A leader with a smile on his face: Philip's story

 

If you met Berry Street School student Philip* (13) today, you might never have guessed how he used to feel about school.

At his old school, Philip was bullied. Scared and anxious, he found it hard to make friends and would refuse to go to school. He also had speech and language difficulties and challenges in areas such as memory, verbal comprehension and mental processing.
 
In mainstream schooling, Philip simply wasn’t getting the extra time he needed to complete tasks and show what he was capable of, and there was a risk he might not continue his education.
 
Now at the Berry Street School, Philip goes every day, with a big smile on his face.
 
Studying in a safe, secure environment where he is connected and engaged in his own learning, Philip has developed great relationships with school staff and enjoys playing cards with new friends.
 
He has also made great academic gains, progressing over two years in numeracy in five months, and seven year levels in reading in one term.
 
Philip’s self-confidence has soared, and he’s become an integral part of a community where he belongs. Recently, when some new students started at the school, Philip took on a leadership role, showing the new students what to do during lunch duty and inviting them to join him and his friends at lunchtime.
 
Now when Philip is asked what went well in his school day, he replies, “everything”.
 

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*Name has been changed in the interest of privacy. The models and volunteers pictured are not connected to the case study.