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Birchwood School

Region: Nelson/Marlborough

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Our place, our space - Birchwood School

Creative name: Ronald Petley

Project Information:
We are committed to making improvements to our physical spaces to enhance the culture, vibe and mauri of our school with a key objective being to support students, whānau and staff to develop a deeper sense of belonging to each other and our place.

We aim to create a large painted outdoor mural on one whole face of our school hall. The mural will be the focal point of our Seaview entry way and create a unique artistic expression of what makes our school special and will represent aspects of our local curriculum. The whakatauki of our school is "kotahi te tipu, kotahi te ako", "together we learn, together we grow". We hope that by partnering with a creative, our staff, students and whānau will be invigorated, more confident and up-skilled to continue this mahi to other spaces in our school together.

We intend to create a stunning, large scale (12m in diameter), bright and bold, student-inspired mural that will become a teaching tool for the many tamariki who will come to our school in the future that supports their understanding about who we are and our place in Te Tau Ihu (top of the South Island) and Aotearoa. We aim to inspire our students, staff and whānau to work together and embrace their creativity to develop further series of works in various places around our school. This mural will have influences and inspiration from the environment, particularly trees (rakau) we use throughout our school as the names of our akomanga (classes). The native New Zealand birds that are also relevant to our local area may be included in our mural as we inquire into the natural world around us and weave together aspects of our local curriculum (Education for sustainability, Enviroschools, the Arts, & Health).

The project will begin with EOTC trips into our local areas and support from the local Enviroschools coordinator. As we construct knowledge of the the science and environmental aspects of this project, we will also alongside develop our student's, teacher's and whānau's artistic knowledge, initially through design consultation (using the EOTC trips as inspiration), research and development of ideas in class, drawing and painting skills, as well as learning about scale, depth and colour palettes. This process will take place for around 6-8 weeks before a final design is created through this process. Following this work will being on the mural with teachers, whānau and students all invited to contribute to the mahi overseen by Sophie.

Project starting: February 2023

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