Bins provide practical learning opportunity

Hard at work painting the design on the bin.

Students redesigned and painted the school wheelie bins as a part of Nayland College’s first junior intensives week held at the end of last year. Head of Arts department, Mr Friend, and the other art teachers, Ms Radman and Mr Wootton led the project to combine their resources. The opportunity for students to have ownership over their work and direct their learning was provided by the art teachers.

Students saw how their learning experience and hard work had a place in a real world situation. “Learning doesn’t take place inside a classroom that is divorced from reality, or it shouldn’t do,” Mr Friend explained.

The idea stemmed from a site that Ms Radman uses called VisArtsNet. The site is used by art teachers to gather inspiration for their classes. “Someone online had put painted wheelie bins they had done for their assessment at school as part of a NCEA course so that’s where the idea started,” Ms Radman said.

Mr Friend hand-picked students from his junior art class to be involved with painting the bins in his art room. “Students wanted to do something to make the bins more exciting than they were, also to draw attention to them,” he explained.

Nayland College is known for artwork and being involved in the arts so the idea was also inspired from that background. “There’s a history of street art in Nelson, this college campus has got a history of murals around the place so it was a way of combining that,” Mr Friend said.

Students thought the experience was fun and they had a passion for adding more colour to Nayland’s grounds. The process of creating designs and painting the bins brought students together in order to create the best work possible. “It was really fun because we kind of got to get together and brainstorm all of our interests and put it into one big artwork,” art student, Eden Rutherfurd explained.

Nayland’s newly painted bins represent more than just the students’ creativity. Mr Friend said it was about the fact that students here are given the opportunity to find real world success. “I think that that’s what Nayland stands for actually, it’s not being “alternative” or “out-there”, it’s about saying that Nayland stands for allowing a kid to be who they are and providing them the opportunities to demonstrate that.”


The artists and teachers proudly display one of their creations.