Research informs us as educators that creativity within curriculums enhances intellect, metacognition, creative, independent thinking, and innovation, skills essential to the future of our children and society. At the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS), we believe that every child is an individual with unique talents. As part of the WISS Education, we aspire to empower students to unlock their talents and reach their potential as creative thinkers, innovators, and problem solvers.
Within the Primary School at WISS is a multitude of creative ways through which students are provided opportunities to explore and unlock their imaginations and develop innovative thinking skills through nurturing their creativity and expression. This is achieved by exploring ways different cultures utilize creative expression to share and convey their emotions. Students learn cultural dances within Physical Education sessions, inquire into cultural perspectives, and create their own cultural masks to express their emotions.
Throughout Primary School classrooms, flurries of creative activities form part of student exploration into the traditional art of written and oral Storytelling. These explorations allow students to examine how different cultures share similar traditional tales and how perspectives and viewpoints can shift, and how characters are perceived as either protagonists or antagonists within stories. This creative element to their literacy motivates students to write powerful and innovative narratives with new and insightful twists to traditional tales.
Our transdisciplinary approach to learning underpins the academic programme at the Western International School of Shanghai. As students unleash their creativity, they become more motivated to explore literary elements which enhance their written expression as they examine how to use their senses to add description to setting. Applying adjectives to describe personality and their character’s physical traits brings their characters to life. Students further discover how onomatopoeia and dialogue enhance not just their written expression but how it supports their desire to improve their reading expression and fluency.
Students bring their stories alive as a culminating challenge by dramatizing and creating puppet theatres, dioramas, models, posters, or digital books to enhance their storytelling and presentation skills.
Contributed by Lisa Ellery, Primary Principal at the Western International School of Shanghai.
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