This episode looks at how secondary schools can support students who are living with trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). We consider the common challenges, how to respond, and offer some tips for school staff.

We ask what form trauma and ACEs can take and what impact this can have on young people and their education, including the particular impacts we often see at secondary level.

We discuss the signs to look-out for that a student is living with trauma and the key tenets of effective support, including how to build strong relationships and trust, how to create safe spaces, and how to “be curious” about students.

We talk about behaviour as a form of communication: how to handle incidents and meltdowns, how to be curious about the causes of behaviour, and how to engage with students who are on “high-alert” or battling with “fight-flight-freeze-fawn” – and why “connection before correction” is crucial.

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