What makes this mural extra special is that every image is taken from a photograph capture one of our many fabulous performances so far. What a fantastic way to capture our own creative history!
“Art broadens perspective, fosters an appreciation for beauty, lifts us above ourselves, enables us to project beyond our circumstances, and gives us a common language to explore a disparate idea.” Rita Moreno
Arts Subject Leader