Once the presentations have been delivered to the students it is vital that there is some sort of follow-up activity conducted by the school. Research shows that a ‘stand alone’ information session is not best practice and DARTA strongly encourages teachers to take some time to discuss the content of the presentation. This does not have to be a formal lesson, with a simple classroom discussion likely to assist the students in working through the messages delivered during the session.
To assist teachers with this some support materials have been provided:
Student Activities: These downloadable sheets provide a number of simple classroom activities that can be conducted after a DARTA student presentation. The teacher does not need any drug knowledge to conduct these activities and they have been designed to encourage classroom discussion on some of the topics raised during the presentation.
Scenario Activities: During the presentations substances may be discussed that teachers wish to examine in more detail in follow-up sessions. These scenarios and accompanying activities can be used as part of a ‘strength-based approach’ to drug education. They have been designed to introduce and/or strengthen a range of skills including identifying risks, decision-making, refusal skills, and help-seeking. Background information, as well as key messages relating to the substances dealt with in the scenarios has also been included to help stimulate classroom discussion.
Fact sheets: A series of fact sheets have been written, many of which provide additional information on topics raised during the presentation. These include ‘How to look after a drunk friend’ and ‘alcohol poisoning’ and students can be directed to these if they want more information or they can be printed off and distributed after the session.
Useful websites and resources: A list of DARTA recommended websites for teachers has been made available that provide good quality alcohol and other drug information. In addition, links to a number of web-based resources that can be incorporated into a school’s drug education program have been included.
Where to get help: Sometimes a student presentation can lead to a young person reaching out to a teacher for assistance in relation to an alcohol or other drug issue. It is imperative that teachers follow school policy in this area and utilize appropriate staff to assist the student. However, there are agencies and organisations that provide anonymous and confidential information and advice to those that need it. Contact details for these have been provided.