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Stories from the Reef illustration

Stories from the Reef

Selected dates in Term 1 - 4

Utilising creative arts, theatre activities and storytelling, students explore self-expression and playful exchange, inspired by the underwater life of the Sydney Opera House's Artificial Reef Project.

In the Centre for Creativity | Sydney Opera House Presents | Schools

Inspiring sustainability through creativity

Inspired by the Sydney Opera House Artificial Reef Project, students will learn through a series of creative arts activities in a sensory and immersive experience. These activities will be centred around self-expression and imaginative play, taking on characters you might encounter in the artificial reef, and performing imagined narratives and stories as a group.

Through collaborative making, the students will create their own underwater world using recycled materials in new and unusual ways. Combined with drama, storytelling and movement the workshop will culminate in a short curated show and tell.

The foundation of the workshop explores underwater ecosystems, sustainability, and plastic waste. It aims to increase students' sensitivity and understanding about healthy harbours and our relationship to caring and protecting our natural environments.

In this workshop, students will:

  • learn about the ecosystems of the harbour surrounding the Sydney Opera House and how artificial reefs are made and work to support new aquatic growth
  • collaborate with peers to create characters, small artworks and storylines that culminate in a short play or presentation
  • develop their ability to express themselves and communicate thoughts about their relationship to the natural world
  • learn about the ways the Sydney Opera House, and other organisations, can contribute to positively impacting the environment and community through sustainability projects

Stories from the Reef is a Creative Learning Workshop developed by Sarah-Vyne Vassallo with the Creative Learning Team at the Sydney Opera House.

Curriculum Links

Each Creative Learning Module is devised to align with the Australian National Curriculum cross-curricular priorities and general capabilities, in particular critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding, intercultural understanding, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture priority and Sustainability priorities.

Design and Technology: ACTDEK004 - Explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to produce designed solutions. Eg. exploring facilities in local environments for accessibility and environmental impact, for example location of bike tracks and sporting fields using digital maps to view local area
Mathematics: Measurement and Geometry (Shape) ACMMG022 - Recognise and classify familiar two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects using obvious features. Eg. focusing on geometric features and describing shapes and objects using everyday words such as 'corners', 'edges' and 'faces'
Science: Understanding Biological Sciences ACSSU002 - Living things have basic needs, including food and water. Eg. recognising the needs of living things in a range of situations such as pets at home, plants in the garden or plants and animals in bushland; and recognising how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples care for living things
Science: As Human Endeavour ACSHE013 - Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events. Eg. recognising that observation is an important part of exploring and investigating the things and places around us; and sharing observations with others and communicating their experiences
Science: As Human Endeavour ACSHE035 - People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things. Eg. identifying the ways humans manage and protect resources, such as reducing waste and caring for water supplies.

Program information

These newly developed Creative Learning Modules use the site and building of the Sydney Opera House as a catalyst for learning about science, technology, engineering, arts, architecture and maths - transforming the way we understand STEM subjects and ideas through the creative and performing arts.

The Modules can be delivered alongside a tour of the House exploring First Nations perspectives, the architectural practice of Jorn Utzon and his collaborators, as well as the contemporary uses of the site as a world-class performing arts venue. All Modules include pre- and post-learning activities, as well as a range of video resources designed for students to develop lateral connections with content for deeply embedded learning experiences.

Venue Information

In line with the NSW Public Health Order, venue capacity is currently limited to 75%. This includes all performances in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre and Utzon Room. Please note that you may be seated directly alongside other patrons.

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Schools

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

Frequently Asked Questions - Venue

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