The Arts at ISB
From student art exhibits to theater performances to musical concerts, the arts are woven into both daily life and the curriculum at the International School of Boston.
Theater, visual arts, music, and cultural events and activities help ISB students discover and flex their innate abilities to feel, to act, to question, to reflect and to imagine.
At ISB, we introduce drama in Preschool to enhance personal confidence and oral ability, and to further reinforce French linguistic ability. Students engage in theatrical and role-playing games that allow them to express themselves through their voices and bodies. Theater is part of the curriculum until grade 9 inclusively, and becomes an elective with practice and theory in grades 10-12.
Art classes are part of the ISB curriculum for students from Preschool through grade 9 and become an elective from grades 10 through 12, when students can choose to study Visual Arts for the International or the French Baccalaureate.
The curriculum provides a balanced course of study that includes art history and art theory, relating both to art made in the classroom or studio. Classes are designed to complement the abilities and interests of each age group.
Starting in Preschool, students sing and listen to different styles of music to develop a variety of skills, such as:
- Recognizing rhyming words in songs
- The difference between a quarter note and a half note
- Distinguishing various forms of music
- The direction of melody
- The difference and the role of verse and refrain
Annual performances give students the opportunity to demonstrate their performance behavior and sing in-tune with good pronunciation and diction.
École en Poésie
In 2013, ISB received the official designation of École en Poésie by working closely with the French organization Printemps des Poètes to develop a sensitive approach to poetry in our school. It is something only a handful of schools outside of France have achieved, and ISB is one of only two schools in the U.S. with this designation.
We are also proud participants in the American competition Poetry Out Loud – and for the past few years, an ISB student has advanced to the state finals.
Arts & Design Night
This yearly event is an exhibition of the Middle & Upper School arts and design projects, theatre, poetry, literature, model-making, music, robotics, design, and photography.
Lower School Art Exhibit
Once a year, student artwork from Grades 1-5 is displayed in the hallways throughout the gym wing of the school. Parents can see what the students have done in art class throughout the school year.
ISB hosts several cultural events each year in the Media Center and Church Hall. Past cultural evenings include:
- Le Café des Poilus, December 2014
- Soirée Verlaine, March 2016
- Rimbaud: dit, joué et chanté, March 2018
Upper School students who choose drama as an elective also produce an annual performance in the spring. French theater students have played Georges Feydeau, Molière, Pierre de Marivaux, Wajdi Mouawad, Joël Pommerat and Edmond Rostand. English theater students perform a different Shakespeare play each year outside on the front lawn, reminiscent of the way theater used to be performed.
The school’s beautiful grand piano allows ISB to host recitals in the Media Center, with Middle School and Upper School students as well as with renowned musicians.
Dictée de la Francophonie
ISB partners with Boston Accueil for the annual Dictée de la Francophonie under the patronage of the French Consulate General in Boston. There are five categories (4th-5th graders, Middle School students, Upper School students, francophones, and francophile adults), and many prizes for the winners and participants.
I am very proud to have had the chance to be part of the first edition of the annual cultural thematic show! I will always remember how impressed everyone was. We also enjoyed the ‘madeleines’ cakes baked by a volunteer parent. Thanks ISB for this great opportunity! - Student
It is really lovely to see what the students have done in class in such a celebratory way. Through these events, everyone was able to see the excellence of the school and the commitment and dedication of the faculty and staff. - Parent
We really felt like we were in the WWI. It became really emotional when young men had to leave their loved ones to fight. It was a nice touch to introduce the perspective from the Chinese played by our Chinese students in their mother tongue. This is what an international school should be! - Staff