Students from Blacktown Youth College, Lawson, won first prize in the recent Blue Fringe Short Film Festival for their film Letter Burger (15-18 years stop motion/animation) and the literature prize (15-18 years) for the short story, A New Beginning, by Lily-May Pitts.
Timetables this year have been carefully programmed to allow daily morning extracurricular time for Stage 5 students. After arriving for breakfast club, classes start with group projects in the studio, with teacher and film/actor practitioner, Shane Jarvis.
The common objective of this class time is to address students' emotional and social well-being. Physical engagement, mental stimulation and emotional grounding centres students for the day.
It has been a big year for the school, with students demonstrating how they respond to change and challenge, moving from their old school site to their newly renovated school building just up the road in Lawson, thanks to Blue Mountains City Council.
"Our students have shown great adaptability this year through a significant time of change," said Sally Galovic, the campus co-ordinator.
Our students have shown great adaptability this year through a significant time of change.- Sally Galovic
"Even positive life events such as moving to a new school site that is well appointed and so comfortable is stressful, but our kids are embracing the change and new experiences with enthusiasm, fun and - a lot of the time - laughter. Teachers have done exactly the same."
In the process students are exposed to opportunities to explore ideas, learn new skills and produce ways of sharing stories that are relevant and central to them, via a means that is safe, secure and reliable.
Feeling vulnerable is intimidating for most people and can seem impossible for young students with a life and story unique to themselves.
English teacher, Paige Murray, employs specialist strategies to assist students to explore storytelling and creativity to develop authentic voice and confidence. This semester, she has facilitated a student newsletter that is edited and created solely by the student cohort. It is vital to her that their work is not over edited by teachers - that it is a true representation of who they are and the stories they want to tell, with one of her students, winning the illustrious prize for literature in her age group at the Blue Fringe Festival.
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