Posted on 27. May, 2010 in Victoria

Victorian students returning to school after an extended stay at the Royal Children’s Hospital will soon have a new video to help classmates understand their experiences.

Visiting the hospital today, Premier John Brumby and Education Minister Bronwyn Pike announced an interactive animation to help children readjust to school life.

Mr Brumby said some children struggle when they go back to school after a long stay at hospital battling illness.

“Feedback from teachers, parents and children tells us that kids often find it difficult to explain to their classmates what they have been through at hospital,” Mr Brumby said.

“Education is our Government’s number one priority and we want to provide all children access   to the very best education.

“That is why we are providing support to the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute to produce an interactive video for children to watch and show their friends to help with their return to school.”

Ms Pike said the animation would provide kids with tips on how to re-establish and maintain friendships after an extended absence, and how to keep up with class work.

But What If They Laugh? will give classmates and teachers an insight into hospital life and a better understanding of what a student has experienced,” she said.

“The video will be completed later this year, and will be available on the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute website.

“This will be a useful tool for kids who have suffered an illness to return to school to make sure they get the very best opportunities to learn and thrive.”

Ms Pike said children staying at the hospital would access the animation on one of the 41 netbooks donated to the Education Institute by the Brumby Labor Government last year.

A further 60 netbooks were recently donated to the hospital by the Starlight Foundation.

“The netbooks give kids in hospital access to the new Ultranet – an online system that means they can keep up-to-date with school work and stay in touch with classmates,” Ms Pike said.

“Education is the Brumby Labor Government’s top priority and we’re taking action to break down the traditional classroom walls to ensure students at the Royal Children’s Hospital continue to have access to education.”

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