An Interview With Our Art Teacher Describing "The Halcyon Experience" | Halcyon London International School



An interview with our Art Teacher describing “The Halcyon Experience”


Author: Leeman Robinson

  1. What is your name and how are you associated with Halcyon London International School?

    Sue Dance, MYP Visual Arts Teacher G6-9

  2. As a teacher, what made you choose Halcyon?

    This was an enormously exciting opportunity, as a few of us were part of setting up the school 10 years ago.  I was deeply honoured to be part of this new and exciting process.  We all felt so invigorated and inspired to be part of a new creation. 
  3. As a teacher, describe your first day/interaction at Halcyon?

    Absolutely thrilling, but also a bit scary.  We had worked hard to prepare the curriculum and set up the building and I suppose we all worried a little; would the students come..? However, I felt we had created something special from scratch and with a new vision,  our plans and collaboration with the curriculum, felt like a new beginning with fresh ideas and opportunities to explore something exciting for students to learn.

  1. What is the most inspirational thing you have experienced at Halcyon? 

    Working collaboratively with my amazing colleagues.  I remember the months before we opened the school, we all sat in one room whilst the building was still being refurbished and we were each planning our individual curriculum, but discussing what we were thinking about and in a natural way, we found connections in each of our subject areas that we could explore for interdisciplinary learning.  I am always amazed at how generous colleagues are, not only with their time but sharing ideas. 
  2. What's your favourite event in the Halcyon School Calendar and why?

    I actually have 2.  The first is: I love attending Graduation.  It is the highlight of the year, as this is the final journey for our amazing Halcyon G12 students and to see the joy on their faces each year, that they have finally arrived at the destination of school life, but ready to start the new path, always fills me with excitement. The second: is the Visual Arts exhibition show.  These annual shows always blow me away with deep meaningful, and even provocative self-expression with the most incredible art-works.  It is not easy for students to put on a show, exposing their inner thoughts and ways of expressing themselves, yet each year I am always excited by the way they love to engage with the audience talking about their work, giving us insight into the development of their ideas.  I always feel immensely proud of the Visual Art shows and am in admiration of my Visual Arts DP colleague who manages to inspire the students every year.
  3. How has Halcyon helped to shape your career? 

    It’s helped me to be open-minded and brave about experimenting with and trying new ideas with the support of my amazing colleagues.  I have also learnt during Covid, and even though it was not a great time, it helped me see the wonderful opportunities for teaching online.  With each of the students working with their own materials and me filming myself whilst demonstrating skills and techniques, the students were engaged completely during the process.  We still managed to collaborate, as the students kept their cameras focussed on their work as they were creating and making, allowing everyone to give feedback.
  4. What is one aspect of Halcyon that you truly love - that perhaps surprised you?

    I was greatly surprised by how much I took to work with the iPad.  Our training with this device opened doors for me to see how it can be an integrated part of learning, experimenting and exploring ideas in the studio as well as another form of creating whether it is drawing, painting or playing around with ideas.
  5. Describe The Halcyon Experience in three words?

    Caring, happy and supportive.
  6. What does being a part of Halcyon mean to you?

    I feel I am part of a team and have a voice, but the support from each other makes our daily experience feel like a little family. I love watching the students' creative growth in our studio.  I also love the way that we can seamlessly take students to galleries in London to enrich their experience of the Art world.   I feel so lucky to be part of Halcyon.

    10 Years of Pioneering Education