School funding for students to foster creative learning skills

  • Latest Creativity for Schools funding round awards more than $600,000 in grants
  • 16 supported projects to develop students’ creativity and critical thinking skills
  • Grants to go to schools, arts organisations and individual artists throughout WA

Encouraging creative learning and critical thinking are at the heart of the latest financial support provided by the Cook Government for an extensive range of projects that will improve the skills and talents of Western Australian children and young people.

A total of $627,269 in grants from the Creativity for Schools program will be given to schools, arts organisations and individual artists who submitted applications in two categories: collaboration and residency.

The collaboration category awards up to $60,000 to projects and/or programs designed to connect Western Australian arts organisations and creative practitioners with schools. The residency category awards up to $20,000 to projects involving artists in residence in school environments, with activity covering about 25 days of engagement per school.

The Creativity for Schools program brings together schools and artists in WA communities to use creativity and practical learning experiences across the school curriculum to provide students with tools that they can apply to other areas of their learning.

There were 16 successful applicants in the August 2023 round of funding – 11 in the collaboration category and five in the residency category. The wide variety of projects encompass music, visual arts, video production, circus acts, puppetry, dancing, writing, publishing, conservation and botany to engage students across their curricular learning.

More information about the program is available on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Culture Industries’ website:

As stated by Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

“The Creativity for Schools program opens up many opportunities for students to learn from professionals through artistic projects which will develop their creativity and critical thinking skills while improving their general well-being.

“This is the third round of funding from this program, which has attracted a high number of applications, and all successful projects are extremely worthy recipients.

“The Creativity for Schools program targets children and young people who hopefully one day will contribute to the growth and success of the culture and arts industries in Western Australia by inspiring them to discover, develop and fulfil their creative potential.

“The Cook Government takes great pride in its commitment to culture and the arts in Western Australia, reflected by programs like Creativity for Schools that develop and foster the community’s interest and appreciation from a young age.”

As stated by Education Minister Dr Tony Buti:

“Cultivating creativity and critical thinking skills is very important for our students who will be able to apply their new-found knowledge and talents to other areas of their learnings as well as in their lives after school.

“Collaborating with culture and arts professionals, who act as their teachers and mentors, will bring meaning to their learning experience and will deliver numerous benefits for students from kindergarten to Year 12 who take part.”

Successful applicants for Creativity for Schools program – collaboration category

Alta-1 College – Creativity through project-based learning – $59,759

Alta-1, a curriculum and re-engagement school with several campuses across Western Australia, will collaborate with local artists to encourage creativity, curiosity, imagination and empathy in students. Spanning the 2024 school year the collaboration will focus on various educational methodologies, including project-based learning, arts integration and supporting an inclusive learning environment.

Brendan Joel Lewis – Gilmore College visual art and music collaboration project $31,893

Gilmore College will engage two mural artists and a hip-hop musician to work with students in Term 1, 2024. Bi-weekly workshops will utilise visual art and music processes to enrich students’ understanding of the curriculum as well as agency in their own learning.

Carnarvon School of the Air – Creating Music Magic – $54,319

A collaboration between Carnarvon School of the Air and Creality artists to engage students in storytelling using media and music during the 2024 school year. Students will write a song and create a video in a collaborative approach that will utilise creative pedagogy across curriculum areas.

CircusWA Inc – Crossing Wires: Circus skills and storytelling – $31,035

Crossing Wires is co-designed and delivered in partnership with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and ATSI students at Yanchep Secondary College in Terms 1 and 2. Students will learn circus skills and cultural dance which will be developed into a mid-year performance.

Community Arts Network Western Australia Ltd – High VisAbility – $60,00

High VisAbility will produce high quality art, with highly visible public outcomes, while celebrating the creative abilities of all students at Sir David Brand School during 2024. In partnership with Community Arts Network and led by Yamatji artist Mandy White, and Persian South African artist Natalie Scholtz, students will explore identity, place, and visibility.

Curtin Primary School – A Sense of Wonder, when art and science meet – $32,936

A multi-disciplinary project that combines scientific and artistic practice to study local flora to inspire and equip students and educators to think creatively and critically. Local artists, together with leading academics, botanical authors, and Noongar Elders, will work with students over a year to undertake in depth scientific and artistic investigations.

Francesca Cary – Visualising Mars: Integrating the arts and science to foster creative thinkers – $59,916

Scientist and artist, Francesca Cary, will collaborate with teachers and students at Joseph Banks Secondary College to create scientific artworks in Semester 1, 2024. Scientific research will be brought to life for visual arts and STEM students as they explore Mars and learn about planets in a creative context.

Kristy Nita Brown – The Book Builders Challenge – $37,354

Authors Kristy Nita Brown and Sean E Avery will deliver the Book Builders Challenge at East Victoria Park Primary School and Education Support Centre. This Semester 1 program goes beyond the development of practical writing skills to engage students in book illustration, editing, printing, publishing, marketing, and distribution.

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region Inc – Capes Cultural Canvas: Legacy of Country and Lore – $56,319

Eight schools in the Cape to Cape region adopt and care for a piece of bushland or coastal reserve near their school over the 2024 school year. Learning the cultural significance of each site from First Nations elders, students and artists will creatively explore each site building to a final exhibition.

Perth International Arts Festival Ltd – EverNow 2024 Creative Learning Project – $59,842

A year-long, multidisciplinary exploration with 90 students from Forest Crescent Primary School, looking at conservation and our relationship to the land around us. This collaboration will include various artists using a multitude of art forms and ways of knowing, culminating in a conservation action.

Sensorium Theatre Incorporated – Ten Tiny Things Collaborative Project – $44,556

Sensorium Theatre’s creative team will collaborate with Carson Street School to develop cross curriculum links from Sensorium’s new work for children with disabilities, Ten Tiny Things. An interdisciplinary creative learning team, featuring artists and educators, will create a creative cross-curricular lesson plan package in Term 1 to share with other specialist schools.

Successful applicants for Creativity for Schools program – residency category

Alexandra Desebrock – Spaces to Feel – $20,000

In collaboration with artist Alex Desebrock, Year 5 and 6 students at East Hamilton Hill Primary School will research, design and make installations and interventions in their school. This project will address the Health and Design & Technology curriculum and integrate with English, Maths and Visual Arts.

Beenong School Association – As Long as it Takes: an experiential and immersive exploration into process, learning and reflection – $20,000

The artists in residence will facilitate Bunraku-inspired puppet-making and performance workshops throughout the 2024 school year. Japanese and Arts classes will facilitate manga and anime projects to develop characters, set design and scripts, complemented by the school Taiko drumming group.

Coolbinia Primary School – A creative learning project enhancing the sustainability of our endangered birds – $19,500

Artists in residence will work with Coolbinia Primary School students to develop a set of paintings of local birds, and a culturally relevant origami installation. This community-driven, inclusive, and participatory project will facilitate intercultural understanding, reconciliation, and sustainability in Semester 1, 2024.

Karridale Primary School – Habitats and Hybrid Puppets – $19,840

Habitats and Hybrid Puppets is a unique arts program supporting environmental connection and learning through puppet-making, storytelling and scientific research delivered over two terms in 2024. The project explores local marri trees, puppet-making skills and eco-storytelling, including design, field research, moulding techniques, set design, puppetry, performance, narrative, and digital media.

Waddington Primary School – Artist in Residence Project – $20,000

Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 will have the opportunity to work with experienced artist Jodie Davidson for 25 sessions throughout the 2024 school year. The residency will culminate in a celebratory exhibition to showcase the students’ creative learning journey.

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