2019 was another big year in the Hamilton House with the implementation of a new teaching model and some impressive changes were made.
The young people initially took a little while to accept the need for these new changes which had a focus on learning social skills; however with support and encouragement from the Hamilton team they took on the challenge and smashed it.
As each term went by the young people learnt new social skills, which were practised and used in school, at home and in the community.
We soon heard about an amazing effort made by two of our students to use the social skill of ‘Helping Others’. The students were really proud to tell us how they had stopped to help a gentleman in the street and carried his bags to his car. The new model had assisted them to have the confidence to use their newly learnt social skills in an environment outside the safety of Dunlea Centre.
Within the classroom the young people also applied themselves with focus and attention throughout their lessons. They demonstrated positive peer relations, followed directions, persevered through difficulties and completed set tasks. The results showed in their academic achievements as well as their friendships.
During Term Three they were lucky enough to further develop these skills out in the community when we took a trip to the snow as part of our studies for PDHPE.
Snowboarding lessons immediately provided a social environment in which specific skills could be taught and practised. We were able to observe how the young people concentrated during lessons and responded to instructions and guidance given by other adults. The results of the snow trip were outstanding with some very positive behaviours demonstrated and friendships further developed. We used a large range of skills at the same time as having a bucket load of fun and becoming awesome snowboarders!
Two of our students who completed the program at the end of the year achieved so much in their time at Dunlea. One commenced in Year 7 and finished with the completion of his Year 10 studies. Initially this student didn’t like to read or write, refused to complete tasks and would become very upset when encouraged to complete anything he found too hard. By the end of his program he was reading out loud during class and writing responses to questions with much more confidence. On leaving Dunlea Centre this young man embarked on his new career, immediately commencing a plumbing apprenticeship.
Another of our students completed his program after attending Dunlea Centre for 18 months. During this time he developed from being a young person who was unable to complete a task without becoming distracted; to a young man who consistently completed all set tasks and more. He has been a positive role model to all our students and assisted those around him in any way he could. He has returned to mainstream school to complete Years 10, 11 and 12. This young man aspires to be a mechanical engineer and the Hamilton team has no doubt that he can achieve this goal.
It has been an amazing year in the Hamilton House. As teachers we are so proud of how the young people took on change and applied it to their own lives, which as we all know, can be difficult for any of us.
Well done Hamilton House!