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St Anthony's School (Seatoun)

Region: Wellington

Art form: Community arts

Project name: Celebrating our Whakapapa

Creative name: Helen Revill

Project information: As a school, we have become increasingly aware that when our tamariki feel strongly connected and have a sense of belonging, they thrive. To that end, we have focused on establishing with each child that St Anthony’s is their tūrangawaewae, both spiritually and physically. This year, we have focused on whakawhanaungatanga and whakapono, and part of our curriculum is that our tamariki understand how our tūrangawaewae is a place of belonging and a hub in our community – a place of manaakitanga for all. Our local curriculum is also focusing on our ākonga gaining the realisation of the significance of their tūrangawaewae, in connection to Motu Kairangi and our local iwi and history. 

Our creative and our ākonga have already developed and created our school mural, with all seniors actively painting it and every child contributed to it by adding their own ‘ant’ - we are St Ants and ants work together to stay strong. 

Now as we work on our strategic goals, our tamariki have indicated clearly that they want to celebrate their first culture as well – currently we have 27 different cultures represented in our kura. So, the project aims are twofold – first to create visual art that will reflect the bicultural essence of our school, using our values to strongly link this visually. We will also address the need for a visual celebration of cultures where our tamariki are enabled and empowered to partner with their whānau and other whānau within the school. A visual representation will be created that truly reflects their cultural and spiritual identity. 

Our creative’s role will be to work with those whānau to develop ideas and draw out from them what is important to them as people of that culture. From an art perspective, our tamariki will be developing their skills of working with natural materials such as wood, metal, tiles, stones, and fabrics. They will learn simple carving techniques to create symbols and patterns which represent their cultural heritage and identity. Painting materials use a variety of skills which hark back to cultural beginnings and heritage. Here our whānau will assist in the implementation of these methods working together alongside our tamariki. There will be authentic sharing and passing on of skills and ideas. Our creative will work with our tamariki to create cohesion and connection to reflect who we are as one standing here together on our tūrangawaewae.

Project starting: February 2022

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