Arts are integral to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). They 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. The students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, and through a variety of media and technologies. The PYP recognizes that not all learning can be supported solely through language, and that arts as a medium of inquiry also provide opportunities for learning, communication and expression. Learning about and through arts is fundamental to the development of the whole child, promoting creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and social interactions.
Arts promote attitudes such as empathy and appreciation, and skills such as analysis, that help us to see the uniqueness of each person as well as explore the commonalities that connect us. Work in arts is a way of conveying meaning, sharing a culture, developing one’s sense of self, and expanding knowledge. It provides opportunity to reflect on aesthetic experience, to engage the imagination and explore what is uncertain. Through engaging with and creating artworks, learners are encouraged to reconsider familiar concepts and think about issues of culture and identity. By responding to the work of other artists, they are invited to situate their own creativity within a broader context.
Arts engage students in creative processes through which they explore and experiment in a continual cycle of action and reflection. Such creative processes are seen by the PYP as the driving force in learning through inquiry. From an early age, students have the opportunity to develop genuine interests, to give careful consideration to their work and to become self-critical and reflective. Reflecting on and evaluating their own work and the work of others is vital, and empowers students to take intellectual risks. Exposure to and experience with arts opens doors to questions about life and learning. The process of making and appreciating arts is gratifying and will encourage students to continue creating throughout their lives.