A school of creative partners

With my my third semester of my Masters of School Leadership started, my mind is now back into full reflective and thinking mode.  Not that it wasn’t before, but once again the readings and discussions related to my studies have helped to bring things together.

There are many things happening in my workplace; my school.  It is a fabulous setting that creates a sense of agency and commitment for those who work in it. We have a number of organisations that support the school and help to bring about a sense of belonging and identity for our students.

The Song Room (TSR) is one of them.  TSR is an truly dedicated organisation in developing voice and passion through the music and the arts.  Our students work with one of their teaching artists, Zoe, each week to perform and co-create music and lyrics that have particular relevance to them.  They learn beat, rhythm and story telling through music.  We even have our first school band this year.

Our students have performed publicly often with TSR and will again on April 3rd for the book launch of Transforming Education Through the Arts co-authored by Prof Brian Caldwell and Dr Tanya Vaughan.  I am very much looking forward to attending the special day.

Western Edge Youth Arts (WEYA) is yet another organisation that we work with in our school, particularly with our year 4 – 6s.  Again, another passionate team that inspire and lead our students in performances.  Dave, the director at WEYA, sees the potential in our students and helps to build about a strong sense of story through drama.

A small group of our 5/6 students will be performing alongside adults in Zamunda on Monday 2nd April at the Flemington Community Centre.  The weekly rehearsals have been a big hit for our older students who haven’t minded missing out on their lunchtimes.

One of our most recent supporters has been Play for Life.  Through a partnership with Doutta Galla Community Health Service and the Flemington Neighborhood Renewal Project, Play for Life have been able to bring to us a fabulous Play Pod.  The Pod is a shipping container filled with loose pieces such as cardboard rolls, fabric, car tyres, old computer keyboard and a range of other recyclable materials. The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the George Hicks Foundation have helped to fund the project for our school.

With so much creativity and imagination in our place, we have a lot to offer our students.  Their connection to their school and community is strengthened through these organisations who work so hard to reach the needs of kids and families.

For me, as a principal, I am overwhelmed and thrilled with the knowledge that I have such wonderful organisations and people to work with.  My own beliefs about creativity and imagination in education are well supported.  My research into story and the affective and cognitive engagement of students is virtually brought to life with these supporters.

I can’t imagine being in a school where creativity was not valued.