Amsterdam International Community School (AICS) hosted the Dutch International Primary Schools (DIPS) Specialist Arts conference on Friday 10th February. Teachers from ten schools around the Netherlands participated in various dance, music and visual art workshops to explore ways to implement the arts creatively in their class through the lens of ‘Nature’.
By Mike 0szczypala, Primary Arts Subject Area Coordinator at Amsterdam International Community School
Thinking like an Artist
The visual arts workshops focused on experimenting with a range of techniques, inspired by various provocations, including the book ‘Matisse’s Garden’ for the lower years activities and cultures and ancient civilisations for the upper years activity. Participants had the opportunity to inquire into what inspires them and reflect creatively on their work. Collaborative and individual approaches were explored with the opportunity to see where ideas can be built upon and differentiated depending on the child’s stage of development.
Thinking Like a Musician
Songwriting and the concepts of rhyme, rhythm and beat were investigated in our music workshops, along with some shared tools, strategies and resources. The lower years music workshop concentrated on more concrete examples to empower teachers to facilitate the learning of students while the upper years workshops looked at a more autonomous approach to music through students writing their own lyrics to their chosen melody.
Thinking like a Dancer
Dance and movement through natural patterns and forms provided the context of the dance workshops. Teachers were introduced to simple movements that allowed them to become vulnerable and free so that they could express themselves in collaboration with others through what our AICS dance teacher calls a ‘transfer of energies’.
Sabrina from Optimist Primary School wrote about her experience in Dance, saying: ‘ I was so inspired by this lesson that I immediately introduced it to my class the very next school day. The students enjoyed moving their body in an unstructured way. You could see the energy that they had that day in the picture that they chose and the way they moved.’
Sharing good practice and allowing the time to discuss, reflect and challenge our way of thinking creates opportunities to grow and learn from our DIPS teaching community. This way we can inspire our students and help them evolve creatively through the arts. We look forward to future DIPS conferences where we can learn from one another!