The Class of 2019 achieved a 100% pass rate in both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and Career-related Programme (IBCP) this year. They have blossomed into confident, caring,
critical thinkers and many have leveraged their artistic skills and creativity to embark on various meaningful initiatives during their time at SOTA. Our recent graduates share their thoughts on their SOTA experience.
My time at SOTA has taught me to look at problems from another perspective and to solve issues through creative ways. For example, the issue of ageing population is one that is very important to me. SOTA has to taught me to look at this issue through the artistic lens. How do we use arts to help an aging population? Can we use the arts to encourage the elderly to open up? We learn to ask many questions and open up these possibilities so that we can think outside the box when it comes to solving issues relevant to our community.
Dawn Lim, IBDP Theatre
We had opportunities to learn bits of Chinese dance, Bharatanatyam, Japanese traditional dance, Filipino dance and Jota from the Aragon region in Spain. Without these masterclasses, the only type of dance I would have known would have been limited to the Western forms of performance dance. The exposure from these masterclasses not only allowed me to know more about other dance cultures, it also made me more interested in learning about dance beyond the more prominent Western performance dance cultures.
Tan Qiao Lin, IBDP Dance
My proudest project in SOTA is the film festival that my friends and I started, “Frameworks”. It is a local film festival targeted at youths, to give them a platform to showcase and view their works on the big screen. Having had experience working on a few film sets and meeting other filmmakers, I came to realise the desire of these filmmakers to be heard and to have their works publicised. We poured our hearts out into this project… it taught me the value of being proactive in our community; to be able to contribute in the areas that I value.
Claire Wong, IBDP Film
The main reason I chose SOTA as my first choice was because of the opportunity to study the arts as a subject. I am very passionate about performing, especially when it comes to theatre, and I was excited by the idea of being able to fully immerse myself in the subject, studying and improving under the guidance of accomplished and talented individuals. With the IB’s holistic focus, I would still be able to have a strong education in the academic subjects.
Leong Su Yean, IBDP Theatre
SOTA provided numerous masterclasses - both local and international professors, and musicians from around the world were invited to teach us. We were exposed to different styles and techniques of teaching, allowing us to be open-minded and accepting. The IBCP music curriculum also has in-depth music academics that are similar to what conservatories might offer. We have classes such as conducting, performance class, and general musicianship to constantly prepare us to be the musicians we want to be for the future.
Natasha da Costa, IBCP Music
The arts based service-learning opportunities have taught me to reach out to different communities and use my art as a tool to build connections and foster greater freedom of expression. Studying theatre has also allowed me to learn to think creatively within rules and constraints. Overall, SOTA has inculcated me with an innovative spirit to approach issues with the curiosity to ask the right questions and seek answers to improve the community around me.
Vandana Venkataraman, IBDP Theatre
Throughout the years, I have learnt to break out of my comfort zone. I got to explore and adapt to the changes around me. In the face of unfamiliar circumstances, I learnt how to be more resilient and to seize new opportunities. I am now more willing to take risks in my learning and I hope to be a better problem solver in the future.
Farrah Adystyaning Dewanti, IBDP Music
The IBCP Visual Arts studio crawls and masterclasses, as well as cohort wide and IBCP critiques… I thoroughly enjoy finding out what I can improve on, so critiques and masterclasses were very helpful. The teachers arranged for amazing artists and art professionals to meet me and the other CP students and provide us new perspectives on art and our own practices.
Olivia Fones, IBCP Visual Arts
I believe the countless opportunities to experience the arts by virtue of being in an arts school (supporting friends’ showcases, attending local art events and more) is truly invaluable. Being surrounded by the arts enriches one’s perspective towards life and pervades one’s entire being in ways that I can’t explain. It trains the mind to be at critical yet open to new perspectives, disciplined yet malleable.
Christian Liu, IBDP Music
Leadership opportunities such as getting to be an Orientation Group Leader really helped me to step out of my comfort zone… I was also in the Leadership Academy for a year in which I organised Fireworks Action. That and TONES 2018 were some of the most enriching experiences I had at SOTA because I was able to contribute to the school culture and I got to experience how the real world works.
Agarwal Jaanvi, IBDP Theatre
(An interesting project) would be the SOTA Arts Development Award, where I was paired with primary school students from lower-income families who were interested in the arts... the interaction with these students brought me back to my primary school self where I had a raw passion for my art form. It made me appreciate all the opportunities and support I had to pursue my own dreams.
Salin Yap, IBDP Dance
My SOTA education was (also) a holistic one, as I was able to focus on both my music and academic subjects. This allows me to branch out my future career paths, giving myself more options. This sense of well-roundedness has also shaped my thinking, in terms of seeing things from multiple perspectives, which has helped me to be a more understanding person.
Emlyn Ee, IBDP Music
Being in SOTA has allowed me to think outside of the box… the school always emphasised on “Critical Thinking” and it’s safe to say that there are noticeable differences when it comes to approaching the same topic as compared to my peers from out of school. We are not taught how to feel or what to think, rather we are allowed to have our own thought process. I feel that that would be essential and helpful for any forms of creative writing or brainstorming for problem solving.
Marcus Chiau, IBCP Theatre
The overseas trips have added a lot of richness to my learning… Service learning in Cambodia (also) expanded opened my worldview. Even though we went there to teach the children, I learnt so much from the trip and people - their way of life in the village, my geography lessons came alive, the importance of education… and giving back in whatever way I could.
Faith Lee, IBDP Visual Arts