The Human Relations (HR) component of our program is key to all other undertakings. HR includes the explicit teaching of strategies to promote self-regulation. We focus on organisation, class-compliance, active listening, growth mindsets, SMART goal setting and reflection on behaviour (both self and others). This is an integral part of weekly goal setting and goal assessment at the end of each day.
Red and Blue Brain Theory
Red and Blue Brain Theory is explicitly taught as a part of the HR component. Behaviours that commonly occur in the “red zone” are the behaviours for which students are frequently referred. Learning about the parts of the brain and how they trigger reactions to situations enables students to begin to identify the emotional sensations that often precede their own behavioural issues. Instruction in the “Blue Brain” provides students with real and accessible strategies to self-regulate and move from heightened emotional states to rational thought processes, in an increasingly timely manner.
As part of this, students develop a Behaviour Management Plan (BMP). This is an integral tool devised by every individual student that allows them to choose, practise and develop mindfulness and self-regulatory techniques that work for them. BMP's are methods of moving from red to blue brain zones and are utilised and refined on a daily basis during student placement. These often become a cornerstone of the reintegration plan when returning to mainstream classrooms.
Students are referred to HTU for a wide variety of reasons. Often these reasons include behavioural difficulties that are extremely complex, involve a number of other agencies and have existed for a long time. The goals component of our program is vital in addressing students’ behavioural and learning needs.
These sessions involve teachers and students working together to develop manageable goals that prioritise what is most crucial for each student and set reasonable expectations in terms of behavioural change. Each student is assigned a goal for the week and their level of success is measured at the end of each day in a group meeting that involves lengthy discussion and introspection. Students’ progress is recorded daily, according to their behavioural goal outcome, in individual goal books.