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Contact: 3 Wills Terrace, Alice Springs NT 0870 0408 568 357
St Joseph's Flexible Learning Centre opened its doors as a registered secondary school in 2012. It is an initiative of Edmund Rice Education Australia Youth+ and operates within the Diocese of the Northern Territory Catholic Education Office. It is receives additional support through a service agreement with the Northern Territory government.
Best Practice Guidelines:
St Joseph's identifies a number of best practice guidelines supportive of meaningful socially inclusive educational experiences. While not exhaustive, the following provide a basis for programming and young person support.
Individualised Education Program: Education programs are attuned to the individual young person by an assessment of need and delivery within a supportive environment that will re-engage the young person with learning and encourage a sense of community. Personal Learning Plans are developed and negotiated with young people and form an integral part of daily learning programs.
Negotiated and Articulated Goals: Education programs will negotiate goals and the methods of achieving those goals. Such goals will be tailored to the identified needs of the individual.
Professional and Community Driven: Education programs are characterised by a high degree of professionalism, and supported by a close relationship with communities in which they are located.
Young Person Support: Young People are encouraged to make a commitment to the program and its principles. Young Person achievement is valued and celebrated with appropriate recognition given to the uniqueness of adolescent development.
Family/Carer Involvement: Families are viewed as partners in their children's educational experience. While family circumstances may be related to student alienation, the importance of building positive family relationships is a priority.
Learning Choices: Diagnostic assessment is important to provide guidance in planning individualised programs. Effective programs will engage young people in learning toward defined literacy and numeracy outcomes and other areas of knowledge relevant to real life situations. Young people experiencing risk will be provided with programs that cater for their spiritual, physical, social, psychological and intellectual development. As well, they will be provided with learning choices both in and beyond the school and with programs that are effectively linked to community agencies and vocational pathways.
Multi Professional and Multi Disciplinary Teams: Team members use a multidisciplinary, multi -professional approach to provide health, educational, cultural, social and emotional support for young people. Multi professionals are encouraged to develop supportive relationships with young people, and assist them with their basic life needs. Multiprofessionals are encouraged to develop links with external support agencies (e.g. Mental Health Services, Drug & Alcohol services, accommodation services, counselling services).
Staff selection processes identify workers who are flexible, are able to relate to young people, are willing to negotiate, be clear about operation by principles, as well as being clear about the responsibilities and the rights of all.
Who are we?
Today St Joseph's is 60 young people and 13 workers (teachers, youth workers, administration, canteen) who are working together to create a school that is a community which is safe, fun and suits each young person's individual learning styles.
Our 4 Principles
Safe and Legal
What does a day look like:
First we get to school. Some of us walk, ride bikes, get dropped off. Lots of us get picked up in the Youth+ buses by our workers who are always happy to see us!
When we get to St Joseph's we have breakfast if we're hungry, play some basketball, sit and talk with friends and workers.
We have a morning meeting to say hi, connect with each other, make a commitment to work by principles, share a joke.
Then we go into our class groups for learning time. Most of our learning happens in projects which we choose with our workers. A lot of our literacy and numeracy happens in these projects. Bike maintenance, ceramics, animation, exploring art, adventure based learning, gym, learning about our bodies, personal learning plans, basketball, indoor bowling, bushwalking, bike riding, horse riding, camps, painting murals are just some of the exciting learning activities on offer. We also have programs and guest speakers from community come and talk to us about legal services, health services, counseling support and so on.
After all that learning and action we have some lunch and then we choose an elective for the day. Some of our choices are: bookclub, blogging, craft, rock climbing, photography, bike jumps, movie making, painting with watercolours, lino prints. After electives it's time to be dropped home.
This is a quote from the Congregational Leader of the Christian Brother, Br Phillip Pinto. New York 2002
I see no value in a centre of learning, which churns out numberless school leavers
each year and is passively part of a society torn apart by divisions of race and partisan
Our schools exist to challenge popular beliefs and dominant cultural values, to ask the difficult question, to look at life from the standpoint of the minority.......
What happens in our school:
The most important thing that happens is the relationship building between young people and workers. This is helped by smaller learning groups and the philosophy of the school. All young people and adults agree to be together by negotiating around 4 principles. These are:
Safe and legal
Honesty (being fair dinkum)
Participation (have a go)
We will stop classes and talk about things and problem solve as a group when things aren't working out. Young people have an equal voice which is listened to and respected by workers.
The workers will always spend time with us when we need some extra support. This might be around learning or it might be around how we are feeling, our health, our friendships. Sometimes if we aren't in the right space for learning workers will help us participate in a different way that suits us for that day.
We are supported to learn at our own pace and using what we are interested in. Our workers will help us with literacy and numeracy when we need it. Together we work on our personal learning plans which helps us focus on what's important to me.
Transport to and from school
Healthy eating options
Links to other services: Our workers will also help us to get assistance from other services (health, housing, counselling) if we need this support.
Where are we:
We are located in the old Anzac Hill School site which is now the Youth Hub. You enter from Wills Terrace near the Anzac oval.
Address: Youth Hub, Wills Terrace, Alice Springs NT 0870
Postal Address: PO Box 2991 Alice Springs NT 0870
Phone: 0408 568 357
How do you contact us:
You can phone us: 0408 568 357