Welcome to Canterbury Boys High, Prime Minister John Howard's old school and the setting for this compelling documentary series.
Filmed with unprecedented access over a school year, Our Boys follows the lives of several students and teachers at this cash-strapped government school in Sydney's inner west.
Episode 1 - Filipe
This cheeky, disruptive 15 year-old Tongan boy has slipped through the net. He's made it into Year 9 without being able to read or write. Through the year, the magnitude of his problem is revealed. Teachers, frustrated by his poor attendance and bad behaviour, realise that behind Filipe's tough exterior and flamboyant antics is a seriously depressed boy with a tragic past. But the school has neither the staff nor money to give him the intensive remedial teaching he needs.
Episode 2 - Frank
Frank is seventeen, a migrant from a poor African village. His older sister Rita, with whom he shares a tiny flat, has gone back to Ghana for several months to visit their ill mother, leaving Frank to look after himself.
Episode 3 - Roni
Roni is a refugee from Iraq. He laughs about the experience, even as he shows the scars where, as an eight year-old, he was shot by border guards running through the dark into Turkey. After years in refugee camps Roni arrived in Australia; by the time he enrolled in Year 8 at Canterbury Boys he'd missed five years of school. Our Boys tells his story from the beginning of Year 11.
Episode 4 - Mohamed and Thong
It's the year of the HSC - the Higher School Certificate. This week meet Thong, a Vietnamese migrant who is studious and under intense pressure from his mother to achieve the marks to study medicine at university. Mohamed is a Lebanese Muslim who hates academic subjects and is often in trouble at school.
Learning Areas include: English, Cultural Studies,Studies of Society and Environment, Psychology, Health and Personal Development.