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MYP Festival of Lights 2019-20

Welcome to the very first virtual MYP Festival of Lights!

Grade 6 Music

Variations on a Theme by Pachelbel

Students have been studying the key elements of music and using them to adapt a well-known piece of classical music.

Grade 6 Drama


a contemporary movement film  


Grade 6 enjoyed a term of Drama games and activities conducted mostly outside the walls of a traditional classroom. They have enjoyed connecting the dots between physical theatre-based activities, mime, contemporary dance, story-telling and explored the intrinsic relationship between nurture and nature via questioning their ability to reflect on the environment and how it can influence our intentions and our message as artists.  The recordings took place over several weeks in Gunnersbury Park.

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Grade 7-8 Drama


Our Grade 8 have embarked on a Shakespearian adventure this year and they kicked off by engaging with some of the most iconic monologues from Bard’s famous plays. The definition of a monologue in a play is simply a long speech by one character to other characters, or a crowd. Shakespeare frequently makes use of both soliloquies and monologues in each of his plays to let the audience know the characters' thoughts and feelings. A monologue is also one of the greatest tool that an actor possesses. An aspiring actor will perform monologues during auditions, it is how one can convene in a short time their understanding of a text and its subtext, their understanding of the unit of actions of a passage and perceives the slightest shift of emotions of the character. In brief, a monologue allows the actor to conveys in a few minutes their understanding of human nature.  


The Grade 7 explored what Folklore means in Performing Arts and specifically in Drama. To investigate how stories become ‘folkloric’ domain, they have studied acting techniques based on Physical Theatre and Clowning.  

One of their constraint was space. Their “bubbles”, maths classrooms, became their playground and we established that space was not a “limitation of our ability to tell a story”, should we decide that we can master the space we have. Therefore, we decided to use what we have to move forward. Space was an issue? We can make it an advantage. How? We will decide that the performance space should be the size of a gym mat.  

And so they started rehearsing. They chose Rumpelstiltskin as an iconic folkloric tale and explored their physical theatre abilities through the telling of that short tale.

Grade 7 Music

Scarborough Fair – a folk medley from around the world

Students have researched the connections between our diverse folk traditions and brought them together in their take on the famous English folk tune.

Grade 8 Music

What makes a great rock song?

From Deep Purple to Oasis, Grade 8 has been appreciating what makes some rock songs great.  The students are now applying this knowledge to composing their own riffs and melodies around a theme. 

Grade 9 Music

Blur Parklife reimagined in the Minimalist style 

In their tribute to Gunnersbury Park, Grade 9 students have taken Blur’s title song from their hit Britpop album and transformed the piece, using techniques learned this term from the American minimalist composers of the 1960s and their precursive African polyrhythms, into their own composition, recorded live in the Music Room this December. 

Grade 10 Drama


Our Town is a 1938 metatheatricalthree-act play by American playwrightThornton Wilder which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens. 

Throughout, Wilder uses metatheatrical devices, setting the play in the actual theatre where it is being performed. The main character is the stage manager of the theatre who directly addresses the audience, brings in guest lecturers, fields questions from the audience, and fills in playing some of the roles. The play is performed without a set on a mostly bare stage. With a few exceptions, the actors mime actions without the use of props. 

The Grade 10 Performing Arts students have enjoyed re-writing portions of the first Act for their Festival of Lights performance and changed some of the details to make it relevant to them and their lives at ISL, being bordered by Acton Town and Gunnersbury Park.  

They kept the metatheatrical elements and also kept some of the original characters and dialogues, while incorporating their own elements to it. Ultimately, they have spent their term trying to understand their lives in 2020 and how art and the Theatre can help them bring people together in time of heightened connection and isolation.  

As Wilder himself would say “ I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being” 

Grade 10 Music

Chants of Renewal

Inspired by the Park and the sense of renewal, Grade 10 students have devised and recorded their own chants based upon their research into different chanting styles and occasions across time and place. 

While you are here... might like to see how ISL kept #togetherathome during last years' months in lockdown.

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