Learning at Halcyon London International School has no boundaries.
Being part of an international school community we appreciate the opportunity to learn about local complexities and nuances. To this end, Halcyon arranges many wonderful opportunities for our students to learn more about London, its diverse cultures and for reflections of fundamental British values.
Halcyon students recently participated in a community day to a variety of institutions to learn about their valuable contributions.
Grade 6 students visited the Education Centre at Hyde Park and the Natural History Museum. Students were investigating urban ecosystems and the student’s role in their responsibility to protect their local environment. Grade 6 trip leader, Kerry Jenkins, emphasised that visiting the Education Centre at Hyde Park and the Natural History Museum gave students the “freedom to explore London’s natural landscape and learn from the institutions that inhabit London”.
Grade 7 participated in a cultural exchange day with a Spanish secondary school based in London, Vicente Cañada Blanch. Halcyon’s students discussed art, customs and history of Spanish speaking countries and even shared a tapas lunch with their Spanish peers. Students got a sense of the cultural melting pot that London offers. Trip Leader Fatima Gonzalez said that the experience gave students the chance to “respect and learn from other cultures by sharing different experiences with the Spanish students”.
Grade 8 visited the Science Museum and explored the question “What makes us human?”. Whilst they investigated some of the physical reasons humans differ from animals, they discussed that another way humans differ is through religion and faith. Following the trip, students investigated this topic further by looking at the spiritual and religious aspects of humanity. They explored the question: “How do people’s religious beliefs, teachings and values affect how they see themselves and their relationship to the natural environment?” As the home of human ingenuity, London’s Science Museum was the perfect starting point for this discussion. Students were given a plethora of information, images and sources about religious teachings, beliefs, environmental organisations, animal rights and quotes. After being given one religion per group to focus on, they then had to sort through it and pick out what they thought was most appropriate to answering the question. Christina in Grade 8 said: “Our group looked at Sikhism and we learned that many Sikhs are vegetarian because their aim in life is to live in harmony”.
Grade 9 explored East London on a street art tour, seeing how artists have expressed their social views and utilise visual communication and contemporary graphics. The day culminated in a debate entitled ‘The rule of law vs individual liberty’ where students discussed how law and liberty can both complement and contradict each other. By looking at these fundamental British values students were able to discuss property law, vandalism and freedom of speech.
Grade 10 visited Tate Britain and explored how British artists from the 18 – 20th Century have expressed themselves through the use of the figure, and how this has been interpreted in both paintings and sculptures. Trip Leader Sue Dance reflected “this trip enabled students to acquire an appreciation and respect for British artists”.
Grade 11 visited the Royal Courts of Justice where they learned about the workings of the court and took part in a mock trial, based on Copyright law. Students were discovering the role of being a responsible citizen, an understanding and appreciation of how the law can impact every day lives for all members of society…all while getting to work in historic courtrooms!
Grade 12 went to the Serpentine Galleries and the Saatchi Gallery to connect to curatorial practice and decision making, which is a required element of the Visual Arts IBDP curriculum. Students got to to gain inspiration for ideas relating to their own studio work and concept development. Trip Leader Anthony Gow told us “at the Serpentine Gallery students saw Helen Martin’s installation work; Martin is one of the finalists for the Turner Prize, which gave students an awareness of the celebration of upcoming young artists in Britain”.
Fundamental British values are further demonstrated in Halcyon’s commitment to diversity and student voice through our student-led clubs and events. For example, Halcyon’s Debate Club and Student Council in addition to the student-led Global Issues Network conference and Model United Nations conferences. Students discuss democracy, faith, politics and cultures to name a few. Our recent International Showcase was a whole community celebration of global cultures and faiths!