Yudi Gunyi School caters for students from 10-16 years of age who need additional support with a range of behaviour and mental health needs. The supports equip them and their referring school with skills and strategies to experience success in a mainstream school.
The school, in collaboration with Health & Allied Health has developed a new model of care, creating a set of universal teaching skills, collegial support channels and clinical services to improve outcomes for children, ages 4-17, and their families. The scope of services and support use agreed common-language to collaborate, is trauma-informed and grounded principles of neuroscience.
At Yudi Gunyi School, a team including psychiatrist, senior psychologist, psychologist, pediatrician, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, social worker, art therapist, nurse and specialist teachers all work together to develop teaching practices and approaches to wellbeing that is innovative and integrative. This multidisciplinary team is called the Ngaramadhi Space. ‘Ngaramadhi’ means ‘active listening’ in Dharawal language, the name gifted to us as a result of ongoing collaboration with the AECG and the Metropolitan Lands Council.
Each member of the Ngaramadhi Space is responsible for four key practices & processes:
1. Develop and embed a translational, evidence-informed network between health and education to better impact education and wellbeing outcomes for students.
- educational outcomes in this area include an improvement in the identification of learning difficulties and coordination of approaches to addressing these. Students enjoy accessing the myriad supports offered through NS.
2. In partnership with health, implement a series of context-specific professional learning modules, lesson plans and additional, specialist in-class support.
- educational outcomes include an high percentage of mainstream school teachers, counsellors and support staff reporting increased capacity to support students with complex needs in their schools. Students’ interest in these lessons are also high. Feedback from students is that these same lessons ought be taught in mainstream schools, as it would benefit all student.
3. Support families with culturally relevant, targeted supports including clinical interventions, family workshops, family therapy and online/face-to-face information sessions.
- educational outcomes include more successful and sustainable transitions for students back to mainstream school environments as a result of parents' capacity to understand and address the complex needs of their family.
4. Use the practices and processes in points 1-3 to develop Yudi Gunyi School as a ‘Centre of Expertise’, from which mainstream schools can draw from to support their teachers and families and reduce the need for referral of students to special needs settings.
- educational outcomes include neighbouring principals requesting the support of Ngaramadhi Space and Yudi Gunyi School in facilitating professional learning at the Beginning Teacher, Aboriginal Teacher and Counsellor conferences in 2019. This request is the result of positive feedback from schools who’ve accessed professional learning and support from Yudi Gunyi School.
The Ngaramadhi Space presents an important opportunity to meet education, health and NSW Premier’s system priorities. It also offers potential research into collaborative and innovative ways of working together across our communities, in particular its most vulnerable children and families.
Next YouTube Video: Yudi Gunyi School principal shared at Sydney Local Health District's Care in Our Community Forum, about this unique education model. A collaboration between health, allied health and education. Video Duration 17:52 minutes