How international schools in Singapore are putting the arts at the heart of their curriculum Singapore is addressing its earlier shortcomings in arts education. Today, there are plenty of international schools in Singapore that recognise the value of the arts in the curriculum – and bring it to the fore in the daily timetable.
Specialist teachers are often brought in to teach creative subjects from early years (as young as three) up to sixth form. Dedicated facilities ensure that art, drama and music are not side lined, and schools are investing to provide the extra resources needed for arts-based IGCSEs, A Levels, BTECs and modules in the IBDP. Also, students are being given the opportunity to participate in a variety of musical ensembles, art exhibitions, original plays, full-blown musicals and choral concerts.
But what makes an international school here truly outstanding for the arts?
In this Award category, we were looking for schools that incorporate art, music and the performing arts into their core curriculum, with as much attention as the core academic subjects. We asked, which schools can show their understanding that the arts play a key role in a broad-based education and are encouraging students to develop creative skills and talents. And which schools have invested in the arts, everything from black box theatres and recording studios to a broad collection of musical instruments from different cultures and countries?
How are the Winners and Highly Commended schools decided?
Our panel of expert judges selected the Award winners based on their strengths; feedback from parents, teachers and students in WhichSchoolAdvisor surveys; information in the Award entries submitted by schools and parents; and reviews by WhichSchoolAdvisor (Singapore) editors.
Strengths of the school include:
Judges praised Dulwich College (Singapore) for delivering a creative, ambitious and broad education in the arts. The school stands out for its supportive team of professionals, outstanding facilities and the high quality of the work produced in the music, performing arts and art departments.
The school impressed the judges with its choice of arts programmes for all ages, which is as much about developing a range of skills such as confidence, communication, creativity, self-discipline, motivation, resilience as it is preparing students for a performing arts career. It "fully understands the importance of educating students to be creatively literate and giving them the confidence to express themselves."
Judges said a stand-out feature is the Ignite! programme and the one-to-one mentorship that this offers. Lisa Scott-Lee, Founder of Dubai Performing Arts Academy and member of the British pop group STEPS, said:
“Congratulations to Dulwich College, Singapore, the Best School for the Arts. I was very impressed with how they successfully balance the importance of education alongside their inspiring arts programmes for all students from a young age, which is the foundation of their success.
“What really impressed me the most about Dulwich is their designated Ignite! Programme, which supports students who are committed to a career in music or performing arts, or who wish to maximise their potential. Dulwich go above and beyond to offer their students this unique programme, which shows their commitment to students and the arts.”
The general feedback from parents is that Dulwich College (Singapore) offers an academically rigorous curriculum as part of a balanced education that offers some exciting opportunities in the arts.
“Dulwich has an incredible reputation for academics, sports and music programmes. We are looking forward to attending our son's upcoming concert ‘live'. A great school and great teachers."
"My children love going to school and particularly enjoy everything musical. Dulwich has a very prestigious music department with many opportunities for high level performance throughout the year - the best in Singapore."
“Dulwich College (Singapore) unleashes student creativity in many ways: all students from Year 3 learn to play a musical instrument; art and drama is taught at all levels, including IGCSE; and there are annual productions, concerts and exhibitions for all year groups. Highlights on the calendar include resident workshops by the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
“Dulwich College (Singapore) works with its family of DCI schools to offer students more than you’d expect from an average school. There are various annual events, hosted by a different DCI school each year, that encourage competition between students at each campus: Junior students take part in the annual D’ Oscars film-making festival, which culminates in an Oscar-style awards evening; the MADD Festival celebrates music, art, drama, and dance; the Dulwich Festival of Music, offers students workshops with professional musicians and culminates in an evening concert; and the list goes on…”
Read our full review of Dulwich College (Singapore) here.
In its nomination for this Award, Dulwich College (Singapore) said:
“At Dulwich College (Singapore) we value all the benefits that the performing arts can bring our students and embed them into our programmes in a variety of ways.
“Some of our students will indeed go on to performing arts careers and we will help them in their pursuits and personal pathways. But why do students need to study the performing arts if they don’t? Because in our studies, in addition to developing skills such as acting, dancing, choreography, directing or designing, we explore culture and traditions, connecting to all parts of the globe.
“We develop a range of skills such as confidence, communication, creativity, self-discipline, motivation, resilience. Qualities like independent thinking, teamwork and caring for others will not just set people apart but will ensure they can contribute to society in ways that they believe are irreplaceable. In addition, the performing arts create safe environments for our students to take risks.”
Next: Highly Commended