Dance drama: TDT 9.

One of the dance projects we were asked to complete was:

Choose an environmental issue and tell it’s story through dance. This task is best done as a group.

As a group, we decided to do deforestation as our environmental issue, as it’s a highly topical and important issue in current affairs. We choreographed an abstract dance that represents the deforestation of trees.

End of Placement.

I can’t believe just how much I have been able to do throughout my Learning from Life placement. I’ve been so involved with production I’ve been in a bit of a seuss bubble, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to not be constantly singing show tunes. I have honestly had the best time ever with this placement. I’ve been able to become involved with things i’ve never had experience of before and my confidence has developed so much.

I have became so settled over here that I keep forgetting that I’m actually in Australia. Everyone I’ve worked with, from the council, to the libraries and especially the school have been so welcoming and supportive. My experience in the council has been fantastic and to be able to work so closely with important members of the Mandurah community has been invaluable. Helping to organise something as big a scale as stretch has been so rewarding and has allowed me to really appreciate the amount of effort that goes into planning and creating such events.

The library was so welcoming and I really miss being part of the team there, it was such a nice working environment to be a part in. Working closely with members of staff there has given me so many ideas for arts and crafts projects to take into future classrooms and I will be eternally grateful that I have been given an opportunity like this.

My experience at Mandurah Catholic College has been absolutely insane but fantastic. it has been so fast paced and fun to be so involved with putting together Seussical the Musical. My favorite part of being so involved with Seussical is watching the pupils confidence in themselves grow over the past two months. The cast all formed such strong friendships over the past 5  months that they have been involved with the show and to watch it all come together really was something special. The buzz in the air all weekend as they performed at MPAC was infectious and I truly fell privileged to be a part of it.

Personal Growth

Throughout my Learning from Life placement I really feel that I have developed a lot of my own interpersonal skills. My confidence in my own abilities has vastly improved as I have essentially been thrown in the deep end in everything I’ve done over here and absolutely loved it. It has been so manic but it has just meant I’ve had to push myself and adapt and I feel that I have adapted to many situations pretty well.

Being over here has really made me think about how I view myself as a teacher and the sort of teacher I want to become. Working with many staff members so closely over the past couple of weeks out of school hours has allowed me to witness they way they interact with pupils and has allowed me to model some of my own interactions and behavioural methods like them.

WEEK 6 -SHOWTIME!

 

Oh the things you can think,  when you think about Seuss! It’s production week! My mentor has relief all week so there are no lessons just concentrating on getting all little things completed for production. There are so many things to be done, all the tiny backstage issues you don’t even think about. All costumes have to be completed. All of our who outfits had to be made more ‘who-ey’ for being on stage. Here are an example of some dresses that were made.

The first half of the week has been a whirlwind of rehearsals at school and last minute costume and prop amendments and I’ve loved every minute of it. It has been absolutely mental but so good to really get the full experience of productions and has gave me a good insight into what it is like to be involved in theatre.

Thursday we had to move all of our props and set into MPAC, this took 2 moving trucks from the school and lots of nerves/excitement from staff. Once we had set up at MPAC, we done a full run through with pupils to smooth over any numbers that needed fixing and to ensure that everyone is confident with their scenes. At 4pm we were able to move into the main stage and do a  full tech run through and let the cast get used to the new space and lighting etc.

Friday was a full dress rehearsal in morning then show time at night! There was a Friday night show, a Saturday matinee and then the final show on Saturday night. The cast were absolutely phenomenal and everyone that came to view it was shocked at the level of professionalism for a high school production. I am so incredibly proud of the pupils and actually got quite emotional a few times due to being so overwhelmed with just how amazing they truly are!

WEEK FIVE!

I am gutted to be over and done with in the library but was so excited to be back in the School environment. I will hardly get to teach on this placement as there will be so much focus on our production: Seussical. My mentor is getting relief next week so that all time can be spent on finalising everything for our production to go on stage at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (MPAC) . This week was mostly spent observing music and health lessons that my mentor was teaching. This has been so beneficial to me as my mentor works with pre-primary kids, kindergarten and junior school pupils. This has allowed me to gain more experience with infants before MA3 placement next year.

I’ve really loved observing health and music lessons as I have not taught either before and now I feel more confident in being able to teach certain topics. Throughout our lessons with Health, we have been discussing medicine and how to properly take medicine with the younger pupils. It’s also been incredibly beneficial to be observing music lessons as my mentor also teaches the Year 7’s, which is equivalent to 1st year of secondary school. I’ve loved working with such a wide and varying range of ages in subjects that I am inexperienced in.

However, my favourite experience so far has becoming so involved with Seussical. Rehearsals are becoming more frequent with Thursday rehearsals happening as well as Sundays 9-5 and Mondays after school. I have been involved in creating hats such as those pictured above for all of the senior ‘whos’ to wear during the show. Another prac student has joined MCC and is in her 4th year of studying to be a secondary drama teacher so it has been amazing to compare and discuss the differences in our experiences of studying to become teachers. Me and her have been put in charge of props and costumes and I am getting so excited for next week – production week- the closer we get! I have never been involved in any sort of theatre production so this is all entirely new to me and I love how much all of the pupils are able to really feed off of each others energy to become so excited for the show and passionate to put on an amazing performance.

Seussical is a musical that combines many of the dearly loved Dr. Seuss’s tales into an all singing, all dancing show. To be perfectly honest I could not stand musicals up until recently and was a wee bit put off of the thought of doing a musical, but my mind is totally changed now. I was not expecting this level of professionalism from a school show whatsoever. I was expecting one show to be put on in the school gym, this is totally different to what I expected. The amount of talent these pupils have in this musical is nothing short of astounding and the level of professional commitment they all have towards the show is incredible. I’ve absolutely adored working with the high school pupils throughout the past couple of weeks and feel it’s allowed me to really make the most of my experience by working with such a varied age group.

WEEK FOUR!

Library!

This week has been so much fun, I’ve absolutely adored my time at Mandurah City Library. The staff have been so welcoming and friendly to me and the office is a really enjoyable work environment to be in. This experience has been so valuable to me as previously I had never had experience working in an office. Throughout all previous employments and volunteering opportunities, it’s always been totally different to office work. All of my knowledge towards working in an office had come from the IT Crowd and “have you tried turning it off and on again?” really does fix all technical issues.

This week was same routine to last week with art and craft activities taking place in morning at 10.30am and more activities taking place in the afternoon at 1.30pm. One of my personal favourites from this week has been a talk from Rupert Wainwright, who came in to speak about his new book: Miss Muriel Matters. Muriel was one of the famous Suffragists in London at the time and has since been forgotten about. She was an Australian born in Adelaide and moved to the UK to pursue a career in acting but became a leading woman in the fight for the right to vote. I really enjoyed this talk as it was someone who I had never heard off and it was also really beneficial to be able too talk to Rupert Wainwright, the author and gain a better understanding of Muriel Matters.

Another aspect about this placement I’ve really enjoyed is being able to build relationships with children and family members of those who have been frequently attending the workshops. The library is a really relaxed and enjoyable environment and I’ve loved being able to have a laugh with the children as they have become more and more comfortable with me over the past fortnight.

Another highlight of this week was SciTech.  Scitech is a world renowned and multi award winning not-for-profit organisation that operates the Scitech Discovery Centre, a permanent, interactive science museum which includes a planetarium, and is located in West Perth, Western Australia. However, SciTech came into the library for an interactive workshop with the children. I had great fun watching it and the children were very happy to be there. The morning workshop was aimed at children aged 5-9 was eagerly accepted by the pupils. All of the demo experiments would be fantastic to use within the classroom. The demo workshops concentrated on ‘mixing’ science, using products easily found at home in either the kitchen or bathroom.

My favourite was the home-made lamp. A lava lamp can be easily made using water, oil, food colouring and effervescent tablets. i will definitely be using this experiment and others from Scitech as the kids absolutely loved it!

Week THREE!

City of Mandurah Library.

This week I was in Mandurah Library participating in the out of school Easter crafts that were being held in the libraries main area. The first thing that struck me when going into the library is how busy it was, in comparison to libraries back home. It is extremely well facilitated by the local community and offers many services to the local community within their digital hub. earn how to use your computer, tablets and smart phone. We provide free computer training courses in the Digital Hub. Training is done in small groups, or you can book a one on one session. Classes are available for complete beginners to intermediate learners. Examples of classes available: one on training for any level; online job applications; using the myGov website; skype for beginners; introduction to ipad and tablet use; exploring your family history with ancestry.com. how to read free online magazines and how to download eBooks.

I was amazed to see people queuing up outside the library on my first morning as I was waiting for the doors to be unlocked at 9am. the library continued to be busy until 5.30 when I was leaving and does not shut until 8pm at night. the staff at the library have made me feel so welcome and I instantly felt part of the team once I had been shown around where everything was and introduced to everyone. My typical day at the library was arriving for 9 and then preparing the arts and crafts activities for the 10.30am workshop. It has honestly been so enjoyable doing the craft activities with the children and is such a nice way to spend the morning. Once the activity had been finished and cleared it was followed by lunch. Preparation would then begin for the 1.30pm activity.

Personal highlights of this week have been a talk from the author and illustrator James Foley who came in to do a workshop on his most recent book, Brobot. The children absolutely adored his workshop as he came into show the children how they could design their own robot. What sort of characteristics would the children want their robot to have? Foley was very entertaining and the children were absolutely enthralled by everything he said. He quickly introduced his book and the characters in it and discussed how he was able to decide what he wanted his robot to look like. After this, the children ere then able to discuss what they would want their robot too look like.

PEEL Young Creatives – SPARK: Art of Sales by Julian Canny.

PEEL refers to the region of the local communities that surround Mandurah. PEEL Young Creatives Collective was founded to connect and empower artists aged 18-25 years old living in the PEEL region of Western Australia. The Collective is a platform for young artists to test new ideas, find inspiration, seek mentors and feedback, experiment with collaboration and share stories and opportunities. A key initiative of The Collective is SPARK; this is a free co-working space for young creatives of any discipline to ignite inspiration and collaboration amongst the local artists.  

Julian Cany is a freelance Arts Entrepreneur and Producer. He is the ringleader and Founder of social enterprise The Comedy Emporium and Arts Producer Emporium. The aim of this workshop was to develop the Young Creative’s art of sales. The workshop was focussing on the importance of organisational and leadership skills to allow artists to be able to sell their own work. Although I do not have my own business or sell my artwork, the workshop was still highly beneficial to me as I was able to transfer all of these skills in how to be a good teacher.

This event was held at Make Place, which is a fantastic and highly valuable resource to have within the community. Make Place is an “innovation and co-working hub in the heart of Mandurah, bringing like-minded people together to be inspired, solve problems and make change.”  http://www.themakers.org.au/initiatives/make-place/ Make Place offers a place for those who need assistance in setting up a business and also offers free consultations and advice to those who are in need. This applies to all members of the PEEL region, not just young creatives. I was fascinated by the services it offered to the community and thoroughly impressed with how well facilitated it was by the local community. As we were having our meeting with SPARK, the ‘big bosses’ of the art and community organisations for the PEEL region were having their monthly meeting in a separate area of Make Place. Once both meetings were done, pizza was provided and this allowed all of the PEEL Young Creatives to mingle and network with owners of big businesses. Again, I wasn’t selling a product or promoting a business but I love a wee chat so it was extremely interesting talking to everyone and explaining why I’m over from Scotland.

Stretch Festival – Final Push.

As the library was shut for Good Friday, I was in the Council Offices to get caught up on what is happening with the Stretch Festival and what is still to be completed. We went through all of the infrastructure to ensure that everything was in order.

WEEK TWO!

Week Two!

Started at Mandurah Catholic College this week and I am thoroughly, thoroughly impressed with all of the facilities and resources at this school. As previously stated, this is my first time in both a religious and private school so it was all very new to me. Mandurah Catholic College teaches pupils from kindergarten- year 12.

Firstly, I am blown away by the amount of resources available at MCC. I have never had any experience within the private school sector and it is totally different to any Scottish school I’ve been in. Obviously this school is in Australia so looks entirely different as well. I’ve only ever seen schools like this on television so to actually be in a school like this, I feel a bit disjointed from reality although I am getting used to it.

the amount of outside resources is something I am totally blown away, especially the play areas for pre primary, kindergarten and junior school kids. The lack of wet weather means there are a lot more accessible outside areas. There is a large focus on sport at MCC although I’ve not been involved in that side of school as much as my mentor teaches music and health.

The library at MCC is amazing and a really well resourced area with lots of different areas to learn in. IT lessons take place in the library for younger kids and allows them to use 1:1 technology such as iPads to get to grips with technology. The library is also open until 7pm every night for secondary pupils to study in and use all of the resources available.

Seussical: the Musical!

 

 

 

 

 

There were two full run through rehearsals this week. Frankly I am astounded by the talent of these pupils. The drama department at MCC is just amazing, the amount of effort that has went into this production by both staff and students is astounding. I have never had any experience with any theatre groups or been in any productions so I am really excited to be involved with Seussical.

Drama is something I am nervous about teaching due to my lack of experience so I hope that by the time I am done my confidence regarding teaching drama will be vastly improved.

Shape Mandurah – Encouraging A Connected City.

I’ve been exceedingly impressed with all the effort and work that locals are putting into improving Mandurah and aiming to turn Mandurah into a more vibrant and creative community. Shape Mandurah is a community not for profit organisation that aims to engage and connect the city’s residents. Shape Mandurah are aiming to  build a network of volunteers who will help make their events better, share new ideas and host independent activities. Their vision includes pop-up galleries, community gardens, art installations etc.

Luckily I was able to attend a meeting and it was incredibly beneficial to be involved in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ discussions that I would normally never get the chance to be a part of. Although I am not living in Mandurah it was interesting to see how members of the local community are so passionate about improving and developing their local area.

Fremantle Art Centre – WA Revealed.

On Friday we attended the Western Australia Aboriginal art revealing in Fremantle. Fremantle is a city near Perth, focus on the arts and creativity within the whole city. We went to the art reveal as one of the Artists Peter Farmer, had done the YB memorial. Stretch were interested to see a fashion show that he was putting on that displayed aboriginal patterns and fabrics. Pater Farmer and his wife Miranda have worked tirelessly on their business that helps young aboriginal children have a chance in life to become models and better themselves whilst celebrating their own culture and lifestyle. Their fashion show focuses on the Aboriginal six seasons and each piece was individually created and hand painted.

The Six Seasons fashion show will be on at Stretch and it will be a fantastic opportunity for members of the Mandurah community to seee these fashion pieces and hear how the young people involved in this project have been able to improve their confidence and be proud of their native background.

Gami George was an elder of another Aboriginal community close to Fremantle and was the last native speaker of his language. He is working on creating a picture book and translation book for his native language so that new generations will be able to remember and speak his language. Ignorantly, I did not realise just how many different languages there is across Australia. There was thousands and thousands but now there is just little over 300 being actively spoken across the country. I did not know this before coming here so I am incredibly grateful to be able to listen and speak to the last remaining elder of certain native cultures.

At night there was the Aboriginal art show being unveiled and the artwork that was on display was just incredible. The various talks that had been held all day were still fresh in my mind and to then see such astounding pieces of artwork on display has created so many ideas for art lessons I could use on classes in the future.