My name is Cate Ellis. This year I am delivering the Visual Arts and Design Technology programs at Woodend PS to the junior primary students in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.


The program runs as follows, with a natural crossover on some occasions during the terms:

Visual Arts – Terms 1/4, Design Tech., Terms 2/3 for Rooms 3, 4, 6, 7, 21,

Visual Arts – Terms 1/2 for Rooms 8 and 23

(Design Tech with Ms. Riggs in semester 2)

Visual Arts – Terms 3/4 for Rooms 18 and 5

(Design Tech. with Ms. Klinkert/Ms.Riggs in semester 1)


Rooms 3, 4 and 5 also have a single Art/making lesson all year on Mondays.


Visual Arts

The Australian Curriculum requires teachers to build on students’ innate artistic abilities, which have been developing through the senses since birth. The two strands of Responding and Making are to encourage children to think like and be artists, and this starts from the first lesson. It’s extremely important to me that no child suddenly thinks ‘I can’t do it’ just because they are experiencing the different context of school.

The ideal outcome from studying the Arts is an empathetic adult who is ‘receptive and expressive and can impact on the world in creative and imaginative ways’ (Australian Curriculum).

As per the AC, we will be looking at

  • Art for an audience
  • Narrative Art
  • Expressive Art
  • Cultural considerations

We will look at these aspects of art making both individually and together, as they naturally overlap.

Techniques covered will be drawing, painting, printing (including fabric printing and dying), papier mache, collage, mosaics and clay, with stop-motion animation included as it becomes available.

Wherever possible we will use and show our art. Printing fabric for class cushion covers and atrium lamps has been enjoyable and successful so far. More mosaic frames for the ‘Gallery’ are coming.


The artists whose work we will look at and understand through using their techniques are:

Yayoi Kusama (Japan – Painting, printing and installations)

The Spinifex Art Project (W.A. – Collaborative Aboriginal painting)

Margaret Preston (Australia –Adelaide – Printmaking)

Monica Rohan (Australia – Brisbane – Drawing and painting)

Gerry Wedd (Australia – Adelaide – Clay)

The Mosaic Tile House (Venice Beach, California – Mosaics)


Design Technology

 Design and Technology’s two strands of Knowledge and Understanding and Processes and Production skills cover the core areas of study. For the junior primary children, skills are introduced to extend their natural inclination to make and create. The areas covered and methods of investigation can be closely related to the Science curriculum. Maths and literacy skills are also necessary to measure and talk/write about projects.

We study

  • Movement and how to create it
  • Products and how and why they are made
  • Planning projects and recording ideas
  • Materials, their properties and how to use them safely
  • Working together to solve problems

We concentrate on forces, cause and effect, sources of food, clothing and shelter and sustainability. We ask questions and experiment with solutions to problems using creative thinking. We hope to have some exciting activities during Science week in August.

My own view is that creative thinking is an invaluable asset in all areas of the curriculum and life generally, and my committed effort is to encourage children to habitually think in this way.

I love these subject areas. Hearing someone proudly say ‘I did it’ would be reward enough if I didn’t have a mortgage!