An interdisciplinary arts project with Branksome Hall

30 November 2022

Stories connect us to the past, position us in the present and guide us into the future

Two school campuses located across continents (one in Korea and the other in Canada) worked together to build an IB MYP interdisciplinary unit of work using ISTA TM Ensemble Method approach and that culminated in a creative learning festival.

Number of days: A 2-part event

Part 1 (Pre-planning): ½ day online consultancy

Part 2 (The Event): 1 week face-to-face consultancy/creative learning event

Number of students: 200

Age group: Middle school/high school (IB MYP)

Schools: Branksome Hall Asia (Jeju, South Korea) and Branksome Hall Canada (Toronto, Ontario)

About the experience

Part 1 – Pre-event consultancy

ISTA Executive Director and educational consultant, Dinos Aristiodu, began training and working with Arts and Design teachers from the school online in advance over a number of months to develop a 9th-Grade interdisciplinary unit and prepare for a 4 day event where this unit of work would be covered.

Part 2 – The face-to-face experience

The event students spanned over 4 days with 200 Grade 9 students. Dinos Aristidou and participants from Branksome Hall Asia all traveled to the Toronto, Ontario Campus to meet together in person. ISTA’s consultant worked as the overall Creative Lead and the arts and design teachers from each of the schools worked as the ensemble leaders. 

Students experienced workshops in theatre, dance, visual arts, and music with design being thread through all of the workshops. These were run by the teachers in the school as well as external artists. The theme of the festival was ‘Stories connect us to the past, position us in the present and guide us into the future.’

The event culminated in a sharing of learning followed by an assessment task to ensure the unit was all completed within this timeframe.

This consultancy provided the school with the tools and a model for them to create authentic, engaging and creative interdisciplinary units that they can apply themselves in the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Students explored the theme and presented their learning in a creative and engaging way showing the development of their understanding of the theme
  • Teachers came away with a toolkit and an approach to interdisciplinary teaching and learning informed by the ISTA approach.
  • An opportunity to share learning and student achievement with the community.
  • This model is suitable for IBMYP or any interdisciplinary or inter arts projects.