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Exciting creative opportunities

Regulus // Issue 1 // May 2023

More news for Preparatory School

Students dressed in their creative project made from pre-used materials.There was high excitement outside the Discovery Room in the Junior School during a recent Tūhura Time, with Year 1 and 2 students pressing their faces against the doors and windows to get a glimpse of Year 3 student, Oliver Warren, putting on his impressive wearable arts costume, inspired by a Stormtrooper from the Star Wars films.

Oliver, and his friends, Charlie McKay and Alfred Keir (both Year 3), had already come up with a great design for their costume, and spent the morning bringing it to life. The other Year 3 group to have a practical session that day were Adaline Weston and Freya Gibbs, who cleverly created a skirt using a long piece of fabric as a waistband, with lots of pieces of waste plastic attached to it. When it was wrapped several times around Freya’s waist, the skirt created a wonderful frothy tutu effect.

Head of Junior Syndicate, Heather Orman, says Tūhura Time (formerly Discovery Time) has been held for Year 1–2 students every Friday for a significant time, but when students went into Year 3, they missed it so much that a solution had to be found. “The idea to create a special extension programme for Year 3 students came from seeing their sad little faces as they watched the younger students enjoying Tūhura Time. We came up with a plan, and Principal, Jonathan Bierwirth, put in resourcing so we could engage part-time teacher, Helen King, to provide a more in-depth experience for them.”

The sessions are student-led, and Helen King says the activities have been formulated after discussions with the children about their ideas and interests. Late last year, the Year 3 students spent several weeks making wonderful puppets. In Term 1, their project is creating wearable art from recyclable items. “A couple of Year 3 girls helped to write a letter home to all families in the Junior Department requesting any clean waste and rubbish. We collected a big pile in the Discovery Room, and the children have been very excited to see how they can incorporate the various items into their designs. Alongside the project work, lots of learning is happening around the amount of rubbish we create each year, landfills, and alternative uses for waste,” says Helen.

The children take turns in small groups to have their practical sessions in the Discovery Room. The rest of the Year 3 students work alongside the Year 1–2 students during the regular Tūhura Time, which has added benefits, says Heather. “Our Year 3 students are modelling leadership and supporting the younger children as they move around the various activities. It is a great opportunity for them to live and articulate our key competencies.”

She says the support for extra staffing and resources to provide the Year 3 students with creative opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have in the timetable has been much appreciated. “It is wonderful that when we have an idea with real potential at St Andrew’s that management is so supportive and helps to make it happen.”

Year 3 students at St Andrew's College create wearable art from recyclable items in their own extension programme inspired by Tūhura Time.