Creating an Inclusive Classroom in 2021
Image: First Day
Ideal for upper primary and secondary students, MY:24 includes a number of 12-minute documentaries about the impact of bullying, how to handle conflicts with friends, and valuing differences. These include the episodes 'Jake', 'Dave', 'Faith', 'Justin' and 'Dominic'. Students can also use the free MY:24 App as an alternative way to share their personal stories with new classmates.
The fictional short film First Day (2017) follows main character Hannah as she finishes primary school and begins her secondary schooling. Hannah experiences all the excitement and fear associated with this transition, but her first day of high school is even more significant: it’s the first day she will wear a girl’s uniform to school and go by her chosen name, rather than the boy’s name she was given at birth.
Hannah’s story is explored further in the award-winning series of the same name, which is currently available on ABC iview and through the ACTF Shop. Teaching toolkits for both the film and series aim to encourage inclusive behaviours and support students in their own transitions to secondary school.
For middle to upper primary students, comedy series Hardball shares the ups and downs of settling into a new school. When Mikey moves from New Zealand to Western Sydney, he finds himself in the thick of the ultra-competitive schoolyard game of handball – a sport he had never played back home. He learns the lay of the land and develops enviable handball skills with the help of his new friends, Jerry and Salwa. Focused on the General Capabilities, the free Hardball Teaching Toolkit contains learning tasks for Year 3-6 students.
Little Lunch is another guaranteed hit with this age group. In the episode 'The Germblock', Tamara accuses Melanie of not washing her hands, and she is ostracised as a result. This episode is the perfect provocation for conversations about inclusive behaviours at school, and our free Little Lunch curriculum resource includes suggested learning tasks for Years 3 – 6 students.
And for our youngest students, check out Little J and Big Cuz. This unique animated series was created by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to support the transition to school for Indigenous children and their families. However, teacher feedback tells us that the series is relevant to F-2 students in many classroom contexts, helping them to learn about the routines and expectations at primary school. Find series 1 and 2 streaming on SBS On Demand and select episodes on ABC iview.
Image: Little J and Big Cuz
The ACTF Education team wishes you and your students a wonderful start to the school year.