The John Berne School, a mission of Marist Schools Australia, is a specialist secondary school for years 7–10. It specialises in up-skilling students who struggle to function effectively in mainstream school environments due to social, emotional or mental health difficulties.
The John Berne School’s priority is to transition students either for a return to mainstream education, for entering trade training or toward 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 student’s skills which are 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.