25 Sep 2020
This week students from Black Mountain School visited an O’Connor Cooperative School kindergarten class to read and share Dreamtime stories that they wrote and illustrated. It was a very special moment for the Black Mountain students, as they proudly shared their work and got to experience something new.
Executive Teacher at Black Mountain School, Stephanie Nott, led both the writing action group and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group in school. According to Stephanie, writing for students with special needs doesn’t start with pen and paper or typing on a keyboard.
The key to the program’s success has been making writing activities fun and consistent through weekly practices.
“It’s really important to break down the individual needs of each student and how they learn. Our teachers do a fantastic job of knowing each student and what works best for them,” Ms Nott said.
Bec Andrews is a teacher at Black Mountain School and initiated the ‘Dreamtime Stories’ writing program.
In creating this program, she aimed to provide a platform for the kids to express their thoughts and ideas through writing and creating.
The focus was also to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into the learning program in multiple ways beyond art and music.
“It has been great for the students to have ownership over their stories as well as share them by reading to little kids. At the end of the program, they have this fantastic finished product that they can keep,” Ms Andrews said.
This program has empowered the students to appreciate their talents and confidently express themselves.
They also get a real sense of pride and joy by acknowledging that it is their work getting shared and displayed.
In addition to the students having their very own copy to take home, the Dreamtime stories will also be available for all students to read in the Black Mountain School library.