Teacher Professional Development

Since opening in 2012, the Sydney Story Factory has run writing and creativity-based workshops with more than 6,000 students, from year three to year twelve. All workshops are designed to be fun, challenging and engaging. Students are given the opportunity to engage with the process of writing in new and innovative ways - often using other creative arts to provide inspiration. 

We’re not afraid to get a little outrageous to spark the imagination of students, but we’re also very aware of the critical role writing and creativity plays in the social and emotional development of young people. Even when we’re talking about robot birds, or creating strange sound effects in digital stories, we’re also helping young people muster the confidence to tell the stories that are real and important to them.  

“I love seeing new ways to bring creativity into the world. Shortcuts, tools, techniques, structures, whatever it takes to tap the imagination into action, and just as importantly, give expression to that imagination… Thanks to the Sydney Story Factory crew for sharing this wonderful technique and the inspiring story of their work on the Home project... I walked out feeling just a little bit transformed, just a little bit more powerful, just a little bit more connected to both myself and to my community. Magic.” Joy Suliman, after attending Sydney Story Factory’s workshop at the Creative Collective ConnectED Program (template for our Creativity and Community workshop).

“I love seeing new ways to bring creativity into the world. Shortcuts, tools, techniques, structures, whatever it takes to tap the imagination into action, and just as importantly, give expression to that imagination… Thanks to the Sydney Story Factory crew for sharing this wonderful technique and the inspiring story of their work on the Home project... I walked out feeling just a little bit transformed, just a little bit more powerful, just a little bit more connected to both myself and to my community. Magic.”
Joy Suliman, after attending Sydney Story Factory’s workshop at the Creative Collective ConnectED Program (template for our Creativity and Community workshop).

Bringing Creativity to Your Classroom

Sydney Story Factory’s BOSTES-endorsed Teacher Professional Development Workshops provide teachers with the opportunity to learn about writing workshops and classroom activities that can promote creative and critical thinking in students. 

Workshops have been developed by Sydney Story Factory storytellers - a creative and talented bunch who, between them, have edited newspapers and music magazines, taught in classrooms for more than 30 years, completed two masters of creative writing degrees, completed 3.9 teaching degrees, completed a doctorate, written lots of published poetry, undertaken graphic design projects, performed with Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir Street Theatre and ….much more. All of that teaching, creative and critical experience feeds into the day-to-day creation of Sydney Story Factory workshops for young people.

So often, when teachers bring groups of students in for a workshop, they leave saying: wow, I'm going to use that in my classroom!  Now we’re excited to be able to share what we’ve learned along the way. 

Workshops support teachers as they seek to develop units of work and engaging classroom activities for students across the full range of abilities. All Professional Development Workshops include resources for model activities that have been used and refined in Sydney Story Factory workshops. We also provide teachers with a snapshot of the theory and research underpinning our workshops.

The workshops:

Get involved:

  • Individuals - book into the workshop of your choice at the Sydney Story Factory, Redfern, during the July or September school holidays. 
    Three hour workshops (Robot Bird Creative Writing, Creativity and Community, Creating Discovery) cost $150 (plus gst) per person. Our Now See Hear workshop (4 hours) costs $200 (plus gst) per person. See below for dates.
     
  • School groups - we’ll run the workshop/s of your choice on a school development day or after school on a day that suits during term. Bring a group to the Sydney Story Factory, Redfern or, we’ll come to you.
    For school groups we ask for a minimum of 6 and preferably a limit of 20, but will accommodate more participants at an additional cost of $100 per extra person. The standard rate for our three hour workshops (Robot Bird Creative Writing, Creativity and Community, Creating Discovery) are $1,500 (plus gst). Our Now See Hear workshop (4 hours) costs $2,000 (plus gst). Dates and times will be agreed to suit.

BOOK your place in a workshop, or talk with us about running a workshop for your school group. Just complete our booking form and we'll come back to you as soon as we can.

PRINT our flyer for a quick summary of our workshops or to pin on a school noticeboard.

SUBSCRIBE to our Teachers Newsletter for regular updates and announcements of new workshops. 

Workshop Leader, Richard Short
Sydney Story Factory Storyteller-in-Chief
 
Richard oversees the development, delivery and refinement of a wide variety of innovative writing programs for primary and high school students at the Sydney Story Factory. These programs present students with opportunities to engage with creative writing in a non-threatening and supportive environment.

Prior to joining the Sydney Story Factory, Richard taught English and English as a Second Language at secondary schools in the western suburbs of Sydney. In 2014, Richard completed a Master of Creative Writing; his poetry has been widely published both in Australia and internationally. He is an Honorary Associate in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, at the University of Sydney, and has lectured in numerous courses including: Creativity, Youth Culture and The Arts; Integrated Arts and Education.

ROBOT BIRD CREATIVE WRITING: AN INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE THINKING IN THE CLASSROOM

Our Robot Bird workshops are all about encouraging creativity and awareness of the creative process in students. We’ll provide a snapshot of recent writing about creativity and show how these theories and ideas can be used in the classroom to engage and foster creative learners. Expect to work your way through a series of fun, innovative and practical activities that are easily transferred to the classroom. The workshop will also introduce a guide for observing creativity and suggestions for how this can be used to foster creativity in the classroom.

Key elements of the course are:

  • fun, engaging model activities
  • overview of recent research on creativity
  • a guide for observing and reflecting on creativity
  • suggestions for developing new creative writing activities.

Workshops at Sydney Story Factory, Redfern, 2016:

  • Tuesday 12 July - 1:30pm - 5pm (inc 30 min break)  - $150 (plus gst)
  • Wednesday 27 September - 1:30pm - 5pm (inc 30 min break) - $150 (plus gst)

BOOK NOW

3 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 1.2.2; 1.5.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.
 

CREATIVITY AND COMMUNITY: COMMUNITY WRITING PROJECTS

Community writing projects provide schools with the opportunity to engage parents/carers in student learning and for students to create complex real life texts that require problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking. Participants will be guided through the planning of a community writing project, including the development and implementation of a wide variety of teaching activities and strategies that engage students across the full range of abilities and backgrounds.

Participants will critically examine the development and implementation of a community writing project (Home - Mapping the stories of Redfern) undertaken by the Sydney Story Factory. This investigation will include reference to student activities, community engagement, planning, and student agency in education.

The use of Home - Mapping the stories of Redfern (Sydney Story Factory, 2014) as a model text will also provide participants with access to a new, original text to be used in the classroom to broaden student understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. A collection of activities designed for use with Home - Mapping the stories of Redfern will be introduced during the course and each participant will receive an ebook copy of Home

Workshops at Sydney Story Factory, Redfern, 2016:

  • Tuesday 12 July - 9am - 12:30pm (inc 30 min break)  - $150 (plus gst)
  • Tuesday 27 September - 9am - 12:30pm (inc 30 min break)  - $150 (plus gst)

BOOK NOW

3 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 1.2.2;1.5.2; 2.4.2; 3.7.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

 

NOW SEE HEAR: DIGITAL STORIES

Now See Hear digital stories are such a favourite at the Story Factory that we draw straws to decide who will lead them! In this hands-on workshop we’ll take you step-by-step through the magic teaching sequence that has worked with hundreds of students. By the end of the workshop you’ll have grappled with a bunch of teaching strategies and tricks that will help you implement a digital storytelling project with your students. 

Participants will be provided with:

  • information about digital stories;
  • teaching strategies for the integration of ICT;
  • a model for planning and delivering digital storytelling projects in the classroom.

The Now See Hear teaching sequence is flexible and adaptable to the needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, providing teachers with the opportunity to:

  • incorporate differentiated teaching strategies; 
  • promote critical thinking, creative thinking and collaboration in the classroom;
  • engage students with various modes of storytelling - visual, written and oral.

An iPad with the iMovie app is required to complete this workshop. 

Workshops at Sydney Story Factory, Redfern, 2016:

  • Monday 11 July - 10am - 2:30pm (inc 30 min break) - $200 (plus gst)
  • Monday 26 September - 10am - 2:30pm (inc 30 min break) - $200 (plus gst)

BOOK NOW

4 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 1.2.2; 1.5.2; 2.6.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

 

CREATING DISCOVERY

If you (like us!) have been kept awake by the struggle to find time in the school day to work on creative writing with senior students, then this workshop is for you. During the workshop we’ll look at how the flipped classroom and writers’ workshops can be used to best utilise the limited time students have to master the dark art of writing creative pieces for the Area of Study. We’ll suggest some excellent content and also share material you can use to help students overcome the doubts and worries they might have about writing about Discovery. 

Participants will design, structure and plan the implementation of an innovative teaching and learning sequence to support creative writing in the senior classroom. The Flipped Classroom and writers’ workshops will be introduced as a way for teachers to best utilise the classroom time available for creative writing activities/focus. Participants will develop an understanding of the pedagogy behind:

  • the Flipped Classroom
  • Writers Workshop in the high school classroom

Participants will be introduced to teaching strategies which can be used to facilitate writing workshops in the classroom, and develop confidence in the use of the workshop environment as a way to encourage knowledge development, writing skills, and critical and creative thinking in senior students. The curriculum-specific content of the workshop will focus on material designed to assist students with the creative writing component of the Area of Study - Discovery.

Workshops at Sydney Story Factory, Redfern, 2016:

  • Wednesday 13 July - 10am - 1:30pm (inc 30 min break)  - $150 (plus gst)
  • Thursday 28 September - 10am - 1:30pm (inc 30 min break)  - $150 (plus gst)

BOOK NOW

3 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 1.2.2; 3.3.2; 3.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

 

 

Our Teacher Professional Development Workshops are supported by The MacKenzie Family and Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus1.