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Case Study C: Our Stories - Visual Journeys

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A digital photography project from years 7/8 at St Bernadette's School

Focus - The Visual Arts and ICT

St Bernadette's is a special character Catholic primary school situated in Hornby on the west of Christchurch.

Simon Moriarty teaches years 7/8 and is also the Deputy Principal at St Bernadette's. Simon is a generalist teacher who embarked on his own learning journey by working with his class to develop a unit that used digital photography to tell each student's own story.

Initially Simon was planning to make this project a visual mihimihi, but the students didn't engage with this idea as well as he had expected. So a change of focus was necessary and a new topic and approach developed to best meet the needs and interests of his diverse range of students. This was the first time Simon had taught photography, (although he had prior knowledge of the use of digital cameras and software), and the integration of ICT was a great way to use skills he had acquired through professional development in ICT in the previous year. The new topic was to focus on students telling their own story through digital photography. The inspiration for this approach came from the exhibition and book "My Place" by Glenn Busch, senior lecturer in photography, University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts. "My Place" features the work of students from the documentary programme of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, with documentary photographer Bruce Connew and Press photographer Dean Kozanic. The exhibition of this work held at CoCA gallery records in stories and images the places of special significance in the lives of 68 Christchurch residents. It is part of an ongoing project, A Place in Time, led by Glenn Busch, to record the special history of Christchurch.

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