"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time" - Thomas Merton
Michele Jones is currently the Visual Arts Co-ordinator at Gardenvale Primary School in East Brighton, Victoria. She has been a classroom and Specialist teacher for over 40 years and as a Leading Teacher, Michele has co-ordinated Specialist teachers, Year Prep, Junior School and Middle School Professional Learning Teams and is currently the Information and Communication Technologies Manager at the school, with enrolment numbers approaching 640 students.
Michele Jones has undertaken consultancy work for the Education Unit at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, lectured at Deakin University in Visual Arts and has also been the Southern Metropolitan Region KIDMAP reporting software trainer/consultant. While at the Southern Metropolitan Region head office, Michele was appointed Quality Teacher Program Consultant which was a Federal Government initiative, providing funding for large projects in both Secondary and Primary Schools.
Michele Jones has been a key developer and presenter at several annual Art Education Victoria Conferences and Inspire-Ed Professional Development workshops and has been a consultant for Camp Australia’s After School Art Program. Michele has also supported several Private and State Primary Schools in program development, Scope and Sequence documentation and whole school Art Show implementation.
Michele Jones is currently involved with delivering professional development through hands-on workshops for Visual Arts teachers and librarians supported by CAMART Craft & Technology. As Visual Arts Coordinator, Michele delivers 50 minute art sessions to 550 + students each week, which are directly linked to the Inquiry Units being undertaken in the classroom and she supports and collaborates with the Prep Visual Arts teacher, Tania Speigel, in program development and managing resources for 90 students.
Recent Career highlights have been:
Gardenvale Primary School "Artist-in-Residence" Program
For the Artist-in-Residence Program at Gardenvale Primary School, Debbie Qadri, a ceramic artist and teacher, was seconded by Michele Jones, to produce a wall mural on both campuses of the school. It was envisaged that each student would be given the opportunity, (during 3 visual art sessions in Terms 2, 3 and 4), to design and fire two ceramic pieces to take home, as well contributing another piece to the Senior or Junior Campus murals. The Senior Campus mural design consisted of a huge circular "Japanese Dragon", (which was linked to the Language Other Than English program at the school), and a "Fantasy Garden" was proposed for the wall at the back of the hall on the Junior Campus to link in with the various Inquiry Units undertaken by the Junior students. More than the completion of two magnificent murals that will forever represent the creativity and skill of the students at Gardenvale Primary School, were the benefits of a collaboration of a group of children and adults who had a single focus and purpose to fill a community space with a beautiful piece of art.
Gardenvale Primary School Art Show – “The Many Faces of Gardenvale Primary School”
After discussions with the Parents' Association about presenting an Arts Expo celebrating the Visual and Performing Arts Programs at Gardenvale Primary School, Michele Jones organised an Art Show titled "The Many Faces of Gardenvale Primary School". In excess of 1800 pieces of art work, (including samples of clay, modeling, painting, construction, threads and textiles, soft sculpture, drawing, and printing), were on display in the Multipurpose Centre on the Senior Campus and local member, Louise Asher, opened the proceedings. The school community and beyond were invited to come and see a diverse range of skills, techniques and talent shown by the students at Gardenvale primary School and the event was a tremendous success.
Brighton Cemetery 160th Anniversary
To celebrate 160 years since the first burial at the Brighton General Cemetery in North Road, the Brighton Cemetorians held an open day on Sunday 18th October and the community was invited to partake in this historic event. The celebrations included a horse drawn hearse walking tour, plaque unveilings for Col Duncan McLeish CMG CBE VD & John Lamont Dow, the reading of a poem about war and the singing of ANZAC songs by students from the Gardenvale Primary School. Artwork completed by our Year 5 and Year 6 students was created and displayed in the lodge on the property, and included an interpretation of the works of artists, Frederick McCubbin and Arthur Boyd, both of whom are inturned in the cemetery. Artist/journalist Francis (Tom) Carrington, (who is also interred in the cemetery and who is known for his sketches of Ned Kelly during his capture in Glenrowan, 1880), was also featured in the artwork celebrations and these pieces were undertaken during Visual Arts sessions in Term 3 and Term 4.
Samsung Smart School 2.0 Initiative
As a result of Michele Jones contacting and putting forward a proposal to Samsung Australia, Gardenvale Primary School has become the first school in Australia to be involved in the Samsung Smart School 2.0 Tablet Program project. Over the past 6 months,(having approached and liaised with the head of the Samsung Asia / Pacific region), Michele Jones has initiated and undertaken professional development with Samsung developers and selected Middle School teachers to bring this state of the art technology to Gardenvale Primary School students. It is envisaged that this tablet program will stimulate and promote greater student engagement amongst studentts in the Middle School.
BYOD Year 5 Initiative
As I & CT Manger, Michele Jones has initiated the commencement of a Bring Your Own Device Program which willbe undertaken by Year 5 students in 2016. The BYOD program will allow students to learn and excel at their own pace, catering for different learning styles and giving them more control over the way in which they learn. Everything they need to continue learning outside the classroom can be accessed anytime, anywhere and it allows the connection between home and school to merge. Incorporating student-owned mobile computing devices into the curriculum will also support project-and inquiry-based learning opportunities, a pedagogical approach that encourages students to learn by doing, while giving them ownership of their own learning and education.
Visual Arts Professional Development Workshops
Working in conjunction with CAM ART Craft & Technology Pty Ltd, Michele Jones has conducted workshops on the weekend that are attended by art teachers from around the state. These workshops are planned and delivered according to AUSVELS guidelines and are based on the Inquiry Learning approach. Teachers are shown how to plan exemplary Visual Arts programs, manage budgets, undertake hands-on sessions in all areas of the Visual Arts and promote this curriculum area both in their own school and the wider community.
Michele Jones has been a major contributor to this Departmental Student publication that showcases best practice programs, events and curriculum in schools throughout the state. Gardenvale Primary School students’ artwork has been published and has set the benchmark for other Visual Arts programs.
Mother's Day Celebrations
Each year, the students at Gardenvale Primary School create Mother's Day cards, gift tags and presents for their Mums, as part of their Visual Arts program. Levels Prep to 6 make an individual gift and card which has been planned, designed, and delivered by Michele Jones in the weekly classes. In excess of 1800 hand-made items are created, wrapped and taken home and they cover a wide range of skills, techniques and processes which are certainly treasured by the students' mothers.
St Joseph's Primary School Art Show Workshop
St Joseph’s Primary School is located in St. John’s Road, Springvale and at present the school has students from 17 different countries, speaking about 27 different languages and currently has an enrolment of approximately 680 students in Years Prep - 6. In Term 4, the school is undertaking an art show using masks as a theme throughout and each class has been given large canvas to display their art piece / pieces. As there is no specialist art teacher at the school, Michele Jones was seconded to support classroom teachers to further develop skills and ideas. In a 2½ hour workshop, 55 teachers were shown a slideshow featuring artwork completed by students at Gardenvale Primary School from Year Prep to Year 6, and they were then given the opportunity to undertake a hands-on session where three diverse masks were completed.