Photo: British International School of Houston
The Innovation and Creativity category for the 2023 International School Awards attracted some outstanding applications from international schools in a range of contexts. These embraced green, STEAM, wellbeing, and outdoor learning initiatives.
In their own ways, many of the applications look to the Fourth Industrial Revolution as motivation for their initiative, and some take technology to an extreme of what is currently possible. The judging panel commented on the energy, enthusiasm and inspiration evident within some of the initiatives which are captivating students in their learning.
Learning through extreme weather
The British International School of Houston in the USA has been shortlisted in the category for an extreme weather initiative. This emerged through the work of one art teacher encouraging students to consider how to artistically depict weather and has since developed into interdisciplinary projects that involve all learners from the age of 4 to 14. Students learn how to scientifically measure weather, how to investigate weather through a lens of past, present and future, how to uncover weather influences within literature, and more. It has led to the school working towards the creation of hurricane preparedness kits. The shortlisted application shares evidence of how this highly topical initiative has developed over time, engaging students in their learning and fostering collaborative skills to achieve outcomes. The school says the extreme weather initiative has offered “an ideal, real-life context that both motivated and resonated with students of all ages.”
Discovering digital drama and production
The Alice Smith School in Malaysia is shortlisted for a digital drama initiative. Developed in response to campus closures during the pandemic, the initiative explores the different approaches to theatre design and innovations in communication technology. Students in each year have been able to engage in experiential digital drama including developing live cinema techniques which fuse film and theatre in cross-form learning, acting-for-camera, and post-production skills as part of the curriculum and within extracurricular activities. Much of the initiative has been student-led with many opportunities for peer-teaching and collaboration between unique disciplines within a democratic space while working towards a shared goal. “The initiative helps future-proof an area of education that is highly vulnerable to disruption, not just from Covid,” said the application.
Applying augmented reality in product development
Rugby School Thailand has also been shortlisted for the Innovation and Creativity category for an augmented reality (AR) initiative that has extended the use of AR in deep and extensive ways. The initiative was inspired by a desire to review Design and Technology product development while campuses were closed during the pandemic. Trialled with Year 9 and 10 students, it incorporated 3D CAD software rendering to demonstrate the manufacturing intent of a prototype in a virtual space. This enabled students to problem-solve, virtually test new products within their intended environment, and share designs for collaborative feedback. The initiative, which has since expanded to the wider school, “completely changes the landscape of design testing for D&T coursework,” says the application.
Congratulations to all three international schools, and many thanks to TTS Group for sponsoring this category. Full written details about each initiative will be accessible on the International School Awards online event platform from 25th October. A representative from each of the schools will also be explaining implementation and impact of their shortlisted initiative during a live category session for all shortlisted schools on the awards platform during the week of 16th January 2023. Anyone can register for free access to the platform now.
Winners of this and all other categories will be announced during a live streamed ceremony which can be viewed via the awards platform on Tuesday 24th January 2023. More details about the ceremony and the shortlisted category sessions will be available on the platform.
The International School Awards are hosted by ISC Research. They aim to identify and disseminate innovative practice across a range of contemporary priorities that are being initiated and implemented by the international schools community. Judging is based upon an individual initiative within a specific category, conducted by an independent and diverse panel of expert judges, and the awards do not suggest broader quality standards for any shortlisted school.