Developing the next generation of creative global leaders

Arts are considered a central part of education from an early age at ACS International Schools. By training pupils to think critically the school aims to train the next generation of creative leaders.

Creative education through the arts at ACS international Schools
A study by the University of Sydney found that active participation in the arts increases students’ motivation, engagement in class, self-esteem and improves their personal wellbeing. These attributes equip students with the skills and confidence to pursue careers in leadership roles, both in and out of the arts industry.This thinking is mirrored at ACS International Schools, where we are committed to producing well-rounded individuals through STEAM. An education focused on developing students in all aspects of academia and extracurricular activities; spanning science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.Often, and especially in British state schools, academic students are discouraged from taking arts subjects onto the latter stages of education, instead pushing students towards the so-called ‘shortage subjects’, requiring greater academic rigour. Not so at ACS, where the arts are considered an integral part of a fully rounded education regardless of specific specialisms.

STEAM intiatives with students from the UK and internationally 

ACS Hillingdon repeatedly demonstrates cross-curricular collaboration through STEAM initiatives. The school recently hosted an innovative education tournament, Destination Imagination, welcoming over fifty students from across the UK, America and Morocco to take on open-ended challenges. Teams of students each competed in one of five different categories: technical, scientific, improvisation, engineering and service learning.The four ACS Hillingdon teams took on challenges which involved designing, building and testing free-standing wood structures, capable of holding almost 50kg, creating and improvising theatrical sketches, and designing and building a moving cardboard stage, complete with innovative technical effects.By incorporating the arts with more academic subjects in events like these, students are inspired to think creatively, critically and to problem solve collaboratively; and by being given the opportunity to apply solutions to real problems across hugely important subjects, help develop skills central to leadership.

Visual Arts International Baccualaureate at ACS Egham

The International Baccalaureate visual arts programme fosters creative thinking and a critical mindset. At ACS Egham, the visual arts IB is an increasingly popular subject. Teachers of the subject believe that art enables students to develop an appreciation for expressive diversity. This allows students to become more understanding of different cultures, ultimately giving them the skills to live and work anywhere in the world.Visual art is often a self-lead subject, with students determining their own innovative ideas. This encourages independent thought, something that universities often cite as lacking in many students. The ability to evaluate their work as they go teaches students to approach problems with patience and inventive thinking.In collaboration with the IB visual arts programme, ACS Egham showcases students’ artworks to friends and families through special exhibitions. Displaying projects rewards students’ dedication to their work, which often draws upon their own personal experiences such as moving from one culture to another.
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Performing arts: Education through collaboration

An arts education within school is one of the few programmes able to create an environment which encourages collaboration across all ages and nationalities. Every year, ACS Cobham showcases a production in its state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre. The production of Oliver! featured a cast and crew of over eighty members of the extended school community, including teachers, parents and alumni as well as students from the lower, middle and high school.The Performing Arts Centre at ACS Cobham opened in 2014. The 509 seat auditorium includes a professional fly tower to move large scenery during performances, as well as high-tech light and sound boards, that can be used by students interested in theatre technology. The centre also includes classrooms, music studios and an instrumental room.A recent survey reveals that of the 236 public schools in London, 59 have theatres. This compares to London’s West End’s 42. Many of these schools’ theatres have cutting edge technology and modern design that would be the envy of some of the older West End venues, with their dated seats and interiors. For students with a passion for the performing arts, Performing Arts Centres such as ACS Cobham’s can really help expand their interests. 

Preparing students through a range of subjects

Collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, independent learning and creativity are all attributes that can be developed through STEAM. Our dedicated approach to ensuring there is a wide variety of arts education available at ACS will, we believe, help create a new generation of creative leaders, willing to innovate and persevere into the future. As well as this, if the arts make students happy, feel good about themselves and instils a sense of achievement, that is justification enough to make arts education a vital part of school life.For related news and features, visit our Education and Schools section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre