Latrobe Special Developmental School has a range of programs in place to suit the needs of its students.
Latrobe Special Developmental School Senior Unit is involved in a program called Advance - a Victorian Program for Youth Development. It is a flexible, school-based program which provides opportunities for students to participate in their local community.
The goal of Advance is to enable young people’s participation and volunteering in community life. Advance is available to all Victorian Government secondary schools and is designed for young people in Years 9 and above. Through participation in the program:
• Young people will develop skills to participate in their communities.
• Young people will be engaged in community activities.
• Communities will support young people’s engagement and participation.
The essential elements of Advance are that young people DO something with their community, that they do it in PARTNERSHIP with a community organisation and that it involves young people’s CHOICE. Advance builds on the Government’s commitment to provide better links between schools and communities.
To date the senior students at Latrobe Special Developmental School have participated in a range of projects involving local community organisations such as local primary schools, local park committees and Meals on Wheels.
The Apex House unit comprises a classroom, hydro therapy pool, multi-sensory rooms and multi-sensory garden. Students with severe physical and multiple disabilities attend this class, which is staffed by a teacher, assistants and has intensive input from the physiotherapist, speech and occupational therapist.
Programs offered in the Apex House classroom are designed to meet the student’s emotional, personal and physical needs within a stimulating and educational setting. Whilst the daily program incorporates all of the Victorian Curriculum learning areas, the students of Apex House also receive:
A high level of communication is maintained with families through regular SSG meetings, communication diaries, personal care plans and regular phone contact.
Students participate in a range of extended stays, sleepovers and camps. These experiences build resilience, social skills and independence in a familiar, safe, supportive environment.
Extended Stay – begins in the junior end of the school with students staying up to 5 pm with an afternoon activity and tea. Students transitioning from the Junior Unit to the Middle Years Unit will then stay with students from the Middle Years Unit who are participating in the sleepover. These students stay until about 7 pm and participate in extracurricular activities including sharing a meal with their peers.
Sleepover – After successful completion of an extended stay, students are offered an opportunity to experience a night away from home within the familiar school environment. Activities during this experience include such things as craft, walks, camp cooking and a movie. Students then prepare for bed and the next morning experience breakfast at school and then undertake normal school routine.
Camps – Middle Years students who have completed a successful sleepover are offered the opportunity to go to Licola School Camp with activities that include archery, bush cooking, flying fox, low ropes, disco, giant swing and canoeing. The camp provides trained experience facilitators.
On occasions the high needs group in Apex House will undertake their own camp. These students are exposed to more sensory type experiences at this time and are substantially supported by staff.
In the Senior Unit students are more involved in the process for selecting where they will go to camp. Previous camps have been held in Melbourne, Paynesville, Phillip Island, and Coonawarra, to name a few. The motivation is still the same, independent living skill building, resilience, social skills and experiencing something different.
This is a program offered to students in the Senior Unit or those transitioning into the Senior Unit. It is held locally and attended by a variety of adult centres and special schools. The students experience sailing in a boat that cannot capsize.
All students are initially accompanied by an adult and some students develop the ability to sail on their own. Safety is paramount and it is an excellent program to develop student’s ability to have a go and develop a hobby. An inter school sailing regatta usually ends the sailing season and is a great opportunity to socialise with other schools.
Students are encouraged to actively participate in a range of different sporting activities. Each year we hold a variety of different special days that promote health and sport; these have included, Move-a-Thon, Footy Colours Day, Blender Bike.
All students can access:
In the Middle and Senior Units they participate in:
All activities are practiced and taught giving students kills which support building friendships, social skills, and options for post school leisure activities.
Students and families also have access to the All Abilities sports program after school hours.
All students are offered the opportunity to participate in various excursions and incursions throughout the school year. These activities are linked to the curriculum and reflect the focus of the unit or school. These may vary from unit to unit or may be a whole school activity.
Examples of past excursions/incursions include; Life Education Van, Local Library, Zoos, Emergency Services, Musical Incursions, etc.