In these case studies you'll find interviews, footage of workshops in progress and performance and exhibition outcomes. You'll gain insight into the experiences of teachers, artists, students and school principals involved in collaborative arts and education partnerships.

Read the full profiles of these projects

No One Owns the Streets - Coburg Senior High School and Suze Smith

Partners: Suze Smith and Coburg Senior High School
Participants: Secondary
Artistic Discipline: Theatre
Funded Through: Extended School Residencies program

A theatre project at Coburg Senior High School the responded to contemporary street culture, led by artist Suze Smith.

The Exile Project - Arena Theatre Company and Westall Secondary School

Partners: Westall Secondary College and Arena Theatre Company
Participants: Secondary students
Artistic Discipline: Multi-arts
Curriculum Focus: Nationhood, Exile and Belonging.
Funded Through: Artists in Schools program

Westall Secondary College is small school in Clayton, Melbourne, with a very high proportion of students drawn from non-English speaking backgrounds who have limited access to the Arts and Technology curriculum due to the size of the school.

In partnership with Arena Theatre they undertook a project exploring the concepts of Exile, belonging, nationhood and identity, which was driven by three key statements:

  • A school is a nation
  • We are all exiles, or could be
  • Sometimes we have to fight to protect what is precious

The student learning and increase in confidence of the students far exceeded the expectations of the teachers, and the stories and creativity the students shared with the artists and the audience were often extraordinary, inspiring, funny and sometimes deeply moving.

The Exile Project was funded through the Extended Schools Residencies program.

I Had a Dream - Hellen Sky and Thomastown Secondary

Partners: Choreographer, Hellen Sky and Thomastown Secondary College
Participants: Secondary, Years 9 and 10, 20 targeted students (involved other students across the school)
Artistic Discipline: Digital Choreography, Dance, Visual Arts, Lighting Design, Media Art
Curriculum Focus: The Arts, Personal Learning, ICT, English, History, Geography
Funded Through: Artists in Schools program

The students in I Had a Dream described the practicing artist in their classroom, Hellen Sky, as 'out there'. Hellen is a choreographer, performer and director. Her work explores an interest in the body, architecture and the virtual space. Hellen had previously worked in collaboration with scientists, performers, academics, architects and programmers before taking on this partnership with teachers and students.

The cultural diversity of the school provided rich material to explore: six language backgrounds are represented in a school population of around 500 students. The students explored their own personal stories based on their cultural backgrounds and history which they wove into a multi-media and dance performance that exploded all expectations of what was possible to produce in a school.

Review the film clips and other resources from this project to find out how to:

  • Amp up your arts curriculum. The school has a growing interest in the arts and particularly wanted to expose their students to multi-media performance and give them a high quality experience of creative technologies not previously available in the school.
  • Transform student/teacher relationships. Everyone was experimenting and collaborating to create this work. Many students expressed how much they enjoyed working 'alongside' their teachers.
  • Take your artistic work in a new direction. The artist on this project was excited and inspired by the input of her student and teacher collaborators. They brought new perspectives and material for her creative explorations.
Watercourse - Michael Shiell and Dimboola Memorial Secondary

Partners: Environmental artist, Michael Shiell and Dimboola Memorial Secondary College
Participants: Secondary, Year 10, 70 students
Artistic Discipline: Visual Arts
Curriculum Focus: English, The Arts, Design Creativity and Technology, Personal Learning, Interpersonal Learning
Funded Through: Artists in Schools program

Watercourse was a project intended to engage students in The Arts and explore the impacts of drought. It was also a project about transformation - the transformation of perceptions about what art is, the transformation of the students relationships to their local environment and the transformation of the practice of everyone involved.

Michael Shiell specialises in ephemeral environmental art. He situates his art in the natural environment using materials at hand, documents the work and then allows the landscape to affect and eventually erode the work. Although he has created works of this nature in many locations, he has a strong connection with the Wimmera and with Dimboola Secondary College as he was once a student.

Throughout this project the students and their teacher explored and experimented in the school's ten hectares, digitally documented their work, critiqued, reflected and reimagined their creations in painting, digital montage, drawing, etchings, prints and assemblage works.

Review the film clips and other resources from this project to find out how to:

  • Expand your arts curriculum. Watercourse opened up new perspectives on what art can be. The students and teachers expanded their arts class physically to include the neighbouring scrub and river and intellectually by designing a new unit on environmental art and poetry.
  • Create new ways to engage students. The residency became a new tool to connect with students not previously engaged in the arts.
  • Discover new career paths. The artist found that he loved working with students and pursued a job working as an educator at a gallery once the project was complete.
Text + Image - Centre For Youth Literature and Nathalia Secondary

Partners: Centre For Youth Literature (State Library of Victoria) and Nathalia Secondary College
Participants: Secondary, Years 7 and 8: 45 students
Artistic discipline: Literature, Visual arts
Curriculum focus: English, The Arts, Humanities (History & Geography), Personal and Interpersonal Development, Design Creativity and Technology, Thinking Processes
Funded through: Extended School Residencies program

A wave of new graphic novels, zines, illustrated books for adults and interest in artist books inspired this project which exploded the concept of the 'book' and combined text and image in diverse ways that were accessible to secondary students.

Nathalia Secondary College is a small school 225 kilometres north of Melbourne. It prides itself on offering an innovative curriculum, and in particular a high quality literature program. When the opportunity arose to partner with the Centre for Youth Literature, the school immediately saw the potential to further develop its integrated year 7 and 8 program and build the skills of the small team of teachers.

Seven well known published illustrators, cartoonists, writers and graphic novelists brought their unique ideas, processes and techniques to a project spanning three school terms. Together with teachers at the school they enrolled 45 students to create and publish their own works to professional standards.

Review the film clips and other resources from this project to find out how to:

  • Change what students believe they are capable of. The students in this project commented on how amazed they were at their own achievements and how being treated as an 'author' changed the way they viewed their work.
  • Keep your curriculum contemporary. The students visited Melbourne-based Sticky Institute to learn about the culture of zine publishing, were exposed to professionals who are challenging traditional formats and used ipads to create and present work.
  • Get your students invested. The work being made was important to each student because they were encouraged to follow their own interests and explore personal stories.
Key Frame Project - Horsham College and ACMI

The ‘Key Frame’ project was a Virtual Creative Professionals in Schools partnership between Horsham College and ACMI. Year 9 and 10 Digital Technologies students worked with animation industry professionals to produce their own short animated films. Industry experts that the students worked with included story-board writers, animators from Melbourne based studios, scriptwriters and video game animators. Using the professional industry animation software, Moho, the students learnt the skills they needed to produce their videos including stop-motion animation, green-screening, Photoshop and sound recording and editing. The project inspired the students and enabled them to see application of their new knowledge and skills across a range of diverse creative industry practices.

ACMI provided students with project support and access to industry professionals using Zoom video conferencing and provide the school with clear Moho software tutorial guides. At the development stage of the project students came to Melbourne to worked on their projects with the industry professionals at ACMI.

This project offers engaging learning outcomes across Digital Technologies, Media Arts, Drama, English, and Critical and Creative Thinking capabilities.

The projects featured on this page were funded through Creative Victoria's Education Partnerships programs: Extended School Residencies (jointly funded with the Australia Council for the Arts), Artists in Schools and Creative Learning Partnerships (co-funded by the Department for Education and Training and managed by Creative Victoria).