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Art, Creativity And Learning

Creativity, problem-solving, sustainability and wellbeing are important principles guiding innovation in the curriculum and approaches to learning at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School. Actively seeking opportunities to embrace these principles has been a stimulating challenge for staff and has enlivened curriculum offerings.

Marsden School’s first ‘Trash to Flash’ day for Years 7 to 9 students late last year set out to meet this challenge. Girls opted into a range of hands-on creative activities for the day. From beekeeping to go-kart making, girls were supported by local artisans and entrepreneurs to upcycle and make the most of everyday resources. In other projects, students combined design ingenuity with technology to make beautiful laser cut bird houses, and others learnt the traditional secrets of marmalade-making. A collapsed timetable, a whole day to focus on an enjoyable project, learning new skills and considering the many ways that products can be re-used and re-purposed is something the students will enjoy again this term.

As a Visible Wellbeing™ school, Marsden aims to embed a wellbeing dimension across all learning. With that in mind, ‘Trash to Flash’ strengthened relationships and explored building new habits and goals.

Last year’s revamp of Marsden’s junior Technology curriculum also bolstered creativity, problem-solving and awareness of sustainability. In Year 9, Creating Taonga, students use traditional and modern construction methods to create precious pieces while exploring Māori and Pasifika design. Community experts share their expertise in skills such as tivaevae, inspiring students to experiment with laser cut or 3-D printing to create taonga. In Year 10 Fashion Designer, students work sustainably with fabric and alternative materials. Girls connected with local entrepreneur Bernadette Casey, founder of the Formary, an innovative New Zealand business that established the Textile Reuse project. Learning from a design and business expert inspired Year 10 students Minkyung Kim and Amy Slessor to collaborate on designing a hanbok, using packaging from Bluebird chips to Watties Beanz to sew New Zealand flavours into their traditional Korean dress. This fantastic cross-cultural learning opportunity enabled the girls to deliver a sustainability message with fun and creative flair.

“We are proud of learning outcomes that foster creativity, harness essential social and emotional skills and connect students with the community”, said Marsden School’s Academic Director Margaret Adeane.

Samuel Marsden Collegiate School has been providing quality independent education for over 140 years. While honouring tradition it delivers a wide-ranging, modernised and future-focused curriculum, with a strong emphasis on student wellbeing. Marsden is New Zealand’s first Visible WellbeingTM school and provides education for girls from Years 1-13, with a co-ed Preschool.

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