Students at Taree West Public School students are making short films about
Positive Behaviour for Learning.
After seeing their work at Taree Public and Taree High Schools, Principal
Donna Bensch commissioned Forster Films to work with Taree West students.
"The films explain Positive Behaviour for Learning really well, to children
as well as to adults, so it is really clear for people to see what PBL is,
what it stands for, and what it means for the kids at Taree West. I'm proud
of the students who made them."
"I am very impressed by the professional level of the films that have been
made," she said.
Ms Bensch said she sees multl-media as an important asset to today's
teacher's repertoire, and pointed out that tTe new Australian Curriculum
includes many opportunity for teachers to use film media in their classes.
"We expect other Australian schools to use them as PBL teaching aids as
well," said filmmaker Leah New. "They are very engaging, great music with
lots of action, and are especially suitable for the target audience of
Filmmakers Greg Smith and Leah New have been working with Taree West Year
5/6 enrichment class one afternoon a week for Terms 2 and 3.
"We enjoy working with Primary students," said Greg Smith. "They are
enthusiastic about expressing their ideas with film technology. These
children in particular are verytalented. There are many great actors in the
class, a number of students who are very interested in camerawork, a few who
excel in researching, and one incredibly gifted musician.
"Year 6 student Mitchell Brown was so talented that we ended up featuring
him playing the clarinet at various locations around Taree West campus.
"Many younger teachers are excited by the new Australian Curriculum
recognising film media as a dynamic and engaging teaching aid.
"The short films are about Positive Behavioural issues such as wearing a hat
in the sun, being respectful to other students, being kind and considerate
to others, being responsible for the environment.
"The students basically work out a way of presenting the message, then we
film it. About two thirds of the class like being actors in front of the
camera, and about one third like being researchers and writers and camera
crew, on the other side of the camera. This is usually the way it goes in
"We have been trialling a new method during our time at Taree West where we
split the large class size of 30 into smaller groups, which then go on to
engage in their own autonomous creative project. Anything from storyboarding
to location scouting to setting up the tripod, camera and mics.
"Taree West Year 5/6 class has 11 iPads. During the project the crew have
been excited to experiment with getting wrap-around shots, in which a number
of students film the same scene from a number of iPads then link the shots
together in edit. Like The Matrix, only low budget."
A number of Forster Films productions are already on the senior students
syllabus at local schools, and one on drink/driving was recently bought by
Dept Education for Distance Education.
Forster Films is the filmmaking arm of Forster Film Festival, which has been
screening a short film festival in the local area for over 6 years. Forster
Films has been making films with schools in the local area for a number of
years. They are partnered with ABC, Australian Children's Television
Foundation, and Metroscreen and have won a number of awards for their work.
Two years ago the NSW Attorney General, also called Greg Smith, gave strong
support to their work after watching their movie Respect.
Taree West School has adopted a Whole School Approach to bring about
positive behaviour; Positive Behaviour for Learning [PBL]. This approach has
a strong emphasis on teaching appropriate behaviours and providing systems
of support to bring about these positive behaviours.
PBL is focused on proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and
supporting appropriate student behaviours to create a positive school
environment. The aim of Positive Behaviour for Learning is to actively teach
and reinforce desired behaviour while implementing consistent, reasonable,
mostly positive intervention to address challenging behaviours. Preserving
and building child's self esteem and image as well as encouraging self
monitoring of behaviour are vital components of the positive approach.
Taree West has three school rules: Respect, Responsibility and Care.
Within each of these rules they encourage appropriate behaviours, which are
explicitly taught each fortnight. Data shows that when PBL is implemented
with integrity it helps reduce problem behaviour and increase academic