ISTA Primary Drama Festival connects creative arts and conservation
By Mandy Whitehouse, Grade 3 Teacher, East Campus
The first weekend of May, UWCSEA hosted the fourth ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association) Primary Drama Festival at East Campus. The event was attended by five international schools: UWCSEA East, NPSI, Tanglin Trust School, Dulwich College Singapore and GEMS World Academy. Five artists representing ISTA came and shared their creative talents with us. They led the workshops and facilitated the creativity which came out of the ensemble groups.
The starting point and focus of the weekend was 'There’s a Rumble in the Jungle' and the participating students were taken on an 'out and about' visit of Singapore Zoo to observe the movement, sounds, similarities and differences to humans of four endangered animals. These were: Polar Bears, Orangutans, White Tigers and Komodo Dragons. We also observed these animals in their zoo habitats and compared them to their natural habitats.
Back at UWCSEA the children worked in mixed school groups known as ensembles and attended workshops with different themes including dance, movement, singing and shadow puppetry. In the ensembles the children devised a sharing piece around the theme of humans' responsibility to help save endangered animals by their actions, e.g., saving paper, conserving green spaces, and reducing pollution. These ensembles were then presented to the parents in a sharing session on Sunday evening.
All the students involved in the weekend were creative, collaborative, communicators, showed a commitment to care for each other, were principled, self managers and were self aware for the whole weekend and very long days.
Some of the feedback from the 14 East Campus students who attended included:
“I loved making new friends from different schools.
“The ISTA people were so nice and had some great ideas.
“I have never used shadow puppets before and I really liked it.