Callum started grade three at MacKillop Education at the beginning of 2021. He was referred by his mainstream host school who were unable to manage his disruptive outbreaks and was only attending for six hours per week.
Attending MacKillop Education for two and half hours each day in the first week to build his confidence and stamina, Callum quickly began to thrive in the structured, predicable, and consistent classroom environment. He became increasingly familiar with his Visual Safety Plan, guiding him to see and practice alternative safe behaviours in place of violence.
Recognising that Callum is calmest when taking on a helper role in the classroom, his teachers began to create opportunities to build positive relationships and co-regulate with Callum when he became heightened. His helper roles included being the ‘waiter’ in the class café, being the ‘gate-keeper’, responsible for the safety of his peers, or being the ‘teacher’, sharing his writing skills with his peers. These opportunities gave Callum the confidence to be an effective learner.
“The relationship that Callum has built with his teachers is a real credit to MacKillop Education,” explains Callum’s mother, Chantel.
“While there is still a long way to go with Callum in helping him to self-regulate, I look forward to seeing the real potential shine through in him.”
At a recent Student Support Group meeting, Chantel and host school representative commended MacKillop Education for their positive transition, and the progress Callum had made across term one.
“In his first term at MacKillop Education, Callum attended school more days than what he had the previous year in a mainstream school,” adds Chantel.
He likes going to school now. His relationship with his brothers and myself is a lot more settled, and we don’t experience the meltdowns so frequently anymore.”
It's very reassuring to know that Callum is in an environment that understands him and supports not only him, but us as a family.
On the first day of term two, Callum bounced into school, reconnecting with a classmate on entry – both delighted to be back in their familiar, safe learning environment where they feel valued and part of a school community.
With the relationships he built, and the resilience he developed during his first school term at MacKillop Education, Callum continues to improve the skills that will allow him to be successful and, eventually, return to mainstream education.
“I look forward to the day where everyone else can also see his potential. I honestly believe that MacKillop Education is the school to help make this happen.”