Flexi-learning for at risk students
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Flexi-learning for at risk students

A new style of learning designed to keep “at risk” students in school is coming to Beenleigh State High School.

A “FlexiSpace” will this year be built at Beenleigh High, providing more catered schooling to students struggling in the typical classroom environment.

According to the Department of Education, Flexispaces keeps students engaged with education while allowing them to be at school with friends – eventually leading them “back into their mainstream class”.

It’s supposed to prevent the disruption caused by moving schools.

Beenleigh State High School principal Matt Morgan said “connection and belonging” were critical for students.

“The Flexispace environment steps away from the traditional classroom,” Mr Morgan said.

“This is an opportunity for schools to think differently about learning, enable disengaged students to form productive relationships with influential role models and remain connected within a mainstream school setting without feeling socially isolated from peers.

“Our approach focuses on providing an environment that models the ability to raise self-esteem, resilience and build the confidence to make positive decisions that impact a student’s ability to see success in life.”

He said that students in a Flexispace would benefit from a more tailored education.

“With reduced numbers within a class, we can be flexible with our delivery, seek practical/hands-on solutions, tailor programs with greater personalised need for students and the skills required to contribute to society in a positive way,” Mr Morgan said.

He said teachers would also feel supported through “limiting the stretch they feel and how far they are required to differentiate and respond to broader challenges student’s face”.

The first Flexispace in Queensland was introduced in 2018.

By 2025, the government is hoping to have them in more than 100 schools.

A government report found disengagement from school at age seven was the “greatest predictor of youth offending later in life”.

The education department said mainstream classrooms “aren’t always the best places for all students”.

“This program is about giving kids and teachers the help and resources they need, in a way that is most suited to way they can learn,” a spokesperson said.

Education minister Di Farmer said early intervention was critical.

“They allow the students to remain close to their school friends, maintain a regular school routine, continue to be a part of their school community and continue their schooling with an uninterrupted curriculum,” Ms Farmer said.

“It’s important to remember, not all students who are disengaged from school are in the youth justice system, but every child in the youth justice system is disengaged from school.”

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