Trauma-aware positive education strategies for students with complex needs

Trauma-aware positive education strategies for students with complex needs in Australian Steiner Schools

Every student is on their own developmental journey through their own education. Teachers, however, are increasingly confronted with challenges in teaching students with complex unmet needs arising through their experiences of chronic stress, trauma, ADHD, peer bullying, school refusal, oppositional defiance disorder, limited attentional capacities, poor emotional regulation and poor relationships with peers. These challenges require new perspectives to help Steiner teachers strengthen their own practices in supporting students to thrive .

The Berry Street Education Model provides schools with the training, curriculum and strategies to engage even the most challenging students. This education initiative is different because it is based on proven positive education, trauma-informed and wellbeing practices, aligned with our wholistic, development approach to educating the child, that enable students’ academic and personal growth. The model is unique because it educates schools and their leaders to reinforce and sustain cognitive and behavioural change, thereby re-engaging young people in learning and their development – emotionally, socially and academically. 

For primary and high school teachers, teacher assistants, learning support specialists, coordinators, school leaders. 

Dr Tom Brunzell (MST, EdM, PhD) Tom Brunzell began his teaching career and research into helping vulnerable students at NYC P.S. in the Bronx. He also completed a Foundation Year in Steiner education during this time. Tom joined Berry Street Victoria in Melbourne 2011 and completed his education year at the Melbourne Seminar. He developed the Berry Street Education Model for the use by wider schools. Tom presents internationally on topics of transforming school cultures, high expectations for differentiated instruction, trauma-informed practice, wellbeing and the application of positive psychology, and effective school leadership. He has completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne, studying trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and impacts on workplace meaning.

Workshop Format:

This workshop is a two part training program. Participants are required to attend Session 1 and Session 2. We have added a second venue and date for Session 1, for participants outside of Victoria. 

Participants will be able to choose to attend the first session in either Melbourne or Sydney. The second session will be held in Melbourne, with both groups coming together. 

The first Melbourne session will be held on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 August at Sophia Mundi Steiner School.

A first Sydney session will be held on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 November, 2021 at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College. 

Attendees from both the first Sydney session and the first Melbourne session will come together for the final session, on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 February, 2022 in Melbourne. 

NSW Teachers – Completing the Berry Street Education Model will contribute 20 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing 1.1.2, 1.2.2, 2.1.2, 3.5.2, 4.1.2, 4.2.2 and 4.3.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW. 

Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. 

Cost for four days:
SEA Members: $600 + GST
Non SEA Members: $780 +GST


Morning tea will be provided, lunch can be purchased from nearby cafes, or you can bring your own.

Please contact SEA for more information:
02 9411 2579