Canberra's only special assistance school has opened an additional campus to better help its year 10 students prepare for the next stage of life.
Galilee School, run by Communities@Work, purpose-built the Holder facility to complement its Kambah site.
The independent secondary school works with students in years 7 to 10 who struggle in the mainstream environment. They may have complex physical or mental disabilities, have experienced youth detention or face difficulties at home. Some have missed years of schooling.
Principal Tim McNevin said Galilee had a "whatever it takes" attitude in helping students receive an education. Students who arrive by 9.30am are able to access breakfast through a healthy living program, and those who can't get to school are picked up and dropped home.
The student to teacher ratio is 5:1 and youth workers work alongside teachers.
"The sort of phrase I sometimes throw out there is with traditional school, for some of these young people it's a square peg into a round hole," Mr McNevin said.
"We provide a square hole so they can be who they are and we can meet them where they are and put them on a journey to success."
The Holder campus will provide a more intensive, adult-style environment than the Kambah site for the 15 and 16-year-olds preparing to finish high school.
As well as delivering the Australian Curriculum, Galilee School staff help students with interpersonal and life skills, offering help in subjects including cooking, road readiness and navigating the legal system.
With fewer than 30 students, the school is able to home in on each student's needs and offer individualised learning plans to help them reach their full potential.
"Galilee's a successful environment because of the supports and assistance that we can put in place," Mr McNevin said.
"That next chapter for them may not have those supports in place, so many of those challenges that they are navigating through while they're with us haven't been totally resolved and for many of them, stepping out of this supportive and nurturing environment into a less supportive and less nurturing environment where they're going to have to cope on their own is quite intimidating and builds a bit of anxiety in them.
"We do what we can to reduce that anxiety and maintain that support."
The new campus will officially launch next month.