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We believe that all students should be able to thrive in mainstream school however we know that for a small percentage of students this is not always possible. Oakwood School provides opportunities for young people, aged 10 to 18 years of age who have disengaged from school or where a mainstream school learning environment is seen to be inappropriate to meet the young person’s needs

The background of students at Oakwood School is diverse but they have in common the experience of trauma in their lives through for example, violence, family breakdown and associated mental health issues. Often young people have not engaged in learning as a result of chronic anxiety, or specific learning or language difficulties.

Young people seeking enrolment at Oakwood School will usually be connected with a range of mental health, child protection or youth workers but have been disconnected for some time from schools and teachers. Oakwood School provides a safe and supportive learning environment that enables young people to reconnect with teachers and learning as embodied in Oakwood’s intent of “Learning, Respect and Empowerment”.

We believe that all students would like to be attending school and learning. We have a further strong belief that “students will give the best that they have got”, in other words, if they could do better at school, they would. The intention of Oakwood School is to re-introduce students to learning to the extent that they are able to be successful and to build upon these successes to develop their learning potential and journey to a successful adult pathway.

The program is centred around a developmentally responsive personalised learning and pathway plan with a focus on the development of literacy, numeracy, social development, pursuing student’s interests and studies of Art and Physical Education.

Oakwood School has campuses in Caulfield North, Noble Park and Frankston and “pop-up” schools at community venues in Hastings, Rosebud, Pakenham and Mornington.

Oakwood School also runs a satellite VCAL program at Longbeach Place in Chelsea. This is a re-engagement program where students are enrolled in a VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) program at Foundation, Intermediate or Senior level. Students also have the opportunity to complete a VET Certificate. Delivery of the program is flexible to allow students to complete their certificate over several years, if required. This unique program is delivered in a non-mainstream educational setting and gives students the opportunity to experience success with learning.

The program at the Caulfield Park Community campus of Oakwood School includes Music, Home Economics and Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) programs. Integral to the program at Caulfield Park are significant events such as camps, excursions and whole school activities.

Prior to enrolment at Oakwood School the student attends a series of meetings that enable Oakwood School staff to better understand the young person in a case managed approach alongside parents, carers and other professionals. This gradual process also allows the student time to become accustomed to the school and teachers and to become aligned with the school values and processes. This intake process is designed to ensure that when the young person starts at Oakwood School they are prepared and ready to focus on learning.

The Oakwood School team comprises the educational leadership team of principal, campus principals, student wellbeing and teaching and learning leaders, teachers and allied health professionals, such as psychologists, mental health nurse, youth workers and administrative staff.

Oakwood School is continuing to develop across the South East Victoria Region as a coordinated approach to engaging our most vulnerable young people with learning.