''The arts are the human honey, stored in the soul!’
When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply replied, “then what are we fighting for?”
At GEMS we believe that the arts are central to the idea of education being about inculcating a love of love of learning and of acquiring knowledge. A high quality education must include a high quality arts education, introducing children and young adults to great literature (novels, poetry and short stories plays), dance, visual arts, music and film. Is it not every child’s right to appreciate the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa, listen to the music of Mozart, ponder on the ‘To be or not to be’speech of Hamlet and smile at the adventures of the Invincibles, the Pixar movie? At GEMS Cambridge International School-Kampala, we are committed to introducing children to the best there is in as many art forms as possible.
To enable the arts to flourish in our school, we make high quality resources available to all our students. In the Foundation Stage, children learn through creative play and as they move through the school both formal teaching of art and design for two hours per week in addition to music and the teaching of dance in PE. As pupils move towards deciding which subjects they would like to choose for IGCSE, literature, music and art and design are available as course options. As the school expands we aim to provide further courses in drama or media studies.
We also aim to develop our children’s understanding of the arts thought the local culture of Uganda. To achieve this we invite into school during our Art Week in June, local artists that have skills in painting, pottery, textiles, paper, leather, calligraphy, and even metal. The work children produce is then collated and exhibited in an exhibition that parents and the local community are invited to. That is not all, however, the GEMS Art Bus takes our students into the community to work alongside students in other schools working alongside them in producing art. We have a school choir that participates in local competitions and all and provision for the arts is further enhanced through a wide range of extra-curricular activities often taught by highly skilled artisans that include dance, drums, painting skills, singing, learning to play a musical instrument and story telling sessions. To help develop the above, we have two purposefully designed art and design studios, music rooms with practice spaces, and a small dance studio.
In short, we believe that the arts enhance creativity, develop critical intellectual skills that carry over to learning in other subjects and in life and through the arts all children's’ talents and interests can be developed.