Middle School and High School Visual Arts Program

Inspiring students to unlock their artistic potential

MS Visual Arts: The Middle School Visual Arts curriculum at CIS is rooted in the experience of creating. These classes provide ways for students to describe, explore and respond, and can be used to express ideas, experiences and feelings.

HS Visual Arts: Beyond its qualities of creativity, communication, self- expression and problem-solving, Visual Arts is at the core of lifelong learning in the 21st century. By learning about art from different cultures and times, students are exposed to the expression of a wide range of human values and concerns.


MS: In order to make works of visual art, students need to acquire a range of skills and certain speci c knowledge. It is essential for students to be engaged in meaningful, open-ended, art-making activities that enable them to express personal feelings, experiences and ideas, as well as develop the skills to use art tools, materials and techniques that are appropriate for their grade.


HS: In Grades 9 and 10, students follow the IGCSE Program’s art & design course, while Grades 11 and 12 enroll in the IB Diploma Program’s Visual Art course. The IGCSE course focuses primarily on the development of observation, exploration and technical skills.


IB: Its IB counterpart goes far beyond, encouraging students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. There is a strong focus on the development of analytical skills in problem-solving, and experimentation with a wide range of contemporary practices and media.


  • MS: 2 classes per cycle
  • IGCSE: 4 classes per cycle
  • IB: 6 classes per cycle

Every school year, CIS puts on a MS/HS art exhibition during the Festival of the Arts, as well as an IB exhibition in March


IGCSE Art & Design is a two-year course with two components: coursework portfolio, and an 8-hour practical examination that is preceded by a preparation period of 2 months. It is a demanding course that requires students to dedicate time to practical work beyond school hours. Similarly, IB Visual Arts is a demanding two- year program that includes theoretical and practical components. It is designed for students who want to pursue the subject at post-secondary level, as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment.


Can students enrol in the IGCSE or IB Visual Arts course even if they did not take art classes in prior years?

Yes. We understand that art is not offered as a subject in all schools. However, we advise parents to make an appointment with the Visual Arts teacher to discuss each student’s unique situation and determine the viability of their subject choices.

Do students have any written exams in the IGCSE Art & Design course?

No. There are two components, both of which are practical in nature.

Do students have a fInal exam in IB Visual Arts?

There is no final exam


CIS is a culturally-rich mosaic, serving each student by providing a world-class international education, nurturing potential, developing life-long skills, and preparing students for an ever-changing global community.