Fes­ti­val Opens Eyes to Art and Lit­er­a­ture

Indonesia Expat - - SCAMS IN THE CITY -

Ex­pe­ri­ences out­side the class­room are an in­te­gral part of an all-round ed­u­ca­tion, says Shawn Hutchin­son, prin­ci­pal of in­ter­na­tional school

ACG School Jakarta. He says the school, which of­fers an ed­u­ca­tional path­way from Kinder­garten to Year 13, aims to pro­vide stu­dents with all five key el­e­ments to a chal­leng­ing, holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion. They are aca­demics; stu­dent well- be­ing; sport ac­tiv­i­ties and the arts; lead­er­ship and ser­vice; and ex­pe­ri­en­tial ed­u­ca­tion out­side of the class­room. The lat­ter was put into prac­tice when stu­dents in Years nine to 12 at­tended this year’s five- day Ubud Writ­ers & Read­ers Fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber. It is the third year run­ning that ACG School Jakarta has at­tended the event, an an­nual pil­grim­age for lovers of lit­er­a­ture and con­ver­sa­tion, which brings to­gether some of the world’s most pow­er­ful artists, au­thors, thinkers and per­form­ers. Stu­dents were ex­posed to a raft of events, pre­sen­ta­tions and work­shops, from Pecha Kucha – a pre­sen­ta­tion for­mat in which artists present 20 images in 20 sec­onds that draws its name from the Ja­panese term for “chit chat”, to short films and ex­posés of cre­ative writ­ing. High­lights in­cluded a writ­ing work­shop by chil­dren's au­thor In­nosanto Na­gara who treated stu­dents to the first pub­lic reading of his up­com­ing young adult novel; and a short film The Epic whose

Dutch di­rec­tor had taken in­spi­ra­tion from Othello and Ra­mayana. The most ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated event was the Po­etry Slam, which saw 24 in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal po­ets per­form on stage in front of a packed and rau­cous au­di­ence. Stu­dents Daniel Dick­in­son and Is­abel ten Have in Year 11 per­formed their pieces To All the Bros I’ve Loved Be­fore and My Mind was a Serene Ocean that they had worked on as part of the po­etry com­po­nent of their English Lit­er­a­ture IGCSE. “From an ed­u­ca­tional per­spec­tive, this is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for our stu­dents who are in­ter­ested in English and Lit­er­acy to gain more ex­pe­ri­ence and un­der­stand­ing,” ex­plained Mr Hutchin­son. “But ex­pe­ri­ences like this out­side the class­room, par­tic­u­larly those in­volv­ing travel, also teach stu­dents about self-re­spon­si­bil­ity, ini­tia­tive and the many op­por­tu­ni­ties that life can present.

Not to men­tion the in­ter­ac­tions they had with count­less in­spir­ing artists and writ­ers.” He said the arts and ac­tiv­i­ties like drama can also play a key role in stu­dents’ aca­demic per­for­mance. "Tra­di­tional as­sump­tions about the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship be­tween the arts and learn­ing are now be­ing sup­ported by re­search show­ing there is in­deed a link with stu­dent achieve­ment and gains in maths, reading, cog­ni­tive abil­ity, crit­i­cal think­ing and ver­bal skills," he says. At the end of the day, how­ever, it’s about more than re­sults. “Our stu­dents are en­gaged, con­nected young peo­ple and for us as their ed­u­ca­tors, it’s about a lot more than the pur­suit of aca­demic ex­cel­lence – we want to nur­ture au­ton­omy, global aware­ness, mind­ful­ness, and com­pas­sion for oth­ers.”

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