Sustaining creative connections
Creative Learning Partnership projects enhance learning and connections between students, schools and creative professionals, often sowing the seed for further independent exploration.
Leveraging the benefits of a partnership project can benefit all partners. This may be through extending a partnership beyond the initial project, embedding project learning into curriculum to share with future students, or trusting your creative partner’s ability to facilitate and celebrate connections between students, schools and local communities.
In the below film resources, you will see an overview of two case studies from Tempy Primary School and Beeac Primary School, demonstrating the impact of sustaining creativity in schools beyond your original partnership.
Cultivating Creativity for School and Creative Professionals - Beeac Primary School (video resource)
This film resource case study highlights the different connections that can sprout from a single seed – the idea of embracing and sharing creative learning for all. Here students, teachers, schools, creatives professionals - both established and emerging, flourish through the growing creative partnerships.
The central connection here is the school itself, Beeac Primary School, a champion for engagement in creative partnerships for long-term gains.
You will hear from a creative professional whose work with the school in 2017 planted a seed for creative partnerships that continues to bloom. You’ll also hear about the sprouting of new creative shoots in a partnership with an experienced creative organisation upskilling interns for future creative partnerships, and from school staff planting learning outcomes for growth that goes “on and on and on”.
My initial meeting with the Beeac school was at World Environment Day in Colac. We were very fortunate to get funding from Creative Learning Partnerships to get the project off the ground. It was very successful because the community really supported it and the staff at the school really supported it, and the school were great in getting funding to enable me to come out and we just kept it rolling from 2017, right to the present day.
The importance of bringing artists into the school over the long term and not just being a short flash in the pan has been what makes the difference. It needs to build a sustainable culture within a school.
I think it adds another whole level to the teaching staff, like we're learning when they're here and the fact that we're learning about something that we don't know any more about than the kids, and the kids become the experts, and that whole process with Creative Vic has allowed that to happen.
Penelope gets us thinking really creatively. We've been making stories, yesterday's one was about a fish and a pond in a tiny castle with the fish were tiny, Cindy and Bubbles and it was magical water because it was ah, unicorn wee. He came up with that.
I was successful in my application for a Creative Learning Partnership as an independent artist, but I got some extra funding from somewhere else and bought in other Barking Spider Visual Theatre artists.
So I first met Penelope as a student at Monash and now I am working as a mentor on this particular project. I'm mentoring a Monash University intern. I'm working with him to really boost his confidence in coming into schools and helping to facilitate different recording techniques.
It's just so great to be working alongside someone who is very experienced in this area, not just in sound design, but also working with sound and children as well. It's going to absolutely help in the future, especially with my desire to you know, run these similar programs with kids in the future.
Once you start working in a school, if you have the opportunity to keep going, it means that creatively your learning gets deeper the relationships with the kids and the staff gets deeper and becomes more of a legacy. To be able to enrich over years, it means you're not just popping in some annuals, you're actually building a garden that's going to last for a long, long, long, long time.
That is a wonderful thing about these partnerships too, there are things that happen here the kids never forget, their whole life. The fact that we can then take it, embedded in the curriculum, it goes on and on and on and on, you know, like they're so proud of it and themselves. So, it's wonderful.
A Sustained Creative Partnership - Tempy Primary School (video resource)
In this film resource you will see how a creative professional and staff from Tempy Primary School have sustained their creative partnership across 2017 and 2021. The team talk about the benefits of building ongoing relationships on their journey from “not knowing to knowing” to fast-track meaningful creative experiences that enhance student learning.
This film also highlights how deepening existing creative relationships can build trust and invite others to join you for the ride – your local community!
Anthony (Ant) Crawley
The last time I was here in 2017, there were several students who were just in prep. They were shy, and it took the whole six months to get to know them and to get them just to engage with them. So four years later, when I asked to come back and do another project, it was so much easier. Because people knew me, the students who were in prep in grade four, understood how I worked, the teachers understood how I worked knew me, trusted me (and) had been through a whole journey from not knowing to knowing. So what I would call a lived experience.
The students created a documentary around our area, and the way the students interact with their environment. And part of that was having to interview community elders.
Why do you think Malleefowl are so clever?
Glenn Singleton (Singo)
Their nests are very clever, the temperature and everything very unique.
We've always had a strong community support base. Little schools don't survive without communities. But it was lovely to be able to showcase those supporters in such a lovely way. And I don't know that we would have got them trusting us so quickly if Ant hadn't done his previous project, and they hadn't actually had a chance to know who he was before they were involved this time around,
Anthony (Ant) Crawley
It was much easier to have really meaningful conversations with people about topics and ideas and concepts that were fascinating. For an artist and linked with what the students wanted to talk about as well.
Watching Ant interact with the students was excellent for my professional development, in that it gave me some strategies that I can use. Also around the use of technology and those sorts of things. Yeah, stuff that I would never have seen otherwise.
Anthony (Ant) Crawley
The other thing they'd learned four years ago was they had permission. So we generated material much more quickly, and the students support from the adults in the room were much more adept at helping the students, and there was much less stress. Because when you're making something, it looks nuts when you're letting kids take the lead. And eventually you calm it down and you create order out of it. And there was just much less stress about that process a second time everyone understood - that's what it's gonna look like.
Watching the audience, there was great pride and joy in seeing exactly how our creative project bought the community together. They came to see a documentary that was a celebration of children and growth and life in the Mallee. Every generation was represented. It was bigger and broader than the school. And it embraced a wider range.
It was amazing. They have worked so hard and has so much passion for their country, and the native animals. And it was just amazing to see all put together.
He first came when I was in prep, and I got nervous because I have never seen him before. As the years have gone on, I've worked with him more and it's gotten really fun.
The expertise and calibre that we've been exposed to, through these grant opportunities is world class. It lifts the shoulders of everybody because there's exceptional things happening in their small, rural communities. And we're not focusing on decline of you know, the rural landscape and look at the size of our towns. It's, oh my gosh, look at these shining examples.
Such a worthwhile project in terms of what it's given the school and my professional learning, but also the community, I think that's really, really important.