Fitzroy High School, VIC
Sea Things, 2011
Fitzroy High School was closed in 1992. After a passionate eleven year campaign by parents and residents, the school re-opened in 2004 with a mandate for educational innovation. In order to foster an environment where strong relationships could develop between teachers and students, enrolments were capped, with no more than 100 students accepted in a year level. Fitzroy High values children as individuals, learners and contributors. Our aim is that Fitzroy students will become life long learners, reflective and creative thinkers, and responsible and active citizens. The small size of the school enables us to get to know our students well, and to establish deep relationships in order to engage students in an intellectually challenging education based on powerful ideas which help them toward social maturity and active participation in Australian society.
Students in Year 8 at Fitzroy High School composed poems and explored activities from the Sea Things learning resource, the Red Room Education learning resource for the middle school that was being piloted in 2011. Teacher Briony O’Keeffe was a long time and much valued supporter of Red Room Education and this was the third time her students at Fitzroy High School had enjoyed the program. Students had visited the seaside at St. Kilda, composed kennings and worked on drafts of Martian poetry. They were sent a second hand book about the sea that they transformed into poems inspired by The Humument Project.
Bonny Cassidy is the author of three poetry collections, and lectures in Creative Writing at RMIT University, Melbourne. She is feature reviews editor of Cordite Poetry Review and co-editor of the Anthology of Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter Publishers, 2016). Bonny's essays of criticism and poetics have been published widely in Australia and internationally.