Learning Areas & Subjects
The Junior and Senior learning program is organised so that all students from Year 7 to 12 participate in foundational literacy, numeracy and personal development programs as part of their learning program.
Careful consideration has been made to the allocation of time for each of the Learning Areas and Subjects to ensure that all students receive a broad and rigorous curriculum which meets their individual learning levels.
In the Junior Program (Years 7 to 10), students engage in project-based inquiry style learning as part of their core curriculum where student engage in learning through asking big questions to problem solve real-life issues, problems and dilemmas. The planning for these units draws on two or three Australian Curriculum learning areas or subjects, tying them together into integrated units.
In Years 11 – 12, students engage in individualised programs consisting of either Short Courses, Applied Subjects or VET courses in line with the student’s Senior Education Training (SET) plan. SET Planning is essential to ensuring that a Senior program is designed that meets both the individual student’s learning needs as well as post-school aspirations. Student who attend Carbrook Animal Assisted Learning and Education Centre may be eligible for either the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or the Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA).
Animal Assisted Learning
The concept of animal assisted learning draws on a variety of approaches used in both therapeutic and educational settings. While a variety of animals are incorporated into the program (e.g. dogs, chickens, goat and pig), horses are a significant component of the learning activities at Carbrook.
Learning to LEARN
The focus of the program is to facilitate healthy and safe interactions with animals that assist young people to engage in, and learn the skills required for lifelong learning. These skills include;
- Respecting leadership – learning to listen, following basic instructions
- Respecting others – respecting personal space, allowing others to learn
- Respecting self – setting goals, accepting support, following a schedule
The program initially focuses on the skills for learning about and caring for the resident animals, and then begins to transfer these skills to classroom learning. Individualised literacy and numeracy programs are developed to encourage confidence in learning and begin to identify personal goals.
Social & Emotional Wellbeing
The program has an emphasis on the social and emotional development of students, to teach and provide opportunities to practice skills for engaging in a learning community. An emphasis is placed on these skills as being the foundation for future learning, recognising that students require these skills to participate all learning activities. Daily observations and progress notes provide evidence as to the developmental stages of each student. Individualised Education Plans which include goals for sequential social and emotional growth and developed for each student.
Due to the impact significant trauma has on all areas of development, significant understanding and patience is required to provide a safe, consistent and predictable environment for students to begin to acquire these skills.
The Carbrook program upholds the framework of Restorative Practices, an approach to behaviour intervention and support, which has a focus on promoting safe and supportive learning environments through active problem solving, ownership of behaviours and choices, and restoring relationships.
Students and staff participate in daily, small group ‘check –in time’ whereby students learn skills for effective communication with others, where views and opinions are shared in respectful ways. These daily discussions form the foundational skills that are required for individual and group problem solving when conflict arises.
The Carbrook Program implements the processes of restorative ‘conferences’ or ‘discussions’ for addressing issues of behaviour management (such as harassment or bullying). This approach provides a voice to victims, and encourages open and honest communication about the situation, the impact on all parties, and provides all parties with a clear plan for going forward. Students are held accountable for their behaviour and the impact their behaviour has had on everyone involved.
This process means that students involved in conflict may be requested to attend the program at an alternative time on the day or days following an incident. This allows for staff to discuss the issue with students privately (away from other students) with the aim of restoring relationships so the student can return to the normal schedule as soon as possible.