The creative gifts of children flourish when they have an outlet for artistic expression. At Sunnybrook, every student has the opportunity to realize and develop his or her own creativity to its fullest potential. The arts offer a gateway to understanding other cultures and perspectives in our international program.
The IB Program of Inquiry includes one unit each year that focuses on the arts, under the organizing theme ‘How We Express Ourselves’. Visual arts, music, drama and dance are ‘ways of knowing’ which expand children’s ability to show their understandings and express feelings. All the Units of Inquiry include art forms as a means of facilitating learning and understanding. Through artistic expression learning comes alive in meaningful and creative ways.
Creative expression is a part of all Units of Inquiry. During regular art classes students use art to express and respond to their learning. During other learning times, visual media are used in many ways as students present their thinking in visual ways. Our students are exposed to a variety of media in order to help them discover new and creative ways of demonstrating their ideas. At the end of the year, we celebrate the visual arts with an Art Show in our Arts Studio where every child’s art is displayed for the community to enjoy.
Music is a performance art and music classes at Sunnybrook School allow all students to be music makers. As their musicianship grows, students develop musical literacy and deepen their understanding of musical concepts and ideas.
Rhythm, singing, theory, and preparing the students for introductory band are the basis for the early years music program at Sunnybrook School. We incorporate Dal Coze, Orff and Kadaly methods into our teaching. Rhythm instruments, Recorders, Toots (Flute), Doods (Clarinet), Pbuzz (Trombone) instruments allow students to experience instrumental performance at an early age. Our graduates leave Sunnybrook with a love of making and performing music, having developed the skills to make the most of the band and/or strings programs they will enjoy in middle school.
Students are encouraged to participate collaboratively in performance opportunities as well as take risks in solo settings. The SBS Choir and the Sunnybrook Singers offers a wonderful opportunity for students to develop their choral skills and their confidence in performing.
- The Winter concert is a choral event involving students from grades 1 – 6
- The Musical is held in May and involves every student from grades 1-6
- Junior and Senior Kindergarten students offer 2 concerts each year in our Arts Studio
Sunnybrook stages a spectacular musical annually. It is difficult to describe the SBS musical in a way that will do it justice. Our musical is a pivotal annual event that brings the entire community together in the creation of a truly wondrous show.
We view the musical as an additional Unit of Inquiry that focuses on how we express ourselves through collaboration, drama, music and performance. As students go through their SBS years they experience the musical from different perspectives. Younger students are guided by teachers and older peers as they learn about being on stage and cooperating with the entire school to create a magical evening of musical theatre. Older student actors learn about the audition process, take responsibility for learning their part, and develop a sense of acting a key role in a show. They also develop leadership amongst themselves as well as with younger students. The learning experience during the musical is only eclipsed by the exhilarating experience of performing in front of the audience.
Every child from grade 1 – 6 is involved in all aspects of preparing the show. Auditions, learning the music, making sets and props, practicing choreography, rehearsing with the whole school, creating programs and posters; all this is part of the SBS experience every year.
Past performances include:
- Lion King
- Mary Poppins
- Willie Wonka
- The Wizard of Oz
Drama and Public Speaking
Sunnybrook students are not shy to speak and express themselves in different forums. We expect our students to present their ideas and experiences to their peers regularly from the beginning of Junior Kindergarten. As they grow through the grades they have numerous opportunities to speak to the school community at assemblies, to parents, and to prospective parents. Our grade 6 students are excellent ambassadors at our Open Houses.
Kids love to perform and we make sure they have lots of opportunities. In the classroom, students often use drama to present their knowledge to the class. Our French program uses drama and plays to teach French. Acting in the French plays is a large part of our drama program. The musical is the highlight of our drama program.
Dance is a creative expression common to all human culture. Whatever the style and the music, it is liberating to experience rhythm and music through movement. Dance as a form of artistic expression is a part of the musical, the physical education program, and the French program.