The school was established in 1976 by Ken Jago and Bruce Wicking, educators who recognised that not all young people are capable of success in a mainstream school environment.
Berengarra has campuses in Box Hill and Ashwood. Box Hill caters for students aged 12 to 16 and has capacity for 40 students.
Ashwood is for students aged 16 to 19 who are considering vocational training, and therefore has a TAFE and work component. Ashwood has capacity for 32 students. It recently opened a café in Ashwood, enabling students to complete the work education component of their VCAL studies.
To ensure that individual needs are met, class sizes are 10 students or less, and most have the support of a teaching assistant.
Two Central Themes
- Our students need assistance in:
- re-establishing their self-esteem
- competence in handling social situations with peers, teachers and other adults
- increased understanding of their own lives
- the confidence to make changes
- Our students need an academic program which provides opportunities that meet individual needs.
Our aims are to:
- break the cycle of failure for students with social and emotional problems
- offer students a stimulating,challenging and comprehensive curriculum
- teach skills for responsible participation in the community
- support students’ families and care-givers.
Our students have difficulties because of a number of problems in school and home life rather than one specific cause. Typically these include:
- a marked lack of confidence
- poor academic performance
- poor reading skills
- poor self-image
- difficulties in forming relationships with peers and/or adults
- difficult behaviour, either withdrawn or acting out.