What is the most common obstacle for schools in offering class excursions?
The answer is the expense, and more specifically, the cost of transportation. Excursions have to be free or fund-raised. So for many classes, leaving the school grounds to experience learning in an off-campus setting is out of their reach.
For the past 6 weeks, via the generous support of sponsor Santos GLNG, the Gallery’s Learning team has been reaching out to schools in the greater Brisbane area and bringing classes to the gallery. Fifteen classes from primary and secondary schools in Logan, Ipswich, Redcliffe amongst others have had the opportunity to experience the dynamic APT8 exhibition and APT8 Kids interactives, cost-free. The Santos GLNG school program covered the bus transport costs and included a delicious lunch pack for the entire class and their teacher. The Learning team hosted each class for a day, providing guided tours and APT8 class resources.
The Gallery excursion offered many firsts for the students, with outcomes that are far reaching. For some students, this was their first-ever school excursion! For others, seeing the mirrored city skyscrapers of the CBD and the Brisbane River as they approached GOMA was an awesome first-time experience. And one teacher commented that this was the first day all term that every student in her Year 2 class turned up at school!
For most of the students, who ranged in age from 7 to 17 years, this was their first time at an Art Gallery. The students can now visualise the physical space that is QAGOMA, and answer the question ‘what is an Art Gallery?’ They also now know a lot about APT8. Experiential learning is at the heart of education because it provides experiences that are personally relevant, and the APT8 excursion definitely ticked this box.
The class from the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital School arrived eager to explore (in their words) ‘the incredible APT8 exhibition’. The students explained that the mood on the bus was ‘one of extreme excitement’. Back at class, they reflected on some of their favourite APT8 memories; ‘the huge wood structure that made noise’, ‘the scenes of an amazing rainforest’, ‘the five cars projected on a wall’ and the ‘lovely lunch under the Bodhi Tree’. The secondary school classes came away from the Gallery being ‘inspired to be creative with their practical art assessment’.
With nearly 20,000 school students having visited APT8, the QAGOMA Learning team is extremely grateful to have been able to reach out and connect with the 384 primary and secondary students who participated in the Santos GLNG school program. Their teachers have told us that their visit was ‘a day that the students will never forget’.
The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT)
is the Gallery’s flagship exhibition focused on the work of Asia, the Pacific and Australia.
21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016
Exhibition Founding Sponsor: Queensland Government
Exhibition Principal Sponsor: Audi Australia
APT8 Kids Principal Benefactor: Tim Fairfax Family Foundation
Major Education Sponsor: Santos GLNG