Lomandra School is a NSW Department of Education and Communities Special School for students with severe challenging behaviours and/or mental health issues. With 70 students Years 5-12, it is the largest school of its kind in NSW.
The school values academic achievement and sets high expectations for all students to extend their abilities in numeracy and literacy. Daily, they are engaged in challenging learning experiences. Today, for instance, one class is undertaking the scientific task of dissecting sheep eyes; another class is completing its diorama on the Kokoda Trail to display and talk about at a special assembly to farewell five of our students who are attempting the Trek in Papua New Guinea next week.
And beyond that, we strive to prepare our students for life beyond school. It is important to us that our students develop the practical skills and emotional wherewithal to live well in the community. The school promotes social responsibility. School life will eventually pass for them all and it is important that they understand the values and aspirations of their communities as they strive to develop their own values and identities. As well, they will need high levels of self-awareness and self-management. The school and its many programs build opportunities and experiences for this learning.
One vital focus for their learning is resilience. It is a personal quality that can serve them well when asked to take on new skills in future workplaces. Thrown into new learning and new challenges - academic, physical and social challenges - students are encouraged to not give up! This is no more evident when students are engaged in a week-long excursion to the snow where giving up might be an easy option. The school has just completed its fourth annual excursion to the snow - this time, for 15 students: none of the students, in spite of their personal challenges in regulating their own behaviours or managing their own mental health conditions, gave up. Despite the difficulties of the new skills in an environment foreign to them all, each student make remarkable progress!
During their education at Lomandra, students will be engaged in:
healthy lifestyle programs, including food technology, nutrition, self-presentation
outdoor education, including surfing, sailing, camping, abseiling, map-reading
transition to work programs, including work experience and TAFE programs.
With this school ethos, the students attending Lomandra are challenged.
And their imaginations about their future, their self-confidence, their capacity to relate appropriately to other people are all shifted forward.
ABC 702 podcast
Linda Mottram's morning program
Interview with George and Mark Smith about Lomandra School.
Lomandra School, established in 1998, caters for students in Year 5 to Year 12 with severe challenging behaviours and/or emotional disturbances.
The students at Lomandra are preparing for life beyond school by taking part in challenging learning experiences that extend practical and academic skills, strengthen emotional intelligence and promote social responsibility.