August 21

About Planting a Very Wild, Creative Garden

Winters Flat Primary School is located on the Western edge of Castlemaine, in a leafy, private, low traffic environment. The school’s expansive grounds include a kitchen garden, large playing areas, a fitness track, and an oval and two playgrounds. A much-loved feature of the property is the beautiful, heritage-listed grove of Valonia oaks.

Students are the central focus in this learning community which has a strong commitment to promoting high levels of student literacy and numeracy achievement, addressing the diverse needs of students, and providing programs which support and protect the welfare of all.

It is the school’s vision “To create an inclusive school community where students develop the academic, physical, social, emotional, creative and moral skills that are the foundation for success in life. We are a school that celebrates diversity and promotes a deep respect for the environment and for each other.

Recently students have been engaged, with their teachers, in a ‘writing for well-being program’ which has been initiated and led by a Masters of Social Work student who has been on her final placement. The object of this program is to build on the work done by teachers by planting wild, creative seeds (ideas) during one hour sessions. Then, with the guidance of their teachers, students manipulate the material they have gathered and publish in a variety of styles. For example, after hearing the beginning of Edgar Allen’s story, ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ students drew in their notebooks, spontaneously decided on a ‘breaking news’ headline and then went on to publish news reports. Some opted to write ballads and poetry instead of writing a news report.

The first round of completed work is in response to a guided imagery which took students deep within a seashell. Feedback is encouraged but all comments are carefully checked before being published. This site has been established to publish diverse samples of student work, with the view of students enhancing their capacity to adapt their initial ideas and experiment with different styles of writing. We hope to build up a supportive readership.

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