School suspensions down by 70 percent in just 12 months

By Brendan Bailey, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

There are industrial estates to the east and west, and the suburb is ringed by the M7 freeway. In the western suburbs of Sydney – wedged between Blacktown and Rooty Hill – sits Doonside Technology High School. Put simply, it’s in a tough part of town.

But it’s at Doonside that the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) has led to some incredible outcomes. In conversation with Brendan Bailey from the Berry Street team, Doonside’s Principal Donna Loughran and Head of Wellbeing, Paul Karbon explain how.
Continue reading “School suspensions down by 70 percent in just 12 months”

Where red dirt runways, crocs and positive education meet

By Leonie Abbott, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

As the red dirt kicked up behind us, our sense of anticipation grew at the same rate as our anxiety subsided.

With relief, our little Cessna 310 landed just prior to the arrival of the oncoming tropical storm looming large through the Cessna’s windscreen.

And so began our first two days of Berry Street Education Model training in the Tiwi Islands, between Darwin and East Timor in the Arafura Sea.
Continue reading “Where red dirt runways, crocs and positive education meet”

Active Constructive Responding in the classroom

For the most part, people are good at responding to the bad news of others. When someone comes to us and tells us they have lost a loved one, or didn’t get the job they wanted, or broke up with their partner, we commiserate, listen, and empathise well. But what about when something good happens?
Continue reading “Active Constructive Responding in the classroom”

Spotlight: Leonie Abbott, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

What was your path to Berry Street Education Model?

I always wanted to be a teacher. My career has a jagged journey. I worked for my parents in their business from an early age and was given exposure to many elements of running a small business. I know this foundation informs much of my thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. I am always looking for new challenges, ways to improve processes and practice my strength of curiosity. I taught in a number of secondary schools in Melbourne’s west and also in London, where I lived for three years. It was here I had the opportunity to try my hand at recruitment, a fast paced client driven environment which I loved. Events in my life turned me back onto my path of teaching when I returned to Australia.
Continue reading “Spotlight: Leonie Abbott, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model”

Calm and Centred Classrooms: Setting the mood

By Jennifer Colechin, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

One of the most frequent questions the BSEM team hear when we consult with schools is how to de-escalate students when they enter the classroom, especially just after high energy times of lunch, recess and morning arrival. The answer lies in proactively creating a calm, routine and predictable environment. The more proactive teachers are in creating calmness the less reactive they have to be later when it is not present. Continue reading “Calm and Centred Classrooms: Setting the mood”

Reflections on the Berry Street Education Model: Part 1

By Jack Greig

Jack Greig is a teacher at a Melbourne secondary school. He undertook the Berry Street Education Model program in 2017 as part of a whole school professional development program.

It has now been over a month since completing the Berry Street Education Model course. It stands as one of the most valuable professional development opportunities I have had to date. A huge credit to Tom Brunzell and the education team at the Berry Street Childhood Institute.

Hundreds of strategies were offered during the course but I’m going to focus my reflection on three big revelations I had over the four days that I feel have the potential to shift the paradigm for teachers who are working with vulnerable young people in mainstream school settings. Continue reading “Reflections on the Berry Street Education Model: Part 1”

A shared responsibility

This post is part of our series on what makes a good childhood.

Berry Street is acutely aware of what happens when children are denied a good childhood.

We know that while parents have the primary responsibility to provide their children with a good childhood, they cannot do this in isolation. Parents, carers, service providers like Berry Street, government and community all have a role in contributing to children’s wellbeing. Continue reading “A shared responsibility”