IB Arts | Halcyon International School London

“The Halcyon learning community has made significant efforts to provide for a core curriculum, enhanced by creative programmes that cater to the whole child by encouraging student choice, autonomy, creativity and an excitement to learn.” – NEASC, 2018

“Annual school performances tap into, and extend, their artistic skills. All these experiences have a profound impact on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, which the school promotes very effectively.”

– Ofsted, 2017

Music Show
arts case study

In our annual music show, our students have the opportunity to deliver creative vocal and instrumental performances to our school community. Previous performances have included covers from other artists as well as self-composed pieces, constructed from students’ own ideas and their technical knowledge from IB MYP and DP studies of music. We invite you to watch this year’s music show – featuring vocalists, guitarists, pianists, and more – on our YouTube channel!


Arts (Group 6)

The Arts (Group 6) – consisting of Theatre Arts, Visual Arts and Music – is a way for students to “develop curiosity about themselves, others and the world around them”*; a creative aspect of their development into thoughtful and inquiring problem-solvers.

Middle Years Programme

In the Middle Years Programme, students will develop their skills and understanding through creative processes in Visual Arts, Drama and Music, making “purposeful connections between investigation”, understanding the contexts that surround the creation of art and developing their perspectives on the world.

Diploma Programme

In the Diploma Programme, students who opt to take a Music, Visual Arts or Theatre Arts as an IB art “explore and value the diversity of the arts across time, place and cultures”, developing their skills of analysis and closely investigating the changing nature of the arts.

Every year, our SL and HL students embrace a number of opportunities to showcase their creative research and development of artistic skills and techniques. Theatre showcases, our annual music celebration and the IB Diploma Visual Arts Grade 12 Exhibition all offer insight into the Arts at Halcyon.

*Quotations are taken from the International Baccalaureate Subject Guides. Read more:
MYP Curriculum
DP Curriculum

Example work from students

Grade 7 Impressionism: Interdisciplinary Unit

Interdisciplinary Units in the MYP provide an opportunity for students to make connections across their IB studies. In a Visual Arts/Science interdisciplinary unit, students combined their knowledge from both courses to produce a research project on the ways in which scientific discoveries impacted the work of the Impressionists.

Grade 7 enjoyed fulfilling both the practical and theoretical requirements of this Interdisciplinary unit, creating their own impressionist works as well as researching how the effects of light and the colour wheel impacted the approach of each artist through a comparative study.

Arts Enrichment

Visual Arts Exhibition

At our annual Visual Arts Exhibition at a central London site, our Grade 12 students present their favourite piece across the arts course from their process portfolio. Visitors to our exhibition have often found our students’ work to be thought-provoking and unique, inspired by revered artists from the past as well as contemporary innovators who are unlocking the next paradigm of visual media through their work. You can see some examples of our students’ art works – created from a range of different media – on our Instagram post, here. The exhibition is a celebration of SL/HL students’ work across the IB Diploma, and is a community event enjoyed by students, parents, staff, and alumni.

School Show

On an annual basis, our School Show Explorations students showcase their theatrical skills in a fantastic performance in a London venue. Their preparation for the show takes place in a series of two-hour Exploration sessions, a dedicated block of time in school hours which allows them to study the arts in more depth, receive feedback on their work, and develop their knowledge of theatre as well as practice for the event.

Instrumental lessons

Our instrumental lessons, held before or after school, are arranged by Halcyon on request and provide students with one-to-one support on progression and practice with their instrument. Explore further information on Instrumental Lessons here.

IB Arts Enrichment

Clubs and super-curriculars

– Music Performance Exploration
– Music Ensemble Exploration
– Vocal Group Exploration
– School Show Exploration
– Photography Exploration
– Film Exploration
– Music Tutoring

Work Experience, University and Careers Counselling

Arts Facilities

Art Studio

Our students can enjoy a vibrant selection of media and materials as they develop their course process portfolio in our studio – a bright space where students develop their ideas and flourish as young artists. In IB Visual Arts, we can provide bespoke portfolios of materials to students in order to support individual projects.

Campus visitors

We support our DP Visual Arts students by providing them with access to learning from the very best in the art world. Our Grade 11 and 12 students enjoyed a visit from Paul Brandford, a leader in figure drawing, who guided students to develop their understanding of how to represent the body through art. You can read more about this visit and view some of our students’ work on the human body on our blog, and explore Paul Brandford’s website here.

Learning in London

Becoming an IB world citizen means taking an active role in understanding the world around us – including the rich cultural history of our city. Trips to the museums, theatres, and exhibitions of London enhance our students’ learning in all IB subject groups.

Halcyon’s Art Studio

Students can use a wide variety of media and processes to construct pieces in our studio.

Subject groups:


We invite you to explore the full range of subject areas in the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) and the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP), including language acquisition, literature, mathematics, science, the IB core, and more. You can also review students’ subject options at both Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) in the Diploma Programme, which may help your family think about a subject combination at our IB World School that will provide a good foundation for a range of courses at universities and colleges around the world.