Visual Arts is taught to every student at the Western International School of Shanghai at some stage of their education. Visual Arts at WISS transcends artistic skills and teaches students life skills that can be applied outside the art room such as creative expression, critical thinking, and reflection.
Film and Media
Here in the WISS community, students produce art shows and contribute to WISS events such as performances. WISS is also proud to host numerous visiting artists from around the world. The possibilities are endless with state-of-the-art Visual Arts facilities.
In Early Years
Students in Early Years Art explore a number of art materials and processes in both inquiry-based, open-ended activities, as well as instructed activities. Students practice their fine motor skills through the use and handling of pencils, scissors, paint brushes, chalk, and markers, as well as a number of non-traditional art materials like rice and raw fruits and vegetables in a number of drawing, painting, and collage activities.
Creative problem-solving skills are developed through three-dimensional work, including hand-building techniques using clay, papier-mâché mask making, and collaborative building projects. Art History and the work of famous artists are introduced through the use of the children’s cartoon series Art with Mati and Dada, whilst art vocabulary is learned and practiced through the classroom Art Word Wall. Most units are integrated with the classroom lessons, including the unit How We Express Ourselves and Sharing the Planet, allowing for connections to be made across the school.
Visual Arts In the Primary School
Visual Art in the Primary School at WISS is a well-rounded program where skills, techniques, and concepts are focal points. In the Primary School, art is not only used to express and communicate ideas and feelings but also to promote critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and social interactions. Throughout the Primary School Art Program students explore different artistic concepts in a variety of ways. Students inquire into the life and works of artists from all over the world. They explore folk arts from different cultures to appreciate and understand the role of art in society.
They work independently as well as collaboratively with others to create and learn about a variety of art forms and experiment with different materials. Some of the forms of art explored through the Primary School Art Program at WISS are clay modeling, digital art, printmaking, sculpture making, traditional painting, drawing, and sketching. Art at WISS is in an integral part of learning and is interwoven into the curriculum across the school.
Visual Arts In the Secondary School
Visual Arts courses are offered to students in Secondary School to educate students to think creatively. The art skills taught to Secondary students include 2D, 3D, painting, drawing, printing, clay work, sculpture, textiles, and metal work. Aligned with the IB curriculum, there is a focus on a deeper connection, teaching students to critique and reflect on their own work and that of others, as well as develop analytical and problem-solving skills. In Grades 11 and 12, WISS IB students may choose to continue to study the Visual Arts through both IBDP and IBCP.
Through the IBCP Art and Design pathway, WISS has a strong partnership with SCAD which allows students to continue with further study and scholarship opportunities. The IBDP Visual Arts course focuses on three components: art-making practice, theoretical practice, and curatorial practice. This academically intensive course is designed for students who are passionate about the arts and want to go on to study Visual Arts in higher education and as well as those who are seeking enrichment.