Northern Tasmanian Tour, Sept 9 – 12 – pt 4: Waverley Primary School, TAS

Sept 12, 2013

After my 3 days up in Penguin, it was time to head South, halfway back down the state to Waverley, near Launceston.  Tony Brazendale, the exuberant principal of Waverley Primary, had been very excited about his students having some Creative Communication workshops.  Waverley PS works with one of the most challenging demographics in the state, yet it was clear that the school was dedicated to the emotional resilience & well-being of the students. Tony was passionate about giving the kids experiences that model other options in life, and his keen enthusiasm was infectious.

I was pretty overwhelmed at the especially warm welcome I received from the staff & students, and all day the students were just so fantastic – focused, responsive & really appreciative.  I began the day with a couple of storytelling sessions with the Prep / 1s, a fairytale which I draw as I tell it, and at the end there’s a kind of optical illusion and the drawing becomes something else.  It was just magical to watch the little ones’ brains light up in that “Aha!” moment when they saw the new image hidden in the drawing.

During lunch I had a great chat with the art teacher there, she was doing fantastic work with the students, engaging them with really vibrant art projects that would expand their view of the world.  Student artwork was displayed all through the school, making for a really affirmative, colourful environment.

The rest of the day was spent doing cartooning with the remaining Grades, with really fantastic results.  Not only did the kids rise to the drawing challenge with gusto, but when it came to discussing emotions I was surprised by their emotional vocabulary.

Waverley PS was the perfect conclusion to an especially enjoyable tour, big thanks to Tony & the other staff who made me feel so welcome, and to the students for being so appreciative!