Arts front and centre

One of the many things I love about our NZ Curriculum is the even and balanced priority we must give to all areas. This term is the time for the arts to be front and centre.

Our school-wide overarching question is 'how can Waimairi School become the new Arts Centre of Christchurch?.

Those of you reading from afar might not know that our city's formerly vibrant and diverse Arts Centre is one of the casualties of the earthquakes. So this term's big question has a special poignancy for us.

Half way through the preceding school term a group of teachers get together to undertake a review on the state of learning and plan the school wide direction for curriculum focus for the upcoming term. This year the arts planning team concluded that our visual arts learning is very good and needs to be maintained but music, drama and dance are the poor relations (in a classroom learning context). So these are our focus areas.

Our localised curriculum, called Learning @ Waimairi requires the careful selection of two verbs from our list which capture the essence of a learning area and need to be amplified. For term three we selected 'creating' and 'interpreting'. This is what the common school-wide learning is this term.

Next comes the individual teachers 'turbo charging' of any achievement objectives they select for the term using SOLO Taxonomy. Kudos to the authors of the arts AOs for arranging them in a very 'SOLO like' way in the first place.

So... with all that important, but potentially dry, planning done it is time to ignite the children's interest, passion and curiosity. If our school is indeed going to be Christchurch's new Arts Centre in ten weeks time then everyone needed a peek at what that might look like.

When children, parents and staff started to trickle in on the first day of term they found every sort of performer going for it everywhere they looked. At the end of the term it will be our children performing in these spaces, they have now been shown what is possible. And we loved the performers.

Looking forward to a great school term and to seeing the children as the performing artists Enjoy the video.