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Darnley Island State School - a Torres Strait IDEAS school

Learning Through the Arts makes 'Catching a Future' easier

'Participation in the IDEAS project showed us the importance of developing a meaningful approach to educational strategy, making the understanding of People, Place and Culture integral to future planning as we live on an island much closer to Papua New Guinea than mainland Australia. The business of education in this remote location is about acquiring insight, enabling formulation of learning strategies and support mechanisms to facilitate improvements in key learning areas. This must be done in a meaningful way so people can achieve their goals whilst living happy fulfilled lives as part of an isolated community.' Suggests Diann Lui, school principal and community member of Darnley Island.

Darnley Island State School has a history of acting as a pivotal centre for the creation, facilitation and maintenance of cultural developmental activities within the school and community. The allocation of Education Queensland money, and now Federal funding to build an Arts and Cultural Centre within the school grounds is proof that the 'Learning Through the Arts' approach is effective and valued.

Through the IDEAS visioning process, the school developed a number of strategies to 'Catch a Future' and address improved learning in key areas. With the integrated curriculum and decentralising classrooms, what started as 'Literacy Through the Arts' has now become whole school 'Learning Through the Arts' as the program runs holistically across the school. As education moves away from the traditional P-7 model the community is becoming involved in activities generated at Wao Erwer Meta (Learning House at Wao) which is comprised of the School, the Arts centre, Community Broadcasting, the State Library and Museum. Wao Erwer Meta will:

The IDEAS project has created a deeper dimension in the acquisition of shared values and understanding between the school and community.

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photo of Darnley Island State School students

Photo of Darnley Island State School students

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