Visual Arts in the PYP
The visual arts are integral to the IB Primary Years Program. A powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. The visual arts program at Dwight provides students with a wide range of opportunities to respond both to their own experiences and to engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. The art curriculum seeks to connect conceptually and thematically to the units of inquiry being studied in the classroom. Students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new and innovative ways and through a variety of media and technologies, thus, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and collaborative interactions.
Student questions play a central role in the direction the classes will take. Our goal is that children will make authentic connections between different disciplines, developing self-motivation and an understanding of how creativity and design is central to all things.
As well as being introduced to a myriad of different artistic techniques and media, including two and three dimensional and digital processes, Dwight art students are exposed to visual arts from multiple cultures, genres and time periods. In this way, through exposure to different forms of art, along with a deepening comprehension of the elements of art and the principles of design, students develop their ability to select appropriate media and techniques to effectively communicate their ideas independently.
At Dwight, we believe that all students learn most successfully in a safe, nurturing environment; an environment where they are not afraid to take risks and make mistakes, where the processes of inquiring, experimenting, and collaborating are more important than the product produced. Above all, the visual arts program at Dwight Dubai serves to develop innovative thinking and creative use of technologies, and in so doing, prepares students to participate fully in this multifaceted world.
Visual Arts in the MYP
The visual arts programme in the MYP stimulates young imaginations, challenging perceptions and developing creative and analytical skills. It is Dwight’s philosophy that all young people are artists, and we strive to inspire their artistic expression through access to as many disciplines and forms as possible.
Students in the MYP learn about and investigate the conventions of art and explore artworks from different historical and cultural perspectives. Exposure to the visual arts challenges and enriches personal identity and builds awareness of the aesthetic in a real-world context. Visual art has contributed to all cultures and societies throughout time. Involvement in the arts encourages students to understand the arts in context and the cultural histories of artworks, thus supporting the development of an inquiring and empathetic world view.
At Dwight Dubai, we honor traditional practices in the arts, such as painting and sculpture, while embracing the contemporary. Access to technology gives students a wide array of tools with which to express their ideas. Students practice skills and concepts learned in class and explore their own interests in the visual arts in their MYP process journal, working towards developing a range of resolved artworks in a variety of 2D and 3D expressive forms.
The process of making ideas a reality using the skills and practices of visual art is an integral part of the substance of the MYP arts curriculum. As well as the acquisition and application of essential art techniques, students are driven by their inquiry and creativity to develop deep understandings within the subject and to hone critical-thinking skills. The Dwight School Visual Arts programme encourages the learning process itself and acknowledges the courage it takes students to experiment creatively as part of their process, regardless of the final product.
Through the internationally published MYP Arts Criteria, grades 6-10 students are assessed on the following areas: knowing and understanding, developing skills, thinking creatively, and responding.
Above all, the visual arts curriculum in the MYP aims to challenge students to question the role and purpose of art within society and how they, as artists, can engage in artmaking activities to pose questions and create meaning for a variety of audiences and purposes.
Grade 9 & 10 (2018/19)
Students from grade 9 & 10 made these incredible self-portraits during their unit about Understanding the Self. The Global context is identities and relationship, and the statement of inquiry is “Self-portrait refers to a painting or art that depicts the visual identity of the artist who produced it with their emotional interpretation and self-expression”. The students developed their skills using manual sketching, digital sketching, and photography with an application called "Prisma." They expressed themselves and their emotional identity with a medium of their choice.