BSSC has recently been the setting for research by two fourth-year students studying Occupational Therapy Practice (OTP) at La Trobe University, Bendigo.

Erin and Amy set out to develop a handwriting program for secondary students whose pen skills are a barrier to their learning.

While much has been written about the impact of handwriting challenges for primary students, there is little in the literature about interventions for secondary students.

The future occupational therapy practitioners began with some in-depth research with around 20 BSSC students who described difficulties with legibility, speed, letter formation, spacing of words and various other issues.

The method used was based on the ‘CO-OP’ approach—Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance—which is a participant-led approach.

“Basically the students were asked what they want to change,” Erin explained.

The next step was the development of a series of interventions. This week was the first week that Amy and Erin have had the chance to implement—and test—all they have developed.

The original plan was that the OT students would remain onsite at BSSC for another four weeks. However, their project is one of probably thousands that are now extensively impacted due to the coronavirus restrictions.

“Seeing the progress we made so quickly we are disappointed we can’t follow through and see the positive results,” Amy said. “But we really want to thank all the staff and students from BSSC who were part of the project. They were fantastic to work with!”