– Sheree Vertigan, President, Australian Secondary Principals Association
ASPA fully recommends and endorses these high quality resources to all secondary teachers and schools.
Video and Extensive Teacher’s Guide
The aim of this program is to motivate students to discuss and explore the dynamics of relationships and develop an understanding of what happens and why. In the process this program addresses a number of factors, including:
- Friendship groups
- Emerging sexual relationships
- The need to belong
- Peer pressure
- Power and control
- Social standing
- Shared values
- Communications skills
- Supportive and unsupportive friendship
This Stories of Us education resource is composed of a dramatised Video and a 36 page Teacher’s Guide.
The program is principally intended for use in the Health and Physical Education stream. Because of its realism the film also forms an excellent the basis for extension activities in English or can be used as a model for student Drama and/or Video productions.
The suggested target age group is Year 9, however its use need not be restricted to this year.
The Teacher’s Guide
The Teacher’s Guide outlines how the resource is used over a number of classes with step-by-step instructions, discussion starters, summary notes and extensive teacher support material.
The film presents the story of two ‘students’ as they deal, in their own way, with the given issue. The objective is to engage, rather than tell – to motivate students to discuss and explore the dynamics of the issues and develop an understanding of what happens and why. With the aid of the Guide the young audience are asked a series of open questions as they explore the issues in-depth. At each stage the Guide clearly indicates the territory to be explored, and provides additional information for teachers should any details need clarification.
The Support & Research section lists a number of websites for teachers seeking further information on the issues. The Guide also details a number of relevant MindMatters extension activities.
Because of their realism the videos also form an excellent basis for extension activities in English or Drama.
A preview of the Teacher’s Guide can be downloaded here as a PDF document.
There are two versions of the film provided.
The Play Version is played without interruption, with a prompt at the end to refer to the Teacher’s Guide for questions to begin the discussion. In this version the story is left intentionally unresolved to maximise student engagement in the discussion.
The Segmented Version repeats the main program but with a series of pause points (with Teacher’s Guide questions) for a more in-depth discussion. At the end the main characters tell us how they resolved their situations – with a positive outcome.
The duration the Play Version is 16 minutes and the Segmented Version is 17 minutes.
A 5 minute preview of the film is available at the top of this page.
The film’s story centres on two Year 10 students, Sophie and Gary. Sophie is friends with Rose and Sarah but she’s restless and finds herself drawn to the ‘cool group’ in the class – led by Rachel. Gary is fairly new to the school and seems to get along well with his mates Marcus and Steven. He’s also taken an interest in Sophie – but they’ve yet to go out together. Marcus had been seeing Rachel but last weekend she broke up with him. However Marcus hasn’t got the message. He behaves as if all is well, even telling Gary they had sex together – in turn pressuring Gary to do the same with Sophie…
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This program’s film was produced at Mercedes College in Adelaide, South Australia. Over a two month period filmmaker Christopher Faull worked with the Year 10 Drama students exploring the subject, developing characters, then workshopping the scripts. The students performed all the main acting roles in the dramatised videos, and fulfilled all of the secondary roles in supporting the professional film crew. Every detail of the story and its staging was approved by the students, and every word of dialogue is their own.