Kamaruka is a specialist school in located in South Yarra. Kamaruka caters to boys from Years 2 to Year 10. The Kamaruka approach is designed for neurodivergent boys, such as those diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students generally have an IQ of 80 or above.

Students who enrol at Kamaruka have often found it difficult to navigate the mainstream education system, which may not have been able to accommodate and support their unique needs. Through a modified curriculum, positive experiences, and a sense of belonging at Kamaruka, self-esteem is restored and a pathway towards a rewarding future becomes possible.

The Kamaruka approach, proposes to address the social/ emotional, as well as the academic and behavioural challenges, often exhibited by the students enrolled. Adopting a multi-modal approach, the teachers collaborate with parents and carers, as well as external professionals (where applicable), to increase on-task behaviour, reduce anxiety and aggression, improve wellbeing, as well as behavioural and academic progress.

Expectations are clear and firm, and all activities are designed to be slightly beyond their zone of proximal development, whilst taking into consideration the individual’s capabilities and capacity. The clear boundaries and routines within the school allow every student to feel safe, accepted and valued.

Empowerment and self-determination are the ultimate goals that Kamaruka staff strive for as educators of any student with a learning challenge. Therefore, at Kamaruka we ensure that student wellbeing is addressed by providing students with access to two School Counsellors, as well as weekly Social/Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) lessons.

Research has demonstrated that complex physical activity, such as martial arts, strengthens neural networks within the brain, enabling young people with ADHD to practice self-control and manage symptoms like impulsivity and distractibility. In addition to this, the martial arts program also enables young people to develop their physical coordination, provides opportunities to release energy and enables young people to focus on their own individual growth. Consequently, Kamaruka has incorporated martial arts into its educational program and throughout the years many students have developed their self-esteem and be extremely proud of what they have been able to achieve from participation in this structured physical activity.