Helping students to concentrate at school

2 July 2014

Two third year Bachelor of Health Sciences students have been placed at Dubbo West Public School for the past seven weeks by the Compass Occupational Therapy (OT) program.

Theresa Do and James Khoury, both from Sydney, have been working with five students from the infants section of the school to help detect early motor delay.

"We've been working with the selected students each day, mainly on the fine motor skills," James said. "Basically, if a student is fidgeting in class we want to work out how and why this is happening."

Theresa said there was also a large focus on holding pencils and letter writing. "The students were referred to us by their teachers," Theresa said. "We then had two weeks of observation in the classroom before we performed assessment tasks to base our activities on."

As a requirement of their university degree, Theresa and James have to log a specific amount of hours of clinical placement. Both agreed that the experience of working in a regional area has opened their eyes to the opportunities which lie outside of a metropolitan area.

"We've both found everyone out here to be really friendly," Theresa said. "You don't really find that many people in a big city who will give you the time of day."

The University of Sydney's Compass program seeks to address the under-representation in higher education of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and regional students.

Contact: Sylvia Utami

Phone: 02 8627 8505

Email: 401d0e202a0b1c33204a5924081817362d341a40532001662e17