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Whangaparoa Primary School - Festival of the "Arts"

Whangaparoa Primary School - Festival of the Arts

The Whangaparoa Arts convenor was in contact/discussion with the artist (Anna Evans) prior to applying for and being a successful recipient of the Artists in Schools project for 2008.

They were very interested in getting the whole school involved in a collaborative Arts project culminating in a celebration Festival of the Arts.

The Artists in Schools funding allowed Anna, along with the Arts coordinator and school staff to plan an extensive Visual Art programme which involved up-skilling teachers of all syndicates in selected art techniques and processes to support them and their students with an ongoing and enriching learning opportunity in visual arts. Much of the enquiry and development of individual ideas linked strongly to other learning areas such as science, drama, technology and school-wide learning focuses.

A10-week programme was planned, timetabling every student in the school with activities/ techniques appropriate for their curriculum level. Anna then worked with the teachers and the students to achieve the intended outcomes. A room and other facilities were made available for the duration of the programme.

The teachers and the students have gained new skills and a self-belief that they can do it; the teachers have gained a confidence to teach visual art on a regular basis and the students have been stimulated and motivated to do more.

There is a sense of pride throughout the school with what they have achieved. This is seen in the artwork displayed around the school and a large school mural. The willingness of the students to share their positive experiences is testimony of the success this experience has been.

All the artwork was exhibited in the school hall for 2 days. This was open for the public to view. On the evening of the second day all parents, friends, teachers, students were invited to The Festival of the Arts. This was a final bringing together of the Kapa Haka group who performed, the School Orchestra who performed, the Wearable Arts parade, and all the students' art-work.

This was a very positive and inclusive event involving the whole school community. Having Anna as a practising artist in the classroom allowed the students to see the links to their own artwork and that of being a professional artist. This gave the students a greater understanding and purpose to their own work and gave the Arts greater mana in their eyes.

As further acknowledgement of individual student talent those whose work was of an outstanding quality were selected to do drawings of the Maori legend "Paikea and the whale". These students then decided which aspects of their drawings were to go together as the final design for a school mural. Anna will work with these students over and above the Artists in Schools project to produce the final mural as a lasting reminder of a truly fantastic journey.

"The art looks amazing and everything has been going well. The principal has requested that I continue the mural with my "children of exceptional ability" group into next term. Its been an absolutely fantastic experience and I created a website based on our project". Anna Evans

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