Barwon Learning Centre

Some trees need more water than others - Uncle Harry Walker

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Emeritus Professor - Judy Atkinson

The school played host to Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson who ran two school development days for staff, parents, caregivers and community members which focused on intergenerational trauma and healing.

BLC adopts a more holistic approach to behaviour management than is commonly practiced within the education system. Instead of a consequence based approach, that relies on punitive measures to coerce appropriate behavior, at BLC we identify inappropriate behavior as being a symptom of a larger social discomfort felt by the student. That being the case, BLC recognises that there are more effective ways of engaging students who were not self-regulating appropriately, than punish them for their inability to behave as expected.

Instead of punishment, BLC promotes a repair model of behaviour adjustment. One of the most important aspects of this approach is providing an environment where students see good behaviour constantly modelled in front of them by their teachers, and where their efforts to do the same are acknowledged and rewarded with praise. When students are unable to adopt good behaviours they are not challenged in confrontational ways where detailed consequences can often escalate an easily diffused incident, to a traumatic episode.

The reparative model is underpinned by modalities of Indigenous healing promoted by the Healing Foundation, and of peer reviewed best practice of behaviour management, as documented in the calmer classroom initiative, commissioned by the Victorian Child Safety Commissioner. These approaches are reparative and restorative.

This philosophical point of departure from past practice forms the basis of a whole of school social skills teaching matrix, that distills all of these elements into a program called ‘educare' which has transformed the way in which negative behaviour is managed at BLC.