Belonging to a school community increases student wellbeing

Dr Kelly-Ann Allen is an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Graduate School of Education. She has undertaken an extensive study outlining what schools need to know about fostering school belonging. Dr Allen speaks with Brendan Bailey from the Berry Street Education Model about her work.

Continue reading “Belonging to a school community increases student wellbeing”

Integrating mindfulness and the body at school

By Jack Greig, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

There are many reasons why we disconnect from our bodies. They can be the site of worry, shame or pain. Almost every choice we make shows up in the contours of our body at some stage.

The latest scientific research tells us that trauma lodges itself in the body. Psychiatrists and neuroscientists have discovered that trauma can change stress-related physiological systems, creating a “gnawing interior discomfort as their bodies are constantly bombarded with visceral warning signs… they learn to hide from themselves” (Van der Kolk, 2015).

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Wellbeing is at the centre at Parkmore Primary

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

Saraid Doherty is, to put it simply, the kind of person who gets things done.

In 2016 she was announced as one of Educator Magazine’s ‘Hot List’ teachers. Parkmore Primary School – the school Saraid leads – was also the only Victorian government school to be awarded an Innovative Schools Award that year, for integrating social and emotional learning into its literacy and numeracy program.

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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?
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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”