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 four day training program. Participants are required to attend all four days. 

Day One will be held online on Friday 27 August, and Day Two will be held online on Friday 19 November, 2021. The final session will remain scheduled for 18 and 19 February, 2022, at this stage we are hoping this final session will take place in person in Melbourne, but this may be reviewed in light of the Covid situation closer to time. 

Day One (ONLINE) 9am – 2.45pm (with breaks for morning tea and lunch) Friday 27 August, 2021
Day Two (ONLINE) 9am – 2.45pm (with breaks for morning tea and lunch) Friday 19 November, 2021
Day Three and Four (FACE to FACE – Melbourne) Friday 18 and Saturday 19 February, 2022. 

Participants will receive all course material via Australia Post. The training will also include strategies to support students with complex needs who are in remote learning situations and face-to-face in the classroom.

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.  

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


For the face to face session, 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