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Repton Al Barsha’s Creativity Festival Tackles Climate Change and the Covid-19 Pandemic

by Eddie Rayner

Repton Al Barsha (formerly known as Foremarke School Dubai), part of the prestigious Repton Family of Schools in the UAE, hosted their annual Creativity Festival on Thursday, 25 February 2021. The theme of this year’s festival focused on current climate crises and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic facing the world today. Pupils from Years 3 to 6 from schools across Dubai participated in the virtual festival.

The participating student teams presented three-minute creative responses to one of the five climate crisis situations: the melting ice caps, deforestation in the Amazon, wildfires across Australia and California, pollution in our oceans and the Covid-19 pandemic. The creative collaboration was based on three disciplines– Art, Music and Digital Presentation.

Zoe Woolley, Headmistress of Repton Al Barsha, noted, “Through the technological elements of the three disciplines, the festival highlighted the significant impact digital literacy has on raising awareness about global issues. As an Apple Distinguished School, we are proud to offer digital literacy as part of our core curriculum. At Repton Al Barsha, we are committed to creating responsible citizens of the future.”

It is well known that a picture speaks a thousand words. This was the foundation for the first discipline of the festival, Art. Participants were encouraged to express their creative process through different artistic techniques. Pupils used digital applications such as ‘Tayasui Sketches School’to formulate their creative visions through sketches, mind maps, notes and a collection of images or colour that they can use to help create their final and visually impactful responses.

The virtual festival welcomed schools from across Dubai, with 48 pupils participating in the festival.

After formulating their vision, the second discipline showcased how pupils expressed themselves through the universal language of Music, composing musical pieces that invoked mood and meaning surrounding the climate crises. The young learners recorded their performances through a combination of traditional and digital media, which included the use of musical instruments and digital audio workstation such as GarageBand. The final discipline, Digital Presentation, allowed each team to uniquely and methodically express their talents and ideas through an innovative presentation. Participants expressed themselves by creating multilayered Art and Music responses, blending live and recorded pieces through applications such as iMovie, Clips, Procreate and Green Screen by Do Ink.

The judging panel consisted of multi-award-winning Emirati filmmaker Hasan Kiyani, CEO of ONE MOTO, Adam Ridgeway and SherifaAly, Education Business Unit Manager at MDS Computers Technical Systems Apple Practice. The judges examined the various submissions and selected the Best in Music, Best in Art, Best Presenting and Best Final Presentation. Additionally, ONE MOTO will select one of the winning teams to support the sustainable firm’s next environmental awareness campaign.

“Repton Al Barsha’s Creativity Festival was successful in so many ways. As a virtual event, the festival was able to connect with external schools, bringing pupils and teachers together, making it a very important occasion. The festival demonstrated the wide ability of all the children involved and how they were able to communicate a message of hope! It is reassuring to know that our children are actively aware of the current global crises, and as human beings, it is our moral duty to help resolve these issues. The children demonstrated skills in art, music and presenting to communicate and tell stories. The results of the day were incredible, but most importantly, the children had a wonderful day, full of enthusiasm, engagement, discussion, excitement and creativity. I would like to thank all the participating pupils for their hard work and dedication towards creatively raising awareness on these issues,” concludes Aidan Godwin, Head of Digital Literacy at Repton Al Barsha.

For further information on Repton Al Barsha’s Creativity Festival, please visit the Repton Al Barsha website: www.reptonalbarsha.org