Hampden Specialist School provides Special Education for Primary and Secondary school age students with mild to severe intellectual and other disabilities. It is a two campus school featuring distinct P - 4 and 5 - 12 age campuses. The School Administration is located at its Cobden campus.
The catchment area encompasses Derrinallum and Mortlake in the north, Garvoc and Nullawarre to the west, Timboon and Port Campbell to the south and Stoneyford to the east and all areas in between.
Neighbouring Specialist Schools are located at Warrnambool, Colac and Hamilton.
The schools most distinguishing feature is its Baseroom style of education delivery. In keeping with this style of operation, each campus is located alongside same age regular schools. The P - 4 campus with 22 students, is located next to Terang College P - 4 campus and the Middle years (5 – 9) and Later Years (10 – 12) campus with a total of 46 students, is located on the grounds of Cobden Technical School. The towns of Cobden and Terang, in which these campuses are situated, are 24 kilometres apart. The combined enrolment in 2020 is 68.
The Baseroom operation, combined with staff dedication to achieving optimum student outcomes, continues to be the driving force of the school. The school motto the best of Both Worlds in Special education derived from this practice that underpins all aspects of the school. Through the Baseroom style of Curriculum delivery, the
objective is to extend the range of educational and social options available to the students who attend Hampden Specialist School. It is also to enable Hampden Specialist School students and those with disabilities enrolled in host schools, to experience success within regular school environments which otherwise would not have been attainable.
These objectives are pursued within a context of respecting and valuing the aims of neighbouring and host schools, and maintaining optimum levels of dignity for students with disabilities in those schools. Hampden Specialist School students have access to teaching staff with Special Education qualifications, teacher assistants and paramedical aides. Physiotherapists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists are employed on a contract needs basis. At Hampden Specialist School each student is offered an individually planned education program (I.L.P.) that is based on the student’s ability, strengths and interests and the Victorian Curriculum. These I.L.P.s are devised and implemented in consultation with specialists and parents. Parents and guardians are encouraged to work in partnership with teachers in developing positive educational outcomes for their children.
Curriculum is offered in all Victorian Curriculum Strands with the exception of LOTE. Developmental Curriculum and Inquiry Learning is in operation through all levels in the school, as is Hands on Learning. The increased educational and social benefits are already well established at this school.
Specialised programs include Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech Pathology, Swimming, Camps and Rideability. A particular feature of the school is access to a wide range of programs and curriculum areas offered by the host primary and secondary school.
A continuing objective of all Hampden Specialist School operations is to further the aims of education, and in particular, special education across all schools. This is put into practice through sharing of expertise and resources that are unique to our school. It also includes the provision of support to host school students with special needs as part of the regular program at Hampden Specialist School.
The school takes pride in the success of its Literacy and Numeracy programs offered across all levels of the school. These programs are enhanced by the use of increasingly sophisticated Information Technology.