Gillies St Main Campus & Farm/Senior Campus: - Phone (03) 5334 1302

It's a pleasure to introduce Ballarat Specialist School to you.

Ballarat Specialist School caters for students aged between 3 and 18. Our school's mission is "Achieving Personal Success Together". We strive to enable our students and staff to reach their full potential in a safe and stimulating environment. Ballarat Specialist School draws its students from our designated transport zone; roughly a 60km radius of the Gillies Street campus. Our current enrolment is 450+ students, including our Early Learning Centre students. We provide educational programs for students with mild, moderate and profound intellectual disabilities associated with physical, social, emotional, behavioural, multiple and sensory impairments.

The school comprises 3 mini-schools spread across 2 campuses: Gillies Street and the Norman Street FARM campus. Our students range from 3 year-old kindergarten through to Year 12. There are 3 mini-schools: Junior School, Middle School and Senior School.

The school operates in Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) to ensure student growth is at the centre of all our work.

The school operates the two cafes: Special Treats Café at our Gillies Street campus and the Bakery Cafe at the FARM campus. Both cafes are open to the public during weekdays to allow our students to gain valuable work skills in the hospitality area. In addition, we have an op-shop, Vintage Soul, which is run by our students as part of the VET program and is also open to the public.

In order to cater for the individual needs of our students we offer a large variety of programs to support the learning and development of all. Such programs include learn-to-play, music therapy, hydrotherapy, and sensory sessions just to name a few. These programs are accessed through a referral system and are facilitated by our Integrated Services Team (IST).

Our Integrated Service Team consists of speech therapists, occupational therapists, music therapists (one day per week), equine connect learning (one day per week), school nurse based at Gillies Street, first aid officers, allied health assistants, student welfare officers, psychologist, learning specialists and behaviour support staff.
Ballarat Specialist School employs 210 staff, including Principal Class, Leading Teachers, Learning Specialists, Classroom Teachers, Specialist Teachers, and various Education Support Staff.

Each student at Ballarat Specialist School has an Individual Education Plan with goals set in consultation with their Student Support Group (SSG), designed to build upon current skills and knowledge to reach their potential. All teaching and learning programs are underpinned by the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework, The Victorian Curriculum and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning. Ballarat Specialist School provides a comprehensive curriculum with a strong focus on Literacy and Numeracy. Communication underpins all teaching and learning programs. Curriculum programs are adapted where necessary and tailored to meet individual needs of students as reflected in their IEP goals.The teaching foci for each term is determined by the school’s Curriculum Map. There is a curriculum map for each stage of learning. From this, Professional Learning Teams develop a detailed plan of the content that will be taught in each curriculum area for the term.

At Ballarat Specialist School we strive to build an inclusive learning environment that supports all students to be their best. We use the SWPBIS (School Wide Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports) framework to teach appropriate behaviours across environments and we encourage all members of our community to embody our values of safety, respect and responsibility.

Please feel free to contact the Principal team - Carol Anderson, Sam Sheppard, Troy Gardiner, Mat Gannon or myself on 03 5334 1302.

Karen Biggelaar
Principal