Lockie leonard teacher resource

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Strand Two: Transition and adolescence
Activity 5: A new town, new school and new hormones
Level: Years 6/7 – 8/9

KLA outcomes: English, The Arts, SOSE, Health and Physical Education, Personal Development


Personal development

English and Media studies

  • adolescence

  • coping with challenges

  • growing up

  • identity and individuality

  • masculinity

  • peer pressure

  • relationships

  • transition

  • adaptation

  • appropriate and effective communication

  • genre

  • inter-textuality

  • screen acting

  • screen narrative

  • signs, codes and conventions

  • stereotyping


The activities in this section deal with moving to a new town and starting over. Students explore the physical and emotional changes that can occur due to resettlement and the advantages and disadvantages of a new school and new friends. It also explores the impact of change and transition on a teenager and asks students to develop strategies about how to cope with change in their own life.


  • Examine issues of transition and deconstruct how they are portrayed and dealt with in Lockie Leonard.
  • Explore the concept of adolescence, particularly the physical and emotional changes due to puberty.

  • Analyse how film makers communicate Lockie’s anxieties and emotional experiences.

  • Adapt the messages and advice provided through the series to their own life experiences.

Teaching and Learning activities

Each strand contains activities organised in two main components:

  • the discussing’ component: students will use individual and group talk to come to understandings about the issues and characters and to explore the significance of those understandings (e.g. for their own lives).

  • the doing component: students will use their understandings and explorations in order to do something – for example, perform or tell a story, create a product, transform some aspect of the series.


  • Lockie Leonard TV series, Episodes: 2, 6, 7, 8

  • Lockie Leonard novels by Tim Winton

    • Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo,1990

    • Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster, 1993

    • Lockie Leonard, Legend
      , 1997

  • Question sheets:

    • Question sheet 12: Starting over

    • Question sheet 13: Hormones

    • Question sheet 14: Zits!

    • Question sheet 15: First kiss
  • Worksheets:

    • Worksheet 14: Survival Guide

    • Worksheet 15: Orientation camp

  • Clips: (4)

    • Lockie Leonard:

    • Episode 2 , Clip: Rites of passage

    • Episode 6, Clip: Puberty

    • Episode 7, Clip: Pimples

    • Episode 8, Clip: 13th Birthday

The Leonard family moves to Angelus from the city (Perth) in order for Sarge to take up duties at the local police station. This is the first of many changes for Lockie – not only does he move into a new town and a new home, he is also starting high school in a town where he knows no one. This is all at a time when puberty is hitting and hormones are wreaking havoc. In this section, students can explore how the series portrays this time of change.
a) Rites of passage
Change is often marked by a ritual. In Lockie Leonard Episode 2, Stormy Monday, both Lockie and his father undergo rituals as one begins high school and the other takes up his position at the Angelus police station.
As a class, view the clip “Rites of passage” and have students respond to the following questions using Question sheet 12: Starting over

Teachers could organise the class into three (3) smaller groups to discuss the following questions.

  1. How are Lockie and the Sarge coping with the thought of their first days?
  2. What filming techniques are used to encourage the viewer to feel sympathy for Lockie, to see events through his eyes?

  3. What do you think of Egg’s advice to Lockie? How does Egg believe that wearing the ‘Vegemite with pride’ will help Lockie?

  4. Compare Lockie’s first day to the Sarge’s first day. Is it any better? Why or why not?

b) Hormones
Not long after moving to Angelus, Lockie reaches puberty. To convey the effect of this stage of development, the producers exaggerate the impact of hormones and use the metaphor of young boys on the rampage.
As a class, view the clip “Puberty” and have students respond to the following questions using Question sheet 13: Hormones

Questions for individual or group discussion:

  1. When the scene opens, Lockie says that he’s happy and life is good. What images are used to suggest this?

  2. A stark contrast is created between the time before and after the hormones arriving. Why do you think Boof and his gang are used to portray the hormones?

  3. Look at the visual codes (e.g. costumes, lighting, camera angles etc) used in each of the segments with Boof and his gang. How are viewers encouraged to think about the various versions of Boof and his gang? In turn, how are we invited to think about hormones, especially as they affect boys?

  4. The various images of the gang are based on famous movies and books. Do you recognise the stories? (Your teacher or another adult may need to help out here.) Why were these particular stories chosen? Do you think it portrays a realistic view of adolescence?
  5. There is a scene of Lockie being driven around town with his head sticking out of the roof of a police car. Does Lockie look like he wants to be there? What is being suggested about the power of hormones? Would it be a good idea for Lockie to let the hormones take total control of his life?

  6. In the Garden Makeover segment, what changes happen to Lockie?

  7. Did you think this segment was an apt way to portray the changes of adolescence? Are there other images you might have used instead?

Pimples (or ‘zits’) are another common side effect of puberty. In Episode 7, a giant zit is used to dramatise another problem which Lockie faces.

As a class, view the clip “Pimples” and have students respond to the following questions using Question sheet 14: Zits!
Questions for individual or group discussion:

  1. Why is the horror movie fantasy sequence used in this segment? What does it suggest about how Lockie is feeling? Is it likely that people would really react in the way that Lockie imagines?

  2. Do you think Lockie’s way of handling his concern over the pimple was sensible?

  3. John East, the Guidance Officer, suggests that Lockie’s concern about the pimple is really a concern about being an outsider. Is this true? Why?

  4. Are team sports important in the ways that John East suggests? What are the strengths and weaknesses of John East’s advice to Lockie?

c) Turning 13
The day Lockie turns 13, he is given a wetsuit by his parents and is allowed to go surfing before school starts for the day.
As a class, view the clip “13th Birthday” and have students respond to the following questions using Question sheet 15: First kiss
Questions for individual or group discussion:
  1. Besides turning 13, Vicki gives Lockie a kiss. Why? Is the first kiss a ‘rite of passage’?

  2. At one point, Vicki is shown in slow motion kissing Lockie and we can hear heart beats. What do these techniques encourage viewers to think about what’s happening to Lockie?

  3. What era does the fantasy scene suggest? What is the significance of the scene taking place in another time?

  4. By the end of this segment, what do you notice has happened to Lockie?


In order to explore these ideas further, encourage students to complete a selection of the following activities.

  1. Survival guide for teens/new Year 8 students

  2. Planning an orientation camp

  3. Anonymous questions (personal development angle)

  1. Survival guide for teens entering secondary school

Ask students to share their experiences of starting at a new school or beginning secondary school. Interview students who have been through these transitions. Ask students to prepare a survival guide for a new student, including information that looks not only at school routines but also social interactions. Present this information as a brochure, website or poster. Be mindful of the audience you are connecting with and what colours, lay-out, text and illustration(s) would attract their attention.
Refer to Worksheet 14: Survival Guide

  1. Planning an orientation camp

Ask students to imagine that they are on a committee planning an orientation camp for new students to secondary school. They could design a program of activities for the camp. The information in the program should include the sessions, speakers and activities (e.g. physical challenges, information) you intend to offer. In the introduction of the program it should also list the purpose and the goals of the camp and what issues are important for the participants to deal with?

Refer to Worksheet 15: Orientation camp

  1. Burning questions (personal development issues)

Viewing the clips in this section may raise a number of questions for students about their own experiences with puberty. It may be a good idea to establish a Burning Questions Box
, a place where students can leave anonymous questions on topics they need answers to but may feel embarrassed to ask in front of others.

You may wish to take questions out and provide factual answers or direct students to information/other teachers that provides the answer. Alternatively, small groups may be assigned to research the answers or a guest speaker may be invited to speak to the class.

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