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St Francis Flexible Learning Centre, TAS

St Francis Flexible Learning Centre is a Catholic specialist education school in Hobart’s north, with about 80 Year 7-10 students who have disengaged from mainstream schooling. Students have backgrounds that often include exposure to domestic violence, sexual abuse, parental drug and alcohol use and intergenerational poverty. As a result, they have highly activated stress responses and lack the skills to regulate their emotions, often leading to violent outbursts, self-harm and complete withdrawal from class activities.  

St Francis provides these children with intensive support to keep them in school, including three meals a day, a bus pick-up service to and from school and a full-time social worker in each classroom. But the school’s physical resources are very limited, hampering its ability to give these children the support they need to regulate their emotions and remain focused.   

Your support will help St Francis create two therapeutic spaces to help develop students’ skills in emotional regulation and take some of the stress out of the learning environment. The multi-sensory spaces will be used as part of the timetable throughout the day, under the supervision of a social worker. The indoor space will be equipped with features clinically proven to help young people reduce stress. It will have peaceful spaces that include cubbies for naps or quiet time, padded walls, lava lamps and ‘body socks’ that provide calming warmth and weight. It will also have spaces where students can release their energy by using a rock climbing wall, Lego or electronics. An outdoor space will feature play equipment usually found in a primary school, such as monkey bars, slides, trampolines – equipment that allows these students the opportunities to develop skills through play that they missed out on as children. 

The school has nominated this initiative as its priority because it is an approach backed by international research and its students frequently ask for such spaces.  The school expects this project to develop students’ social and emotional competence to a level that allows them to thrive at school and in other environments. 

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St Francis Flexible Learning Centre

Chigwell, TAS

youthplus.edu.au/st-francis-hobart-flc

St Francis Flexible Learning Centre is a Catholic specialist education school in Hobart’s north, with about 80 Year 7-10 students who have disengaged from mainstream schooling. Students have backgrounds that often include exposure to domestic violence, sexual abuse, parental drug and alcohol use and intergenerational poverty. As a result, they have highly activated stress responses and lack the skills to regulate their emotions, often leading to violent outbursts, self-harm and complete withdrawal from class activities.  

St Francis provides these children with intensive support to keep them in school, including three meals a day, a bus pick-up service to and from school and a full-time social worker in each classroom. But the school’s physical resources are very limited, hampering its ability to give these children the support they need to regulate their emotions and remain focused.   

Your support will help St Francis create two therapeutic spaces to help develop students’ skills in emotional regulation and take some of the stress out of the learning environment. The multi-sensory spaces will be used as part of the timetable throughout the day, under the supervision of a social worker. The indoor space will be equipped with features clinically proven to help young people reduce stress. It will have peaceful spaces that include cubbies for naps or quiet time, padded walls, lava lamps and ‘body socks’ that provide calming warmth and weight. It will also have spaces where students can release their energy by using a rock climbing wall, Lego or electronics. An outdoor space will feature play equipment usually found in a primary school, such as monkey bars, slides, trampolines – equipment that allows these students the opportunities to develop skills through play that they missed out on as children. 

The school has nominated this initiative as its priority because it is an approach backed by international research and its students frequently ask for such spaces.  The school expects this project to develop students’ social and emotional competence to a level that allows them to thrive at school and in other environments. 

St Francis Flexible Learning Centre

Chigwell,

youthplus.edu.au/st-francis-hobart-flc