Ascot Vale Heights School – Formally known as Ascot Vale Special School
Our daughter has been at Ascot Vale Special School for the last 10 years - since she was in Prep. Before making the move to the school we did our homework due to her rare intellectual and physical disability. She is now a very happy child, always up early getting ready and wanting to go to school.
We were impressed from our first walk around the school!!! The way the teachers and front office staff interact with the students and seeing their response is very rewarding. To see their artwork and achievements displayed around the school is inspiring for all.
The specialised programs / electives that the school offers in both junior and senior years will amaze both you and your child. As parents you want your child to be independent and ready for life / work once school is completed and, like you, the school is always wanting the very best for your child. It is never too early to discuss your child's interests so you can help them accomplish their goals.
Our daughter has come a long way, in leaps and bounds. The teachers are always challenging students at their own level catering to their individual needs. The school motto is 'Learning for Life' and, as a parent, you cannot ask for any more.
We really recommend you arrange a visit in person. You will know if it is the right school for your child.
We came across this school 3 years ago. Any reservations we had about finding the ‘right school’ quickly disappeared after taking a tour. What we found was a friendly, caring and supportive staff who are approachable and work hard to make learning fun and tailor learning to a range of abilities and needs. We were drawn to the fantastic range of programs – from the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, to the social play space, swimming, bike riding, music, art, sport and well organised excursions.
Our daughter loves going to school and has thrived with all of the hands-on learning experiences. She has made friends and has become more confident and independent.
This is a fantastic school – we couldn’t have hoped for a better environment for our child.
Hi. I'm Eliza, I'm autistic and I've been at this school for 6 years.
I like AVSS because I learnt to ride a bike, learnt to cook, learnt to compose music and to use a Myki card. Now that I am old enough I am learning to do work experience.
I have made lots of friends and we do lots of fun things together.
I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with the wonderful students at Ascot Vale Special School. I learnt so much in such a short amount of time about each student’s individual needs, how to effectively cater to these needs and importantly how to make the learning experience enjoyable. Ascot Vale Special School is indeed a special school. I have never been in such a warm and welcoming environment where the students have such a great relationship with the teachers and look forward to coming to school every day. Becoming a part of this school community confirmed for me that this is the field I am passionate about and I am now moving towards becoming a Special Education Teacher.
After taking a tour of Ascot Vale Special School I was impressed from the get go. I remember on the drive home, thinking that this would be the perfect school for our son to attend. The thing that struck me the most was seeing how happy the children were whilst at school. The staff were lovely and it was evident that they were there because they wanted to be. It takes a special kind of person to work with special children and it makes a difference to me that I know that Leo is in good hands when I leave him for the day.
The Seesaw program is fantastic. It allows me to see what my son is doing during the day and all the progress that comes with it.
The Garden program is amazing. Leo has had a ball in the garden and the chickens are his new friends.
I couldn’t be happier that Leo attends Ascot Vale Special School. It really is a special kind of school!
Our son Joseph has attended AVSS for 5 years. He commenced in prep so we have had a long association with the school. When Joseph ( Joey ) was due to start school we knew that mainstream schooling would be very challenging for him so we looked at a number of different settings. We had preconceptions of a special school, however on visiting the school, we were impressed by the caring nature of all staff and the diversity of the programs at the school.
Through the support at the school Joey has been able to already achieve so much more than we had ever anticipated. For example programs such as;
- The Learn to Play program, has really fostered the development of his social skills.
- The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program has been fantastic to get him to try and make new foods.
- The camping program is just awesome to have him try new things and to have confidence in being away from home.
- The bike and physical education program has been great to get him moving and give him the confidence to ride a bike.
There are always challenges and bumps in the road. We have found the school a great partner in working through these challenges and the motto of ‘Be Your Best’ is really embedded right across the school. It is amazing what our kids can achieve when they are given an encouraging, safe, supportive environment.
Communication has been a challenge for us with Joey as he is never very forthcoming about telling us about his day. The school facilitates two way communication via a communication book and the interactive Seesaw platform which gives us even more visibility to see what Joey is learning. This has the added benefit of enabling us to have some conversations with him about his day and his friends at school.
If you have got this far to reading our story, you must have already seen some photos in the gallery on the website of how happy the students are.
Choosing a school for any child is a huge decision, even more so when you have a child with special needs. It’s where we were 5 years ago.
Even if you are just considering a special setting I would really recommend that you come to the school and have a walkthrough and look at the learning environment and meet the staff and kids.
Look around, ask heaps of questions, I think you might be very surprised at the great educational outcomes being achieved.
Jen Thomson Parent of Joseph
Antonia has attended Ascot Vale Special School (AVSS) since halfway through primary school. She will be finishing Year 12 at the end of 2017. So we have been here for a while!
When my husband and I realised that mainstream schooling was no longer working for Antonia, we decided to start looking for an alternative. We visited AVSS because we knew of a friend’s child who was attending.
After our first visit we felt reassured and very comfortable with our decision to move our daughter. Every staff member we met was calm, caring and professional.
Over the years we have engaged with many amazing staff. Whether they are front of house, student welfare, class aides, teachers or staff leaders they have shown themselves to be dedicated to their work, friendly and helpful.
No journey is without its problems. The school has always done their best to resolve these as they arose.
AVSS did a great job helping Antonia with the transition from her old (mainstream) school to her new school. She was very excited and happy about the move.
The focus has always been to help each child to be their very best. AVSS has the experience and resources to achieve the best educational outcomes possible for each child.
In the last two years at AVSS the focus also includes skills for leaving school. Antonia’s independence and awareness have increased dramatically in the last 21 months. Work experience, volunteering, work skills practice, brainstorming, research, discussion, excursions and more have all helped her to develop plans for her future. This is pretty amazing considering her I.Q. is 44 and the doctors and mainstream teachers did not think she would read or write or even talk. (Boy were they wrong on the last one!) The experiences at AVSS have helped Antonia to understand what she does (and doesn’t) want to do in the future.
Parents are also supported at AVSS throughout the journey.
We would highly recommend this school. It has been a very supportive place for our daughter and us. We will miss it.
When we were initially looking at schools we were impressed by the beautiful garden and kitchen program, library facility and friendliness of the staff at Ascot Vale Special School and its students’ achievements.
It was wonderful to have our daughter’s teaching staff visit her in her own home and to have the opportunity to discuss her needs and strengths in depth and then plan her learning goals together.
Having had our first month at Ascot Vale Special School we know we made the right decision.
Hi. My name is Anisa and I would like to share my story with you about this wonderful school.
I have two children who attend this school. If I knew what I know now I would not have hesitated for as long as I did to enrol my children at Ascot Vale Special School.
The school is full of wonderful teachers and staff who help us in every way they can, from classes that support them in their challenges, to individual learning plans and caring for them when they are sick.
I am so happy that my children are in the right school for them.
So please, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the staff at the school who are very, very helpful.
Seeing my daughter’s art work displayed at the Art Show was amazing. If one teacher could get her to produce work like that I knew she was in the right school.