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The Academic Details

The Arts

Our mission for the Arts Programme at St. Mary’s School is to provide students with a brave and safe space that encourages curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and resilience. Students will inquire into the ways we express ourselves creatively, communicate ideas and feelings, and understand the impact art has on themselves, others, society, and different cultures. We believe that the Arts constitute a universal language that empowers students to venture beyond their own perceived potential and to develop an authentic voice, life skills, and an appreciation for the arts beyond the classroom. 

The Arts are an integral part of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Programme, students develop through creating, performing, and presenting arts in ways that engage and convey feelings, experiences and ideas.

It is through this practice that students acquire new skills and master those skills developed in prior learning.

Students have opportunities to function as artists, as well as learners of the arts.

What is the significance of arts in the PYP?

Arts in the PYP exemplify learning through inquiry because of the emphasis on, and the nature of, the creative process. 

Arts provide a unique vehicle to enhance the understanding of transdisciplinary themes by providing both students and teachers with a range of mediums with which to access the units of inquiry.
 

How are arts structured in the PYP?

In PYP years, art teaching and learning are infused into all areas of the curriculum. Single-subject teachers take responsibility for the different arts areas. 

PYP arts single-subject areas currently include:
  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Dance


What is the significance of arts in the MYP?

Arts stimulate young imaginations, challenge perceptions and develop creative and analytical skills.

Involvement in the arts encourages students to understand the skills in context and the cultural histories of artworks, supporting the development of an inquiring and empathetic worldview.

Arts challenge and enrich personal identity and build awareness of the aesthetic in a real-world context.


How are arts structured in the MYP?

In MYP years 1 and 2, students select two Arts disciplines, one for Semester 1 and one for Semester 2. For example, they may choose Media Arts in Semester 1 and Dance in Semester 2.

For Year 3, students select one Arts discipline that they will take the entire year. 

For MYP Music Years 1, 2 & 3 students select an ensemble option (Strings or Winds) which they will be enrolled in for both semesters. These are year-long courses. They will not be able to select another arts option for the year.

The Arts disciplines offered in the MYP are:
  • Visual Arts: Visual Art, Media Arts.
  • Performing Arts: Dance, Theatre, Music


Performing Arts

List of 3 items.

  • Dance

    Dance within the MYP is a practical subject that develops students’ understanding of dance as an art form and gives students the opportunity to develop as artists themselves. It encourages the exploration of dance and dance practices from different times and cultures, as well as developing students’ dance skills, giving them the opportunity to choreograph, rehearse and perform dance. It develops students’ ability to reflect on, evaluate and critique artwork and their own development as young artists.
  • Music

    Music within the MYP is a practical subject that develops students’ understanding of music as an art form and gives them the opportunity to develop as artists themselves. It encourages the exploration of music and music practices from different times and cultures. It develops students’ creative and musical skills, enabling them to create, rehearse and perform music. It develops students’ ability to reflect on, evaluate and critique music and their development as young artists. 
     
    For students in Years 1, 2 and 3, MYP Music Ensemble selections are as follows:

    MYP Wind Ensemble is the study of music, ensemble performance, and instrumental techniques for the following instrumentation:
    • woodwind instrumentation (sax, clarinet, flute)
    • brass instrumentation (trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba)
    • and percussion instrumentation 
    MYP String Ensemble is the study of music, ensemble performance, and instrumental techniques for the following instrumentation:
    • String instruments (violin, viola, cello, and bass)
  • Theatre

    Theatre within the MYP is a practical subject that develops students’ understanding of theatre as an art form and gives students the opportunity to function as artists themselves. It encourages the exploration of theatre and theatre practices from different times and cultures. It develops students’ creative and theatre skills, enabling them to create, rehearse and perform pieces of theatre. It develops students’ ability to reflect on, evaluate and critique their own work and their development as young artists.

Visual Arts

List of 2 items.

  • Media Arts

    Media arts are created through the use of technology. The term media arts generally refers to all forms of time-related artworks created by recording spoken words or moving images. A time-related artwork is a work that changes and “moves;” for the purposes of MYP arts study, media arts encompasses the study of film, digital media, radio, and television. Media arts within the MYP is a practical subject that develops students’ understanding of media arts, as well as gives them the opportunity to develop as artists themselves. It encourages the exploration of approaches, practices, and products.
  • Visual Art

    Visual arts within the MYP is a practical subject that develops students’ creative and artistic skills, enabling them to create and present their work. It encourages the exploration of visual art and art practices from different times and cultures. Visual arts develop students’ understanding of the visual arts, as well as giving them the opportunity to function as artists themselves. It develops students’ ability to reflect on, evaluate and critique their own work and their development as young artists.

Performing Arts Co-Curricular Programs

The Performing Arts Co-Curricular Programs help students learn and develop their skills and abilities both onstage and off by working alongside our professional arts faculty and guest artists from the entertainment industry. All of these programs are co-ed and take place after school in our Arts and Design facilities.

List of 2 items.

  • The Falcon Theatre Company

    The Falcon Theatre Company is a student-run theatre that currently produces two shows a year. Students have the opportunity to be involved in the production by performing in the CAST or working as a CREW member in one of our 6 technical theatre areas (scenery, lighting, properties, costuming, sound, and box office). An audition is necessary to cast the roles within the production; no students are cut from participating in the ensemble.
  • The Falcon Dance Ensemble

    The Falcon Dance Ensemble is a performance group for students in Grades 6-8 interested in dance, choreography, production, performance, and outreach. Highlights include participation in the 2023 Dance Concert (March 2) and continued outreach opportunities throughout the school and the external community. No audition is necessary. This is a year-long commitment (September – May).