Still very pleased with ourselves that we were sticking to the strict timetable set by Archibull Prize Secretariat and all round sweetheart Loran Blades we drove out of Hurlstone Agricultural High School exhilarated by the diversity of bovine masterpieces that were coming out of the bright minds studying in schools in Western Sydney and made our way towards Rouse Hill Anglican College( RHAC)
After 4 intense days of judging the artworks Wendy Taylor later commented “ the most remarkable thing that I have found with the Archibull Prize this year is that irrespective of the circumstance of the school, whether they are the most privileged private school, a catholic school, state or selective high school, the impact of the programme is consistent. It is irrelevant whether the children are handpicked from gifted and talented classes or have learning difficulties they have all benefited equally and learnt from the programme. It is also irrelevant whether the children are in Kindergarten, Year 11 and 12 students, Agriculture classes or Art classes or a combined effort all the artworks are different, thought provoking and outstanding” May I suggest you keep Wendy’s thoughts in mind as you join us and the other judges in our quest to unveil The Archibull Prize 2011
Arriving at Rouse Hill Anglican College we found it to be a relatively new school situated in rapidly expanding Rouse Hill in Sydney’s north-west which caters for students from Kindergarten to Year Twelve.
RAHC was allocated “dairy” as their food or fibre industry and named their Archie “Mootilda” and here she/he is. (Of concern is these mixed messages we are giving next gen by supplying life-size fibreglass cows and then calling it the Archi”bull”. Even I get confused)
The Art4Agriculture team will be the first to admit we set the schools a HUGE task in 2012, with schools not only painting “bulls” but writing blogs, creating videos and whipping up PowerPoints in their spare (ha ha) time. So Wendy and I were in awe when we were introduced to the small dedicated Archie team at RHAC.
Katrina New head teacher of Creative Arts and Helen Vanderhout who teaches visual arts and some of the students involved Suella, Taylor, Hollie and Sophia very kindly provided their insights into the challenges of taking on this “Everest” with a small group, meeting outside of school hours.
“The students LOVED painting the bull and creating their blog entries. Our students loved meeting Stephanie and talked about this experience frequently. The theme was meaty enough to do research and encourage students to think deeply about how agriculture fits into their urban world.
Parents were highly supportive and popped in to view progress when students were picked up at 5pm. We gave fortnightly presentations at assembly- either documenting our progress, showing Stephanie’s video,or showing the school our Blog. We encouraged all students to be excited about what we were doing and it was the Year 12 students you named our cow ‘Mootilda’
Students of varying ages and abilities came together to work on the project and the social friendships created were fantastic. They all encouraged each other and listened to each other’s ideas and voted on the best course of action. They also learnt Visual Literacy skills to communicate a complicated concept through Visual imagery on a 3D surface and developed new IT skills to write the blog” said Katrina
Katrina and Hollie share some insights with you here
You can also visit the Rouse Hill Anglican College Blog and read about their journey to create the gorgeous Mootilda here