St Lucy's goes solar

Students at St Lucy’s School, Wahroonga, love the chance to go swimming, and they will have even more opportunity to do so thanks to the custom built solar panel and battery array, recently installed at the school thanks to RED Energy.

The system, which is believed to be the first of its kind in NSW, will mean that students will be able to swim for most of the year, instead of just Terms 1 and 4.

Students at the special needs school spend an hour every week in the school’s pool.

“Swimming time is community building time,” said Deputy Principal Susan Jones.

“There are a huge range of student abilities, with some representative swimmers and also some students who are beginning to learn water awareness. This means that, in addition to the fully qualified swimming teacher, there are often six or even seven volunteers in the pool with the students. These volunteers are usually parents, which means that every swimming lesson is a chance for the school community to come together.”

There are more than 130 students at St Lucy’s. More than 70% are on the autistic spectrum. Other students have significant mobility issues. There are also three satellite classes at local schools.

Sixty staff, made up of teachers, assistants and other professionals work with the students to deliver a broad and holistic program.

“It’s about helping the students find their gifts and passions,” Susan said.

The school uses a social learning model to help prepare students for the community.