The John Berne School, a mission of Marist Schools Australia, is a special secondary school for Years 7–10. It specialises in giving students who struggle in mainstream school environments due to social, emotional or mental health difficulties the skills to function effectively. The John Berne School’s priority is to prepare students either for a return to mainstream education, for entering trade training or other employment options, and the staff pride themselves in achieving this.
The students can present with challenging social, emotional and academic needs which require individualised programs aimed at developing or building on their skills, which can be behind same-aged peers. Nurturing these students requires staff who exercise enormous patience, unbounded love, provision of intensive support and gentle guidance. These qualities are critical in order to empower students to make the changes needed for success in education and wider society.
Students are received from across the greater Sydney region, offering them another chance. The low student-to-teacher ratio enables learning processes to be designed to address the individual needs of each student in ways that seek to problem solve and endow the student with the skills to adapt, learn and achieve an education.
We are grateful for the many supporters who continue to encourage us in this important work. Maintaining the level of help we offer in counselling, individualised education plans, family support and other specialist services, is dependent on financial resources donated from the wider community, along with sharing of their skills and experiences with the students and staff of Berne.
Br Mark Paul fms