Integrated Arts Program
BPCS’ Revolutionary Integrated Arts Curriculum
My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.-Sir Ken Robinson (TED Lecture, 2006)
As BPCS is dedicated to honouring the image of the child and to acknowledging teachers as researchers, the Leadership Team considers the important place of the Arts in the school curriculum through discussions with artists, writers, arts academics, parents, staff and students. The school engages a team of Focus Teaching Staff to support the students and staff in providing the opportunity to acknowledge the ‘languages’ of the child, inviting an exploration of these learning styles as our students journey through their school years. We also provide an opportunity for our teaching staff to investigate expressive domains and to increase their confidence to integrate creativity in the classroom.
Currently the BPCS Integrated Arts Program is led by a team of talented and passionate educators who have personal and professional experience in their disciplines as well as a love of fostering and nurturing the artists in students. The arts subjects included throughout our multi-age programming are Dance, Drama, Media, Music, Visual Arts and Sustainability and Design Technologies.
As part of the BPCS Philosophy we believe it is imperative to work collaboratively as a team and to nurture our students in an authentic way. We encourage all of the Arts disciplines to work together in shared artworks and to create Arts programming experiences reflecting this value.
An education rich in creative arts maximises opportunities for learners to engage with innovative thinkers and leaders, and to experience the Arts both as audience members and as artists. Such an education is vital to students’ success as individuals and as members of society, emphasising not only creativity and imagination, but also the values of cultural understanding and social harmony that the arts can engender– (MCEETYA and Cultural Ministers Council, 2007).
Our school instrument of choice is the ukulele and students from middle primary through middle school develop their skills through practice and authentic performance opportunities. BPCS offers all student age groups the benefits of experiences with a diversely talented Arts Team. In the early years Arts are incorporated through the Reggio Emilia Atelierista Model: Arts Team members become resources and help support the emergent ideas of the students through research and expertise. In the primary years onwards we use a Collaborative Integrated Curriculum Model: Teachers, alongside students, identify and design units of study with common themes or concepts. Our teachers, from a myriad of different content areas, work with the Arts Team to plan together for relevancy and recency, resulting in authentic Project Based Learning (PBL).
Within all Arts subjects, design facilitates the creative and practical realisation of ideas.Design thinking is a fundamental strategy in the experimentation, refinement and resolution of an artwork and takes into account logical, critical and aesthetic considerations. Design connects the different art forms so that they inform each other, providing possibilities for students to create innovative and hybrid forms of art. (Australian Arts Curriculum Overview)
We believe, as current research supports, that our students’ educational growth and social-emotional health are significantly higher in arts-rich schools. At BPCS the Integrated Arts Program increases engagement in learning, self-esteem, empathy, critical and creative thinking and the ability to work together.
The Arts, in particular, can release our imaginations to open up new perspectives, identify alternatives. The vistas that might open, the connections that might be made, are experiential phenomena; our encounters with the world become newly formed – from the Australian Education Review, 2005 quoting Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts and social change. SanFrancisco: Jossey Bass.