Primary School

MELBOURNE

The curriculum’s key learning areas support a student’s ongoing learning, social development and ability to participate in our society.

Trish Karedis

Trish Karedis

Principal

Trish Karedis leads the Melbourne School by drawing on her many years of teaching children with autism at Giant Steps Sydney.

Her experience includes supporting primary and secondary students in both specialised and mainstream education settings. Based on the success of the Giant Steps Sydney model, her vision is to create a school of excellence, catering for the complex needs of students with autism. She draws on her extensive leadership experience at both organisational and instructional levels to establish and expand the school to support more students and families.

Trish is committed to guiding and strengthening the professional collaboration between teachers, therapists and educators within the school. She is passionate about this creative process and its positive impact on student outcomes. She is a strong advocate for students with special needs and is committed to building partnerships to foster inclusion within the wider community. Trish holds a Master of Communication Management, a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Economics (Social Sciences).

Teachers and therapists in the primary school at Giant Steps collaborate to ensure teaching and learning is dynamic and innovative.

The Giant Steps Primary School teaches across all subject areas from the Victorian curriculum; English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Creative Arts, Physical and Personal Education and Health.

Teachers and therapists collaborate to write diverse and motivating scope and sequences for learning across a range of meaningful and purposeful topics for our students. We aim to teach our students skills and knowledge across a range of environments such as school, home and the wider community to ensure they can generalise their learning to a variety of contexts.

The Giant Steps program prides itself on delivering a functional program to support its students’ individual engagement and learning. For instance, teaching Maths, concepts of number; addition, subtraction and the value and handling of money, has led to the design of our ‘financial literacy program’. Through the delicate differentiation of the curriculum, the use of resources and adapted environments, children move from learning in their classroom spaces to engaging in real life community experiences on a weekly basis. These activities are often the most challenging for many students with autism as the wider community is highly unpredictable and brings them into contact with unfamiliar people. Our teaching team provides all the necessary supports for the students to be included in the community and develop important skills in a meaningful way.  These activities include using public transport, using a bank, shopping in supermarkets and stores, and swimming in the community pool. Whilst financial literacy and exchanging money is the primary objective, these activities also provide additional opportunities to integrate other areas of the curriculum including learning about the environment (HSIE), reading to gather information (English) and road safety (PDHPE) to name a few.  In addition they also have the opportunity to try new experiences which may have seemed inaccessible including hiking and attending community events like participating in live performances and going on overnight camps away from their familiar home environments.

Teachers and therapists in the primary school at Giant Steps collaborate to ensure teaching and learning is dynamic and innovative, engaging our students through meaningful content and resourcing using diverse pedagogical strategies. We aim to motivate our students to be part of a class group, focusing on togetherness, smooth transitions, social learning and independence. Families are provided with two academic reports per year based on student individual learning goals and communicated with regularly through a range of means such as newsletters, emails, phone calls and face to face meetings.

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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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