Co-regulating (online) classrooms during a crisis

Teachers are quickly shifting to online learning environments in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the demands of social distancing.

During this crisis, stress levels are heightened for all of us. Trauma-impacted students, and in fact everyone, are susceptible to resurfacing trauma-related reactivity due to the compounding uncertainty and unpredictability this crisis presents. It is essential that schools prioritise student and teacher wellbeing and respond to the impacts of collective trauma and toxic stress.

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Creating a soothing new household rhythm in uncertain times

Predictable activities, rhythms and routines make children and young people feel more secure, safer and cared for. With a little bit of planned structure, children are less likely to feel caught unawares. They will know what to expect.

This is especially important for children in out-of-home care who may be more likely to feel that the world is an unsafe place.

In the current COVID-19 situation with no school and big changes to their daily lives, many children, carers and families are struggling to find a new and reassuring rhythm to their days.

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Caring for children in out-of-home care during the COVID-19 outbreak

Communities around the world are feeling the impacts of COVID-19. And for anyone who has suffered trauma or lives with anxiety normally, it’s an even more difficult time.

For families with children – especially children who are in out-of-home care – spending weeks at home without any school or other group activities will likely be pretty tough at times.

Over the coming weeks, Berry Street’s Take Two service will be providing resources to help families with children who have experienced developmental trauma to support and manage their wellbeing.

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Teaching self-regulation in early childhood

Have you ever had a day when your young students just seem to rev each other up and your centre or classroom is at fever-pitch? Or maybe you feel like your students are having constant meltdowns? Perhaps you feel that every time you look around you’re having to intervene to stop children from hurting each other. What can you do to teach them self-regulation strategies? The answer might be a surprise. When dealing with heightened students, we don’t start with them, we start with YOU!

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Supporting Our Communities

It is hard to reconcile the massive fires that have raged throughout these school holidays. It has been a deeply concerning start to our bushfire season and our thoughts are with all of those who have been affected. The overall cost to our community is still yet unknown. What we do know is that the psychological impact of the trauma will be far reaching.

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International delegation visits Take Two

By Allison Cox, Director, Berry Street – Take Two

A group of our international colleagues recently came from Norway to spend time with Berry Street’s Take Two service.

The RVTS Sør (South) service is a Norwegian government-funded domestic violence, sexual abuse, traumatic stress, migrant/refugee health and suicide prevention resource centre and training service. They have a special focus on working with children and families.

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Playing to her strengths

Not much is known about Elle’s* first year. Her Mum has severe mental health problems and has lots of problems with drugs and drinking.

Elle was removed by Child Protection services from her mother around the time she turned one.

Her father immigrated from Asia. Growing up we suspect he experienced significant trauma during the long civil war in his country. Elle’s father didn’t know about Elle until after she was removed and placed into foster care. When he found out, she went to live with him together with his new partner Trisha.

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Mapping School Improvement with the Berry Street Education Model

This article considers how BSEM can be ‘the link’ that allows particular frameworks and programs to work in harmony and achieve a school’s teaching and learning goals over the long term. We hope that it will assist teachers and school leaders when formulating their whole school strategic planning and their annual implementation planning.

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Helping children regulate their bodies and their minds

by Toni Heron, Senior Occupational Therapy Consultant, Take Two – Berry Street

Berry Street’s Take Two service has recently undertaken a three-year Occupational Therapy research study assessing the sensory processing patterns of the children and young people we work with. The results are partially what we expected, but there were some surprising findings also. Continue reading “Helping children regulate their bodies and their minds”

Stories of Impact – Christie Downs Primary School

Interview by Jack Greig, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

Located south of Adelaide, Christie Downs Primary School is an inclusive site of 280 students. Christie Downs Primary School seeks to provide a supportive and nurturing environment in which students are able to learn, play and grow together for a successful future. The school’s values embody personal responsibility, respectful relationships and teamwork.

In this interview, Gail Evans, Principal of Christie Downs, reflects on what makes a compassionate educator and how schools can create a culture of self-development, acceptance and constant learning.

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How Can You Help Students Stay on Task for Longer?

By Maddie Witter, education consultant and author of Reading Without Limits: Teaching Strategies to Build Independent Reading for Life

Anyone can improve their concentration stamina – from a wiggly toddler to a daydreaming university student. It’s a necessary, lifelong skill for success.

In a school context, teachers can help students learn to concentrate and sit still for longer by consistently including a daily independent reading block at school. Building independent reading is one way a school can effectively build concentration stamina. This stamina leads to significant gains in student literacy achievement and should be coupled with a robust literacy program. It also develops students’ thinking muscles so they can persevere and concentrate in other contexts.

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An exploration of Positive Education in Australian schools

Interview by Chris Dawson, Senior Trainer of the Berry Street Education Model

Chris Dawson sat down with Marita Hayes-Brown, CEO of the Positive Education Schools Association (PESA), to discuss all things positive education, including exciting developments in this space and four key actions that schools can take to start incorporating a positive education approach.

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