Seth used to refuse to go to his old school. He would end up on the roof of his house to feel safe and avoid getting in the car to be taken to school. Over the following years, teachers mentioned that he could easily get distracted and was very disengaged from school.
Excited to start at our school
At the end of 2016, Seth's mum was referred to the Berry Street School in Shepparton. After Seth’s enrolment interview and tour, he was very enthusiastic to start the following year in Term 1 2017.
Once he started, his mum said he hadn't had a panic attack or shown any resistance about going to school. Seth was reserved and calm young on campus; he did become overwhelmed sometimes though.
The school worked closely with Seth's mum to provide support and create open communication to make sure his school work was manageable in his first year with us.
During 2017, school staff steadily worked on building trust, routine and structure with Seth so that he could feel safe and secure in the environment, hoping to avoid what occurred at his previous school.
Over this time staff worked tirelessly with Seth on social and emotional areas, supporting him to maintain friendships, pick up on social cues, and impulse control when in class and in the yard. Staff supported Seth's growth through:
- Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) routines
- role modelling
- behaviour interventions
- regular support from the consulting psychologist.
This work was ongoing, and his relationships with other students are healthy and long lasting.
Whether it be rallying against someone at table tennis, shooting hoops up on the basketball court or whipping up creations in the kitchen, Seth shared a conversation and a laugh wherever he went. His kind heart and caring nature blossomed in the secure and safe haven the school provided.
Making strong progress quickly
In 2018, Seth moved up to the VCAL program, which continued to see him thrive. He made strong progress in maths - by the end of the year he had a growth rate of 133% in Maths Pathways!
We worked with Seth to help improve his verbal comprehension, which saw him make lots of progress - his Fountas & Pinnell level was at Z. Both IEPs (Individual Education Plan) evidenced his successes and set goals for public speaking and extension in maths. His wellbeing, academic and social abilities have all matured really well. Seth is skilled at recognising when his attention levels drop, which allows him to use his focus plan and other strategies to manage this.
His input and dedication to work experience earned him the Structured Workplace Learning Excellence Award in 2018. This is awarded to a student who overcame barriers to complete their Structured Workplace Learning Placement, or when a student goes above and beyond their requirements while on placement. Seth received this award as, while on his work placement, he participated in a 24-hour treadmill activity to raise money for Suicide Australia which was a great success.
A capable student with many goals for the future
Seth successfully completed VCAL Foundation full certificate last year and in 2019 completed his VCAL Intermediate full certificate (his second year of VCAL at our school). Now, Seth is a capable student who generally works a year or more above his year level academically. Seth has also taken on a Victorian Certificate of Education study of General Mathematics Unit 1 and 2 through Distance Education Victoria.
Seth has now successfully completed Unit 1 and has various VET certifications:
- Certificate II Business
- First Aid Training
- Animals Studies.
Seth’s academic growth since being at our school is almost 2 years growth for every single year in our full time program. He is talented across many domains and a keen athlete, playing hockey at state level and having represented our school in interschool sports. He travels to Melbourne every Friday after school to attend hockey training with the team. Seth then travels back to Shepparton so he can take care of family responsibilities, his studies and work part time on weekends. An insightful and considered young man, Seth has many goals for his future and is proactive about achieving them.