Giant Steps Sydney

Giant Steps established a school for children with autism (ASD) in Sydney in 1995. Now recognised as a leading education centre, the organisation has expanded its school provision to include a range of integral services to meet the needs of our students and families.

Our trans-disciplinary team supports students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Our team of teachers and therapists (Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Music Therapy) draw on their expertise to provide an innovative and individualised education and therapy program for each student.  These programs are based on the New South Wales Curriculum and incorporate all of the key learning areas.

Each member of our trans-disciplinary team play an integral part in the design, implementation and the assessment of the programs. This collaborative approach allows us to deliver rich learning programs within a supportive teaching environment. These programs aim to support student engagement and develop their skills. Our collaborative approach also allows us to differentiate the program to best support the individual social, physical and emotional needs of each students.

Giant Steps is a school that aims to provide a rich and meaningful education to children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. All students, from K-12, access the Australian Curriculum and are offered the wide array of subjects and experiences that their mainstreams peers access. Autism specific supports and strategies, including therapy support, are layered onto the curriculum within the classroom setting, to ensure our programs are engaging and motivating to our students to enable them to be active learners. Individualisation of these supports and outcomes also allow for students to be at their edge of learning, while still remaining part of the social context of the classroom. Giant Steps does not follow a single delivery model, but instead takes a humanistic and flexible approach to teaching students, aiming for the maximum development and independence that our students can achieve.

Giant Steps aims to build a community around our families, who often become isolated when a child is diagnosed with ASD. We work closely with families to understand how our students function across the whole 24 hours of their day, as all this information affects their ability to learn. We encourage connections with our local community and opportunities for our students to interact with and experience a variety of environments and people. We also provide evidence based and best practice training to other agencies and community groups to develop opportunities for our students in the wider community.

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Giant Steps Sydney

Giant Steps Sydney

SYDNEY TEAM
Erin Cowie

Erin Cowie

Head of K-6

Erin completed a Bachelor degree in Education (Birth to Twelve Years) at the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and has been working at Giant Steps since 2007.

Erin is currently the Head of Giant Steps Sydney K-6 and a member of the Student Engagement Support Team. She has completed a vast array of professional development, presenting work on the Giant Steps Student Engagement Support Program at the International Institute of Applied Behavioural Analysis conference in Ireland.

Erin also completed a professional development course at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

Claire Cherrington

Claire Cherrington

Head of Secondary, Clocktower

Claire completed a Bachelor of Education (Human Movement and Health Education) at the University of Sydney in 2010, and has been teaching at Giant Steps since 2011.

She has completed a range of professional development in curriculum and middle leadership and has a passion for outdoor education opportunities for students with special needs.

During her time at Giant Steps, Claire has planned and supported a number of camps for the Senior students, including an overnight bushwalking camp in 2016.

Claire is currently the joint Head of Secondary, Clocktower and a member of the Student Engagement Support team.

Toby Shi

Toby Shi

Head of Secondary, Clocktower
BAppSc(OT)

Toby holds a Bachelor of Heath Science (Occupational Therapy) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy). Toby has been working at Giant Steps since 2006 and has worked across all the different programs in the school.

He started his career in the secondary program and has returned to it once again as the current joint Head of Secondary, Clocktower.

Toby has a particular interest in developing and promoting activities of daily living skills and assisting students to gain as much independence as possible.

Daniel Snow

Daniel Snow

Head of Secondary, Laneway
BAppSc(OT)

Daniel Snow holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), Honours, and has been working at Giant Steps since 2012.

His special interests include: childhood play and the design of play spaces for children (he coordinated the Sydney Playground Project research at Giant Steps with the University of Sydney). He completed longitudinal training in the Assessment and Analysis of Severe and Challenging Behaviour conducted by the Institute of Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2015.

Giant Steps is creating a national profile within the schooling and disability sectors.

Please support Giant Steps through a tax deductible donation and help change the lives of children and young and adults with autism.

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