Assessment Samoa and Tonga and that in the



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Heights High Season 1 Episode 1

Full Episode (cost $2.99):

Jonah Section of Episode one:

Ja’mie Section of Episode one:

Mr G section of episode one:


The chosen artefact is episode one of the TV series
Summer Heights High. The show focuses on three characters Jonah Takalua a year
nine student originating from Tonga, Ja’mie King a year eleven private school
student participating in a school exchange and also Greg Gregson also known as
Mr G a drama teacher. All these characters are the fictional school Summer
Heights High and are played by the actor Chris Lilly. The TV series Summer
Heights High was created and Written by Chris Lilly who is an Australian
comedian and television producer. The show depicts a variety of representations
of adolescents through the opinions/interpretation of adults some of these are;
Adolescents are naive regarding race and what impact that has on the individual
in the school/society setting, Disruptive students are a waste of time and are
just bad behaved students rather than students that have not been catered to
and lastly the type of school an adolescent attends dictates the quality of
citizen the student becomes. These are all representations that have come from
the episode and consequently the adults that have produced it while these may
be dramatisations some degree of these representations could be evident in
everyday life.

Throughout the episode of Summer Heights high there
are many references to the various races within the school more particularly
from the adolescent characters Jonah Takalua and Ja’mie King.  The students show naivety towards the idea of
race within the school setting particularly in regards to how each race is
perceived by other high school students, the character Jonah makes reference to
the term FOB which stands for fresh off the boat Jonah talks about the meaning
of FOB being people from islander decent particular Samoa and Tonga and that in
the school yard this group has a ‘reputation for being really tough’ (Summer
Heights High, 2007). This representation of adolescents and in particular their
perception of the islander teens and people is something that is dramatised in
the show but also something that is prevalent in today’s schools with
adolescents carrying and idea about various races and therefore forcing an idea
on a group of people that the idea may not relate to.  Although the idea is an innocent one that
adolescents do not acknowledge as wrong the result of splitting people from
different races based on the perception of their race causes friction and
confrontation across the school setting as well as society in general. As well
as the islander perception in Summer Heights High there are touches on the
stereotype produced for those teens and people with Asian decent that they are
really smart or nerdy people this is the same result as the islander perception
that it is spread across the school and society. The stereotyping occurring in
the high schools is something that is being continued into later life and this
continuation over time has resulted in the general perception that these
stereotypes are true. As well as racial stereotypes in the school setting there
are also many other stereotypes based on behavioural issues.

The episode of Summer Heights High makes reference to
various behavioural issues that occur within the classroom particularly Jonah
Takalua who has various anger and behavioural issue. Jonah’s English teacher
Miss Sarah Wheatley treats Jonah as a waste of time student who has behavioural
issues within the classroom, she blames Jonah for his lack of interest and
inability to understand what is required of him within the classroom and his
class work. Miss Wheatley treats  Jonah as
though he chooses to not understand and chooses to be disinterested in the class
work being completed she does not take into consideration the learning issues
that Jonah has. The activities that Miss Wheatley creates as part of the
classroom bores Jonah and does not take into account his learning style and his
inability to read and write properly this means that Jonah becomes distracted
and disruptive. The stereotype created by some teachers within the classroom is
those that students who are disruptive and distracted are wastes of time and
that they don’t deserve the time of the teacher. This representation of
adolescents is one that spreads across students in general as some students are
either unaware or don’t care about the students that are unable to connect with
the lessons being run. For those students who are in a classroom participating
in activities that do not take into account different learning styles they can
be labelled as dumb or disinterested, ‘Those who use less favored learning styles often
find themselves in lower classes, with various not-so-complimentary labels and
sometimes lower quality teaching. This can create positive and negative spirals
that reinforce the belief that one is “smart” or “dumb”.’ (Learning
styles online, 2017). The representation of the stereotype in Summer Heights
High is exaggerated from real life but it is something that occurs in the
school setting today and is something that between some teachers can be
promoted through conversations revolving around the students in question. As
well as the distracted/disinterested stereotype there is also stereotypes
revolving around the type of school that adolescents attend.



Throughout the first episode of Summer Heights High
there are multiple references to the quality of public schools and what that
means for the students and their future within society versus that of private
school students. Some students particularly those from the private school
sector believe that they are better or a higher quality person to those that
attend the public schools. The character Ja’mie King is particularly prejudice
towards the public school students well she is on school exchange her belief is
that public school students are likely to become ‘wife beaters and rapists’
(Summer Heights High, 2007) this belief comes from the her limited experience
in the public school sector. This representation of private school students is
one that although not as dramatic in today’s school setting but is still
prevalent in private schools with students believing that they are better students
than those in the public schools. One of these beliefs that come from private
school students is that private school students are ‘more likely to get into
uni, and make a lot more money’ ((Summer Heights High, 2007). This
representation although dramatised is something that occurs in schools and is
passed on from adolescents to adults and continues throughout generations
changing societies views on the public school system.

The TV show Summer Heights High provides various
representations of how society views adolescents within the school setting
although these representations are dramatised to a degree aspects are still
prevalent in school today. The characters Jonah Takalua and Ja’mie King are the
two characters that best represent adolescents within today’s views they all
range from behavioural, racial and social stereotypes these are stereotypes
that are created within society and taken into the school setting impacting on
individuals throughout their life.













Summer Heights High, television
program, Australian Broadcasting corporation, 2007

Learning-styles-online, 2017, Overview of Learning Styles, ONLINE
Available at:
Accessed 24 may 2017