Sara James | An Extraordinary School: Re-Modelling Special Education
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An Extraordinary School: Re-Modelling Special Education


Special education needs to be just that: first rate; best practice; uncompromising; creative education that enables all of our children to fulfil their potential.


This book is the story of an innovative school that will challenge you to re-think how special education is taught. Port Phillip Specialist School has received national and international recognition as a best-practice model for educating children with special needs. The school has a unique three-pronged approach to education. It uses: a full-service school model, in which a wide-range of educational, medical, paramedical and mental health services operate collaboratively within the school; an integrated model of service delivery, in which teachers, specialists and therapists collaborate to address the specific needs of each student, embedding therapy in all classroom activities; and an arts-based curriculum that uses dance, drama, music and the visual arts to teach literacy, numeracy and living skills.


An Extraordinary School will inspire those who want to re-model how special education can be taught and the story of Port Phillip Specialist School illustrates how effective the entire community can be in making change happen. A must-read book for educators, parents, carers and therapists of children with special needs.


This book is the result of close collaboration with many people: Bella Irlicht, the former principal of the school who over 20 years developed this school from a one-room, basic facility into the state-of-the-art school it is today; academics Prof. Brian Caldwell, Prof. Martin Comte OAM, and Dr Carl Parsons who worked with Irlicht on the development of the curriculum; teachers and parents