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Yeronga High dances to the beat of the drum

​The Performing Arts were just one aspect of the successful Y Connect program

Music, dance, drama and visual arts are the common languages binding students together at Yeronga State High School.

With more than 750 students from 70 different countries, the school has embarked on an ambitious and innovative collaboration with Griffith University and some of Queensland's premier arts organisations. Since 2016, this collaboration has transformed the school’s culture and brought the school's diverse community together.

Yeronga State High School Head of Department and Y Connect project manager Adrianne Jones, said the 2 and a half year Y Connect project had positively affected school culture, student confidence and engagement in the classroom.

'We worked together with artists from Opera Queensland, QPAC, Circa and La Boite Theatre generating more than 900 hours of creative activity including 784 events involving 48 teachers and 36 artists,' Ms Jones said.

'We have become a school that has arts and creativity at its core—the transformation has been amazing.

'Our community is very diverse and multicultural with a large number of students from refugee backgrounds and this project has connected them all.'

Ms Jones said the unique project saw teachers and artists co-deliver classroom-based learning in English, Mathematics and Art. Students also visited theatres and galleries attending performances and displays.

'We found that the approaches used within the Y Connect project were particularly effective for students who struggle to engage, or for whom learning is a challenge due to limited English or low confidence,' she said.

'These lifts in engagement and the stronger focus on active learning, collaboration and positive classroom talk, appear to have had a flow on effect, particularly for writing.'

A Griffith University report into the project, released late in 2019, found the project had also achieved positive outcomes for teachers in terms of their professional learning and enjoyment of teaching.

The unique multi-arts and education project was funded through the Queensland Government’s Collaboration and Innovation Fund.

The Y Connect research project is believed to be one of the largest-scale research projects of its type worldwide.

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Last updated
16 March 2020