Children, Families & Creative Learning presented by Sydney Opera House
Set your creativity free
The Children, Families & Creative Learning program has engaged 351,681 people digitally and onsite in 2021 with events and experiences that playfully encourage creativity and life-long learning. In 1977, just four years after the Sydney Opera House opened, programming began for children, families and their caregivers to inspire creative thinking in a building synonymous with imagination and innovation.
In 2022, the program has grown with the opening of the Opera House’s Centre for Creativity – a purpose built home for hands-on creative experiences inside the world-renowned building. This expands the breadth of year-round participatory performances, workshops and installations to engage people of all ages and stages on site, in schools, and in homes across Australia and the world.
Tamara Harrison, Head of the Children, Families and Creative Learning program curates the Centre for Creativity public program, the Creative Learning program and rich performance program of the best Australian and international theatre for children, families and caregivers.
Curriculum linked Creative Learning programming for school children and teachers is delivered throughout the year onsite and online. It’s aligned to contemporary learning outcomes, including creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. The main initiatives are:
- Creative Learning – rich on-site workshops, tours and performance experiences that can be packaged to create a full-day out;
- Digital Creative Learning – free live streamed performances, interactive workshops and digital tours. – In 2021 our reach has expanded significantly with 299327 people engaging from the classroom and home-learning settings so far this year;
- Creative Leadership in Learning – a tailored, immersive, three-year program for school leaders to embed creativity in the heart of their school, as well as new teacher professional learning inspired by CLIL; and
- SOH Build - The Centre for Creativity will be home to a new built environment program for secondary students, tertiary students, and professionals, SOH BUILD, enabled in partnership with the Ove Arup Foundation.
The Opera House’s Creative Learning program is Australia's respected destination for the creative development of teachers and students, offering a year-round program of performing arts, digital, hands-on creative and educational experiences that will expand in 2022 with the opening of the Centre for Creativity.
School students can experience the Opera House by attending performances and tours and workshops in STEAM and First Nations that enrich their understanding of their world and use the Sydney Opera House as a real-world catalyst for embodied learning.
Primary and secondary students around NSW - and across Australia - can still visit the Opera House virtually through our Digital Creative Learning program. Live, interactive, and free to all Australian public schools, this program also offers unique digital excursions including author talks, interactive workshops and tours that take students behind-the-scenes at Bennelong Point and extend the live performance program for deeper learning.
In 2022, the Opera House will launch a flagship built environment program for secondary and tertiary students, Sydney Opera House BUILD, enabled by the Ove Arup Foundation. Comprising a design challenge for secondary students, a creative lab for tertiary students, and an education series for the general public, BUILD helps students develop the skills they need to help solve the problems of today and the future.
Stream, read & listen
What happens when the roles are reversed, and children are put in charge of their own education? The Sydney Opera House took over Liverpool Boys High in a radical three week program where regular lessons were replaced with workshops, mentoring and performances.
How does a treasured childhood classic become a living, breathing three-dimensional theatre tale? Lenny Ann Low looks at the art of adapting two iconic picture books for the Opera House stage.
Students from Lansvale Public tell history and humour with musician Luke Escombe
Our podcast series Arty Farty – A Podcast for Kids has been created especially for Kid Creatives. We’re excited to share special moments, insights, tips, tricks and more from kids themselves, and creative types who appear here at the House.
In celebration of Ted Prior’s beloved series of children’s picture books, we’ve crafted these easy to follow steps for you to create your very own Grug costume at home.
Finnish educator and author Pasi Sahlberg writes on the chasm of inequality that exists in the Australian school system.
Head of Children, Families and Creative Learning
Tamara joined the Opera House in 2020, bringing extensive national and international experience in the arts and culture sector across a range of performance genres.
She has held a number of senior positions at The School of Life Australia, Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and Malthouse Theatre, across programming, sector and audience development, partnerships and communications.
As Executive Producer/CEO of Polyglot Theatre, Harrison was responsible for an annual program of projects and performances for young people, as well as leading the company’s international collaborations and touring. Most recently, she has worked with Circus Oz and The Ethics Centre, consulting on international programming and talks and ideas events.
“My ambition for our program is to showcase the best performances and create space for children and young people to fall in love with their own imaginations – to be inspired to dream, to think differently, to understand other people’s experiences, and envision how they want the world to be.
“Research shows that arts and creativity help teach empathy, social skills and collaboration in children and young people. It also improves the whole child: their mental health and wellbeing, short-term academic outcomes and long-term life outcomes, which leads to richer and stronger communities. They will inherit an increasingly complex and challenging world. So we focus our work on equipping them with the know-how so they can trust their own creativity to solve the problems of tomorrow.”