This is indeed history in the making and we’re all a part of it right now. While much remains uncertain, our needs are largely the same. When it comes to our children, we know consistency and love are critical to their wellbeing and functioning. A safe space, certainty, and trust in the world around them. Providing this through the most difficult of times is imperative yet challenging.
Our departure point when we started EDU360 was not to create another special educational needs high school, we set out to create something extraordinary by design. A place unlike any other. A space in which students could find themselves, realise their potential, irrespective of their individual challenges, in their own time, space and way.
We have different pathways within our Specialist Schools, a Vocational Academy, a built-in Therapy Hub which ‘wraps’ each student in their own individual blanket of support – a weave of whichever fabrics they need at the time to realise their potential. Our various pathways allow our unique students options for their journey into adulthood, in their own time, space and distinctive way. We aren’t about “finishing matric in four years”, but rather learning for life. And this has been such a year for learning for life!
Our students, like everyone, need a purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, feel a part of something special and have something to look forward to. Our years of collective experience and remarkable team didn’t miss a beat and little changed for us last year as we moved to online learning. We moved from our “old normal”, learning in our classrooms, to online learning, rather effortlessly. We had the platform, the tools, the collective experience of managing learning challenges and neurodiversity and perhaps most importantly, the passion and dedication to keeping going with clear, calm and reassuring consistency.
The support of our IT teachers and our students’ familiarity with them made our set-up for online learning harmonious. Students and their wonderful families were able to take the transition in their stride.
Our inhouse therapists in our Therapy Hub, provide social and emotional support to students and staff. Since inception in 2016, we incorporate an emphasis on our student’s well-being, especially in times of uncertainty or challenge. We embraced the opportunity to impart improved coping skills, mindfulness, as well as an age-appropriate understanding of the unfolding pandemic, and strategies for staying safe and happy.
Of most interest, is the outpouring of appreciation from our families. We remain consistent when so much in the world appears volatile. Students log-on from home and are virtually embraced by their teachers with love and learning in a fun, dynamic and relevant new ways. Our team continues to meet daily to collaborate on how best to meet all the needs of each individual child, and make sure our students are all still smiling and managing in their new worlds. We continue to find new ways of bringing content to life in interactive, highly engaging ways. And our ongoing Parent Dialogue Sessions help keep us all connected, providing a place for collaborating, sharing and learning.
Disasters often provide opportunities – for rebuilding, regrowth and reflection. What we learned is that we can do anything with the right team and support. We are not another remedial or alternative high school but a school for life. Passionate about being the place that is truly - Right Where We Belong.
We continue to be live and online with the same remit: to be here, consistent, clear and calm.