Children with disabilities star at educational documentary launch
A group of Queensland school children with a range of complex disabilities have featured in an educational documentary produced by The Song Room in conjunction with Mt Ommaney Special School.
Titled ‘Just Imagine’, this documentary is an extraordinary case study into the effects of The Song Room programs on children with special needs, who put on a performance based on the book ‘Imagine’, by renowned children’s author Alison Lester.
The Song Room, in partnership with Mount Ommaney Special school were the lucky recipients of a 2011 NAB Schools First Impact award, and the proceeds were used to commission this documentary with a view towards creating awareness of the positive impact that drama has in engaging students with disabilities in national curriculum learning areas.
Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said “the children were Mount Ommaney Special School students who had achieved remarkable outcomes from an innovative, award winning program developed through a schools and community partnership”.
“The drama focussed program was so successful in engaging the children that they’ve now been able to achieve at an intellectual and social level beyond what was previously evident”, he noted.
Mount Ommaney Special School Education Program Officer Jim Green said “the school approached The Song Room to help develop the program when they noticed that the children showed a level of focus during music sessions that was not evident at other times”.
“The Song Room Teaching Artist Belinda Berrington has worked with the children and mentored our teachers over the past couple of years so that now all teachers at our school incorporate performing arts into the curriculum,” Mr Green said.
“Each class undertook drama based activities dealing with a different part of the story, and staff and parents witnessed an amazing change in the children’s level of engagement almost immediately.”
“For example, although many of the children are totally dependent for their daily care they were curious and excited about the elements of the story their particular group was involved in.”
“They’ve dressed up and pretended they were various characters such as dinosaurs, ants and drummers. We made a film of them all and although our students don’t normally get the opportunity to showcase their achievements we were able to show that film to the whole school community as an end-of-year celebration last year.”
A trailer of the documentary, produced by Soul Vision Films, can be viewed below: