help us build a discovery centre of imagination
Building independence, nurturing talents and encouraging creativity are pivotal to helping children with disabilities reach their full potential.
These will be the hallmarks of a remarkable new school environment tipped to change the lives of students for generations to come at St Paul’s College. For more than 60 years VMCH’s specialist school, St Paul’s College, has provided outstanding education to thousands of children with a wide range of intellectual, physical, sensory and profound multiple disabilities.
Thanks to strong community support, the school has thrived over the years. Now, VMCH is seeking assistance to help us on the next stage of our journey, following our recent move from Kew to our new site in Balwyn. We want to ensure that this new environment is everything our students need and deserve.
Our latest appeal, Donate to Create, is helping fund the School’s Discovery Centre of Imagination; an integrated learning environment where each child is given the best possible springboard from which to learn to live as independently as possible. The initial stages of development were completed for the opening of the school term in February this year, and now further works are underway to keep enhancing project.
We have begun building these amazing elements into the school plan:
- An Assistive Technology Centre giving students with communication difficulties or who are non-verbal the power to communicate via speech-generating devices controlled by eye-movements, switches and symbols.
- A Technology Pod featuring iPads, apps, virtual reality and 3D printing where students can bring their imagined designs and creations to life.
- A Sensory Room featuring tactile walls and calming and invigorating colour combinations to support children with sensory issues including those associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
- A STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Room delivering robotics, programming, environmental and renewable energy studies alongside traditional arts and math subjects.
- A comprehensive Discovery Centre Library and Library Pods in the senior and middle school building; fostering research, knowledge and reflection.
- The Black Cat Café and Kitchen Garden giving senior students the opportunity to develop essential life skills to pave the way for their future employment and independence.
- Outdoor Discovery Play Spaces dedicated to a range of physical, sensory, creative, dramatic and imaginative play via cubbies, climbing equipment, a kitchen garden, and bicycle track.
St Paul’s College Principal Tim Hemphill reports the school community is very excited about the plans, which will benefit the wider community for generations to come.
“The Centre will support real life scenarios and give life-affirming skills in a safe and sensory-specific learning environment,” he said.
“The ultimate aim is to help our students prepare for independent living through supportive relationships which foster individual academic and personal development.
“We are fortunate to have highly skilled teachers, therapists and education support staff who are committed to supporting our children to reach their full potential. We hope that – with community support – we can give our teachers and their teams the best possible environment from which to deliver an outstanding education so that our students can continue to flourish and thrive.”