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Creative community collaboration

An IB World School in Thailand brings together local, national and international artists, to enhance creative thinking, agency, and overall engagement

Artist Residency Thailand (ART) at Prem Tinsulanonda International School, in northern Thailand, develops and mentors artists and creative practitioners, while offering a fun and engaging way to enhance engagement with science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) to IB students.

Prem Tinsulanonda International School was looking for new ways to nurture and embed arts and creativity throughout the school. Creative education consultant Alex Soulsby had previous experience of working with many artists, schools and arts organizations. Borrowing best practice ideas and approaches that he had previously managed and implemented, ART was born.

I have seen the incredible, transformative power that the arts can have on students and the amazing things that can happen in classrooms, when you marry the delivery of the curriculum with the skills and talent of creative practitioners,” says Soulsby.

The artists work with Soulsby and specific subject teachers to create bespoke learning opportunities. Soulsby says: “Sometimes practitioners will facilitate sessions that enhance and inform the curriculum, but the aim is always to encourage students to take ownership of their learning and to diversify the learning outcomes that take place in any given classroom.”

ART integrates workshops, masterclasses and creative projects across the curriculum and throughout most departments. Staff also benefit from professional development delivered by the programme participants.

Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP) students are involved. In fact, it’s mandatory that PYP students engage with at least one residency practitioner each academic year.

The whole community often gets involved, too, says Soulsby. “Visual art exhibitions, music and theatre performances and sword-fighting workshops mean that the local and wider community often engage, both as audience members and participants.”

“The programme serves to develop and refine the skills of artists/practitioners who understand the positive impact the arts can have on a young person’s education and who want guidance, advice and the opportunity to hone those skills,” he adds.

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email