In 1987, Rockingham Education Support Centre opened its door alongside the Rockingham Beach Primary School in response to increasing demand from the Rockingham community. There was a lack of educational options for young children who had been diagnosed with complex learning disabilities.
Under the direction of our principal and a team of special education teachers and assistants, speech-language pathologists, and occupational therapists, the Centre offered a different model to optimise each student’s academic, social, emotional and physical development in a caring and supportive learning environment. Each student would gain access to a comprehensive and highly individualised learning plan. Their plan would take into consideration the diagnostic information and reports for their specific diagnosis, and they would follow a modified curriculum that influences the development of fundamental skills to compensate for learning challenges.
As part of the program, their educators would facilitate appropriate activities and therapies through methods that address their learning styles and specific learning difficulties. Additionally, to promote self-esteem, self-confidence and life-long learning, each student would receive one-to-one support required to develop self-understanding and self-awareness to enhance.
The Centre was very well received, and its population increased as the City of Rockingham grew.
Rockingham Beach ESC had 52 students in February 2017.
Our shared whole-campus approach
When the Rockingham Education Support Centre and the Rockingham Beach Primary School became an Independent Public School cluster, we adopted a shared campus vision to ‘Aspire and Achieve Together’. This focus further enhances the growing positive relationship between our schools. Our own school vision of ‘Building Brilliant Futures for our Families’ sits beneath our campus direction and retains our own unique identity and gives us additional purpose and direction. We have four core values that have been created through consultation with staff and families. These are:
Embed skills for life;
Experience the extraordinary; and
Connect and Communicate.
Our two principals meet regularly to discuss campus issues or concerns, and the two schools support each other through numerous collaborations. This collaborative arrangement is based on mutual benefits and the sharing of professional knowledge and expertise. We bring parents, staff and students together to operate for the benefit of all students. We welcome the integration of students, support common events such as assemblies, and our teams share resources and expertise to aid student learning and we come together for joint celebrations as well as professional learning relevant to both teams.
We also share a School Board, Parents and Citizens Association, and some financial costs. All teachers across the campus complete playground duty which is a great opportunity for staff to connect with students in both schools.
We also share all campus facilities including:
- a library
- an undercover assembly and activity area
- a heritage room
- a music room full of instruments
- a staffroom
- fun playgrounds
- sporting field for physical education and athletics carnivals
Wherever possible, staff from both teams come together for combined school development days or other workshops. This ensures a consistent approach across the campus, especially when students often transition from one school to the other.
Rockingham Beach ESC is also a registered Teacher Development School specialising in Autism Spectrum Disorder. This means we are available to support teachers from the Primary School to help them develop strategies for working with primary school students who are on the spectrum.
The Rockingham Beach Primary Campus is conveniently located a short walk from Parkin Street and a stone’s throw from the Palm Beach Jetty in the Cockburn Sound. We’re adjacent to Lake Richmond – an icon renowned for its ancient stromatolites. This location is perfect for our young students who are keen to learn about the environment. They occasionally participate in maritime events and environmental studies.
Students are drawn to Rockingham Beach ESC from Bungaree, Cooloongup, Hillman, Rockingham, Safety Bay and Waikiki. A free school bus service is available for our students who live in these areas. Students living outside these areas are transported to school by their parents.