Riverside Girls High School — equipping teachers to have more useful conversations with students

Riverside Girls High School is a girls' high school in Sydney's inner west, which includes some of Sydney's wealthiest and most elite suburbs and also public housing areas — and most things in between!

Driven by then Deputy Principal, Peggy Druitt, this project was about equipping teachers to have more useful conversations with students. The emphasis was on how to use Solution-Focused questions to side-step typically dead-end conversations with students.

Michael Durrant conducted a seminar for the school Executive, then half-day training for the school Welfare Committee, then a full-day inservice training for all the staff of the school. Michael then offered a half-day consultation once each term for the next year or so. These half-day sessions were open for any staff to attend as and if they wanted. Sessions included discussion of people's experiences using Solution-Focused ideas with students, sharing successes, role-playing and brainstorming challenges and difficulties, exploring wider implications, consulting with the Head Teacher (Welfare) about particular issues, and so on.


How did these ideas make a difference?

NOTE: The nature of high schools is that key staff members, particularly members of the leadership team, move on and are replaced by people with different ideas and different emphases. Thus, programs and policies change over time.