Stories of Us: StressClassroom Program (Secondary)
One of a series of film-based programs created in collaboration with students, teachers and their communities. The series uses storytelling and interactive design to promote positive relationships and behaviour – to change school culture and help students flourish.
“ASPA fully recommends and endorses these high quality resources to all secondary teachers and schools.”
Sheree Vertigan, President, Australian Secondary Principals Association
Video and Extensive Teacher’s Guide
The aim of this program is to motivate students to discuss and explore the dynamics of stress and develop an understanding of what happens and why. In the process this program addresses a number of factors, including:
- Family, school work and financial pressures
- Emerging sexual relationships
- Peer pressure
- Privacy and shared personal information
- Changing friendships and alliances
- Social standing
- Supportive and unsupportive friendships
- Positive versus negative ways to deal with stress
- Consequences of stress and associated behaviour
- Alcohol and driving
- Building resilience
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 10, 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.
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 23 minutes 11 seconds and the Segmented Version is 25 minutes.
A 5 minute preview of the film is available above on this page.
The film’s story centres on Travis and Anna, two Year 11 students dealing with the pressures of study, family and friends. Travis’ parents have recently separated and continue to argue – often about Travis. Having difﬁculty keeping up with his school work, Travis foolishly cheats on a Biology assignment, forges his mother’s signature on the parent notiﬁcation card and now has to deal with the consequences. In contrast, Anna’s life seems relatively happy and yet for some reason she lies to her father about having already done her homework, then secretly works late into the night…
This program’s film was produced at Marryatville High School in Adelaide, South Australia. Over a two month period filmmaker Christopher Faull worked with the Year 11 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.
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Program guides are distributed as a PDF download and the videos can be streamed or downloaded.