TRG are proud to announce a new intensive learning program for traumatized students, at the Midland Learning Academy (MLA) in the City of Swan. MLA was launched in 2016 by the WA Minister for Education, Peter Collier, as a therapeutic-engagement model school. MLA works with 20 school-refusal students (students who have been away from school for over 1 year). The teachers and staff at MLA work with students who have experienced extreme trauma, and help them to develop essential skills to reengage with society, as well as to work towards completing their General Certificate of Education.
Scott Corbett, the coordinator of the Theatrical Response Group, will be working with MLA students twice a week to explore problem-solving, resilience and positive communication skills. This initiative aims to increase the students’ confidence, to develop drama skills, and to support them in improving their problem solving strategies.
TRG performers work both as actors and facilitators so that students may participate as ‘spect-actors’. These intensives empower students to research and discuss the issues, and to explore how their own experiences can be represented in performance scenarios. The facilitators and the participating students work together to construct scenarios that address specific issues, which culminate in performances for the students’ wider cohort of peer, parents and siblings. Delivering these final performances creates a ‘ripple effect’ that triggers meaningful discussions about the issues across the school’s wider community.
Scott will use this theatre-in-education method with the students, to involve them proactively in the creative process and help them to develop these skills. One goal of this project, depending on the students’ engagement and confidence levels by the end of the term, will be to hold a theatrical performance by the students at their end-of-term exhibition, with their peers, parents, community members and Department of Education staff in attendance. If this performance does take place, it will be in Week 9 of Term 4 (date TBC).
Scott says “I am looking forward to working with the students at Midland Learning Academy, and I sincerely hope that this will be an experience that they will find both educational and fun, as they harness their creativity, develop their self-esteem and discover their own potential”.