The PBL framework supports schools to become trauma-informed by increasing awareness of the effects of trauma on students’ learning, wellbeing and behaviour, including attendance, engagement, relationships with others, academic achievement and behaviour. This awareness includes being mindful of avoiding re-traumatisation and looking beyond the immediate or ‘surface’ behaviours.
Schools using a trauma-informed approach provide universal support to all students and are sensitive to individual needs, addressing student needs holistically and working in partnership with caregivers and agencies to provide evidence-based interventions for students who are experiencing difficulties associated with complex trauma.
PBL helps schools to develop safe, positive, consistent and predictable environments, which are foundational to a trauma-informed approach. Challenges in relation to behaviour, mental health, academic success and social issues are best addressed using an integrated approach focused on the whole child.
Research shows that many students have experienced or are still experiencing early trauma. The high prevalence of trauma underlines the importance of a whole-school approach, which assumes that all students will benefit from support, taking into consideration emotional, academic and behavioural responses. In addition, an awareness amongst all staff of the prevalence and effects of trauma, and the importance of a positive school environment, is the foundation for effective trauma-informed support.
Fact sheet: PBL and trauma-informed practices