Dunlea Centre is a place for change and undoubtedly the greatest change for our young people and staff in 2019 was the transition to the Teaching Family Model (TFM).
Social skill instruction and achieving individual goals are so important to the success of our young people that they have become an integral part of every program and activity we do at Dunlea Centre. The TFM helps with learning living skills and positive interpersonal interaction skills.
With the exception of our most recent student, all young people in Bosco House graduated from the ‘daily’ system to the ‘progress’ system during the year. This means they achieved some of their initial behavioural and educational goals and were able to review what challenged them and set new targets.
The young people in Bosco House made significant academic progress, which can be attributed to their interminable focus and work in our fundamentals classes. The boys poured through novels during our Myon reading program every morning, some even developing a horrible case of selective hearing when it came time to move on. They revised essential mathematic skills and worked on their spelling all year and as a result have all made significant improvements in their progressive achievement tests. All of the boys in Bosco House are to be commended for their hard work and determination to make academic progress during the year.
One of the most rewarding experiences for our young people and staff was the annual school camp. The purpose of camp was to provide our young people with much more than a week away from school. Its focus was a strength-based adventure full of group activities designed to provide powerful experiences of learning and change in both educational and therapeutic contexts.
We started our journey on a seven kilometre bush trail that led us along the cliffs and winding river in Galston Gorge encountering tumultuous weather conditions leaving the boys drenched from head to toe. They persevered to our base camp where they spent the next two days challenging themselves in activities such as abseiling, high ropes courses, canoeing and cooking under the stars. The boys confronted their fears and overcame obstacles all under the mentoring presence of the Bosco House residential and day staff which revealed personality traits and strengths we hadn’t seen in our regular routine.
The school curriculum offered our young people many unique practical learning experiences such as studying and cooking meals inspired by cultures around the world; designing and building toys and furniture; carving impressive abstract sculptures and building model bridges inspired by their research into forces. All students embraced music lessons. They particularly enjoyed expressing themselves with both drums and electric guitars.
Our Year 9 and 10 students made remarkable additions to our campus gardens with their intriguing and striking Hebel block sculptures with a special mention to Harrison for employing some tricky techniques to make it appear that his balancing cubes were able to defy gravity. The Year 7 and 8 students worked on a number of design projects as a part of Technology Mandatory with Jayden constructing a fully functioning push kart and Jack building a storage unit made from
The young people were kept extremely active all year participating in countless games of basketball, NFL and cricket during recess and lunch as well as developing their skills in surf survival, trampolining, surfing, body-boarding and cricket in the schools PDHPE programs. Drewe deserves a special mention for his ability to not only master all of the sports we encountered, but to also coach other students in basketball with such ease during PASS.
2019 was an incredibly successful year for all the young people with many of Bosco’s young men moving on to new adventures in 2020. We wish them well and hope they enjoy their Christmas break. We also look forward to seeing even further progress with the returning students next year.