Education Matters

Collaborative art brings students together

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Aug 10, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Collaborative art brings students togetherIn a monumental collaborative art project that links with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), students from Kindergarten to Year 6 at Trinity Grammar Junior School in Summer Hill have created a unique art installation on a grand scale.

Merilyn Ormes, PYP Coordinator, and Ronnie Pratt, Primary Years Visual Arts teacher, discussed ways in which the students could work collaboratively to create a visual representation of international-mindedness. “Collaborative art brings students together – they must work together to achieve a final goal and that means communicating, co-operating, and negotiating – all important life-long skills,” said Merilyn.

Students discovered that an internationally-minded person exemplifies the attributes expressed in the IB Learner Profile and so the artwork they created, named the International-mindedness car, is a unique visual translation of this. Ronnie explains: “through the arts, students use different forms of expression to convey their understanding of the world we live in. Art provided a platform for students to convey their understanding of the attributes of the Learner Profile and how it links to being an internationally-minded person. The students looked at how international-mindedness can be described using visual forms, and how artists can convey ideas in non-verbal forms.”

Facilitated by artist Kristen Taylor of Ceramics and Schools, a specialist in large figure sculptures, each class from Year 3 to 6 created a life size figurative sculpture based on one of the attributes of the Learner Profile. While Kirsten provided basic shapes to work with, it was up to the boys to come up with the ideas for how the clay figures should look. This often resulted in vigorous class discussion. Each boy was assigned the duty of creating a specific part of the figure, with each large clay piece being fired separately before being put together to create the ceramic figures.

The figures represent the Learner Profile attributes Communicator, Knowledgeable, Reflective, Open-minded, Inquirer and Caring, and feature elements the boys have chosen to represent these qualities. For example, the reflective figure holds a mirror, the communicator features a megaphone, and the caring figure cradles a dog.

The artwork was created over two intensive one-week sessions. The school community played a significant role in the project and the completed figures have been placed in a used car kindly resprayed by a Trinity parent.  

The International-mindedness car is on display outside the Trinity Grammar Junior School’s Cultural Courtyard, the walls of which have been decorated by Kindergarten to Year 6 students. The installation is one of the biggest works ever attempted by Trinity Grammar Junior School students and the School is hoping it will attract the attention of the International Baccalaureate at its next international conference.

“We are very proud of what the boys have achieved and their enthusiasm for the project was extraordinary. Kristyn Taylor is an inspiration and her enthusiastic approach always brings out the inner creative spirit of the boys. It is amazing what young minds can achieve when they are provided with the right guidance, resources and scope to explore their creativity,” concluded Ronnie.

The artwork will be permanently displayed outside the Trinity Grammar Junior School Courtyard and will coincide with the Trinity Grammar Junior School Primary Years Art Exhibition. This is a massive celebration of the Arts at Trinity with musical items, drama, living sculptures, and buskers entertaining the audience. Family, friends and the community are invited to experience the Trinity difference.

Following the opening evening celebrations on Friday 19 August from 5.15pm, the exhibition will be open on Saturday 20 August from 9.30am to 2.00pm and will remain open from the 22 August to 9 September from 8.30am – 4.30pm. The International-mindedness car can be viewed at any time from Seaview Street, Summer Hill.

Trinity’s arts programme is highly regarded and demonstrates the School’s strong commitment to the performing and visual arts, and the IB Primary Years Programme.

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Topics: Boys' education, Trinity difference, Performing arts, Arts, Education