By its very nature the Safety Bay Primary School AIR project, 'Our Story Islands – A Cross-Cultural Narrative Journey' encompassed cultural diversity, empathy and inclusivity.
Artists Katy Watson-Kell, Trevor Walley and Ashley Collard worked with students and teachers to bring the rich history of Carnac, Garden, Rottnest, Penguin and Seal Islands to life through engagement of all students Kindergarten to Year 7.
Delivered over 16 weeks in terms 2 and 3 in 2012, Katy focused on generating positive learning outcomes for students in the areas of creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts. Trevor and Ashley shared their rich knowledge of Noongar culture, history and language by combining Dreamtime stories, art, music and dance with information on bush tucker and local Indigenous significant sites.
A rich excursion program was also integrated into the project schedule. Visits to Rottnest Island, Penguin Island, Fremantle Prison, the Catalpa Memorial, State Library of Western Australia, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Western Australian Museum Perth, and Rockingham Museum were vital in the research and development of the AIR project.
As a whole school activity, the Safety Bay Primary School project encouraged an array of artistic output inspired by the interlocking themes of natural environment and the Indigenous and European settler histories of the five islands within the vicinity of the school.
Applying a creative writing approach to exploring curriculum areas was a resounding success and an enduring legacy of this project are the student work samples now archived in the school library.
To read more about the Safety Bay Primary School AIR Project, download the 2011-2012 case study publication, Something in the AIR or the individual project chapter.