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Facilities

Darling Point School opened in 1958 as the Darling Point Opportunity School and was subsequently redeveloped in 1986 as Darling Point Special School.

The school is located in a modern complex on the waterfront at Manly, within the metropolitan region of Education Queensland and serves the geographic area of Manly, Wynnum, Lota, Ransome, Wakerley, Hemmant, Gumdale, and some parts of cannon hill, Capalaba, Belmont, Chandler, Birkdale and Wellington Point.

In 1998, Queensland government funding enhanced school facilities to provide a purpose-built bathroom and learning facilities for students with physical disabilities.

In recent years, substantial building programs have achieved a well-equipped snoezelen (sensory) room, multi-purpose area, a new adventure playground for middle phase learners, and a large shade sail for junior phase adventure playground, as well as three new classrooms, a new home economics learning precinct, new offices and staffroom in the administration area, and refurbished spaces for meetings, professional library, and therapists’ offices, and teacher preparation spaces.   

Specialist equipment supports inclusive learning opportunities for students attending the Darling Point Special School. Ceiling mounted hoist and mobility systems enable effective, dignified, safe transfer of students with physical disabilities and are used to effect by specially trained teachers and therapists to enable weight-bearing and supported mobility, whilst maximising student and staff safety. Plinths, ladder back chairs and other specialist equipment support the school’s mobility and exercise programs that reflect the principles of conductive education.

Technology is a key component of learning and teaching in all effective modern classrooms and such is certainly the case at Darling Point Special School. Students access iPad, iPod, android tablet and computer devices, interactive screens, adaptive devices, and low-tech equipment such as alphabet communication boards.

High quality, registered vocational education requires well-established facilities and has been a particular priority at Darling Point Special School. The modern home economics facility, with cappuccino machine, stoves, food preparation areas and equipment, enables the school to offer a registered certificate 1 course in hospitality where students engage in the full range of catering and hospitality offerings through the ‘Coffee on the Point’ coffee shop that opens to the wider school community on Thursdays for morning tea and lunch.

The manual arts precinct provides a well-established machining system where students manufacture timber chocks on contract with James Hardie ltd. For students to learn the wide range of safety, teamwork, machining and systems skills, the facility must reflect the same level of equipment and organisation as a typical workplace.

The snoezelen (sensory room) provides educators with a well-equipped environment to implement evidence-based teaching strategies after the work of Nielsen. These are particularly suited to students with coping and sensory tolerance issues linked to autism and other disabilities, those with intellectual disability, and those who need a variety of learning opportunities to embed success in understanding cause and effect and other problem solving skills. The room also presents a wonderful space for lessons in music, song and dance, story-telling, and drama.

Bicycle riding is an important component of learning for the students at Darling Point Special School and so the school boasts an extensive collection of adapted bicycles together with standard three- and two-wheeler bikes. Students ride in the large under-cover area, and when their expertise has developed, transition to the adjacent council park, the waterfront pathways, the police citizens’ youth club bikeway, and eventually local streets when a ‘bike licence’ has been achieved.

Drumming forms a popular program that appeals to many students’ sense of rhythm and enjoyment from entertaining themselves and others. The school boasts a choir of twelve hand-carved mahogany drums.

Adapted adventure playgrounds designed for young children, aged from four to nine years, and for middle phase students aged from ten to fifteen years, provide safe, supportive, inclusive play, leisure, recreation and educational opportunities.