Study Tour

This blog is a snapshot of the visuals and daily updates we are receiving from Paul Whitehead, our Principal, who is currently on Study Leave.
Paul has attended the Reggio Emilia Study Tour in Italy over the last weeks and will shortly be heading off on the Finland Study Tour. Both of these tours are conducted by AISWA.

Paul began his Study Leave on Monday the 25th March locally, spending time both at Bold Park Community School with Australian educational leaders as well as visiting other schools within the Perth metropolitan area. Read Paul’s daily notes of his tour below.

And so it begins...

So today I commence my Study Leave! I am starting the day with a quirky reading (Why children who eat boogers do well in school … someone researched that!) and will be attending the Small School Principal’s Collegiate at Tree Tops Montessori School… my second visit. This school has a stunning location and a new progressive Principal, Mr Stuart Harris.

A great day … at Bold Park! Catching up with some students and then an extended time with Dr Miranda Jefferson, Jamie Gerlach, Nicole Hunter and Felicity Kinsella … working through pedagogical priorities and time to reflect and learn with our Arts Team. https://www.4ctransformativelearning.org/our-team

A BIG day ahead. Really keen to see the inside of Holy Cross Ellenbrook’s new development as they have a well-timed Open Day today. Then back with Miranda, Michael and Jamie at Bold Park and ending the evening with our school board meeting.

DAY 3 continued
Congratulations to Holy Cross Ellenbrook on a successful open day tour and your 10th year … so much growth and development – amazing spaces and thank you to Principal, Ms Mandy Conner for making me so welcome this morning.

Meeting at the Education Department of WA to share our plans and seek formal approval for Advance Determination in Maylands. Great team and feeling we put our best foot forward. A few quick catch-ups at school before heading off.

First day not at school and going through itinerary, transportation, accommodation and functional aspects of the next six weeks. As more things are finalised … starting to get a little more excited and moving into ‘learning’ mode.

Still some work to finalise before I go… The Annual Report has been a positive vehicle for both existing and prospective families so some weekend work is proving fruitful. I must confess that watching our transforming publications has been satisfying… Juanita relates! MORE satisfying? Revisiting the highlights of 2018.

DAY 6… Bonus Content (LOL)
The purpose of Study Leave?

My new socks are a perfect metaphor (technically a symbol)… the special ingredient beyond function. (They’re even called Dream BIG socks) … can you tell my ‘real world’ is slowly fading in preparation to exit?

DAY 7 & 8
Combining days – that’s just cheating! Still some final bits and bobs at school, some catch-ups, finalising stuff in light of a lengthy time away, time with family and preparation for travel (haven’t packed yet though!). Yawn! ONE MORE SLEEP!

DAY 9 & 10 (Study Leave)
Travel and coffee! Thrilled to see Renata and family on the same flight to Dubai and have bumped into educators over coffee at Dubai International. The Reggio adventure will be here soon! So excited!

DAY 11 (Study Leave) Saturday
A trip to Florence with many other delegates. Soaking in the history, magic and spirit of Italian life. ‘David’ a particular highlight.

DAY 12 (Study Leave)
Sunday orientation, walking tour of Reggio Emilia city and …

Loris Malaguzzi International Centre. 400 delegates from 46 countries, their biggest ever.


DAY 13 (Study Leave)
How do I summarise the last 24 hours. Digging deeper and soaking in the richest of pedagogical gold, being around like-minded passionate educators!

Photos included here are from the Reggio Facebook page as we respectfully are not allowed to take photographs from our time at Reggio Centre’s nor the rich documentation. Suffice to say I can’t write fast enough … 21 pages from today’s sessions.

Visit to L’Arca Centre just fabulous!

Managed to get a tiny gift for staff also (phew)!

DAY 14 (Study Tour)
Stories from Reggio Emilia; Map Project and Wave Project and introduction to ReMida this afternoon. Unexpectedly bumped into Carlina Rinaldi which was a pleasant surprise as she is not speaking this week.


Had hoped to make a visit to see Uncle Jim’s commemorative stone whilst in Italy … now only a remote possibility. James Henry Roby was in the parachute squadron (engineer) and died at only 23 on the 28th December, 1943 at Sangro River where his memorial stone stands.

Sapper James Henry Roby served during the Second World War in the 2nd (Kent) Parachute Squadron  of Royal Engineers and died at only 23 years of age on the 28th December, 1943 at Sangro River where his memorial stone stands.

I pass red poppies each day … Lest We Forget.

Thank you, Uncle Jim.

DAY 15 (Study Leave)
Day 3 of the Reggio Emilia Study Tour. 1/2 day visit to a pre-school centre (Martiri Di Sesso) followed by a concentrated session on the ‘Image of the Child’ with a specific focus on children with special rights.

Finishing the day with a walk to ReMida (photos allowed at ReMida) 🙂

Our opening session was an opportunity to work in an atelier (paper, light, clay or digital). Working to appreciate the qualities of the medium but no one could resist moving toward expression! (Pleased we could take photos in ateliers as long as no children from documentation captured).

Walked past Martin Parr. He was setting up photo shoot in Reggio and police had blocked the street off for him. Major photographic international exhibition here this week!

Catching the high-speed train and of course, was asked to be involved in the “Unity” photo shoot with a few other models.

DAY 17 (Study Tour)
A moving crescendo with Claudia Giudici (President Reggio Children) and “The Ethical Sound”; a current story around the provocation of music … as one child reflected,

“Not only can people have respect for other people … even instruments can have respect for other instruments”

The Australian delegates then joined together for a final evening of festivity before we head our separate ways. As you know, no photos in the centres or presentations but plenty of time to explore the amazing ateliers!

Rome, Italy – Study Leave
Travel to Rome (fast train 300km p/hr)! First peek at the Colosseum… (the moment you see it for the first time) … seeing so many things for the first time! Being a student of the country in whatever way I am able.

Spent the weekend unpacking a kaleidoscope of Roman history! In awe to say the least (and that awareness of the horrors that also occurred here; the Colosseum especially).

To follow Paul’s adventures on his Study Tour, check back at the blog soon!


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