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Alexandra School

Region: Otago/Southland

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Gateway to Heaven

Creative name: Kathi McLean

Project Information:
The creative aim of our project is for ākonga to work alongside a creative partner to develop skills in Visual Arts to create a waharoa from clay tiles that represent personal identity and important ideas that contribute to whole school identity. Ākonga will also create clay features to enhance the Sensory Garden, including wind chimes, tactile sensory wall and barefoot walkway; an inclusive educational opportunity for ākonga to learn and experience success. The waharoa will take pride of place at the gateway to our Sensory Garden. Clay tiles will also form a feature mosaic tabletop for our sensory table. Our outdoor Sensory Garden will provide a calm and stimulating environment, a space for dynamic learning, and a haven for learners to feel a sense of connection and belonging. The creation of a waharoa, made from clay tiles, will provide a vehicle of expression, as well as an opportunity to weave different perspectives, values, cultures and languages together. Through this creative project, learners will gain positive awareness of their own culture and culture of others. Shared understanding of identities, languages and cultures of learners underpin the way learners think and learn; an awareness that is fundamental to ākonga wellbeing and success.

There will be input from across the entire school, with the remainder of Kathi’s contact time being distributed across eight classrooms, with the cultural theme feeding into individual class inquiries around our Dunstan Kāhui Ako cultural narrative. As well as the creation of waharoa clay tiles for the Sensory Garden entrance and mosaic tabletop, Kathi will also be supporting students to create pottery objects for the sensory garden and a clay sculpture designed by the winner of the whole school Sensory Garden competition.

Most of the contact time will take place in school; however each class will have an opportunity to visit local Pottery rooms, which will be hired out, so that ākonga can learn about each step; from modelling clay, to firing and glazing.

Project starting: February 2023

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