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School is back, after weeks of unstructured play, lounging around the swimming pool, and plunging into the ocean. Days with little to no structure are behind us, as parents prepare school lunches, and primary and secondary students pack their school bags, ready for school.

But how ready are students?

Associate Professor Stacey Walters, Associate Professor Leanne Lester and Professor Donna Cross suggest that transitioning into high school, or a new school can be a difficult time for some students.

According to their research, some of the key worries students have are:

how much homework they would have to complete

finding their way around or getting lost

classes being hard

unfamiliar teachers

and getting to class on time.

The Raising Children parenting website also suggests new students are worried about learning new routines, making new friends, and adjusting to increased workload.

So how can parents, teachers and educational theatre support young people starting at a new school for the first time, or transitioning into high school?

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Our urge to tell stories is innate, and takes many different forms. Gossip. Literature. Films. Television. Theatre. Our insatiable need for stories is driven by a need to understand and connect with others. It’s also a way to understand the world around us. As psychotherapist Anthony de Mello states: 'The shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story'.  

The power of fables

Storytelling has been used since ancient times to educate, entertain and connect. People once sat around the fire, sharing stories with strong moral and educational values. These stories, known as fables, were told and retold over generations. 

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How Theatre in Education Helps with Student Empathy 1

Recent psychological research suggests that empathy is the key ingredient in forming positive relationships. Empathy helps us connect with others, and understand their thoughts and feelings. This helps us know how to respond and engage with others.

What is empathy?

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Cyberbullying Australia 1

By Amy Williams - Guest Contributor  

As teachers, the battles we are fighting these days, together with parents, to keep children safe, can feel impossible to beat at times, due to the internet which, along with the good, has also brought the bad. From inappropriate content to online predators, there are risks to kids being allowed to surf online.

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RUOK

New Survey Reveals Aussies Spend more time with Screens than Quality Time with Family and Friends

A NEW national survey from R U OK? has revealed Australians spend an average of 46 hours of their weekly downtime looking at their TVs and digital devices, compared to an average of six hours engaging with family and friends.

The suicide prevention charity has also revealed that around half of Australians spend two hours or less of their weekly downtime connecting with the people who matter to them.

R U OK? Campaign Director Rebecca Lewis said the research has highlighted that we’re more intimately acquainted with our devices than the highs and lows of our families’ and friends’ lives. 

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