What is the purpose of school? Is it to gain knowledge or is it to develop skills? In today’s world, we can use the internet to find knowledge at the press of a button so the focus is shifting to prioritising important skills. Possibly the most sought-after skill in today’s job market is creativity. Having creativity sets students apart. It allows them to see new and improved solutions to problems, ensures that they can link knowledge together, that they can create novel designs and use language to convey ideas, as well as so much more. So how do we ‘teach’ creativity at King’s College School Hangzhou?
Our curriculum is based on the English National Curriculum and one of its strengths is that it knits together traditional academic rigour with creative subjects such as art, music, technology and drama. These subjects encourage students to have the confidence to try to do things themselves instead of copying techniques and projects in a set way. For example, in technology, Ms. Paredes uses the maxim ‘do not be afraid to make mistakes’ as students need to see mistakes as a natural part of learning. We give our students confidence by asking them to perform in front of their peers and parents in class and on stage. Some examples of this are:
As well as The Next BIG Sing, students have also performed in the house music competition, Compcomp, while Grade 7 students will perform to younger students again in June. Songwriting is encouraged from a young age and resulted this year in several impressive compositions.
Grade 7 students performed pieces of their own creation to parents and peers around the many social issues facing them today.
Students presented to peers and parents in a week-long technology fair that involved explaining their work and how they completed projects such as robotic hands and their own shoes. Technology classes focus on developing creativity through extended research projects.
We have creative co-curricular activities one day a week for Grades 1-5 and interspersed throughout the week for older students. These cover the subjects mentioned above but also include craft and academic subjects such as creative writing to show that creativity reaches every part of our education.
Another good example of our emphasis on creativity was the Chinese Showcase, which blended elements of calligraphy, music and poetry to produce a fantastic display for parents.
Finally, we hope to showcase the progress which our students have made in this area with our production of The Wizard of Oz on 27th and 28th June. Tickets for this event will soon be released and we are looking forward to welcoming parents to this blockbuster event. This will bring together a whole semester of work involving the drama, music, art and technology departments, and show our students’ work at its finest. Whether it be the art work, including the visual displays, the props, the acting or the live music, you will see our students showing creativity and confidence in an incredible variety of ways.