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Sale Specialist School

Safe, secure and stimulating environments to empower learners of all abilities

THE IDEA

The Sale and District Specialist School project was a result of passionate campaigning by members of the school community. As the only dedicated specialist educational facility within the Wellington Shire, the existing school was operating from multiple campuses, resulting in a limited capacity to provide optimum learning outcomes for students.

The project brief was to consolidate these existing campuses into a single purpose-built educational facility on a greenfield site, with a strong focus on providing a safe, secure and stimulating environment to support the varied learning needs of their children.


THE SOLUTION

The new school environment supports a vibrant community of learners, creating safe and secure, yet challenging environments that empower individuals to build upon their abilities.

The new facilities comprise three learning homesteads for junior, middle and senior years, a dedicated administration building and a multi-purpose building located around a central plaza which creates a vibrant heart to the school, fostering a sense of community.

The buildings have been strategically placed on the site, breaking up the overall campus to create appropriately sized external courtyards, reducing the need for fencing and creating a less institutional and more nurturing environment.

A variety of spaces are provided within the Learning Homesteads to allow students to access the type of space that gives them the most personal comfort and choice in their learning. The Central Plaza physically and visually links all facilities together, creating a cohesive centre to the school where students can feel connected to the whole school community, reducing the anxiety that can be experienced by younger students transitioning into older year levels.

The school has been planned to provide increased opportunities for community interaction, with the multipurpose spaces being designed to operate independently of the rest of the school outside of school hours, facilitating community use of school grounds on weekends.


“The school and community are thrilled with the result, an educational environment that is safe and secure while challenging, with the flexibility to meet the need of learners with special needs now and into the future.”

Shelagh Donegan, Sale and District Specialist School Principal


THE IMPACT

Student stress levels have significantly reduced in these new learning environments due to effective acoustic treatments, a calming visual palette and the availability of natural light.  Students can also access smaller quiet zones, both externally and internally, which enable them to self-regulate feeling overwhelmed within the larger learning spaces.

The new facilities provide students with the opportunity to achieve their social, emotional, physical and intellectual potential in a variety of different learning environments.

ADDRESS

333 Princes Highway, Sale VIC

STATUS

Complete

AWARDS

Best Combined School or Special (Development) school (Finalist) - Victorian School Design Awards, 2018