How will the Arts help our students grow?

“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life, a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”

  • Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education



I am the MYP Drama and DP Theatre teacher at Sotogrande International School and feel lucky to have my two children joining me this academic year, in P2 & P5. In this series of blogs I hope to outline why SIS places so much importance on the inclusion of Arts within its curriculum. Forgive me if these ramblings have a Secondary bias but the thrust of what I am trying to convey is equally applicable to our Primary learners and curriculum. As teachers, we know that schooling is about so much more than the bubble of our own academic subjects and I am sure of the fact that SIS excels in developing the holistic child. This happens on a day-to-day basis in many different ways and is an integral part of both the curriculum and experiential programme offered throughout the school. Over the years I have worked here, SIS has nurtured a strong Artistic culture allowing the students a platform for finding their authentic voice and providing them with a sense of place and significance in the community and within the world around them. There is no doubt in my mind that the wealth of Arts opportunities offered at this school will support my children in becoming truly effective learners and human beings.

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Aristotle

I would like you to consider how you identify significant moments that have helped define who you are as a person. Note how often our most significant memories are bought back to us by one guitar lick or the chorus of one particular tune. Why is a piece of music so evocative in bringing back a memory? The Arts touch and mould us in a way like no other medium can. It is no surprise that Desert Island discs has been running since 1942. It is captivating getting this snapshot insight into the make up of a person through their personal choice of 8 music tracks and a book. What do your 8 tracks say about you? Everything really. Through the study of the Arts we help our students find their inner rhythm and guide them towards the self-recognition that gives us confidence and assurance as an individual.


In the Arts we are fortunate to have a ready platform to showcase our talented and passionate ´Artists´. Whilst the numerous showcases, displays and performance events are a vital celebration of success, the inner reward of participating in these presentations may be less tangible but equal in worth.

In addition collaborating in a presentation of Art work helps make our students feel significant both as individuals whilst also providing them with a sense of belonging to a whole. More often than not students across year groups will come together to devise, develop and refine a presentation to a target audience that crosses a broad span of the SIS community.


Through classwork, workshops, rehearsals, showcases, exhibitions and performance work we encourage our students to take risks in exploring the limitless extent of their imagination and creativity.

Christine Barling

Leader of Learning SIS Arts

DP Theatre & MYP Drama teacher

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