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Plenty Valley Christian College celebrates ‘HeART of the Valley’

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By Grace Frost

Plenty Valley Christian College, PVCC, hosted its HeART of the Valley event earlier this month for the first time since the pandemic, celebrating talented students in the music, art, drama, technology, humanities and media departments.

First hosted in 2017, HeART of the Valley is renowned in the PVCC community for being an interactive arts event.

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Principal John Metcalfe estimated the event attracted 1000 attendees to the school on September 15.

Multiple stations simultaneously operated across the school grounds, with kindergarten to year 12 student artwork and woodwork projects displayed in classrooms, media projects playing in a dedicated outdoor cinema area and drama performed in the amphitheatre, all while food technology students hand delivered snacks baked onsite to attendees.

Families gathered around fire pits to listen to student and teacher bands perform against the valley backdrop, while young students ran between each station to collect stamps in their HeART of the Valley booklets, beaming as they showed parents and friends their artworks.

High school students dressed in elaborate costumes, from Mario and Luigi to Thing 1 and Thing 2, entertaining younger students and handing out lollies.

The recently-renovated high school area was used for the first time in the event’s history, with the new undercover seating area hosting a piano for performances, seating space operating as a dedicated cinema area and the new clock tower central and open for visits.

Mr Metcalfe said he was ‘so proud’ of the students for using their gifts, and that the event showcased the importance of gathering to share common values and vision.

“Heart of the Valley is a showcase of the blessing of God-given creativity in all aspects of human life including the arts, sciences, technology and humanities studies at Plenty Valley Christian College,” he said.

“After a COVID induced two-year break it was heartwarming to see parents and students of all ages enjoy the community and fun of an evening together.

“It was worth all the effort and hard work from the students and our staff organising committee headed by Mrs Lucille Warwick.”

HeART of the Valley began in 2017 when Mrs Warwick, who was the learning extension coordinator at the time, recognised a lack of emphasis on arts and technology at the college.

Mrs Warrick said she designed the event as a learning activity to encourage creativity in students, wanting to celebrate the variety of student creativity in music, art, wood technology, food technology, film, robotics, Italian activities, poetry and drama.

“The design allows spaces for any creativity and provides a smaller audience for building confidence in performers,” she said.

“Although there are lots of people at the event, each performance has a small group of people watching as the performances happen simultaneously.

“It’s inspiring to see how creative people are and how the community has embraced this event.”

Senate members remained behind after school hours to prepare the BBQ and help decorate the school in preparation for HeART of the Valley.

Members of the Student Senate have been quick to get involved with the event each year, remaining behind after school this year to set up seating around food trucks, start a barbecue for the ‘famous’ Plenty Valley sausage sizzle, and to decorate seating areas in fairy lights, streamers, banners and artwork.

With the recent addition of a visual communication and design subject to the school curriculum and the upcoming 2023 musical production of ‘High School Musical’, the college is aiming to have more talent to celebrate at future instalments of HeART of the Valley.

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