Katandra School Project
Katandra School is a Government Special Education setting exclusively for primary aged students, who have an intellectual disability. A team of dedicated professionals provide a unique learning environment that promotes success, friendship and a sense of belonging for all students.
The school is located in Ormond, close to Ormond Railway Station and serves a wide geographical area that incorporates the cities of Glen Eira, Bayside, Kingston and parts of Monash.
Following an introduction by the City of Glen Eira sustainability department, our Rotary Club became involved with the school. After a number of meetings with the school principal Bruce McPhate, we began the process of improving the planting gardens at the school.
Bruce, in our discussions, identified his observations from his office, that many ethnic groups of grandmothers, mothers and children would often sit on the brick fence of the school and hold informal social gatherings. This led us to the idea of perhaps opening up the school garden to those members of the local community who could use a redeveloped garden as a community space. This also would assist in our application to the City of Glen Eira for a grant.
Plans were drawn up to include a gate from the side street into the garden precinct of the school. This garden precinct in itself was in a secure area of the school, which enabled the school students to access the area with teachers or the community to access the space without access to the school grounds either during specified school hours or after school and weekends.
Stages were identified:
1. To enhance the existing raised garden beds, which already had recycled water from water tanks collecting roof water, but had not been actively mused for some time.
2. To enhance the surface surrounding these beds
3. To install seating for students, teachers and members of the community
4. To install the community access gate
5. To install a greenhouse, so that the students could propagate their own plants.
6. To install a garden work shed
7. To have the students paint a mural on the brick wall as part of the garden design.
Items 1 – 4 were the subject of a successful council grant application and items 5 & 6 are currently being resourced and hoped to be installed shortly.
The brick wall has been painted in preparation for the students work vto be done.
A working bee of club members and school parents was held earlier this year were the ground was cleared, weed proof matting laid and a soft mulch spread, the garden beds weeded and prepared for planting.
The seating was put together and installed. This seating, specifically sought for the project is made from recycled plastic. The three benches were actually made from the equivalent of 50,000 recycled plastic bags!
The community access gate was installed as plans are being developed by the school to invite the community to make use of the garden precinct and even assist the students in the planting and care of the plants and vegetables.
Rotary Club of Glen Eira