Having embraced the Berry Street Education Model, Cappi White has influenced Norfolk Village State School’s investment in a ‘whole school’ approach to inclusion, focusing on social and emotional learning.
Her principal, Samantha Donovan, says this creates opportunities for students, at their individual point of need – and for her peer teachers – to learn, expand their skills and thrive.
“Cappi is focused on developing an inclusive environment for our 1,055 Prep to Year 6 students – including more than 250 students with a disability, diverse learning needs, complex and challenging behaviours and numerous students presenting with trauma – to develop their social wellbeing and academic behaviours so they flourish,” Ms Donovan says.
This, Ms Donovan notes, has helped students to live in “an optimal state of generativity, growth and resilience”.
“She has embraced inclusive learning and celebrated difference by providing support programs for students that include disability-specific reasonable adjustments, in-class support and differentiation, focused learning programs and intensive, individualised programs,” Ms Donovan explains.
A teacher in Queensland for 10 years, Mrs White has implemented programs at Norfolk Village State School such as The Engine Room, a trauma-informed intervention based on neuroscience that assists students to re-engage.
“This ensures students are able to improve their executive functions through daily wellbeing and emotional check-ins, positive primers, targeted instruction on how the brain works and the role of the amygdala (as well as) physical exercise involving running, non-computer-based cognitive games, completing sessions with ‘What went well’ and reflection on personalised goals,” Ms Donovan says.
Mrs White goes beyond the traditional scope of education, “implementing various programs and interventions for students to flourish academically, socially and emotionally at their individual pace”. Through strong partnerships with students, teachers, parents, government agencies and community groups, she is able to provide personalised support for students and their families.
Congratulations Cappi on your nomination.