No items found.

Who Am I?

May 3, 2022
Naomi Bell
Jodie Davidson

Who Am I?

Creative Practitioner: Jodie Davidson

Creative Practice: Visual Artist

Teacher: Naomi Bell

Year Group: 4


Personal, Social and Community Health

• Being healthy, safe, and active

• Persistence and resilience

• Strategies to manage changes

Personal behaviours and strategies

• Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing

• Respect and empathy

• Self-regulation

• Self-management

General Capabilities and Cross curriculum capabilities

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

• Critical and creative thinking

• Ethical understanding

• Personal and social capabilities

• Intercultural understanding

HASS: Geography – The Earth’s environment sustains all life

• Characteristics, connection to Country/Place, sustainability, natural resources

• Connection between us and where we live

• Sustainability

• Mapping


Health - Exploration of Self

• Who am I?

• Who are we?


Term 3 extended from the term 2 project where students created and constructed personal totems using collected materials relative to ‘place’. Continuing with use of the outdoors as a classroom, students were challenged to map the school and its surrounding area in order to determine the best location for their sculptures in establishing a garden walk in preparation for the showcase in week 9 of term. The totems were a representation of self with their location exploring ‘where I am’ and ‘how am I connected’ through mapping processes. Students explored ways in which this could be shared beyond the classroom, opting to design and build their own life-sized board game where players travelled through biomes, facing challenges along the way.

What we did

To encourage student agency and explore ways in which mapping could be done, students were involved in every decision-making process. They determined the direction for the term and the way in which they wanted to showcase their learning. Collaborative discussions lead to the creation of maps. These included maps of ideas, the school grounds, and the world around them. The classroom often looked chaotic but amidst the immediate mess students became inquisitive; creating a world map from markers, dividing desks into habitats signified by colour, and incorporating pot plants as trees, remaking animals from post it notes and nominating environment to which their totem creatures belonged.

By standing back and observing, listening to conversations, and asking questions opposed to providing answers, students covered maths, geography, science and design and technology alongside creative habits of collaboration, imagination, and discipline evident in their critical and creative thinking.

Students documented in journals, independently decided on groups, made decisions on what skills were their strongest and which task these would be best suited to. They implemented project management skills way beyond the expectations of their year 4 academic level.

Brainstorming lead to the creation of seven responsibility groups including one made up of the softly spoken, quietly confident girls who nominated themselves as management, complete with notebooks and an offer to create the rules that they were responsible for. They set achievement goals. Groups became fluid as they opted to distribute tasks more evenly, sometimes splitting into smaller groups to lessen the workload. They were invested, they negotiated, they scheduled and took responsibility for managing their time, making decisions, and demonstrating their capabilities.

“I'm loving how they are connecting information from each term. They are happy to talk about what their strengths are.” - Naomi Bell, Year 4 Teacher

The class became adept at working independently and for most of them, were able to pinpoint problems and come up with solutions with minimal involvement from teaching staff. Students recognised when they were collaborating and persisting with things that were difficult, implementing processes to work around problems. Sessions were no longer bell bound. Information crossed over into other curriculum areas.

Warmups incorporated categorising; size, weight, speed, features although this were often left to the students to negotiate their interpretations. Sometimes they opted to form a line based on the size of their animal from smallest to largest. Questions arose about whether size should be based on height, wingspan or even length.

“I measured it against my leg/pocket/other animal. We stood in line because we are all the same animal.”  - Student

They negotiated amongst themselves determining their correct answer as direct instruction began to be removed providing more opportunities for decision making.

As Teacher and Creative Practitioner, we constantly reflected on how we delivered information and how it was interpreted. Students constantly self-reflected both individually and as a group. They listened to each other, compromised on what they were able to achieve and their time parameters demonstrating insightful teamwork.

There became so much to observe each week we found ourselves standing back more and more. It was loud and often untidy, but it demonstrated complete student agency and creative thinking. They were not only responsible for the outcome; they were in control of it.

“This group as a whole were cohesive and quietly confident before the program. In earlier discussions, they were somewhat hesitant seemingly waiting for clues as to what the teacher wanted from them and what was a good contribution. What has changed is they are more confident and willing to give their opinions, explain their thinking and justify their decisions. The phrase “building on what someone said” is often heard as part of our discussions. The children are demonstrating the ability to link and follow the process from session to session.” - Teacher

As the term progressed, the need for Teacher/ Creative Practitioner planning diminished dramatically. Instead, it became student planning with the Teacher overseeing what could be incorporate into class schedules. This group of year 4 students became instrumental in directing and project managing their own learning and in doing so covered much more content that either Teacher or Creative Practitioner could have attempted.


“We are doing Creative Schools to change our habits of learning to be more collaborative and imaginative and to ask more questions. That's what makes a good team and a good classroom – these five habits of learning.”
“We are presenting our projects to our parents to show them what we are learning. We learn lots of things when we are doing this way of learning, for example, we made challenge cards for our game.”
“The management group organises how the game works. We get to organise everything. It's quite a bit of responsibility. It's not going to work if we’re not there. The first time my head was paining from all the responsibility, but now I'm getting used to it. We are learning to persist and not give up.”


“I have loved it. The hardest challenge is stepping back, worrying that it could be disastrous. I've loved reconnecting with learning, having a license to be creative. It's such a valid way of the kids learning, not just me teaching."
"Their journey has been interesting. We read a book by Helen Milroy about human animals as a stimulus. We focused on making human animals to reflect the children, and they had to make artists statements about what inspires them."
" The kids just take charge. You don't have to worry about motivation, you don't have to worry about discipline, because they plan the learning. They did the mapping, they had to make all the decisions. We brought them in a bit. Other than that, they have worked it all out. They have driven the whole process of learning."

"They are listening, connecting extending generating through creativity, elaborating. The visible thinking routines help to build those habits, even knowing where they are as a group. The pressure is off me as a teacher. I don’t need to know all the information anymore. They will go and find out themselves and I just need to facilitate their learning."