The Bendigo Special Developmental School provides education programs for school aged students with a moderate to severe intellectual disability, who reside in the Bendigo Region. The current enrolment is 133 students with a full time equivalent of 131.2. The new school premises were established in Kangaroo Flat in September 2006. Students have ready access to community facilities.
DEECD curriculum guidelines are followed at the school. Specialised curriculum addresses physical, sensory, social, emotional, behavioral and intellectual needs of all students. Each student has an individualised learning plan.
Curriculum is delivered through a wide range of resources and facilities. Classrooms are stimulating and well equipped with an extensive range of educational equipment and communication aids. A hydrotherapy pool, spa room, gymnasium, student kitchen, and extensive bicycle track with a range of adapted bicycles, specialised therapy room and equipment and year round access to hydrotherapy facilities, enrich programs. Student health and safety is paramount and is constantly monitored through a grounds master plan that maintains a secure and stimulating outdoor environment, with challenging play equipment and shadeport sun protection. Grounds beautification, through the development of a sensory garden, has been a major priority at the school.
Teamwork and communication between staff and parents is a priority. Program Support Group Meetings, preparation and review of Individual Education Plans, a fortnightly newsletter and daily communication promote staff/parent cooperation and involvement. Program development and implementation is a team effort involving teachers, teacher assistants, parents, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and counsellors. Individual needs of students are met through a small pupil/teacher ratio and flexible staffing and grouping arrangements.
Several students are involved in integration programs in mainstream schools for varying time fractions. Cooperative planning and programming between both educational settings and continual review and support of student progress are essential elements of the success and extension of these programs.
As a recognised resource for special education, the school provides an information, consultancy and professional development base for teachers, parents, tertiary students and other people involved in the disability field.
This school is committed to respecting the dignity of the individual and providing students with disabilities with maximum opportunity to extend their intellectual, physical, social and emotional development in a safe, happy and positive environment.
Bendigo Special Developmental School in partnership with parents, carers and the community aims to provide students with individual education programs, which will maximize opportunities to improve educational outcomes.