Students write and produce short films based on issues that arise in our day to day lives. All students have the opportunity to suggest an idea for a topic and then work in teams to produce a series of skits set at the school. Each skit deals with an issue or number of issues that affect students and teachers in the day to day operation of our school. The skits are approximately 5-10 minute performances and are based on situations that occur in our classrooms, playground, sports field, canteen etc. The skits are made into a short film to be screened at year meetings, special assemblies, conflict resolution & anti-racism workshops and other occasions. Short films that we have produced to date have been: – “Don’t Pick on My Accent” – “Phone Trouble” – “Rumour Has It” – “Welcoming Safe, Respectful, Learners” The skills we gain from the skits help us in our lives in and out of school. The skits always end with a positive message about our school and what we believe in (our core values).
Merrylands High School, Years 7-12
Overcoming Hatred & Violence
This project arose out of the need to respond to interracial fighting that was occurring in the school and the surrounding community. We needed to find a way that we could talk to each other to overcome the imagined racial divisions. The process of writing the scripts for and producing the short films is all about cooperation. The ties that we have after the project that come from working together help us to understand each other more as we get closer, and to see new perspectives. It’s also given people different views – pushed them to think differently. For example, after the “Rumour Has It” short film, if someone hears rumours now they actually think differently about it – they actually consider whether they should pass on the rumour and what could be the negative effects.
Merrylands High Student Representative Council recently conducted a survey among students which showed that students feel the Through Our Eyes project is helping to build a safe, respectful Success of ‘Through our Eyes’ has inspired the use of technology such as film making to be used in other programs such as the Refugee Transition Program.
The project is timeless and as issues arise, we have a mechanism through which we can deal with them. All students have the opportunity to be involved and we’re going to continue to make sure that this happens. We’re also planning to produce a Vodcast to be published online so that the project can be shared beyond the school community.