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21AUT50 Becoming a Trauma Informed School

Becoming a trauma informed school – how to lead a school to move beyond behaviour management strategies to develop compassionate, effective practices and approaches to deal with very challenging behaviour.  Understanding how developmental trauma[i] affects learning, behaviour and most particularly, relationships assists in supporting the well-being not only of the pupils but of the adults; teachers and SNAs working with them.   Developmental trauma is not often diagnosed but can manifest in learning, behavioural and social and emotional difficulties.  A common understanding and whole school approach will ensure consistency and security for the child and will improve safeguarding and teaching and learning for everyone, staff and pupils.

This is a four session course aimed at members of the in-school management teams and teachers in special educational needs roles.  It is co-facilitated by Anne McCluskey and Dr Mary Gordon.

Anne McCluskey is a former primary school principal with long experience in educational disadvantage.  She has been delivering training to teachers in this area since 2016. She has a particular interest in attachment theory and learning and the educational experience and outcomes of children in state care in the school system.

Dr Mary Gordon is an educational and child psychologist who worked in NEPS for 27 years with primary and post-primary schools and with Youthreach centres.  She has a particular interest in child development, social and emotional learning and the neuroscience underpinning behaviour, emotion and social interaction. 

Session One:  Why do behaviour management strategies just not work with some pupils?  Developmental trauma is associated with ACEs – adverse childhood experiences.  What are ACEs and what is their impact on behaviour and learning?

Session two: ACEs as breaches of attachment experiences.  What is secure attachment and what happens when there is not a secure base?  Insecure attachment patterns are evident all around us – especially in the classroom. A brief introduction to these can helps us understand why some children are easier to support than others.

Session three: What is an attachment aware school and what are the opportunities and challenges in becoming one? How can I develop a trauma lens?  How can my school move towards being a trauma informed school?

Session Four:  Strategies and resources for a trauma informed approach – where to from here?  Models of good practice.



[i] Developmental trauma is described by Beacon House.org as:  ‘the term used to describe the impact of early, repeated trauma and loss which happens within the child’s important relationships and usually early in life.’ https://beaconhouse.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Developmental-Trauma-Close-Up-Revised-Jan-2020.pdf

Course Details

Course Date 10-11-2021 4:00 pm
Course End Date 01-12-2021 6:00 pm
Capacity 18
Available place 0
Cut off date 10-11-2021 12:00 pm
Individual Price Free
Speaker Anne McCluskey
Number Hours 8
Location Dublin West Education Centre

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Dublin West Education Centre,
Old Blessington Road,
Tallaght, 
Dublin 24


Phone: 01 - 4528000
Fax: 01-4528010

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
GPS: 53.653121,-6.679589

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