The Briars Special ELCThe Briars Special ELC

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The Preschool

Acknowledged as a centre of expertise, The Briars operates the only stand-alone Special Preschool in Australia with a focus on Communication and Literacy. It is a unique service dedicated to the education of children with disabilities and significant developmental delay, who all have complex communication needs. This includes children with diagnosed syndromes such as Downs, Williams and Rhetts Syndromes, Cerebral Palsy, undiagnosed disabilities when children present with severe physical and communication delays, as well as children on the Autism Spectrum.

The centre was purpose built for children with disabilities and has been engineered for communication and the development of communication skills is deeply embedded in the curriculum.


Children who are in their eligible preschool year attend the equivalent of 15 hours per week for the year, but may attend Early Entry of one day per week for two terms prior to their preschool year.

Download File Size File Type
Application Form 97 KB Adobe PDF
Consent Form 345 KB Adobe PDF


The site is engineered for communication and the development of communication skills is deeply embedded in the curriculum.

Preschool staff deliver an educational program based upon The Early Years Learning Framework. Every child has a Negotiated Education Plan which is developed in partnership with families and service providers, and which consists of Individual Goals from which an Individual Learning Support Plan is developed.

Curriculum Programs


Download File Size File Type
Term 1
Program Overview - Term 1 204 KB Adobe PDF
Term 2
Program Overview - Term 2 150 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 2, Weeks 1 and 2 176 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 2, Weeks 3 and 4 170 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 2, Weeks 5 and 6 146 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 2, Weeks 7 and 8 268 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 2, Weeks 9 and 10 379 KB Adobe PDF
Term 3
Program Overview - Term 3 233 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 3, Weeks 1 and 2 177 KB Adobe PDF
Program Term 3, Weeks 3 and 4 347 KB Adobe PDF
Archived curriculum programs

Parent Information

NOTE: All downloads open in a new browser window

Download File Size File Type
Behaviour Policy 18 KB Adobe PDF
Philosophy 648 KB Adobe PDF
Respect and Courtesy 194 KB Adobe PDF
Health Support Policy 87 KB Adobe PDF
Health Support Policy - Exclusions 98 KB Adobe PDF
Nutrition Policy 257 KB Adobe PDF


Download File Size File Type
2017 Term 1, Week 4 788 KB Adobe PDF
2017 Term 2, Week 6 2700 KB Adobe PDF

Outdoor Learning Program

The aim of our project is to develop an outdoor learning environment with a focus on natural resources and sustainability that will allow our children to engage in experiences that promote appreciation of and learning about nature and sustainable practices. The children who attend The Briars do not often have opportunities for outdoor learning experiences for reasons such as safety, poor health or access. We are aiming to develop an outdoor space that adds another dimension to our learning program where the children are able to explore different textures, participate in gardening and caring for plants and animals. An outdoor classroom has already been constructed where children are able to participate in aspects of the current learning program while outdoors.

We have constructed a chicken coop with ramps, perches, egg baskets and a run that enables the children to feed and observe the chickens at close quarters as well as to collect the eggs. The children are learning to separate our food scraps to feed the chickens as well as to compost. The eggs we collect are also used in regular preschool cooking experiences.

We also have plans to install two rainwater tanks that will be used to provide water for sustaining our trees, herbs, vegetables and other plants, for our chooks and for the children to use in many other outdoor experiences that can be enhanced with access to water. A large tank can also provide water to our sandpit where the children often use water for play experiences. The tank water will also be able to supply the creek, waterfall and wetland area that are currently being developed. The children have already participated in the planting and maintenance of our orchard.

The children are learning how to separate food scraps from food packaging into specific collection bins with visual cues on them. Each day individual or small groups of children are able to assist with feeding the scraps to the chickens or taking them to our compost bin. Children are regularly able to collect eggs as well as learn how to care for our chickens. There are also opportunities to learn about the life cycles of both plants and animals as our outdoor environment develops.

Our children are also learning about caring for trees that produce fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers and that we need compost, mulch and water to do so. They will be encouraged and assisted to use a range of watering cans and hoses to water the plants, filling them from taps fitted to the rainwater tanks. Collecting rainwater in tanks allows us to incorporate learning experiences related to rainfall, water flow, volume, full and empty, wet and dry and floating and sinking.

Many of the children at The Briars have restricted diets as part of their disability and we hope that the fruit and vegetables we grow will be able to be used in our learning program to encourage the children to become more confident with food they may be unfamiliar with such as tasting and eating fresh fruit, fruit and vegetable juicing or cooking.

Are goals for the program are

  • To increase the quantity and quality of outdoor experiences for young children with disabilities.
  • To increase learner wellbeing through unstructured outdoor exploration, encouraging fun, physical activity and collaboration.
  • To provide an outdoor space in which children can play and learn, take risks safely and develop understandings about their natural environment.
  • To provide opportunities for children to actively engage with the natural environment, including water, plants, trees and other living creatures.

Outdoor Learning Program Timetable

9 - 9.15am

  • Arrive, unpack & go outside to the paddock.

9.15 – 10am

  • Feed & let out chickens.
  • Collect eggs as required.
  • Water vegetable garden, plants & trees as required.
  • Mulching plants, spraying worms.
  • Outdoor learning experiences planned in conjunction with current learning focus.

10 – 10.30am

  • Morning Tea (collect & separate scraps for chickens & compost)

10.30 – 10.50am

  • Morning group time in the tent or on mat under tree

10.50 – 11.30pm

  • Outdoor learning experiences planned in conjunction with current learning focus. (Trampoline & Variety swing, mud kitchen, creek & waterfall etc)

11.30 – 12.00pm

  • Pack up & bathroom

Early Intervention Foundation Group

This program was established in response to the Same First Day policy (2013) to offer children with disabilities, whose fourth birthday is after the 30th April, the opportunity to access an early intervention specialised preschool program. Under the policy some children would be unable to attend their eligible preschool year until after they were four years and eight months. We know from research that the earlier children are exposed to intervention the greater their learning outcomes.

The Early Intervention Foundation Group children are immersed in The Briars preschool program for two 2.5 hour sessions per week. They are supported to engage in the curriculum alongside the enrolled children. As the family/carer is required to remain on site, The Briars offers them a program to build on their understanding and knowledge about caring for a child with a disability. This is balanced with the opportunity to relax and network with other families in a supported environment. (See Early Intervention Foundation Group Program)

Our goals for the program are…

To expose the children to a learning environment where they will be encouraged to:

  • participate in routines
  • develop relationships
  • develop social skills
  • experience positive separation from families
  • be independent
  •  engage in play opportunities
  • access communication programs
  • make choices
  • interact with peers and larger groups

and, to provide families with the opportunity to:

  • experience positive separation from their child
  • network with other families
  • enhance their confidence and skills around their child’s learning

Participating in The Early Intervention Foundation Group does not guarantee a child a place in The Briars Preschool program. The official application process must be adhered to.

Download File Size File Type
2016 - Term 1, Early Intervention Foundation Group Program (Tuesday) 480 KB Adobe PDF
2016 - Term 1, Early Intervention Foundation Group Program (Thursday) 283 KB Adobe PDF

Archived Early Intervention Foundation Group Programs