British designer Edward Enninful said that; “Without diversity, creativity remains stagnant,” and at HAIS, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why our school is committed to creating a learning environment that celebrates diversity and encourages creative collaboration.
Here at HAIS, we believe that creativity is not just a nice-to-have skill but a fundamental aspect of learning. Our school embodies creative thought, from our sustainable approach to architecture (the traditional buildings, gardens, murals, and a shared courtyard), to our range of programmes that develop creativity, including Visual Arts with Ms. Frances, Theatre Arts with Ms. Jennifer, Music with Mr. Tas and Mr. Josh, and STEM with Mr. Mark, Mr. Gaston and all the International Primary teachers. These programmes inspire innovative thinking and motivate our students to challenge conventional ideas.
Art teacher Ms Frances supports visual arts as a vital subject for all children. She notices that even the ability to sit still and draw or doodle seems to concentrate minds.
“I find joy in seeing our younger students apply themselves in such an uninhibited manner. There is something wonderful about their first drawings and paintings. The colourful simplicity brings smiles as they take pride of place on fridge doors and bedroom walls.”
Drawing and writing are also heavily connected, and emerge from the same starting place: with simple scribbles that become fully formed shapes.
Music is a subject that is very much celebrated at HAIS, with children having specialised classes from Early Years’ all the way through to Secondary. HAIS Music teacher Mr Josh said; “The abstract nature of fusing musical notation with different rhythms and melodies allows our students to develop a creative approach to thinking and understanding the world around them.”
“The music curriculum at HAIS equips our students with things like critical thinking, technical abilities, and confidence to play individually or as a part of a team. It brings me great joy to see how music brings HAIS students together in an expressive and passionate way, when we hold our assemblies, end-of-year concerts or battle of the bands.”
HAIS introduced a Theatre Arts subject off the back of our highly successful Wizard of Oz musical performance last year. New Head of Drama Ms Jennifer said; “For me, growing up in the Philippines meant that I was extremely fortunate to have been taught music and dance as early as Pre-School. By the time I graduated from Secondary, I had performed in countless choir concerts and dance performances, acted in and directed full-length play productions, played the bass guitar and the drums in my high school rock band and participated in many other performance-related activities.”
Our HAIS World Languages Programme is another essential component of the school’s effort to foster creative thinking. Studies have shown that learning a new language can have significant benefits in improving memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Even growing up bilingual has shown to increase creative thought and the ability to multitask.
In addition to these programmes, we celebrate creativity and innovation through our annual events calendar, including Dot Day (held this September), concerts and theatre productions, the annual Science Fair, and World Creativity and Innovation Day. In celebrating these events, we encourage our students to be leaders and take initiative in showcasing their talents.
To sum it all up, Head of Drama Ms Jennifer articulated her thoughts with perfect authenticity; “Without learning creativity and developing confidence through trying and failing—something that any grade school poet or university drama club actor goes through—we do not learn how to innovate through that process of trial and error. As Steve Jobs, in launching the iPad 2 put it: “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
“And it might be true that the world cannot run without those core STEM skills, and, come the zombie apocalypse, the need for artists will not be high. But do you know what? There won’t be a zombie apocalypse; it’s just an entertaining story, made up by an artist.”
Thank you Jennifer – we couldn’t have said it better and are all the better for your thoughtful words and wisdom.