The Lakes College (otherwise known as TLC) is a small alternative school located in Blue Haven on the NSW Central Coast. We opened in 2017 with two staff members and 12 students due to the increasing amount of disengaged and at risk youth within the wider community, and a desire by John Martin (current School Manager) to address this issue. We now have five staff members and 24 students. Our school caters to young people in both Year 9 and 10 by providing a smaller more inclusive setting, giving us a chance to be heard and a place to set goals to achieve. Here we work towards our goals post Year 10, whether it is employment, TAFE or continuing to Year 11 and 12.
We like to view The Lakes College as a strong team who all support each other day to day. We are based in Blue Haven Community Centre. We are first and foremost students, but we also cook our breakfast, recess and lunch at school in our kitchens, make sure the place is clean, tend to our veggie garden and work and play on the brilliant sporting facilities our school so fortunately has around it.
We begin each week by working on our academic KLA’s with our teachers on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday we work with our amazing supporters at San Remo Neighbourhood Centre on our physical and mental health strategies, Year 9 work together on their computer and literacy and numeracy skills, and Year 10 work on their qualifications and work skills to prepare them for the real world before heading to the gym for a workout. Thursdays we have Men’s and Women’s group and then work on special projects (such as the Archibull Prize!!) and project based learning that’s relevant to our interests. On Friday we give back to the community through service learning. This involves going into the community and making a difference wherever we can. We volunteer at the RSPCA, Toukley Neighbourhood Centre (serving meals and engaging in nourishing conversation with the elderly) and participate in a cycling program aimed at raising money for charity.
We love TLC because it gives us opportunities we wouldn't get elsewhere.