Arts in the PYP School

Arts are a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Arts provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives.


Students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, and through a variety of media and technologies. Arts as a medium of inquiry provides opportunities for learning, communication and expression. Learning about and through Arts is fundamental to the development of the whole student, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and social interactions.  


Arts Strands

Two common strands have been identified that apply across the different art forms and define the critical artistic processes. These intrinsically connected strands are concept-driven and have been designed to interact with each other, working together to support the overall development of the students.



The process of responding provides students with opportunities to respond to their own and other artists’ works and processes, and in so doing develop the skills of critical analysis, interpretation, evaluation, reflection and communication. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, methods and elements of music and visual arts, including using specialized language.



The process of creating provides students with opportunities to communicate distinctive forms of meaning, develop their technical skills, take creative risks, solve problems and visualize consequences. Students are encouraged to draw on their imagination, experiences and knowledge of materials and processes as starting points for creative exploration. They can make connections between their work and that of other artists to inform their thinking and to provide inspiration.

Source: Primary Years Programme Arts scope and sequence (IBO, 2009)


Arts Forms 

In PYP, arts are identified as dance, drama, music and visual. Each of these art forms is a significant discipline in its own right, but the transdisciplinary nature of arts gives them relevance throughout the curriculum. In RAK Academy PYP school single-subject teachers are specialists in one of the art forms (Music and Visual Arts), however they integrate movement, language, sound and colour into their teaching practise.



Music enables students to communicate in ways that go beyond their oral language abilities. Music delights and stimulates, soothes and comforts students; music allows students to communicate in a unique way. Musical experiences and learning begin with the voice. Students are given opportunities to discover a broad range of music experiences including classifying and analysing sounds, composing, exploring body music, harmonizing, listening, playing instruments, singing, notation, reading music, songwriting and recording.

In creating, students use their imagination and musical experiences to organize sounds—natural and technological—into various forms that communicate specific ideas or moods. In responding, students are given the opportunity to respond to different styles of music, as well as to music from different times and cultures.


The term “visual arts” is used to describe practices that have been more traditionally described in education as “art, craft and design”. Students are exposed to a broad range of experiences that illustrate the field of Visual Arts, including architecture, collage, costume design, drawing, graphic design, film, illustration, jewellery, land art, mask making, metal work, painting, papermaking, and performance art.

ICT is used in the visual arts as a tool to enhance the creative experience. Photo and film editing, animation, web design, drawing, computer-aided design, audio and word processing programs can be used as tools to engage students with the conceptual understandings.


Integration and Collaboration

Arts and science are linked fundamentally as they both promote discovery learning. The integration allows students to attempt artistic science projects that enhance their imagination, higher-order thinking skills, creativity and knowledge.

Through collaboration with the PYP coordinator, classroom teachers and specialists from BC and Secondary schools, the music and visual art specialists at RAK Academy PYP school are successfully integrating their specialty into PYP units. Also, Class Teachers are supporting and encouraging artistic expression in everyday activities, not just in designated music lessons. This transdisciplinary process helps all of our students grow and learn at a deeper level.


Extracurricular Activities

PYP Arts Team is providing many activities beyond regular lessons, offering opportunities for students to experience the values of teamwork, individual and group responsibility, self-discovery and a sense of international culture and community.

RAK Academy is proud of its PYP choir, “The Hummingbirds”, that is open for all students in Year 3 - Year 6. Building on the common ground of a love for singing, choir students form friendships with people from all different academic disciplines and cultural backgrounds. “The Hummingbirds” choir performs regularly at local events and in the wider community, such as “The Choir Of the Year” festival in Dubai, and has a reputation for its beautiful tone and dynamic performances.

Instrumental programme is offered each year depending on students’ interests, encouraging them to explore musical instruments that are not so often used the classroom. This school year students will have the opportunity to enjoy the charming sound of ukuleles.

Art Club is also based on students’ interests and encourages them to build on the skills which they have developed in class, enhancing their artistic techniques and working in a variety of mediums.   

There are lots of opportunities for student to perform and exhibit their work showcasing their musical and artistic talents throughout the school year.