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Philosophy of the Art programme at ISA

The principal aims of the art programme are to provide opportunities for students:

  • To enrich their lives and make a contribution to their intellectual, emotional and cultural development through using visual media.

  • To develop the skills of investigation necessary to take an informed interest in the environment and their place in it.

  • To be aware of the influences of the visual arts and design upon their own lives and that of the community.

  • To develop the ability to express their ideas and feelings primarily individual, but also in verbal, terms.

  • To develop the skills to solve design problems.

  • To develop the ability to interpret information and the opinions and decisions of others, and to form their own judgments from them.


In Grades K-5, students take art classes twice per week from a specially trained teacher. Students are exposed to skills and techniques using a wide variety of materials and through a diverse range of subjects. There are opportunities to use drawing, painting, modelling, collage, and to build sculptures. The art teacher works closely with the classroom teachers to integrate topics of study.

Middle School

MS Art

The Middle School Art Programme continues to develop the visual awareness of the students through, looking, seeing, using and considering art, in all aspects of their lives and environment. Middle School Art is full of creative exploration and personal expression, and students have the opportunity to work in a variety of different activities, including painting, ceramics, printing, drawing, computer work and sculpture. Students are exposed to a variety of artists and artworks to help develop a working vocabulary relevant to the subject and an interest in, and a critical awareness of other practitioners, environments and cultures.

The course is designed to introduce students to visual terms, to enable them to master various skills and to experience different techniques in two and three dimensions that provide them with a good basis for further art development. Emphasis is on individual work and creativity and guiding each student to their highest potential.
Middle School Art is open to students in Grades 6, 7 and 8. Students can opt for a year-long course or a semester-long course in Art.

High School

Art and Design

1 Credit

The course is designed to accommodate mixed age and ability groups by covering units of work that give the student an opportunity to deepen and broaden their knowledge of areas of visual art and design. These units are not sequential but stand independently as a learning experience. Each unit is tailored to the requirements of both the beginner and the experienced student. Art projects are theme-based and will be explored through the following disciplines: drawing, painting, 3D artworks, graphic design and printmaking.

The aim of this course is to enable learners to develop an ability to identify and solve problems in visual forms as well as progress in visual awareness through a critical and cultural understanding.

Incorporated into each unit are all aspects of art appreciation, including visits to galleries and visiting artists to help establish investigative, analytical and interpretative skills which will aid practical and expressive skills in final artworks.

This course will also guide students through a variety of skills involved in designing and making. They are encouraged to use an organised approach through the use of the Design Process and Gantt charts to promote self-directed learning.

Students are encouraged to be creative and practical when given Design Briefs as a starting point to each unit. Students attend various workshops on technology, both within the school environment and the wider community. These workshops include animation and 3D design, to enable students to develop and explore the concept of design and making.

Art and Design (IGCSE)

The Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design syllabus aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Learners gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. Student also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. An ideal foundation for further study, Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.

The syllabus helps equip learners with lifelong skills including:

•confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two- and/or three-dimensional form and composition

• the ability to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms

•the ability to develop ideas from initial attempts to outcomes.

This course aims to balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in art education.

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IB Art

2 credits/ 2 years

Prerequisite: a previous High School art course and a commitment to be self-directed

The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. Students enrolled in this two-year course are assigned the task of developing a portfolio of works either in a variety of media. Through this process of experimentation and explorations students create exhibition pieces that will be exhibited as part of their final exam. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. Considerable self-direction and working outside school hours is expected in this course.

Accredited by

International Baccalaureate Council of International Schools Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Cambridge International Examinations CNED