Fowler Road School

Safe, Smart, Prepared

Telephone02 9681 4054

What might happen

Starting fresh


Students leaving their schools to come to Fowler Road often do so at a crisis time where their behaviour has been of real concern to the staff, other students, their families and themselves. It is helpful if staff, other students, their families and they themselves see coming to Fowler Road as a necessary 'break' for everyone - that they are coming to a place which will help them to get back on track with their learning and their behaviour. When a student is offered a place at Fowler Road, a staff member will visit to talk to staff and the student about what Fowler Road is like.


Students and their families will also have the opportunity to find out about Fowler Road when they come to enrol.  It is helpful if the 'break' from home schools is marked with a farewell event, for example, a card from the students and staff and wishes of good luck in working on their learning and their behaviour. As students will, in most cases, be returning to their home schools it is important that they leave the school on positive terms. It may be a month or so before they begin again at their home schools.

Settling in


Students starting at Fowler Road will often be very unsure about what to expect and have mixed feelings of fear, anger, and uncertainty. Some students may behave very appropriately and not present the same behaviours they presented in the previous context. If this is the case, then we build on this appropriate behaviour and the students may start their return to the home school to build further on this changing pattern. Others may begin acting-out almost immediately and stick with inappropriate patterns.  Here we help students develop more helpful learning and behaviour patterns.


We may extend the time students start again at their home schools to ensure that their first return to home schools is positive and appropriate.  In this stage of settling in, academic and behavioural assessments are carried out. Individual Learning Programs are written to focus on developing those behaviour and learning patterns the students will need to be successful at starting back at their home schools.  In settling in, students receive positive consequences for appropriate learning and behaviour patterns and learn about the possible loss of these if they persist with negative behaviour patterns.



Once students have settled in, they continue to experiment with patterns that work for them - in both negative and positive ways. Students experiment with different ways of making sense of their learning and behaviour.  Staff experiment with ways to help build on positives. This can be a difficult time with students testing limits and at the same time making some very positive gains. Students receive intense positive consequences for appropriate learning and behaviour and negative consequences are implemented for extreme behaviours. Individual Learning Programs are refined in this time to build on gains in both learning and behaviour.


Students have the opportunity to experiment with ways to see themselves differently and build on a positive sense of themselves. Classroom learning activities, playground activities, outings, school camps and sporting events are all used to help students experiment with positive experiences of themselves, and their interactions with peers and adults.  Students also experiment with appropriate and inappropriate ways of getting on at their home schools and communication between home schools and Fowler Road is critical in developing the best strategies to help students make positive gains.



During this stage students will settle into and adapt to school and class routines and make great gains in their learning and behaviour. They come to see themselves positively and, for the great majority of the time, will follow school rules and use their appropriate behaviour patterns more and more. This is a time when students significantly increase their time at home schools.  For the great majority of the time, they will behave appropriately in the home school setting.  It is really helpful at this time for home schools to help build upon the gains students are making. Some students may not trust the gains they are making and lapse into the old patterns which had served them well in the past. While responding to extreme behaviours, we focus on the gains made and help students to develop a sense of themselves as successful and able to stand up against old behaviour patterns.

Moving on


As students move into this stage their behaviour may fluctuate. They may worry about whether they will really be able to 'make it' in the 'real world' and may cling to the security of the staff and routines of a special setting.  They may begin to threaten to use, or actually use, old, inappropriate behaviour patterns so that they will not have to move on. Some may also see this as the student 'regressing' and feel overwhelmed by this.  Once again, this is a time for committed communication. An exit plan is developed so that moving on is achieved as positively as possible and new behaviour patterns are taken up more and more.


Difficulties at this time include students' sadness, feelings of being rejected by Fowler Road, fear of whether they will really succeed once they have left and a lack of confidence that they really will be able to make it.  This time is often made more difficult by the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 and this major change in children's lives. Moving on from Fowler Road often involves intense work and events to remind students of their progress and to celebrate their achievements. Often, follow-up visits are helpful once students have completed the program to assist students and staff at home schools to deal effectively with possible lapses.