The Smith Street Unit
The Smith Street Unit is an annexe of Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts. The Smith Street Unit offers a specialised learning and behaviour support environment for appropriate students in Years 7-12. Students are referred to the Unit by a Department of Education and Communities placement panel.
The Unit was established in 1990 in response to the growing problem of meeting the learning outcomes for students with severe behaviour needs. Initially the unit had six primary and six secondary students. John Frew (Principal of Holsworthy High School) the founding manager was honoured to put pen to paper to share some of his great memories about the Smith Street Unit, and the special place it holds in his extensive and varied teaching career.
'I remember well the first day I arrived at the run down building that is the celebrated Smith Street Unit. Along with my colleague Sandra May I vividly recall unlocking the front door to be greeted with dirt and filth that had built up over the years of neglect. Of course it was not empty but the home of various breeds of vermin, rats and pigieons that had left their mark on the walls and floor. From such a humble start we commenced a journey that has been continued by a succession of talented and dedicated teachers who carry on opening that door and enter into the most exciting work place. Another day, not long after the first day, a group of gutsy students arrived. These challenging and difficult students were the first in their line. Together we navigated our way through those early years. Personally I owe these students so much. Their courage just to survive despite their all too often cruel childhood taught me so much more about myself than I could ever teach them. I know that partnership between staff and students is at the heart of the success enjoyed at the Smith Street Unit. I have been honoured to be a small part of its illustrious history.'
Our Mission Statement:
The Smith Street Unit is committed to providing our students with challenging learning experiences that strengthen resilience, emotional intelligence and promote social responsibility while extending their academic engagement.
Address: 53 Smith Street
Wollongong, NSW 2500
Postal Box: P.O.Box 295
Fairy Meadow NSW 2519
Phone: (02) 4228 8884
Fax: (02) 4226 4052