Education Programs


The Incinerator Gallery provides a stimulating range of inquiry-based education programs for students and educators at all levels, to complement the exhibitions, architecture and local history. Programs are designed around Victorian Curriculum and VCE requirements to foster a deeper appreciation of art through critical and creative thinking.

Student programs are free, last 45-55 minutes and are suitable for kindergarten through primary, secondary and VCE year levels.

Programs are adapted to suit different year levels and student needs. Select from the tour types described below.

Education tours are available from Tuesday to Friday during exhibition seasons, at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. See the Exhibitions program for dates.

Bookings are essential for all programs.

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When you submit the online registration form to request an Incinerator Gallery visit, your arrangements are not final until you have received a confirmation letter via email, which will include information you will need to know about your excursion.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information or to discuss your student group’s specific needs contact Christine by email or call 03 8325 1740.

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Student Programs

Take a tour through the Incinerator’s galleries, exploring the themes, ideas, materials and techniques featured in exhibitions. Be challenged to wonder about and discuss works made by contemporary artists. General exhibition tours are available, as well as programs listed below and tours tailored to the particular needs of a class.

What is Art?

Our response to art is informed by the ways artists apply techniques, materials, processes and technologies, and the way it is displayed. It is also reliant on what the viewer brings to the experience and this guided inquiry assists students to carefully examine artists’ use of colour, texture, shape, material, scale to form considered judgements. This program may include a Visual Thinking Strategies conversation.

Recommended for Early to Middle Years, EAL students and those new to gallery spaces

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Community, Change and Creativity 

Explore the history of the Incinerator Gallery and its significance to the local community and history. Learn how residents campaigned to find a solution to increasing amounts of waste as populations increased. Consider how architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney believed that art and architecture could inspire communities and create change for the betterment of society.

Recommended for Foundation to Middle Years levels

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Exhibition Viewpoints

Designed to complement the Incinerator Gallery exhibition program this tour encourages students to investigate and critique exhibitions. Students view artworks to ask and answer questions that explore the artists’ intended meanings. Students consider the interests and concerns of artists and viewers regarding time, place, philosophies and ideologies, critical theories, institutions and psychology that are relevant to the works.

Recommended for Middle Years students

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Looking to Write

Students begin by looking closely at an artwork or architectural element. They will be asked to describe it by writing down what they notice; colour, shape, tone, mood, or to speculate an idea about it. Students may be invited to consider how the artwork relates to their own life experiences and prior knowledge. They will share their observations and continue with a range of written activities to build on these responses to consider art as inspiration for writing.

Recommended for Middle Years to VCE students

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VCE Student Programs 

The VCE Study Design for Studio Arts states “it is essential that students be provided with experiences where they can directly engage with artworks in the context of the environment in which they are presented.” The Incinerator Gallery can provide an educator to provide teachers with support in the following areas.  

Studio Art: Ideas and Styles in Artwork

Students analyse contemporary artworks in the gallery setting, discussing how art elements and principles can be used to communicate artists’ ideas, and to create aesthetic qualities and styles. Students discuss issues around appropriation and copyright. They are encouraged to participate in discussions that will challenge them to slow down their looking at art to justify their ideas about particular works.

This program addresses key knowledge required for VCE Studio Arts Unit 2 Area of Study 2

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Studio Art: Industry Contexts

Students consider the preparation and presentation of artworks in the Incinerator Gallery exhibition spaces. They will be provided with information regarding staff roles, curatorial processes and methods employed in the display of artworks. Students will learn about how, as a public gallery, exhibition design, education, community engagement and promotional methods are developed and implemented.

This program addresses key knowledge required for VCE Studio Arts Unit 4 Outcome 3 

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Visual Thinking Strategies 

Thinking through art: Using art to deepen learning across the curriculum 

Connect your class with the Incinerator Gallery by becoming a Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) partner school. VTS is a research-based method for facilitating conversations about works of art. In discussions and writing activities students develop visual literacy and practice critical thinking skills. VTS supports language acquisition for all students and teaches the tenets of respectful conversation.

The Gallery partners with a school to provide year-long, classroom-based lessons. Partnering classroom teachers also receive training and class-room coaching in the VTS method. Students take two class trips to the Gallery each year.

VTS is most suitable for Years 4 to 9

To enquire about implementing a VTS partnership at your school contact Christine via email or call 03 8325 1740. 

Visual Thinking Strategies Teacher Professional Learning (2 day program)

9.30am – 3.30pm, Thursday 15 March and Friday 16 March 2018

Program includes lunch and refreshments

Tickets $150 pp

Book here


Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a powerful and exciting student-centred teaching methodology co-developed by cognitive psychologist Abigail Housen and veteran museum educator Philip Yenawine. VTS has been proven to strengthen students’ oral communications, literacy and creative and analytical skills among students of all ages.

VTS uses facilitated discussion to practice respectful, democratic, collaborative problem-solving among students, which transfers to other classroom interactions and beyond.

In this two day program participants will themselves look carefully at selected artworks, talk about what they observe and be encouraged to support their interpretation with visual evidence. Through open-ended inquiry and engagement with visual art, listening to others and hands-on practical experiences participants will learn how to facilitate VTS in their own classrooms and communities.


The VTS pedagogy does not require specialist art knowledge or skills. It enhances other art classroom teaching strategies and curriculum. Participants will leave this program ready to facilitate VTS lessons with their students in their next class.


Participants bring: Notepad, pen, pencil for galleries.


Christine Healey (Curator Education and Community Learning, at the Incinerator Gallery) is an experienced Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) trainer, coach and facilitator. Christine initially trained in VTS in New York (2012), followed up with two fellowships at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (2013 and 2016). Christine introduced VTS and the VTS school partnerships at Heide Museum of Modern Art and is pleased to be bringing this pedagogy to the Incinerator Gallery and schools in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Last updated: Friday, 22 December 2017, 1:21 AM